Sunshine Coast

Tuesday 29th June.

A longer bike ride almost all the way to Mooloolaba today revealed a section of the track that could fill in a lot of time. It ends up on a beach area with picnic areas and track similar to the style of the Strand at Townsville, having all types of shops etc on the opposite side of the road. It is our plan to go for a long walk up there tomorrow instead of bike riding, as this will give us a better look at the area, and a better opportunity to take some photos.

Monday 5th July.

We are settling into this place very well, enjoying the lack of cold temperatures immensely, and think we will enjoy a couple of months here easily. I will have to see if I can obtain a different site though, as this one has too much sand in its surrounds.

Linda is on her way back to Tassie for a few weeks tomorrow, and I will once again be on my own. I really don’t think I will have much trouble occupying my time here at all.

We had a trip to Brisbane on Saturday to visit Deris and Danny, and I must remember not to visit on a Saturday again, as Danny spends lunch at the pub with a few mates. I accepted his invite to join them and as for the meal and a chat with his mates it was rather enjoyable, but the couple of hours in the pokies room afterward was an experience I could have done without. I chose not to play on my own so Danny suggested we alternate in pushing the buttons, and watching him put in several hundred dollars without blinking an eyelid was what I could have done without. He, or we, did have a couple biggish wins, $1100 or so, but he would not have gone home with much of a profit.

Sunshine Coast

Monday 28th June, (Sunshine Coast).

Now that we have sorted things out we find the overnight temps are very satisfactory, at this stage. It seems that when the sun disappears behind the trees it is time to cover the legs and batten down the hatches, and this keeps the inside temperature comfortable for the evening. It also appears that later in the night things actually warm up a little to keep things comfortable, hence we found out that running the heater, no matter how low, warms things up a little too much.

After heeding the advice from the battery man last week things seem to be better now I have put a reasonable charge into the battery. Today saw me purchase a new regulator and install it under the bonnet connected to the battery so I can connect the solar panels whenever a charge is needed. We will see how things handle from now on.

Today and tomorrow have been allocated for van cleaning so no sightseeing will be done, and then we can have the last week before Linda goes home for doing what we want.

I should be able to occupy my time on my own adequately as there are quite a few things to do, a nice long bike riding track that is flat except for a gradual hill, a long beach to walk on and plenty in the area to take photos of, when I get started. The beach should be good for exercise as the sand is very loose and takes a bit of walking on.

One thing we have noticed while here is that the bird, Cockatiel given to Linda by Matt for her birthday, is a good talking point. It’s talking is obviously noticed by many as they pass by the site, and quite a few stop and have a chat because of it.

Sunshine Coast

Saturday 26th June, (Sunshine Coast).

We moved here yesterday, and I think we are going to really enjoy our stay.

It turns out we were a little late getting to the Sunshine coast as all the southerners have made their move north and there are obviously plenty of them stop in this area. Hence most of the good sites with concrete slabs have been taken and we ended up on a site in the tent camping area without a slab. Apart from the sandy area we are camped around we will be quite happy with what we do have. Our site is close to the beach so Linda can hear the sea noises in the evening, something she does enjoy, and close enough so she can take her chair down to the sand and sit and read a book.

There is a gigantic shopping centre within walking distance, and plenty of areas one can go bike riding, so at last we could be in an area where I can put the cover over the car and very seldom have the need to use it.

Once again I’ll say that we could really enjoy a couple of months here, especially if it doesn’t get much cooler than last evening. It is nice to once again be able to put my shorts on of a day, but it is does get cool enough to cover up of an evening. We were a little cool last evening, but we discovered that we actually had a few more windows open than we thought, and for the first night in months we didn’t have the heater on, so things are looking rather good.

Gold Coast

Tuesday 22nd June, (Gold Coast).

We finally had some warmer weather at Yamba and that saw us walking around the area a little.

We are now on the Gold Coast and it didn’t take us long to realise that the only reason we are here is to visit Tony and Brenda. Not that we have anything against the Gold Coast, apart from being a little touristy and not what we really look for, but we really had no other plans for visiting here. I think we are now just looking forward to settling on the Sunshine coast for a lengthy spell.

I have lately been having battery problems with the car, and am nearly of the decision that we will have to replace it after only two years of use since purchasing the same. I am wondering if I have in fact been over-cooking it with providing charge to the two batteries to the rear, one in the back of the car and one in the caravan. It would seem that with these two batteries across the car one they would be holding the voltage down resulting in overcharging the car battery. We have of late been travelling with the van fridge turned off, and the solar panels have been running the fridge in the back of the car, so the car has been disconnected from the rear end 12v system. I may have to look into seeing if there is such a thing as a double regulator to overcome the problem.

Thursday 24th June, (Gold coast).

The battery; I went to a ‘battery specialist’ today and discussed my battery problem. He applied a tester and came up with the following suggestion. The battery is at a very low capacity and needs charging before an effective test could be properly done, but at this stage all showed there was nothing wrong with it. Further discussions had him make the following statement; “a car alternator will never fully charge a battery unless one travels for at least 7-8 hours non stop” and seeing that will never be the case in my situation it is becoming apparent that I will have to apply a manual charge occasionally. This leaves me with the thought as to how the battery gets to a low charge state in the first place. The answer to this could only be all the times I sit in a car park waiting for Linda with the radio, CB and fan running, and if he is correct about the alternator never fully providing an adequate charge, this could well be the cause. I have connected the solar panels to the battery today, and as near as I can ascertain it took about 20 Ampere-hours before dark. The trickle charger in the van is at present providing a small charge, so I will leave it connected overnight and see what happens. It was obviously well down.

All this aside, I can now say the weather is about what we were hopeful of, and assuming it will be very similar on the Sunshine coast I am sure we will enjoy settling there for a couple of months.

Yamba

Saturday 19th June, (Yamba).

We decided to make a couple of longer trips on the next two legs to the Gold Coast, so instead of going to Coff’s Harbour area today we ended up going an extra 150Km or so to Yamba, which is about half way to Surfers. I have stayed here before, late last year when I was cruising south on my own while Linda was back in Tassie.

The wind has come up since leaving port Macquarie and is blowing a gale at present. We are a little sheltered from the wind but putting up all the shade cloth awning surrounds was a must as soon as we had set up camp. Hence we didn’t venture anywhere today, or Linda anyway, but we do have a couple of days to show Linda the couple of scenic areas on offer here.

Hopefully we may see some dolphins swimming up the river as I did when I was here before Xmas.

Sunday 20th June, (Yamba).

It was still rather windy today, but later in the day did see it drop somewhat so we did have short walk around the coast. Linda also had a stroll around the shopping district and she is now appreciating what I had told her about how she should like this place and could easily settle here for a spell.