Cocooned in Anui

This last week has been a wild one: the East Coast of Australia copped seven days of record breaking and unrelenting downpours with a confluence of weather events. Devastation is widespread. We are so grateful our beautiful Anui is comfortable, our windows and hatches did not leak, we had everything we needed on board and we were enveloped in this protective cocoon. We were boat bound, but safe. It was a good excuse to watch way too many videos!

We witnessed boats washing up on sandbanks, small yachts sinking, houseboats wrecked, dinghies going under after filling up with rainwater and that is just in the Broadwater! Here is an example:

Wrecked houseboat

Meanwhile inland, fast flowing swollen rivers broke their banks, huge expanses of land are flooded, dangerous debris float by, roads are cut off, bridges destroyed, thousands of houses are inundated … We have close friends whose home is now an island in the middle of an inland sea. The clean up when the waters subside will be enormous. What utter devastation!

Between droughts, disastrous bushfires, catastrophic floods and a pandemic it has been a hellish two years. We can unfortunately expect more of these calamities in the future and can only hope this realisation might at least force our government and the world at large to take strategic action against climate change!

The Broadwater shuffle

This is where we were for a few days, just north of the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre. We are now back at Wave Break Island.

Southport a few days before the weather mayhem started
Rain on the horizon!
Southport – Darkening skies and wind picking up!

Anchoring around Southport, Runaway Bay and Paradise Point can get tricky. These are regulated waters which means you cannot stay anchored in the same location for more than 7 days or you risk being fined and unable to return for two months! Some areas even limit anchoring for more than 24 hours. These regulations are designed to stop derelict boats from squatting in the one spot for weeks on end, creating a nuisance when they drag anchor in heavy weather and are unattended. And there has been a lot of this in the volatile weather. But it catches live-aboards who look after their boat. We have however found a few really calm anchorages, away from boat traffic, noise, big wakes and other unpleasantness and with good dinghy access to shore facilities.

So each week, we do the Broadwater Shuffle: we move at least one nautical mile away and re-anchor at one of our favourite spots. Some days are better than others to make a move; unfortunately we had to shift anchorage during the deluge. You know it is bad when you need to done the full wet weather gear and use the underwater camera to take the shot!

Moving in rain and strengthening wind – notice the colour of the water: mud!
Anchored next to Wave Break Island
The rain has stopped, but look at the colour of the water!

Still training for freediving

On the less rainy days we still got wet, spending time at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre for freediving training. Nothing comes easy with this sport. The training is mainly for Chris. Wade has had no trouble with equalization and has no desire to do more static breath-holding. ‘I don’t do unpleasantness, it’s no fun’ he declares! It’s okay for him, he has done his 2.5 minutes breath-hold, but Chris has been trying to get to the two minutes target consistently. The trick is to extend the time before contractions start – the comfort zone, as well as afterwards – the unpleasant zone! PB 2’20, but not yet reliably… so we keep going back for more punishment! At least swimming pool lengths underwater and duck dives are down pat.

The other challenge, as if the static breath hold was not enough discomfort, is that one ear is blocked and equalizing is difficult at even 5 meters, so 20m is out of reach. Just as well the weather is foul and the last course session deferred! Let’s hope the congestion clears so we can finish the course and be out of here!

Duck dive to 5m with just the snorkeling fins

And now we can’t go in the water at all, as Chris had two biopsies done on her face, so that is the end of the pool visits and public appearances for the rest of the week. Fingers crossed nothing nasty is found or we will be on the Gold Coast for longer.

Stay safe, stay positive.

23 thoughts on “Cocooned in Anui

  1. Wow, I’m sorry about the horrid weather there, I’m glad that Anui has been a safe place for you guys. First the fires, now this terrible weather. Please stay safe there! ☺️🇦🇺🙏🏻

  2. I saw the news on TV about the floods and tremendous storms in different areas of Australia. I’m glad that you’re OK. Take care! 🙂

  3. From a landlubber some 800 kms south – good you suffered no problems . . . and your photos tell quite a tale. Methinks the vast area this confluence of systems covered would be hard to comprehend in much of the rest of the world. The cleanup will be horrendous . . . I so feel for the many people who had as yet not recovered from the fires now to be hit with this . . . On a lighter note cannot believe all the new high rises in Southport . . . surely different from the times I worked there . . . be well and a few long strokes to Benji . . .

    • Hi Eha, we are incredibly lucky that our home is meant to float and like you wonder how people cope with successive knock downs.

      Bengie liked her long pats and gives you a gentle head butt.

  4. It is such a to do in having to move the boat all the time, but better safe than sorry.. I am pleased Was’s home did not get inundated. The colour of the water in horrible the clean up will be long I think. Stay safe. good luck with the biopsy

  5. Nice to see my prediction on the weather this summer came true ( but not for those experiencing it). Strong La Nina tropical Pacific sea surface events always bring cool temps and flooding rains to Eastern Australia.

  6. These major floods and last year’s bushfires, quite a challenge for a lot of Aussies ….. and of course there’s the mouse plague out west. Your safe haven coccoon sounds pretty good …… hopefully you’ll get some good winter cruising soon! Lockdowns are starting to ease in Scotland as our Covid deaths are reducing. At least we’re able to prepare some vege beds and enjoy the beauty of spring 🙂

    • Hi Elgar – we are doing pretty well compared with many people on land! Funny how as you look forward to spring, we can’t wait for the tropical winter to come… only a month to go and we can be on the reef… may be earlier if the next medical challenge disappears!

      • May your medical challenge come to nought ….. I too am having a medical challenge; a 1/2 knee replacement in a month ….. so much for cartillage wear and 30 years of basketball (can’t blame any hard landings…)

      • Oh that does not sound very nice. A friend had a full knee replacement and recovering well. It seems the key is doing the exercises both before and after the op religiously. Thinking if you… is not getting older a pain?!

  7. I’m sorry; I must have misheard, thought I heard you say that your windows and hatches didn’t leak?

  8. The rains and flooding sound devastating and your photos, Chris, give us a clue about how unsettled the waters have been. Still, it is good to hear that the Anui (and you and Wade), have weathered the storms so well. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that you were repairing the leaks that you used to have. Best wishes as you continue to practice your free diving skills, Chris. The only time in my life when I trained my body to get used to discomfort was when I was running marathons–I was pretty serious about running for a time and ran 12 full length marathons.

    • Hi Mike, 12 marathons… that’s impressive and must have been seriously demanding physically as well as mentally. Pushing myself has always been how I operate, but in this instance it is learning to ‘detach’ from the discomfort, just notice the contractions and not tense up that I find the hardest. It takes time and practice and some days you have
      to accept there is no progress.

      The waters from the floods are receding but uncovering the extent of the damage to land and property. It is horrid. We are so lucky the impact has been minimal for us.

      • Any time you push your body to extremes it definitely is as much mental as it is physical. At a certain time in my life, my idea of “fun” was to go out and run for an hour or two. Unlike many runners I see nowadays with earphones, it was usually just me and my body, monitoring the signals that it was sending to me and attuned to the outside world. Your free diving training seems to take that requirement for mind-body control to a much higher level than my marathon training did.

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