08 June 2007

Cairns, Queensland

Moored Cairns Marina
Cairns, Queensland

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Dr. Bob!!!!!!!
Hope you enjoy your special day.

Hey all! We have been safely moored at the Cairns Marina since early this week and enjoying all the amenities such as showers, hot water, laundry, and a close location to town. It is also nice to have our friends on Shiraz and Blue Sky on the same dock.

Cairns is a big jumping off point for tours out to the reef. So there are lots of tourists, especially Asian tourists. With lots of tourists comes lots of shopping, which I certainly can’t complain about.

It seems that since we have pulled into the dock we have just been going, going, going. We enjoyed a swim at the Carins Swimming Lagoon. I went with the kids from Blue Sky to Muddy’s, a great kids playground complete with waterspouts to run through. We have done laundry, provisioning, scrubbing/buffing of the boat, and of course our nightly gatherings with our friends.

Also, Rene, Emma, Phoebe, Drake, Tom and I rode the Kuranda Scenic Railway from downtown Cairns to the small town of Kuranda. The trip winds through the nearby mountains going through 15 tunnels and over several bridges. The railway was established in the mid 1800’s to get supplies up to the people who lived in these villages as they were starving due to washed out the roads from all the rain. The town consists of one main street lined with tourist shops on either side. We saw enough boomerangs, didgeridoos, and crocodile souvenirs for the reminder of our trip.

Today, we are leaving the marina and anchoring in the river until later this afternoon when we will leave for an overnight trip to Cooktown, about 90 nautical miles. This weekend is a holiday, the Queen’s Birthday. Every year the town does a reenactment of Captain Cook’s landing called "Discovery Days". The book ‘Blue Latitudes’ (which we highly recommend) describes this weekend as a giant party complete with esky (cooler) races, a ute (big trucks) roundup, and of course lots of beer drinking. I met a guy on the dock the other day that described it as an insane asylum without walls. Should be fun.

Stay tuned; I’m sure we’ll have lots of stories from our Cooktown adventure.

Also, coming soon Team Sandpiper audio postings.

Love to all
Amy and Tom

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