I have created this blog with the hopes that you, my friend, will follow me as I sail around the world (figuratively or literally, not sure yet) with my parents on their Contest 48. Whereas I hope to keep you updated with exciting adventures of exotic ports and epic waves, keep in mind that cruising - that is, traveling by boat in a leisurely fashion - tends to be filled with days of intense boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Please keep this in mind as you read these entries, for this platform will be just as much an attempt for me to maintain my sanity (and connection to the California-based world), as entertainment and reassurance for you. And so, follow me as I sail the world.

P.S. All material on this blog, words and photos alike, are copyrighted by me. Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. If you decide that this material is worth re-publishing, please give me credit and lots and lots of money.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Real World - Sydney

Hooray, you get to hear me winge about working again!  Ok, it's not that I am whining, but working full time is putting a serious damper on my social life.  However, I am getting paid very well (expensive living = high wages) so I am trying to suck it up and work as much as I can.

Yes, I am back in the marine detailing business. It happened much the way I got my first job - I was minding my business, mucking around on the internet one morning when I noticed two guys washing the boat next to us in the marina.  "Oh well, here it goes," I thought to myself.  I got off the boat and walked over: "Hey!  My name is Corie.  I see you guys are doing marine detailing.  Boats are my life.  You probably don't need another marine detailer, do you?"  (Or something to that effect.)  "Actually, yes, we do need another worker.  Do you have any experience polishing stainless?"  "Do I?!..."

And I had a job.  I must admit it was a huge relief to land a job in Sydney.  It can be kind of an intimidating place to look for a job, everybody dressed so nice, walking so fast (they know where they are going) - the general hustle and bustle.  Well, painlessly enough, I am now a part of it.  Again.

My first day I worked with the owner of the company and another employee.  First we washed a 100 foot power boat which took a few hours, but only because we busted ass to knock it out.  These guys work hard and fast.  I had almost forgotten how hard the work is...

Our second boat of the day was a little party-speed boat.  My boss warned me before we got on the boat, "If you find any huge rolls of cash or little bags of cocaine, just ignore it."  Sure thing, boss.  We do a lot more interior detailing than I did on the Sunshine Coast, and I am finding it absolutely disgusting to clean cabins after angry, cocaine fueled sex.  But everything has a price, and the price is right.

After I finished the cabins I moved on to the galley area.  As I was polishing the floor my boss pointed out all the little dents in the boards.  "You see those?  Those are from the strippers wearing their high heels on the boat.  I tell the owner, 'Mate, have the girls take off their heels before they get on the boat.  And he says, 'but Mate, they look so good in heels."

Yes, working in Sydney is a bit different from working on the Sunny Coast.  In spite of the hard work and long hours I am enjoying working here, and not just because it enables me to go out and have enough cash to do the things I want to do.

Yesterday we worked in North Sydney and I had to navigate public transportation to get there.  On the bus we drove past the giant rubber duck in Darling Harbour, which I had wanted to check out.  I got off at the central bus station where everybody was dashing about in their suits and ties and heels and fancy briefcases on their way to work in a high rise air conditioned office.  I, on the other hand, was going to wash boats out in the hot sun all day, but even then I felt very frumpy with my boardies and backpack on.

I caught my second bus and took it to "The Spit" in North Sydney, crossing the harbor bridge along the way and catching a stunning view of the opera house in the morning light.  I essentially got all my sight seeing done on my way to work.  Most excellent.  Of course I was way too exhausted to care about these thing on my way home, as two of us washed seven thirty to fifty-foot powerboats that day.

You see, it is quite a trade off, this work instead of play.  Sooner or later we all have to work - I recognize that.  But who knows the next time I will be here?  Should I stick this job out as long as I can and pass up seeing more of Australia?  Pass up fun activities and meeting cool people?  I suppose I am looking for a balance (aren't we all?) between work and play, because at the moment it is all work and not much play because I am too tired at the end of the day!

I already know what you are going to say: dry your tears, princess... toughen up, buttercup.  I appreciate the sympathy, really.  But don't feel too bad for me because this weekend the surf is supposed to be good and the weather nice.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Oooooooooeeeeeeeeooooooooeeeeeee goes the shark siren through the loudspeaker on the lifeguard tower.  


Damn.  I had just made it out past the surf for my second session of the day when the siren went off.  The people surfing around me and I all looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, and turned to paddle in.  Nobody seemed to be too frantic so I waited for a decent wave to come and rode it to shore.  And not all surfers went in, so when it looked like the lifeguards had herded the shark (which I did not actually see) far enough out to sea I paddled back out, making sure to surf a little closer to other people.

Yes, this is just another typical day in the life of a Sydney-sider.  Whereas I do not yet consider myself a Sydney-sider yet, I am enjoying the hell out of this city.  Good surf, beautiful beaches, great night life, cool people, efficient public transportation... what more could you ask for in a city?!  The only problem with Sydney is that it is outrageously expensive, which is why tomorrow I start my job search.

Yes, I have decided to give life in Sydney a go and not return to the Sunshine coast - at least for a while - but who knows what will happen.  Life works in mysterious ways.  And while I think that 2013 will be the best year yet - happy new year by the way - it is bound to be a bit odd (sorry, I can't resist terrible puns).

Speaking of the New Year, mine was pretty epic.  We anchored Rutea just off Taronga Zoo, across from the harbor bridge and the opera house to ensure good seats for the fireworks.  During the day the anchorage filled up with more and more boats - some little, some big, some full of good looking young people and some not so much...  I made friends with a few guys on a sailboat and drank beers with them all afternoon while I waited for my good friend Emma to arrive from Brisbane.  She made it to the boat around 10 PM and then we started the serious partying.

Our seat for the fireworks... not bad!

The fireworks off the bridge, the buildings and the barges around the harbor were quite impressive, as was our NYE dinner that Mom and Dad pulled out all the stops on.  After the fireworks there was a mass exodus of drunken boaties.  We, however, stayed put and managed to go through many bottles of champagne before getting to sleep sometime in the wee hours of the morning.

For the next few days Emma and I palled around the city.  I looked at this time as my "vacation" because I intend to get a job ASAP, but in the meantime we hung out at Bondi beach, explored Oxford street, got drinks at The Rocks and generally cruised around Sydney taking in the sights.  Of course Rutea was at anchor all this time and it was a bit tricky sharing the dinghy among four people, not to mention having sandy feet as we walked through the posh neighborhood of Woolwich.

Emma and me having a grand time at Bondi where, at least that day, there were no shark sightings.

But times they are a changing.  Emma flew back to Brisbane yesterday and Mom, Dad and I are currently sailing down the harbor from Manly to Birkenhead Point, where Dad landed us a slip.  Although I am bummed to be leaving Manly - where it is a short walk from the anchorage side to the surf beach side - I am really stoked to be going into a marina.  This means that we will have access to water and showers, and I will be able to get on and off the boat at my leisure.  No more calling for rides back to the boat at midnight...

And so, play time is over.  Time to buckle down and start the hunt for a job or, at the least, start doing projects on Rutea.  I seriously doubt, however, that the good times will stop.  Oz is too much fun for that!