While Heidi and I were in quarantine, Artemis stayed at a marina on the Brisbane River. After we “escaped”, we spent another two weeks in the marina working our way through a list of repairs. But, after a month, it was time to get moving again.
We waited for the incoming tide so that we would get a bit of a “free ride”. Luckily, just as the tide turned the wind also came up so, with wind and tide going our way, we made good progress.
The river meanders wildly and is a major highway for commercial boats and ferries so we had to continuously tack the sails and concentrate – both things that are not so necessary when we are out crossing oceans. The plus side was the constantly changing scenery with evidence of abandoned coastal industry and a lot of new developments. The river is an interesting place.
The City Cats are the local river ferries and they zip from pier to pier apparently at random. We just held our course and let them go round us as the law of the sea says they should – they being motorized and we under sail.
In the heart of Brisbane we anchored off the botanical gardens and enjoyed our sun down drinks with the skyscrapers just off our stern.
A few days later we moved on to a pier right in the middle of the city, put our mountain bikes together and cycled in to the Mount Coot-Tha Forest. By chance we chose a route that included the steepest climb anywhere in the eucalyptus forest. At least the long run back down in to town made up for it. We left at 05:45 and were back five hours later. The amount of early morning bicycle traffic on the riverside bike path had to be seen to be believed. A counting station claimed that over a quarter of a million bikes had passed this year.
The following day we cycled along the bike paths heading downriver and enjoyed the bike lanes, bike paths, parks and side streets. Brisbane is a bikers paradise.
In the afternoon we cycled over to the outdoor swimming pool and enjoyed the refreshingly cool water.
In the botanical Garden we saw our first dragons – Eastern Water Dragons. In the evening the flying foxes flew above our heads – bats with a one meter wing span. There is a lot of new things to see here in Australia; and people to meet. Our neighbours on the sailing vessel Mahili invited us over for sundown drinks that became a late night affair which was great fun! A tour boat pulled in to take on new guests and Heidi knew the skipper from a barbecue a week before. (A month in Australia and she knows everyone 🙂
After a week of city life we let the outgoing tide carry us back down river leaving the skyscrapers astern.