Being on the hard is no vacation. In fact, living on a sailboat/yacht is an alternative lifestyle and after 14 years, it can hardly be called a vacation. We work hard and sometimes get to play hard, too.
Okay … okay … so it IS a vacation for the most part.
With Nine of Cups in a marina for the past couple of weeks, it really did seem more of a vacation than usual. When Cups came out of the water and went on the hardstands in the boatyard, we weren't allowed to live aboard. Though it's been hectic and lots of work, we've been staying in a little “chalet”, which has been very, very nice to come home to at the end of a long day working.
It's a luxury to have a hot shower whenever we want it and we were thrilled to be in the marina for that very reason. BUT … having a hot shower in the next room as opposed to having to get dressed, pack your toiletries and towels and walk down the dock to the shower block … now that's real luxury. And, of course, there's a full size fridge with a freezer that actually keeps ice cream frozen. Just sayin' … though we're working hard, this might qualify as a vacation.
The 20 minute walk from the chalet to the boatyard (when it's not raining) is quite pleasant in the morning. We walk along the foreshore path, across the footbridge and then along the water's edge. It's a lovely way to get the day started. There are always runners and walkers about and everyone nods and says “Morning … how ya going?” as they pass by. The birds are all busy, getting ready for breakfast. There are honeyeaters and red wattles which seem to favor the flame trees planted along the path.
We stopped one morning to watch an anhinga/darter dive into the water. The water was clear enough for us to see him swimming around, poking his beak into the rocks and crevices. He came up with a snack. They're such funny birds when they surface, looking more like snakes than they do like birds with their long, skinny necks just poking out of the water.
Two mornings in a row, there's been a young sea lion on the rocks that line the entry channel from the sea. We wonder if he's been separated from his parents or hurt. He doesn't move far from the rock he's perched on and is usually taking a nap when we pass by … morning or evening.
There are several shops and boutiques along the way … always closed when we pass by. One storefront has a huge Christmas display … pretty early if you ask me. Another has a window full of colorful tutus which caught my attention. I didn't realize there was such a market for tutus, but evidently there is.
In the evening, there seems to be a whole different crowd wandering around. Mandurah is a tourist-type town, at least in the foreshore area. On the weekends, it's quite crowded with people, but during the week in the late autumn with winter fast approaching, there are fewer people around. One evening when we were walking home, we saw several people pointing into the water. They'd spotted a rather large octopus making its way along the rocky bottom. No pics unfortunately … you'll have to take my word for it.
Three days on the hard; four days at the chalet (pay for 3, stay for 4 winter special). Vacations are nice, but it's always good to get back home.