Z E N I T U D E
Blue Water Dreaming
Bundaberg - Arriving Home
I'm always travelin'
And I love bein' free
So I keep lovin' the sun and the sea
But my heart lies waiting over the foam
I still call Australia home
So many times in the past, when arriving home from overseas in a Qantas flight, we landed with the music "I still call Australia Home". This time as we arrived in Bundaberg and drop the anchor, it is this music that comes to mind with the feeling that we actually made it home:
We arrived on a Sunday at about 6:00 PM and dropped anchor in the quarantine holding area. We couldn't leave the boat until being cleared by immigration, customs and quarantine. It is not allowed to visit other boats either.
As we are part of the Port2Port rally we find several boats already here but the majority will be arriving in the next couple of days. All the entry procedures have been organized for the rally participants and we are hoping it will all go well.
The next morning they start calling each boat to come to the quarantine dock and wait for the authorities. The whole thing takes about 2 to 3 hours for each boat and they do two to three boats at the same time. Everything goes smooth for us. There is some kind of trouble for boats with lots of old wood, they need to be tested for termites, it is an expensive test. We have to give up all the fresh food of course which is not much at this point and they took from us some prepared French food because there was no packaging to show what it was made of. At around noon we are ready and free to go. Of course we are not going far, we just get a dock space in the marina. We are staying here for the week of festivities organized for the Port2Port participants.
The marina has good things and others not so good. It is located far from town but they provide a courtesy bus to town. The marina facilities are excellent. As everybody coming here has intention of staying in Australia for several months, the first thing all of us do is go shopping for phone and wireless options. Here we come to reality that everything cost money, but anyway, Telstra shops in Bundaberg run out of stock for simcards. Finally we get ours and now we are in 'touch', phone and internet, back to civilization.
Leslie and all rally organizers do a fantastic job. They take care of us, provide lots of entertainment and fun. There is dinner every night, with a pizza night and a formal dinner night. There is local TV interviews. There is a day at the fresh produce market, there is Melbourne cup lunch, where Oscar got the winning horse from a tip at the fresh produce market (the honey guy). As Oscar didn't keep it a secret, many happy cruisers celebrate their wins. There is the group photo shooting of course and soon the Pacific Port2Port rally week is over.
We stayed for another week and went down the Burnett River to Midtown Marina, which is the marina in town.
There is a boat yard as well and we were planning to haul out Zenitude, do bottom painting and fix the seals. It turned out that their trailer was not fit for Zenitude.
The trip down the river was a bit unnerving as it is very shallow in several places. The Road was here as well and we spent good time together.
Bundaberg is a nice town with lots of little restaurants and good shopping. The town is modern, young and seems to be growing fast. It was nice to spend time there but we decided we needed to start moving if we wanted to be in Sydney before Christmas. We still needed to haul out Zenitude on the way, before arriving to Sydney, where it costs a lot more money for the same job. We are planning to go down along the west side of Fraser Island stopping for overnights along the way. We finally departed on the 11 of November at first light.
by Peter Allen
Back in Australia - Bundaberg - 24 October to 11 November 2010
The 2010 P2P Rally crew
A Sunday festival in Bundaberg
Burnett River - Midtown Marina moorings