Sunday, February 10, 2013

I'd Walk A Kilometer to Take a Shower . . .

In the sixties, there was a popular advertising campaign for Camel cigarettes that said, "I'd walk a mile for a Camel".  Interesting how indelible advertising can be!

I not only walk a kilometer to take a shower but I also walk a kilometer to take a dump.  The toilet and shower facilities at the Birkenhead Point Marina are slightly over a half-kilometer from the boat so a round trip excursion takes a solid ten minutes of walking (less if you jog or run).  I'm not complaining but I have worked on my timing and I have made the trip up there in some record times.  If the weather is hot, though, by the time I get back to the boat, I need another shower.

The Red Line is the Route We Use From Rutea to the Facilities

All of the Sydneysiders know of Birkenhead Point.  It's one of the few factory outlet shopping centers in the area and it draws a large crowd, especially on weekends.  In addition to the multitude of clothing stores, there's a large grocery store plus a boutique butcher, bakery and fruit/vegetable market.  This is very convenient to us living in the marina since we have no car.  The grocery store is very accommodating and allows us to take their trolleys (in America they're called 'shopping carts') right down to the boat.  We're always very responsible and return our trolley right after we've used it but many boaters leave the trolleys they've used on the docks.  I'm curious how many of them find their way into the water.

It's been interesting living with an outlet mall in our 'backyard' although, I have to admit, that other than groceries and booze, the only other store I've been inside is the hardware store.  I use the ATM more often than I care to discuss but that's partly because everything is so expensive in Australia and the exchange rate we get on our credit cards is terrible.  Ruthie and I did have lunch in the food court once and ate pretty good sushi but I haven't been back.

The Building Was Once a Tire Factory

 These last few weeks I've been working like crazy, trying to complete projects while Rutea is in a marina.  For many projects, working while tied up at a dock greatly reduces the amount of time spent on a repair.  It can take exponentially longer if, for example, you need a part and the boat is at anchor or on a mooring.  You have to launch the dinghy, motor to a beach (there are very few dinghy-friendly docks in Sydney Harbour), pull the dinghy up on the beach, tie it up, etc, etc.  The ability to just walk off the dock and up to the chandlery may not be as romantic but it's certainly simpler.

Rutea is looking great.  She has six coats of Cetol on her cap rail and I've just rewired the 12-volt electrical panel.  Her genoa has been repaired and we've ordered a new holding plate for her freezer.  The software is going to be updated on her autopilot  and we have a new single-side band radio installed.  The list goes on and on.  She's going to be ready for northern Australia and Indonesia.

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