Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our Time in Brisbane

Brisbane was good to us.  All together we spent 5 months there, having entered the Brisbane River on 17 January 2011, the day the port reopened following its share of devastating New Year flooding.  Finding space at the pile moorings at the Botanic Gardens proved easy, as many folks had vacated and run down into Moreton Bay ahead of the flood. The day after our arrival Vicki started work at Griffith University.  Four days later the kids started full time school at Brisbane Central State School.

the pile moorings in the heart of Brisbane,
next to the Botanic Garden
With the boat being conveniently emptied of her human cargo each morning I got busy preparing Kallisto for sale – but never managed to finish the job!  Before I could do so some interfering folks got in the way and bought her off us!!!

So it was that we met our close neighbors on the pile moorings, David and Kate.  David knew about Wylos and liked them, at least in principle.  He had been looking for a replacement boat for his Kalitsa for some time, needing a bit more room now he had a live aboard partner.  They both liked Kallisto from the beginning and after only a very brief period of consideration decided she would do the job!

It all happened so quickly that we almost got cold feet – both from a reluctance to let go of our dear little boat, along with a fear that we might fail to find a suitable, affordable replacement.  But on 5 March we signed a Bill of Sale.

 Brisbane is bike friendly. We all got one and the kids used theirs each day to get to school – nice uniforms huh?

Now having sold Kallisto the pressure to find a replacement vessel, and quickly, was huge.  We needed a place to live!!!  Days, that quickly turned into weeks were spent pouring over the web, assessing the possibilities, drawing up short lists, and hitting the road to all points north and south, meeting brokers, owners and assorted waterfront rats, inspecting, discussing, considering....  During this time LWC really came into her own, doing hundreds, then thousands of kilometres.  But finding a suitable boat proved difficult.  We kept narrowing our wish list, which we finally pared down to: ‘cruise ready’, good sailing characteristics, three separate dedicated sleeping areas (preferably not cabins but definitely not settee berths), and personal storage assigned to each sleeping area.  Ideally we wanted an open plan boat with two pilot berths and a vee-berth. In the end, with a short list of three vessels that looked ok, I made an offer, subject to survey, on the one I thought best.   With the offer accepted my good mate and ship surveyor Mike flew up from Newcastle to run the fine-toothed comb over her – from which she mercifully emerged with a tick.  And with that the sale was quickly finalized and Mojombo became ours on 21 March 2011.

LWC, we couldn’t have done it with out her!
Mojombo (meaning ‘my friend’) is a 1988 Wauquiez built ‘Centurion 42’, a French built GRP fin keeler with an established high reputation in both Europe and North America, although little known in Australia.  She was cruised out to Australia from Canada by three young, adventurous mates, Mark, Cory and Chris – who having got her that far decided it was time to head back home and get serious about some further education – and so offered her up for sale.  While not open plan, Mojombo ticked all the other boxes in our pared down ‘wish list’ – and – despite the three separate cabins (and two separate heads) – still had a reasonably generous salon area.  While notionally ‘cruise ready’ I spent the rest of my time in Brisbane working on her – completing all the jobs identified between Mike and myself as being ‘essential’, most of those identified as ‘important’ and even quite a few identified as ‘a really good idea’.

Mum and Dad visited us just as we were taking ownership of Mojombo.  Dad helped me bring her up the Brisbane River which was great

 Our new boat, Mojombo, settling in on the Brisbane River

Our first major go at entertaining onboard.  Joining us were
Russell and Marilyn from Zulu and Paul, Katie, Harry and Fin
from Intrepid.  We had a great night with wonderful friends.

Niece Kellie and her family visited us from Sydney and 
together we did the sights.

Even my sister Sue and partner Jim paid us a visit!

On 17 June, having sadly waived goodbye to LWC a couple of weeks earlier, the kids finished up at Brisbane State Central School and Vicki at Griffith University. The next day we headed down the Brisbane River enroute to Indonesia via the inside passage through the Great Barrier Reef.  We had sold a boat, bought a replacement, made some money, spent lots, met many wonderful people including a surprising number of established and valued friends, and got ourselves more or less ready to head OS again. We were off on the next leg of our adventure.  Yes Brisbane had been really good to us!

 Vicki at the helm as we depart Brisbane.  It was mid winter and quite cool.

No comments:

Post a Comment