Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I got my Sea Legs!

Today we are taking the boat to Martha Cove, but Mick and Arthur got stuck in traffic so they called and suggested that Selina and I take the Sea Legs for a spin! I was surprised, coming from a boat where the capt. hovered over us like we were incapable of doing anything on our own, to this situation where Mick has complete faith in me that I am perfectly competent around boats. Just the fact that he was confident in me made me confident in myself. I drove the Sea Legs out of the marina and around the point to check out the beach. Now, I may be spoiled but this beach was not what I would call a "beach". More like the kind of beach you have at the lake, water is all green and murky. So we headed back this way. It's still a bit chilly here, it would be really warm if the wind wasn't blowing. The wind is freezing! I brought the boat back in to the dock perfectly and Selina was a great deck hand, tying off our dock lines when we eased into the slip. Now we wait. Hopefully the guys will get here soon so we can head out!

Oh the joy of karaoke!

Tonight was a great night! I met Sarah and James at the pub, we played billiards with small yellow and red balls and drank some cocktails and then I sang a little karaoke then they walked me home! What a polite group! It was so nice to spend some time with normal fun people. Tonight was the first night I actually went out and met people. It has been raining since I got here so I have been a bit of a hermit. Sarah even invited me on her and Louise's road trip down the coast this week. I will meet up with them if I have a night off. They will be camping by the beach and having a great time, I hope I can make it down one night at least. It would do me good. If James can get time off hopefully he will come too so I don't have to drive alone!!! I am in such a freakin good mood I just don't understand it! I better go to sleep now before I get homesick or lovesick or just sick in general. I hope you all had a great Christmas and have a Happy New Year! I will be here, or up the Yarra, or in Tazmania...

p.s. I spent most of the day watching cricket... so confused.

Love you!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Very Merry Christmas...

I have to say, this has been a very merry christmas down under! Today Mick, Selina and I went over to Mick's son Paul's house, where Paul's wife Dide and his Mom Jill cooked us an amazing feast of Turkey and ham and salad and potatoes while Arthur and Paul played with the pork roast on the grill. Dide and Paul's daughters April and Jemma were a hoot! I spent most of my time drinking wine and helping them put their christmas presents together. It was so nice to have someone think of me, I had a present under the tree with my name on it and even a place card at the table. I have truly been blessed this year with an amazing group of new friends and I am so thankful. Tomorrow we are going to put the sea legs tender in the water for a test drive. That should be fun! I can't wait to drive her around. I'd better get to bed, dawn comes early on a boat right Capt. Ron???

Happens every morning just about sun up...

Merry Christmas Mates!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

It is officially Christmas in Australia! I wouldn't have known it if Arthur had not called earlier today to remind me to buy stuff for the Christmas party on the boat. I kept saying things like "I don't understand" and "I'm confused" and "What day is it? What are we doing?" whereas his reply was "It can be anything you want it to be Jolea, no worries mate!" which didn't help me figure out what day it was. Finally I realized it was Christmas Eve. It doesn't feel like Christmas, although it is freakin freezing... It stopped raining today for the first time in a week. Thats good news. So I spent all day decorating and setting up for the party tomorrow. It really made me happy, and I finally felt festive! I am usually the one who puts up the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving and makes everyone watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation every single day till Christmas, but this year I have been all out of whack because I have been living in the Virgin Islands and the weather was so warm and then I came here and I lost a day somewhere which has really thrown me off. I think what really threw me was my birthday. I didn't have a party, and I don't know anyone except Mick and Selina, and even when Selina and I went out it was strange because we don't really know each other. I just fell out of it. I am really looking forward to the party tomorrow because I really worked hard setting it up. I have tons to do in the morning so I should get to bed. I was slicing carrots a second ago and dropped the knife, thats the picture at the top of this blog. That would have hurt...

Merry Christmas/Festivus/Chanukah/etc.

Oh and I didn't get to watch the Grinch either. Boo.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I turned 25 in Melbourne!

Time for an update! I had a good birthday, Mick and Selina took me out to dinner at the Atomic Bar, where I had that great steak I wrote about previously. After that Mick dropped me and Selena off at the Crown Casino downtown, where I won 50 bucks playing craps! Selina then suggested we go down to Chapel St. to a bar called Lotus. It was an alright bar, not my favorite though, so we went down the street to the Q Bar which played dance music and was full of trendy people with trendy haircuts and we had a good time dancing and somehow ended up in V.I.P. Go figure. I think I may go to the salon today and get a trendy haircut... just kidding.

I bought myself a birthday present! A new guitar! I bought it from Tommy down at the Guitar shop across the street from my boat. Tommy invited me to hear his band play at the Rose Hotel which is around the corner from me on Ferguson St. They play blues and they have a girl named Pym as their leading lady, she rocks. I had such a good time with the band and their friends, they invited me to the jam session they hold on sundays. Not this sunday though, because of the holidays. I am going over to the shop in a little while for a guitar lesson, if it stops raining. I haven't seen the sun in days. Whats with this weather?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Deckhand/Food Critic!

So, I have decided to review and rate all the places I stop to dine throughout my travels in Australia...

