Annual Houseboat Trip

Monday, December 11 2011

I have just got off the boat for the boy’s annual houseboat weekend. There was the skipper and Gilligan, Ginger, Mary-Anne… Hang on, I am having another after school television regression episode…  Back to the story…

After getting all the supplies on board, including an exceptionally large quantity of beer supplied by Chris W, we received our safety briefing and we were off down the Coomera River, earlier than expected due to the Sun Goddess not being in use the day before.

The crew listening intently to the safety briefing


Our boat, the Sun Goddess.  Photo courtesy of Coomera Houseboats

Leaving Port

The first order of business is the random room draw.  There are 4 bedrooms on the boat, 2 rooms with double beds, 2 rooms with bunks, and a pull out bed in the main lounge room.  I drew a bunk room, and swapped with Wade for the sunroom, as I don’t like sleeping in the coffin rooms, and can live with the no bed to lay down on during the day if I wish.

Dodgy shuffler ensuring no stateroom for me

Damn, no stateroom again…

Martin is our designated driver, with Gilly as backup.  All others either are loathe to drive, and a couple just flat out refuse.

Chris B came through with the tour swag yet again

As we headed out, the day was gorgeous, though we heard that this will be the last of it for the remainder of the weekend, with rain coming in.  No biggy, as there are cards, drinks, books, DVD’s and conversation.  The first day tends to be a little over exuberant for some with the drinks, as the excitement of the weekend kicks in.  After a “couple” of drinks at our anchorage at the North bedrooms off South Stradbroke, we tucked into a mexican meal, which was enjoyed by all.

Heading to our anchorage

Gilly had organised some firewood, and 4 of the crew headed to the island to have a fire in the designated campground, whilst 3 (myself included) choose to stay on the boat.  After having a few glasses of brown sleeping pills, I put the head down, before the boys came back at 12:30, with lots of excitement in their voices.  I headed up to join them on the top deck, and left Wade and Chris W to solve the world’s problems at 2:00.  There are obviously a lot of problems in the world, as they kept going until 4:30.

Great skies over the water

Saturday morning and the weather was cool, and the rain was falling.  Though the perfect sleep in weather, I was up at 6:30, and Chris W, was up as well, which was a surprise to me given only 2 hours sleep, though I soon discovered the reason for him leaning over the back of the boat after minimal sleep, and I retreated back inside.  Gilly was also up, and stayed with the fishing out the back of the boat.

This year I brought along a hammock, which I jury rigged up on the upper deck.  This will come with me every trip now!

Wade kindly took this shot of me with my phone.  You can see how awful this trip was right here!

Gilly went off on his annual lap of the island tour, whilst the rest of us read, watched cricket, listened to music and chatted.

Gilly calls a wter taxi to return to home base

Chris W has the controls of the music on the boat, but I did ask for a window of time on Saturday to stream @requestfest via my phone into the stereo system.  This was great to listen to the 90’s tracks coming out, and I think they have some new followers, well at least 2.

We had decided that Saturday night dinner would be a bachelor’s version of tapas, which had  different morsels of food coming out of the oven in intervals.  Cards came out with a game of hearts, and then poker after dinner.

The boys play Hurts Hearts

I am the worst poker player in the world (except Chris B) and it was amusing to some, definitely not all, of the constant, every hand query from both Chris B and I , “What chips make up the small and big blind again”, “How much is this chip worth?”.  Scott was ever patient with this clueless duo, and was very helpful.  Marty won the night, and through some incredible mishap, I managed to take second prize…

Managed to keep some chips until the end

As there is a DVD / TV on the boat, people tend to bring along a DVD (or 12 if you are Chris W) of a favourite, or a new DVD that might be appropriate to watch.  Gilly choose to bring an inappropriate DVD, as it was later discovered 20 minutes in, with “Freddy got Fingered”.  It was a shocker of a movie, and we turned it off early.

Unfortunately the boat’s DVD player didn’t work, and we watched the movie on Chris W’s laptop. After 20 minutes of “what the” during the Freddy movie, it was shut down, and we turned in.

Sunday arrives very early, due to the open curtains in the kitchen burning a hole through my sheets and my head.  BBQ brekky on the top deck, and a fantastic day awaits.  I spent a lot of time in the hammock reading, and felt very relaxed.

This crew had a good setup on a sandbank near our boat

A game of 500 was called with the dynamic duo of kiwi’s calling for challenges, which Gilly and I accepted.  It’s always fun to listen to the banter of this couple.  To think that their children will be marrying into each other’s family and they will be both speaking at the 2 weddings as father of the bride and groom, makes me smile very widely!

