A brief stopover in Brisbane was what was planned – long enough to catch up with the Almost-Bus-Dwelling-Cousin and get a sail fixed. However, the aforementioned cousin texted me just after we’d gone over the Wide Bay bar – there was some work for me in Brisbane – so 24 hours later, we were motor sailing up the Brisbane River to the city.

[The pile moorings we stayed on last time, incidentally, are only 60% full, with the remainder having ‘CLOSED’ signs strung between them – apparently they are to be demolished in the name of ‘progress’ and will be reinstated behind those that remain – there is great scepticism about this last point. The whole thing sounds like something out of the ABC series ‘Utopia’. Gah. So we are at anchor. Two anchors actually.]
Brisvegas. The Smalls are coming for you.

Unfortunately the work did not transpire, but getting into Brisbane at that time (last weekend) enabled me to have an awesome catchup with my BFF L, who I haven’t seen for over two years. She was staying at the Hilton – and I took great delight in taking the Smalls up to the highest floor to shower and marvel at all the things that can be possible with room service and an executive card.

Brisvegas. Boat family. Bus family.
Our Brisbane BFFs – @talesofthewild 
Brisvegas. Bronte the Bus.
Bronte the Bus.
Brisvegas. The visual glory that is T2.
DB’s favourite destination: T2

Outside of the unexpected (but very welcome) catch-up, being in a city has kind of kicked our butts. It has been a significantly difficult adjustment for all of us. Small Z and I have both been waking up every day with puffy eyes, sores inside our noses – she has particularly struggled with all the city-related noise; trucks, sirens, construction etc.

I have had feelings of some kind of weird dislocation. It has literally taken at least six or seven days for us to kind of find our feet and feel kind of normal. Small Z and I still have our puffy eyes, but we have been thoroughly enjoying the library, going to my favourite cafe, buying more wool for our stash – and the Smalls have been busking for the first time in a-g-e-s…

I have been heartened to note that while Small Z did buy herself two bags of lollies, most outlay has been on art supplies and books – and there’s no way I can object to that. Both Smalls have been told how important it is to save: they are so different – Small Z finds it quite hard, while her sister is the opposite.

In addition to our wanderings around the city, we hired bikes and crossed the river on them to go to West End and back via the State Library. I have begun to crochet a throw rug with some of the yarn I got on 50% off sale at Lincraft. M has put in some very good hours on the boat and has fixed two cupboard doors and has serviced and re-wired the stove HALLELUJAH! For the first time in over six months, this morning I was able to start the stove without having to go outside and start the generator. God it feels excellent.

On our last day in Brisbane we met our lovely friends (or 4/5 of them) from GonYonda and took the boatkids to SparkLab – a very cool installation at the Brisbane Museum. Despite the 200 odd schoolkids that arrived 20 minutes after we did, the Smalls had a great time – actually, we all did. It was lovely to see boat-friends again and we hope to reunite in Tasmania sometime early next year…

Brisvegas. The Smalls at SparkLab.
SparkLab at Brisbane Museum

Tomorrow we plan to head back down the Brisbane River with the tide and then ease our way down the Gold Coast Seaway. Our eyes are fixed on two different destinations – either Lord Howe Island or Yamba. It will depend on the weather, but also, largely, on the swell. We shall sea…

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