Worrall Travel R's

Worrall Travel R's
Roz and Russ

Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

My photo

We are the Worrall Travel R's Roz and Russ Worrall. Our goal before we "kick the bucket" is to see as much of the world as we are able, learn about world cultures, experience making friends around the world, and share goodwill and what we learn with others. WE HOPE YOU JOIN US VIA THE BLOG ON OUR TRAVELS.

We started our world travels in 1969 in VW camper van in the USA, Canada, and Europe, but didn't actively blog about our travels until 2009 aboard our sailing vessel SV Worrall Wind, a 44 ft Nauticat Ketch.  On September 5, 2009 we left San Francisco and took a left at the Golden Gate to Explore the World.

From to Sea to Land
After almost 4 years of cruising Mexico and the South Pacific, we sold our beloved boat in Australia, 2013. The Worrall Travel R's are continuing our travels around by many other means of conveyance -boats,trains, planes, sometimes camels, elephants, rickshaws, and hot air balloons.. 

Russ is a retired engineer, optometrist, professor from U.C. Berkeley. Roz is a retired computer programmer/analyst, educator, (teacher, administrator, professional developer). 

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's Official - Worrall Wind is For Sale

Reduced Sun During Solar Eclipse
After much discussion and weighing the alternatives of continuing our world travels, we have decided that one of the alternatives that we will explore for now is selling our beloved Nauticat. We have no idea whether she will sell quickly or need to wait for the right buyer wanting a fully loaded crusing vessel with serious plans for offshore cruising. 

Weighing the Alternatives

Shipping Worrall Wind back to the states or to the Med is costly. Sailing to the Med via the Red Sea is treacherous with the pirate situation. We are not interested in sailing around South Africa. We would still like to take Worrall Wind to Indonesia, but eventually would need to return to Australia to sell her where the market is better. 

If she doesn't sell by next May, we may consider the Indonesia Rally and return to Australia later. As the saying goes, we aren't getting any younger, and some of our world travel dreams include being able to trek to certain places on our legs. So why we still have the energy and stamina, we need to accelerate our travels. Sailing is a a lovely adventure, but a bit too slow for our need to move on. 

For all of our vicarious sailing friends, this is your chance to pick up where we have left off. Let us know if you are interested in buying a Nauticat 44. She is not a project boat. She is turn-key or sail-up and ready to go. 

Getting Worrall Wind Sale Ready

While we have been back from our outback adventure, we have been doing the necessary preparation for selling Worrall Wind. The first thing we had to do was to import the boat to Australia. This involved hiring an import agent to help us navigate the import process which included getting an estimate of value, termite inspection, submitting certain certified documents, and finally paying an import fee! Ouch! Roughly 15% of the boats estimated value.

Some boat sellers fly under the wire and don't import until the boat has a buyer, but these boats are precluded from being listed on an open market. If customs finds them listed prior to importation (for sale sign, internet, etc.), it is a costly fine or confiscation of the boat. Our overburdened consciences ruled again, and we did it the correct but expensive way. But now, we feel pretty obligated to sell the boat here in Australia. 

Termites?

One of the requirements for having been here a year and also for importing the boat is a termite inspection. Australia is "concerned" about a West Indian termite that can be imported here. It would seem if they were really "concerned", they would inspect boats when they check in, not a year later when the termites could have jumped ship. We heard that if the boat had to be fumigated for these termites, the toxic gas used here in Australia can be very destructive to the boat, staining head liners, ruining electronic equipment, etc. 

So obviously, we were not wanting any termites to be found, and had already decided that if we had termites, we would leave the country before subjecting WW to fumigation. There are two methods of termite inspections, one by humans -two of them on an hourly pay basis going through each and every locker or one by human and dog...sniff and done in minutes. The cost for the dog and human inspector was almost $800, but the cost for the purely human inspection would have been even greater. We opted for the termite dog. Good doggie, good doggie......and she was. She sniffed and sniffed, but didn't find anything. Hooray! And no we didn't give her any doggie treats. 

Dolly in her uniform and Russ

Roz and Dolly

The human inspector checks out the boat for moisture in the wood before the dog inspects. Moist wood is a breeding ground for termites. He told us that most boats on the east coast of Australia usually have about a 13% moisture content. Worrall Wind was nearly 0% with only slight moisture around the open ports. The inspector told us, we were the driest boat he had ever seen. Yeah! It pays to have dry bilges and to hunt down those leaks. 