In the afternoon, a storm warning was declared on the radio, and after looking at the BOM website, we decided to seek refuge in Mosquito Alley Tiger Mullet Channel.  We did get some good rain, but nothing of the damaging winds and hail we were worried about.

Waiting for the storm

I do enjoy cooking, and like others to enjoy my food.  Typically on the Sunday of the trip, I will make a couple of curries, but whilst I do enjoy it, I felt that the couple of hours preparing and cooking, could be used differently onboard.  I decided to make a couple of lasagne’s at home, and bring them along to cook in the oven on the boat.  It seemed to go down well, and was minimal effort.

Luckily, I managed to not spill these puppies as they came out o the oven in flimsy containers

After dinner we watched Shaun of the Dead which is a great movie, though a little slow starting for some of the crew.  After the movie, I could pull the bed out in the living area and crash.

Whilst we got a sample of the mozzies intentions last night, and we all were quite diligent in shutting the doors quickly when going outside, the mozzies were off the dial loud and hungry.  I was lathered in carcinogenic repellent, which stopped the bites, just not the sound, and I was wide awake at 5:00.  Most of us were up early, and we started heading back at 6:00 towards port.

Gold Coast skyline as we head into port 

It’s always a fun time out on the water, and this trip was not exception.

The song of the day came from the @requestfest suggestion from Gilly which got played, Jane’s Addiction ‘Been caught stealing’.

Date night

Sunday 27th November, 2011

So much has been happening in the week since date night last Sunday.  My brother had his first child, my studio construction started, great progress on my new work venture, bought some great photography gear, and a new car (all online)…  Each of these deserves their own post, and I will see what I can do.

But let’s rewind a week…

Sue and I were heading along for dinner at a Turkish Restaurant we love called Ahmet’s. As I will probably indulge in the food, it was good that Scott gave a shout out for any willing people to use jackhammers, crowbars and sledge hammers to break up his back patio concrete.  It was very hot work for a couple of hours, but I banked enough energy expenditure to enjoy dinner!

A quick shower then to meet up with the girls at one of Sue’s workmates house for a BBQ lunch.  Ryan was overnight at a mate’s place, then onto a bowling breakup party for his school class.  It was a great BBQ and we got to meet some new faces, and catchup with some old ones.

After getting home, and resting for a short period, Tegan was off to carols at her school with her mate Ali and family.  We headed into Southbank and grabbed a pre-dinner cocktail.

Sue’s margarita

It was then off to Ahmet’s to enjoy our turkish food.

Ahmet’s had a line 20 people long, and even though we had a reservation, we had to wait it out, and check out the food that people were enjoying at the outside tables.

I love a restaurant with the kitchen on show.

Sue and I were taken back to 1997, where we spent 3 weeks in Turkey after we were married.  We recalled our apple tea’s whilst we were shown various rugs and kilims. Sean forgot his flash, so the photo’s don’t do the place justice.

We started with some bread with Beetroot and Hummus dips, and they were perfect!  We decided to share a platter for two, which included Kiymali Pide (mince meat pide), Mixed Meze (oven roasted vegetables, falafel & vine leaf rolls), Mixed grill Platter (lamb, chicken & adana skewers & lamb cutlet with rice) and to finish was some Turkish Delight.  We weren’t able to finish everything, though not for the lack of trying.  The food and ambience didn’t disappoint, and we will be coming back.

Our platter

On the way out, we spotted a picture of Ataturk.  When we were in Turkey, I can’t recall a room that we ever entered, that didn’t have a picture of this guy.

We were then off to the convention centre to see Eddie Izzard.

Sue and I have seen Eddie before, and when I belatedly realised that he was coming to town, I was well pleased that we were still able to get tickets.  I wasn’t able to take my camera into the event, and the photos I talk with the iphone were a little underwhelming. Eddie’s performance was it’s usual high standard.

Eddie image c/- SmilingMAD’s site

I think the days activities tuckered me out a little and I fell into bed when we got home.

Today’s song of the day is Stone Temple Pilots – Vasoline.  I picked this song as, last night I came across @requestfest on twitter which play’s 90’s music of the  genre that is right up my alley.  STP’s song came on soon after I tuned in. Michael Tunn runs the show, and memories of 90’s triple j came flooding back. You can see the webite here  I am thinking this will be a regular Saturday night playlist if we are home.