The Wharf Complex, Mooloolaba
The rain that commenced yesterday carried on today and got heavier, causing a few joking comments about the name of this section of coast from a few people. The long hot period in Brisbane has taken its toll on the ship, despite the best efforts of the crew to keep the ship wetted down. With all the rain, water is pouring into the ship through many areas of the deck where it has opened up. My cabin is among the worst areas, water dripping in on both bunks from many places in the deckhead. It should get better as the timber takes up again but for the moment it helps to have a sense of humour. The decks have become very slippery, made worse by the tar that seems to leach out of the rig and ends up running down the deck. During the morning, as we approach high water, the gangway becomes fairly steep, despite the scaffold landing that has been built for us, and it is also becomes very slippery. We open up to for public inspection and people begin coming aboard in good numbers, despite the rain. I am loath to do it but in the end I have to close the ship - the gangway, OK in dry conditions, is just too hazardous. I plan to open up again at 1300, about mid tide, when the angle of the gangway should be a lot better. Others have been watching our plight though - Sue Base, the Promotions and Media Executive from the Wharf, has gotten in contact with CSP Hire, who supplied the scaffolding, to come back and rebuild it so that the gangway is at a shallower angle. The blokes have already been down a couple of times to adjust it, but they return again in quick time and work with our crew in the pouring rain to rebuild the landing. With it all complete, we are able to open the ship up again after lunch for public inspection, a big crowd that had been waiting pours aboard to have a look at the ship. Despite the miserable weather we do very well for the rest of the day, there seems to be a lot of interest in the ship here in Mooloolaba. Our thanks to the scaffolding blokes for their patient help in setting up what is now a very good gangway arrangement. I mentioned Sue Base earlier, I cannot thank her enough for the enthusiastic support that she, and her team here, have given us already to make our stay here successful. The incredible support that we have received everywhere continues on. Not only the scaffolding for the gangway, but 3 phase power and fresh water have been put on to this berth especially for us, marina facilities made available to us, discount vouchers at local businesses for the crew, offers of complimentary memberships at the local yacht clubs and surf clubs. A diver had been sent down to check that the berth was clear for us and, as I mentioned yesterday, the assistance from the local coastguard during the arrival and tricky berthing manoeuvre. The media coverage has also been excellent. A TV crew were out with the coast guard to film our arrival and I have lost track of the number of interviews that I have done - Channel 7, Channel 9, ABC, local ABC radio, Brisbane ABC radio and even 2GB radio in Sydney have all given us coverage over the last couple of days. Radio is OK, but if these TV interviews continue I might have to get a beard trim, starting to look a bit too scruffy to appear on peoples TV screens. It is great coverage though and a lot of people are hearing about the ship through the media. Must not forget the papers either, we have appeared in the Courier Mail and the local Sunshine Coast Daily. Sightly better weather forecast for tomorrow so between that and the coverage we have been given, we hope to do well here.