Community Immersion - Lion's Club

Hat Parade Finalists - 60% of this Lions Club Are Women

Inbetween the paper work, termite inspecttions, boat cleanup and cleanout, we have managed to do some more local sight seeing and to become involved with the local Lions club in the Red Cliff Scarborough. Some our our Lions Club Activities were to attend the pre-Melbourne Cup Party and Hat Parade. All of Australia gets very excited abou this annual horse race in Melbourne. This year Prince Charles and Camilla were on hand for the festivities. The Lion party included a hat parade, hobby horse races, and auction for horse bidding. We had a lot of fun. 
President Roslyn presenting Russ a Lion's Club Banner

From here, we went on to attend a community visitor day where the Lions Club takes Seniors out for a day of fun and comraderie. I am engaged with Helen, and woman born in Cairo. In her 90's, she still speaks five languages fluently. 

The Kippa Ring - Redcliffe Lions hosts probably the largest club recylcing center in the World. They recycle nearly a half million glasses a year and distribute them throughout Oceana. Having just received a government grant to service East Timore (Indonesian Island), the Lions Club is looking for ways to better achieve a matched distribution of glasses to need in a simple but effective way. 



Russ was tapped by the sight director to assist with an easy eye test. Below Russ is demonstrating the test to the International Lions President from the USA. 

Sights to See

Besides our community immersion, we have visited the local botanical gardens with lots of fruit bats

These fruit bats known as flying foxes are the size of a small rabbit and a wingspan of a meter or more.
Upside Down - Down Under

 and the Ipswich Train Work shop. 










While we have been at home in the marina, 
we have enjoyed the occasional storms, 


Thunder and Lightening Show

the solar eclipse,
Televised View from Northern Australia

Our Pin Hole Camera View from Scarborough

Looked Like a MidNight Sun

 and the local birds in our backyard. 


Our Back Yard



Our plan now is to leave for Sydney tomorrow or the next day. We have made reservations to attend the Sydney Opera on January 5, and will be spending the holidays in southern Australia.   As we travel, we will  keep you posted. 

All is well with the 2 Sail Rs on SV Worrall Wind

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Australian Outback Adventure Days 11/12 - Darwin

Australian Outback Adventure - Day 11 and 12 - Darwin

Monday, October 29, 2012                                                                                    Day 11 - Northern Territory Museum and Laundry


Unlike the other legs of the trip, we did not gather the last night of our Outback Adventure with our guide and group for a goodbye dinner.  A small ad hoc group gathered together, while others were delighted to just go "home" to a cool room, showers, and rest.  Our new "home" was the Palms City Resort.  Our room had a kitchenette, airconditioner, and balcony...heaven.  The resort also had a laundry facility only a few steps from the swimming pool.



Exploring on Our Own

We were now on our own.  After a sleep in until 8:00 a.m. we lounged around and had a leisurely brekkie (Aussie talk for breakfast) in our room.  By the time we ventured out it was close to 11:00 a.m. and already sweltering.

Russ and I made our way to the bus station  enjoying the beautiful parkway and historical monuments.




Lest We Forget Monument to World War II Veterans.  Did you know Darwin was Bombed by the Japanese?





Flame Tree - Ponciana in Full Bloom







Telegraph Jump Station Connecting Darwin to the Rest of the World
We caught a bus out to the Northern Territory Museum.  Bill Bryson remarked in his book In Sunburn Country (American Title) or Down Under (Australian Title) about his specific visit to this museum to see the Box Jelly Fish display and became thoroughly engaged in the Hurricane Tracy exhibit that devastated Darwin in 1972.

The bus we took out to the exhibit dropped us a couple of blocks away which necessitated walking in the noon day sun.  By the time we made it to the museum, we were hot, sweaty, and in need of a cold drink so we made our way first to the museum cafe. 


Meetup with one of our Adventure Mates

We had just ordered when one of our fellow adventurers, Claudia from Hamburg, walked in as bedraggled as we. Claudia had spent the morning at the botanical gardens, a place where there were supposed to be an outstanding display of orchids.  Claudia enjoyed the gardens, but informed us that the orchids were spent and disappointing.  We promptly crossed the gardens off our list.

After lunch, we all went our separate ways in the museum, meeting up a couple of times in different locations.  Indeed we saw the box jelly fish, Aboriginal Art, and Hurricane Tracy Exhibit. Sorry, but we couldn't take any photographs in this museum.

Virtual Hurricane Experience

In the hurricane exhibit, there is a small dark room with surround sound of the noise of a hurricane ripping a city apart.  The room shakes, vibrates, and groans.  It seemed very realistic and would definitely be terrifying if it were a real hurricane, and there was no easy exit from the uncertainty of what would happen next.  For us though, the exit was easy.  Our thoughts go out to the people on the East Coast of America who are currently bracing for Super Storm Sandy due to hit them later tonight.  The storm has been dubbed the Frankenstorm.

