Life have been less exiting in the last months as you can clearly see from the amount of activity on my blog. Gaylyn is back to work, spending 3 hours on the train every day commuting to the Gold Coast. After a few days I stopped ferrying her over to the dock every morning at 5:00 am. Instead I let her take the dinghy and turn around to sleep for a few more hours. I then have to kayak over to the dock to regain possession of the dinghy.
I spend my days working on my own software projects as I cannot legally work in Australia. Currently I am brushing up my Android archery app. After discovering that it has been downloaded over 10.000 times, I decided to give it a serious redesign and a good polish and put it back on the rack with a price tag on. This is giving me lots of practice and experience for the other android projects that I am planing on during my time here and it keeps me busy with one of my favorite activities next to vegging out in tropical islands.
I have also bought me an affordable mountain bike that allows me to move through Brisbane swiftly. There are a lot of nice bike tracks in town and plenty of serious mountain bike tracks in the parks and forests around Brisbane, that are well maintained and documented in a booklet. My first excursion to one of these tracks was quite a surprise. I sought out the Kookabara track near Anzac Park. I did not expect much adventure and was not well equipped wearing my thongs (gandals for New Zealanders, flipflops for the rest) nor was my timing very good, biking there in the early afternoon heat. Not knowing the place, I arrived at the low end of the track. After riding it up (partly pushing the bike) I was soaked in sweat, my heart pumping and had to rest for a while. I had already seen that it was a serious track, so I took my time before I started back down.
I have been biking a lot in Germany but I lived in the rather flat north of the country where we call a 100 m hill a mountain. This track pretty much got me to the limit: Awfully steep, hard soil with slippery gravel, curves and humps all over the track. I was mainly working on controlling my speed to not take off too much on the humps and then loose control int the bends. Unfortunately that left me with not enough speed to get up the slopes again without hard work. I will have to work on my skills, improve my equipment a toughen up I guess to cope with Australian mountain bike tracks..
Currently we are spending our time staring at weather maps because of cyclone Marcia, that has surprised everyone by developing from a tropical low to a class 5 cyclone in only two days. When I first heard of the cyclone warning from other sailors I looked at my grib-files – the source of weather information that I have been using since I started sailing. I saw the low approaching the Queensland coast but it looked very unimpressive. I kept track of the system on grib-files and on he official Bureau of Meteorology sites and was surprised to find that the cyclone was practically not taking place in the grib-files. On grib I saw a central pressure close to 1000 hP and wind hardly reaching 40 kn where in reality it was already a full blown category 5 cyclone with wind speeds of 200 km/h (over 100 kn).
The cyclone warning of my other other source of information – Met Bob reached me when the cyclone was already fully developed and ready to hit land. If I had been out there sailing (which I wouldn’t have in cyclone season) without proper access to internet I would not have recognized what was going on at all until it hit me . I will have to work on my sailing weather sources too or toughen up and learn to face cyclones 😉 .
Meanwhile Marcia has been downgraded to a tropical low, traveling through Queensland and we are expecting it by to pass over us this afternoon. What has been worrying us about it is not the wind (which is not likely to reach so far south) but the amount of rain it brings. We are moored up on the Brisbane River and are carefully monitoring the flood level information of the rivers and lakes in the area to be able to predict a serious flooding of the Brisbane River and take off before that happens. It has been raining heavily for two days now but it looks like we are going to get away without leaving. On the other hand side Queensland weather always seems to be good for surprises …