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The Voyage of Spectacle 2010 June

The Voyage

Spectacles

Andy and Melissa are sailing around the world on their 48-foot sailboat, Spectacle.

The Position

Bali, Indonesia

The Pictures

The Voyage of Spectacle

Archive for June, 2010

So Long Scarborough, Hello Mooloolaba Surf Club

Posted by: melissa

Finally shoving off from Scarborough was a wonderful feeling … even if we were only motor-sailing in light wind a couple of hours to nearby Mooloolaba (pronounced muh-LOO-luh-buh).  We grabbed our good buddy, Graham, and headed out with a case of Toohey’s New for the uneventful passage.  Graham is a born-and-raised Queenslander and frequent visitor of the Sunshine Coast, yet he has never seen that stretch from the water and was mightily impressed. 

On one of his famous Queensland driving tours, Graham has taken us to Mooloolaba twice already, so it was already old hat when we arrived.  We were also pretty hungry.  During the passage, I tried to light the stove to prepare our lunch and the propane tank is dry.  Grrr … if it’s not one thing, it’s twenty others — we just got the stupid refrigerator going!

Caloundra from the sea on the quick passage from Scarborough to Mooloolaba

Caloundra from the sea on the quick passage from Scarborough to Mooloolaba

We parked the boat in Mooloolaba Harbor in the mouth of the Mooloolah River which is well-sheltered in the lee of Point Cartwright.  Immediately we saw a familiar boat and sure enough, we were greeted by Cutty Wren, who we haven’t seen since Moorea (and Fatu Hiva and Cartagena before that).  We checked in with the marina, walked the beachside trail to town (complete with turkey vultures and magpies), hit the Mooloolaba Surf Club for some beers and shrimp cocktail and sat on the verandah watching the surf life-saving club train in their red swimsuits. 

With so many examples from popular culture like Baywatch and the Beach Boys, most Americans would probably be surprised to learn that the beach lifeguard culture was born in Australia around 1907 as a response to several drowning accidents at Sydney-area beaches.   Surf lifesaving clubs are a very popular tradition throughout Australia with some 305 clubs patrolling over 400 beaches with 24,968 members as of 2004.

A “Lifeguard” is a paid employee patrolling the beach.  A “Surf Lifesaver” is a volunteer who provides additional support during periods of high beach traffic (summer, unseasonably warm weekends, public holidays, etc.), organizes community programs such as swimming lessons, and sponsors festivals and competitions.

Established in 1922, the Mooloolaba Surf Club is one of the oldest surf and life-saving clubs in Australia.  It’s the epicenter for the town’s social calendar and even publishes an annual report.

Ooh Ah, Mooloolaba

Posted by: melissa

Although Noosa is my favorite Sunshine Coast destination, Mooloolaba is really nice as well.  To put it in Southern California terms, if Noosa is like a small Laguna Beach, Mooloolaba is like a small Huntington Beach.  The beach is absolutely amazing and the Esplanade is very charming.  We found a fantastic Indian food restaurant, although with AUS$9 Kingfishers, we racked up some pretty hefty tabs! 

The Beach at Mooloolaba from the Boardwalk

The Beach at Mooloolaba from the Boardwalk

With a population of about 10,000, Mooloolaba is 60 miles from Brisbane making it an easy beach getaway.  The word, Mooloolaba, is probably derived from the Aboriginal word “mulu” meaning snapper fish, or “mulla” meaning red-bellied black snake.

Back to the Dock to Find Ella’s Pink Lady

Posted by: melissa

After rainy and cold Sydney, I was happy to get back to sunny Mooloolaba yesterday.  We walked onto our dock to find Australia’s favorite sailboat, Ella’s Pink Lady.  No sign of Jessica Watson yet, but plenty of lookie-loos.  The dock is behind a security gate, and in the last two days, I have personally stopped at least 10 people from following me in.  It’s annoying me.

Ella's Pink Lady is a Sparkman and Stephens 34 sailed by Australian 16-year-old Jessica Watson during her solo circumnavigation.

Ella's Pink Lady is a Sparkman and Stephens 34 sailed by Australian 16-year-old Jessica Watson during her solo circumnavigation.

First of all, Jessica’s boat is in the first slip closest to the shore … it’s totally visible with an unobstructed view for the perfect kodak moment.  It’s obvious she’s not there (no activity, companion way door is padlocked from the outside) so you won’t get a glance of her if you get closer.  Second, the “dock” is not a park or public property … it’s private property where we pay a fee to park our “home.”  I know people are fascinated with boats and our adventure (especially when we’re flying the American flag), but interest isn’t a free pass to come peek in our windows and try to get past security.


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