After a day or two in Bums Bay (which was surprisingly relaxing, with its contrasting backdrop of the Gold Coast skyscrapers and coastal scrub) my sister Imogen and her fiance Michael (yes, confusing - we call them Michael One and Michael Two) flew in for a friend's wedding. They put us up in their hotel for a night down at Nobbys Beach which was great because it was off the main drag at Surfers Paradise and had great views down the coast to Burleigh Heads. It also meant we could catch up on all our laundry - joy! After drinking A LOT and being denied entry to the hotel pool by a creepy caretaker around 9pm we scrambled down on to the beach and stumbled around like Schoolies, before coming to our senses and marvelling at the warm water, bright stars and dramatic GC skyline.
Two days later (after recovering from our crashing hangovers) we met up with Imogen and Michael Two again and drove 30 minutes south to the coastal town of Currumbin to check out the Swell Sculpture Festival - a beachside display of works from over 50 artists. It was a perfect QLD day: bright, bright blue skies, sunshine hot enough to burn if you let it, the coastline misty from the surf-spray - aahh! Its so good to be here.
To top off their visit, on Thursday we broke with Bass Voyager tradition, dressed up and went to a restaurant called Glass at the Southport marina (think Sheraton and Versace hotels - yikes!) and met Imogen and Michael's friends Tracy and Josh who were just married a few days earlier. We had a lovely night. Great company, amazing food and wine. Thanks Imo and Mike - we loved seeing you!
Two days ago we decided to up-anchor from Bums Bay and head a little further up the Broadwater for a change of scene. We're now anchored off the beach at Paradise Point, trying to have a sense of humour about the jetskis, power boats and waterskiers flying by dangerously close to us! On the up-side, the township here is really nice - cafes and shops along wide beachfront parklands.
Yesterday was a great day. A new friend of ours, Ron from the yacht Stormalong, who we first met back at Pt Stephens, picked us up for a day touring the GC hinterland with his wife Sue. First they took us to a farmers market at Nerang where we stocked up on beautiful local produce and, much to Michael's delight, experienced green olives stuffed with cheese, crumbed and deep fried - ON A STICK! Genius.
After that they drove us up into the hills above Mudgeeraba at a place called Mt Nimmel. Ron and Sue bought their property in the 1970's and have split their time between sailing the south pacific and raising their kids in this truly idyllic spot, 500 metres above sea level overlooking Burleigh Heads and the Gold Coast. It so was fantastic to see a different side of the region outside the craziness of the tanned bubble-men and meter-maids!
Over the next few days we're catching up with some other sailing friends before pushing on to BrisVegas, hopefully in time to find an anchorage and catch Riverfire over the weekend.
View from Bums Bay
A selection from the Swell Sculpture Festival at Currumbin
Views from the hotel at Southport
Scary, enormous, unfinished mansions on the Sovereign Islands near our current anchorage