Mooloolaba, on the Sunshine Coast of Australia, has been a fun place for us to wait for favorable winds to take us south. We anchored in “The Pond”, the inner harbour, upstream from the marinas and tourist attractions. We were surrounded by “starter castles”, each with a floating dock. We saw board paddlers, sailors, kayakers, people rowing dinghies, Polynesian outrigger canoes and Indian canoes, some of whom were enjoying the surrounding waters most days.
The public wharf next to the Coast Guard Station allowed us to take our bicycle ashore aboard ALLEGRO every non-rainy day. The waterfront bicycle trail provided not only exercise, but some of the best views of the ocean beach as well as the Maroochydore River. Twice I watched an Eastern Water Dragon along the side of the trail. It can grow to a meter in length, making it the largest of the dragon species in Australia and can live twenty years.
The Sunshine Coast beaches are popular with surfers, since the southeasterly trade winds create nice sized waves along a gradually sloping beach. We are always impressed by the Surf Lifesavers who watch for swimmers in trouble. They post flags to show the boundaries of the beaches which are actually patrolled, because there are kilometers of beaches along this popular coast, between Mooloolaba and Maroochydore, and beyond.
We have arrived in Australia during a La Nina year, which has brought unseasonably heavy rainfall. The “squash zone” between a trough and a High pressure system offshore has brought strong winds as well. The surfers love it, but the seas have been too high for our sailing comfort — 3 to 5 meter seas and 5 meter swells.
Our former New Zealand neighbor, Robyn, visited us for lunch, bringing her friend Michelle.