Tonight Mick, Selena and I ate at a place called the Atomic Bar and let me just take a moment to tell you, It was amazing. A perfect 10 on the Jolea Scale. Atmosphere is casual outside with tables on the sidewalk and a few umbrellas, inside seemed a little more upscale, with soft lighting and chic music. We ordered our food, I ordered the garlic pizza with chicken and Mick and Selena both ordered the fillet. Mick ordered his medium rare and Selena ordered hers well done, the waitress then explained that they cook their own at the table to which Mick replied, "can't you just cook it?" the waitress offered words of encouragement, "you'll never look back". So we waited. A few minutes later the waitress arrived with 2 large plates, atop a large stone sat a completely RAW fillet, surrounded with salad and new potatoes to the side. The stone was searing hot and the steak actually cooked in front of you! Basically you could cut the steak up and make it cook fast and well or you could sear the sides and have a rare steak! The steak was like butter. You could actually cut it with a fork. I did. I had to help Selena eat hers, now I know better than to order pizza at the Atomic Bar. Mick was so impressed he called Arthur to tell him about it and said he will have this meal every time he comes to Williamstown and nothing else!

Atomic Bar - 10

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Krikey! I am tired...

Well, it only took me 32 hours to get here to Australia, and in the first 24 hours I was here I...

Met my boss Mick, his girlfriend Selena, and thier friends Herman and Arthur.
Dropped my gear off at the boat.
Went to sleep from 7pm till Midnight.
Woke up to eggs and bacon being cooked by Selena.
Headed to the little boat Gramac IV at 1am.
Met up with Arthur and Herman at the boat.
Learned how to bait hooks on a trawler.
Touched dead squid parts.
Baited hooks.
Learned how to set trawling lines.
Pulled up trawling lines.
Caught a stingray.
Touched a shark.
Ate flathead and red snapper for lunch at noon when we got home from fishing.
Drove on the left side of the road from the right side of the car.
Came to the Gramac V.
Went over to visit the Tall Ship Enterprise on the next pier where I was invited alont on the 4pm sail.
Went to the grocery store.
Signed up for a membership at a gym called "Peyote Body and Spirit" and classes, Fitball, Boxercise, and Pilates.
Studied my Gramac V operations manual. (Not a word Meg!)
Washed some clothes on baord.
Locked myself out of the boat.
Missed the Enterprise sail.
Fought with the emergency hatch for an hour before prying it open by hand.
Made a mental note to never step outside this fancy boat without my keys.
Had me a vegemite sandwich.
(I come from the land down under!)

I feel like a zombie, but I need to stay awake for a few more hours to get my clock on the same hour as the rest of the country.
Tomorrow I have to buy some shoes... all I have are flip flops, and it's chilly here!

I have to say, everyone I have met so far has been amazing! Thanks to Mick and the rest of my new Aussie friends for making me feel so welcome. Time to secure the boat and get my cabin made up, time for a well deserved sleep.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The last days of disco...

Well, we survived our last charter with only a few more injuries than the last. It's time to move on. Meg and I have been making the rounds here in Tortola saying goodbyes and such, and we were just talking about how much we miss our charter guests already! They were the best group of people I have ever spent a week stuck on a boat with! If you are reading this, Hello Bill, Lynne, Jim, Julie, Angie, Dick, Jeff, Marcia, Sheldon and Leslie! We miss you guys! Oh and we can't forget to say hello to Scooter, our official mascot. :) Today has consisted of waking up, Meg telling Dick she is leaving, doing tons of paperwork, catching up on emails, and cleaning up the crew quarters. We have tons of laundry to do this evening, and we have to pack our things. Tomorrow we will head over to St Thomas and get Meg settled in while I basically spend some time at the post office, mailing postcards and Christmas presents. Hopefully those of you I had time to buy for will like whats coming your way. Speaking of presents! Meg's birthday was last thursday while we were on charter, and our AWESOME guests called her up into the salon at dinner and sang happy birthday and then gave her a card and presents! It was so sweet! Meg really needed that happy moment, because she had the worst birthday ever! She got called a liar first thing in the morning, then fell in the water with her clothes on, then got her hand smashed in a hatch, which was then blamed on her... WTF???? So, needless to say, she needed a pick me up. A little later the guests called me into the salon, and totally surprised me when they started singing happy birthday to me and gave me a card and a beautiful sarong for my birthday which is on the 20th! I was so moved, I really had to hold back tears because these people really treated us like family and we have been missing home lately. It was nice to have them around, I wish they could have stayed longer! Jim and Julie did try to adopt us, so I am pretty sure the next time I am in Kalamazoo, I have a place to stay.

To the Lynne's 50th Birthday charter guests, thanks for teaching us about dog hair, puppy tape, hatch sitting, DSB (Jeff), Groundhogs, Administrative Law, bears and bicycles. We miss you and will never forget you. Till we meet again, Happy Trails.

"I wanna go home to the armadillos"

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Second charter, TEXAS CHARTER!

Today is the first day of our second charter on Wanderlust, and everyone is from Texas except 2 guests who are from Kalamazoo! It's already shaping up to be a fun time. One of the guys on board, Jeff, has a website about Scooter the World Traveling Groundhog! Check it in about a week or so for a picture of Me and Meg... Everyone is so nice, and it is really fun to have people around who are familiar with my home. We set sail about noon and did a spinnaker run over to Norman Island, had some dinner and now everyone is throughly saturated with rum punch and wine and are off to bed. Meg and I will clean up and do the same. Just thought I would drop a line!

P.S. Only 12 days till I move to Australia!

Time to make this last charter count!!!