North Haven, South Australia, home of Crown Marina and currently Nine of Cups and crew, is a tiny little suburb about 20km northwest of Adelaide. The population is around 10,000 people at last count. It's primarily a residential area with several marinas, a large yacht club and one small shopping center that offers a supermarket, post office, pharmacy and a few other shops. It's about a 25 minute walk away. The busy street running by the marina is called Lady Gowrie and it's lined with majestic Norfolk pines. There's a train station nearby which makes getting to Port Adelaide or downtown Adelaide quite convenient. This area is referred to as the Outer Harbor and looking at the map you can see why.
There's a small chandlery and boatyard just off of the marina grounds and just beyond that is a small strip mall with several restaurants … Chinese, fish'n'chips, Indian … and a pub, The SailMaster Tavern, known locally as Saily's. All are quite pricey in our estimation and so, after looking at menus and prices, we've opted to walk 25 minutes to the grocery to buy food to prepare on the boat. David has sussed out the shortest route to the supermarket which involves so many alleyways and turns through dense residential neighborhoods that it took me at least 4-5 trips to figure out how to navigate between the boat and the store and back.
The marina berthing area, surrounded by classy condos, is man-made, dredged out with a direct entrance to Gulf St. Vincent and the ocean, part of the reason we chose this marina in the first place … it saved us from having to navigate the Port River into Adelaide which would have added several miles to our trip. That said, we're now paying the price for our isolated location with long walks or bus/train rides necessary to get just about anywhere. No complaints though; we can use the exercise.
Life at the marina is very quiet during the week. Most boat owners are local and either work during the week or if they're on holiday, head out on their boats. The weekends are a bit more lively. This suits us well as there's so much to do on Nine of Cups at the moment, we can barely make time for the sight-seeing I've planned. Aussies are friendly, outgoing folks and we certainly get enough invitations for dinner, drinks and outings, but we've begged off quite a bit in favor of getting chores done.
We've already talked about the resident moon jellies here. Other native residents with which we share the marina are primarily silver gulls. Those piers which are unoccupied or have less foot traffic have been taken over by the gulls … hundreds of them. They're so loud some nights, we have to close the starboard port in order to drown out the racket. Every so often, a couple will land on our finger pier and carry on a heated discussion. A loud pssst out the port or rattling something has no effect on them. Instead, one of us has to get out of bed and out on deck to shoosh them and chase them away. Territorial rights!
All in all, we're comfortable enough here although as David says “once we know our way around, it's time to leave.”