We took the bus back to Darwin, bought ready-made salads and a bottle of wine at the super market and walked back to our hotel.  Making ourselves wine coolers, we headed down to the pool to cool off while our laundry was washing and drying a few feet away in the laundromat.  There was shade on the pool and the water was not particularly cold, but it was refreshing.  Afternoon turned to dusk, and we headed back to our air conditioned room.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 12 - Northern Territory Parliament, Waterfront, Fish Feeding, Geocaching, and Deck Chair Cinema.

Today is the last day of our Northern Territory Holiday, so we cram as much in as we can. Not to be disappointed and let down by city life, we go where we know their will be some real outback adventure...the Northern Territory Parliament.

We arrive after a brief look at some historical government buildings,


Historic Ruins ofTown Hall Today


NT Prime Minister Lives Here


Government Administration Building

at the Parliament building just before 10:00 a.m. and check through security. We climb the stairs to the visitors' gallery just as the 1 hour morning question and answer session begins.







Unlike our legislature, members of opposing sides sit facing one another - quite nice we think.  The majority party sits on one side with their head minister and ministers of education, business, health, finance, etc.in the front row (analogous to the ministers would be the chairs of our subcommittees).  Lesser ranking and  novice members sit in the back row.  Across from the majority party sits the minority party or the "shadow" ministers.  The shadow ministers mirror the majority party ministers presumably to balance any discussion, but in reality as a counterpoint barb for every discussion.  A member of the majority party is the speaker of the house and tries to maintain order of this raucous group.
Photo from television - no cameras in the chamber

Members may ask questions of their own party or the opposition party, and of specific members of the party.  Lesser members of the majority party are clearly given scripted questions to ask of their own members.  The hour is consumed by grandstanding, derisve laughter, snarking, and members degrading each others viewpoints.

The local radio show broadcasts these non-productive sessions so everyone is trying their hardest to come up with a fiery 15 second sound bite. It's amusing but really quite a waste of time.  We thought perhaps since there was just recently a change during the last election 9 weeks ago of the majority party, that this was just a continued prologue of a new administration.  One of the educational guides said "No, this has been going on for the last 10 years."  So it seems that this is the feisty tradition of the Northern Territory.

We were also informed that the real business, much like our own, comes after the morning snark session, when bills are read and discussed.  But by then the key ministers have gotten up and left.

Regardless of the continent, it seems that our politicians relish in being polarized and casting blame than coming to centrist solutions and compromise.  Very interesting and disappointing for those of us who expect better from our government.  It's a lose/lose situation.  We finished our two hour stay at the parliament with a tour of the library and art exhibits.

Darwin Waterfront

Our next stop was the Darwin Waterfront.  It is a lovely area with a wave pool and restaurants.


Wave pool in the foreground


We briefly met up with Claudia who was also sight seeing.  A quick look around and we headed back to our room where we could eat lunch and cool off.  After a rest and a swim, we headed out again around 4:30 to pass by a few more monuments

and to find a couple of geocaches and visit Aquascene - a fish feeding cove where tourists get to feed the fish bread. 

We quickly found both of geocaches we were looking for then headed to Aquascene for the 5:30 (high tide fish feeding).  The sun was setting on the west facing shore, and it was uncomfortably glarey and hot.  For children and those who have not come up close and personal to fish, this may be exciting. It was pretty ho hum for the two of us, having hand fed large sting rays and diving during a shark feed.



We met up once again with Claudia at the fish feeding for the last time before we departed from Darwin. Claudia was on her way to New Zealand before returning to Germany.   There was some lovely statuary at Aquascene and we took a commemorative photo of the three of us.





We could only tolerate 20 minutes at the fish feed and we headed downtown to Monsoons for a beer and fish and chips.  From there we spent our last evening at the Deck Chair Cinema.  This shaded grotto on the Darwin Bay is filled with low slung canvas backed deck chairs.  We hadn't thought it would be packed, but it was,  and we were glad we arrived a half hour before the show began.

With ice cold water in hand, we could have had wine or beer, we located some chairs mid-section and settled back to watch The Saphires. This is a true story of an Aboriginal all girl singing group similar to the Supremes that made their debut singing in Vietnam in the late 60's.  We throughly enjoyed the movie and outdoor ambiance of our last night in Darwin. It was quite fun, almost like a drive on a warm summer evening without the car.

We left Darwin the following morning and arrived back in the cooler, dryer climate of Brisbane.   We had a great time, and would definitely recommend the Way Out Back Tours to our adventurours friends, as long as you can read between the lines and know that it will be an adventure in the top end of Australia, not the top end of glam-camping.  Cheers!

All is Well with the 2 Sail R's now back on SV Worrall Wind.