We are using our time on the Gold Coast to get a few things tidied up… it is a mixed bag of worthwhile but frustrating activities, of mental and physical challenges and social time with yachty friends, all this in very unsettled weather.
Freediving training is in full swing. It is no secret it is hard work. Wade is a natural in the water, but Chris is not and has to work for it! Between finning, duck diving, breath-hold and equalization, there is no shortage of water activities around the boat and especially at the pool. Practice makes perfect, right? Well there are times when nothing seems to work and perfection is elusive. But overall there are small incremental improvements. The last segment of our course was supposed to be on Sunday, but there is so much swell, wind and rain that it is on hold. We’ll see what next week brings. At the very least we will have learnt a lot and improved our technique, breath holding time and depth we get down to. But we will be frank: it is not the easiest and most pleasant thing we have engaged in! Scuba was straight forward years ago… this is not!
We were really impressed with the freediving fins we borrowed during the course – great thrust for far less effort than our snorkeling fins so decided to both buy a pair! We have now got an impressive collection of fins: snorkeling, scuba, freediving… ready for any kind of underwater pursuit but the freediving ones are by far the most comfortable and powerful. No cramps and plenty of propulsion. Shame Chris’s are this horrible baby poo colour!
We needed to make some room on Anui, and get rid of gear we are not using. For years we have had a Power Snorkel. We used it in Tasmania for abalone diving, Wade used it to service our mooring at Port Albert in Victoria, but other than that, the Power Snorkel has been hidden in a locker ever since we have lived on board. So we decided it was time for it to go to a good home. Sailing buddies anchored next to us were interested and bought the kit from us. Thanks Anapa, perfect!
Next, a pair of foldable Directors’s chairs. We loved the original cockpit chairs on Anui but they snapped after many years of service. We could not find the same model to replace them, so bought two high quality aluminium ones from Boat Works for the exorbitant cost of $220 each. They were just fine, but when Wade spied the exact replacement for the originals at Whitworth, he could not resist. So now we have four chairs instead of two! The pricey ones are currently stored in the spare shower and are surplus to requirement. They need to go. Chris should never let Wade shop without supervision! Anybody interested among our Australian followers, talk to us! We’ll take $100 for the pair.
Other things are surplus to requirement… suspect skin lesions! March is the time of year when we have skin specialists peer at our sun drenched bodies so we needed to find a clinic on the Gold Coast combining GP and skin checks. By sheer luck we went to Sovereign CosMedics, a clinic at Runaway Bay and discovered they offer total body cartography services. The German-made system takes photos of every little mole on your body and analyses the results using global databases of skin cancer photos to improve diagnosis; as the database grows, the Artificial Intelligence learns to become even better at identifying suspicious skin lesions and melanomas and at a much earlier stage than if you go through an ordinary skin check as we have for several years.
We both had the skin mapping done and need to get a couple of suspect spots on our face investigated. Wade has had his biopsy and came through unscathed. Chris will get hers done next week. We’ll see what happens next!
We’ll let you know when we finally leave the Gold Coast but it is now looking like early April! By the time we are ready to go, the cyclone season will be nearly over. Got to see the positive in things!