Sunday, August 05, 2007

Thursday 2nd August


17 32.422 S
149 34.279 W

Happy birthday Scott, hope you are enjoying Australia.

Today began as a beautiful sunny day and Abigail and I seriously thought of cancelling our plans to visit the pearl farm and stay at the pension and go swimming and kayaking but in the end we got in the car with Gerry and headed into town. We took the slightly longer route into town along the winding road; Gerry dropped us off at the tourist information booth so we could use the facilities before heading to the pearl market.
Once we had managed to cross the busy road we walked the short distance to the pearl farm, stopping to buy Abigail a couple of new pairs of swimmers on the way. The pearl farm building was 3 stories high and each floor had a classification of the type of pearls they exhibited there – Charm, Elegance and Prestige. With over 200000 pearls on display it was difficult to pick the one that you wanted and we spent the rest of the morning admiring and oohing and ahring at the pearls. We learnt how the pearls are categorized by shape (round, semi round, semi baroque, baroque and circled); quality (A, B, C and D); size (usually between 8 and 12 mm) and finally colour (green, blue, golden, silver, purple, eggplant, rainbow, fly wing). After much deliberation Abigail picked her pearl and a ring setting to suit it then it was my turn; with the expectation that she will inherit my jewelry Abigail watched carefully over my choice of 2 pearls to go in a pendant setting. Once we had chosen we took photos of Bear amongst the pearls (everyone’s a sucker for Bear!), paid for our purchases and arranged to collect them after lunch so that they could be set for us. We had about an hour to go before we had to meet Gerry for lunch so we took a slow wander through the market and shops on the way to our arranged meeting place. Gerry arrived after we had been waiting for 15 minutes and found a parking spot right outside the café we had picked to eat at. It was getting close to the end of lunchtime and the service was pretty slow but we eventually got a lunchtime special meal and explained that we had to go back to collect our pearl purchases after lunch. Gerry was pleased with the way his morning had gone – the frame for the generator was done and he had reinstalled the whole thing; unfortunately the test run was going to have to wait until the boat was back in the water as it is water cooled. The bushes for the rudder were installed and had to be left sitting in the same spot to allow the epoxy to harden overnight – it was all looking good. Gerry had the bill in hand – this presented us with a slight problem as the yard only took cash and we have a limit on our cards as to how much we can draw down each day. Gerry’s card gave up working a week ago and despite Abigail bringing him a brand new one from home he still couldn’t get any money out. This left us with just my card to draw money on and by drawing the limit each day for 3 days we would just about be able to pay the yard as long as there was nothing else to add to the bill. We were going to have to use the credit card for any other purchases we made for the next 3 days or use our emergency US $ from our ditch bag which we didn’t want to do. So after lunch our first stop was the bank to draw down the limit on my card then we headed back to the pearl farm to collect our purchases. We agreed that we were happy with what we had chosen and then hurried back to meet Gerry at the tourist information place. This time we only had to wait for 5 minutes before he turned up. We showed off our new jewelry which he did his best to admire and not ask the price (it’s only money after all). We then set off for the supermarket where we loaded up the car with the essential cans and heavy goods that we were going to need to stock the boat up with – this would be our last chance to use the car for gathering the heavy stuff as we had to return it the next day. The drive back to the pension seemed to take forever and once we got there Gerry did some quick emailing before we went out for dinner, this time returning to the same restaurant we ate at on our first night in the pension. As we were checking out the next day at 07.30hrs we packed our bags on our return from dinner and left everything ready to load in the car.



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