Powder Day!

I'll admit it: one of the reasons we came home from Australia in January was because we were ready for some winter. Winter, in California this year, we have a plenty. So we waxed our skis, invited ourselves over to Dominic's sister's gorgeous home in Shasta, and spent Monday at the ski park, surfing five inches of fresh spring pow-pow.

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E is for Enzo

Last week, I cruised from snowy Weaverville to summery Ojai, California on a quest to show off my way-too-cute new nephew Enzo and visit the aunties and cousins I have missed over the last few years. (Not to mention how lovely it was to drive down the California coast and remember the last time I cruised through the Santa Barbara and Ventura area...)

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The View from Reservoir Road

It's the same on land as it is at sea—time moves at a breathless pace. What madness it is, to be already March! A year ago we were heading north from the Milford Sound, poised for six weeks of boat work blitz followed by a ten day sail to Fiji.

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Corinne DolciComment
Laugh, Kookaburra

Are you a fan of Dave Sedaris? Always a favorite, his zany travel adventures and poignantly punchy family antics have kept me laughing out loud during many sleepless nights. I've been reminded of his story Laugh, Kookaburra a few times in the last few weeks, not only because it contains my favorite description of Australia ever—"Canada in a thong"—but also for its description of the kookaburra.

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Noosa Heads

After leaving the Glass House Mountains we headed north toward Noosa Heads. It was easily the kind of getaway beach town that could double for any in Southern California—trendy boutiques, fancy restaurants, and chic sun worshipers galore. But, we were in it for the hiking trails. There is a paved path that follows the shore through a grove of koala-filled eucalyptus before giving way to rugged terrain, windward cliffs, and views of diving osprey.

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Corinne DolciComment
Glass House Mountains

We had our first glimpse of the Glass House Mountains sailing south from Mooloolaba to Scarborough. Ancient lava plugs that rise up to 556 meters above the surrounding landscape, the Glass House Mountains stand like sentries guarding dry land when seen from the water. Up close, the 11 peeks revealed their distinct shapes and landscapes, some home orchards or conifer farms, others wild with eucalyptus and spring flowers in bloom.

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At the Raptor Show

Our other favorite part of Lone Pine Sanctuary was the raptor show. They brought out a beautiful, snowy white barn owl that flew silently over the crowd and a wedge tailed eagle that dwarfed his human handler. We also saw a peregrine falcon touring the grounds while he enjoyed his raw chicken lunch. All of the birds at Lone Pine had been rescued and rehabilitated but weren't fit to be released into the wild. 

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Nap Time

If you're in the mood for a snuggle, let me recommend Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary just outside of Brisbane. We spent a morning there on our first day in the area with a car and were blown away by the variety of animals being rehabilitated and the furry, grey, bowling ball sized main attraction.

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Merry Christmas!

Happy holidays, everyone! We got into the spirit of things early and took this photo at our last tropical island, Chesterfield Reef. Sending joy and wishes for a happy new year to all our loved ones on land and at sea!

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Corinne DolciComment
Mooloolaba

Sailing south from Fraser Island was a smokey affair—a bolt from the previous night's lightning storm had struck ground setting the island on fire. We upped anchor with the sun at 0430 to cross over a sand bar stretching between the southern tip of Fraser Island and Australia's eastern coast before the winds picked up.

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Goannas and Storms

The other friend we made on Fraser Island was the goanna, a lizard that can grow up to two meters in length. I spotted this guy as he crossed the dirt  road in front of us as we hiked through Fraser Island. The climbed a nearby tree and posed for photos.

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Cruising Fraser Island

On November 28, we left Bundaberg, stowed the dock lines, and started making way for Fraser Island. Lying just off the coast and over 120 kilometers north to south, Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and the only place where one can find rain forest growing on sand.

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Bundaberg

Our time in Bundaberg was largely functional. We were ten days in the marina, working through our list of end of season boat projects: repairing the brightwork and adding fresh coats of varnish, polishing the stainless, cleaning rust stains from the hull, oiling the teak down below.

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