Tweet Manookatoo Adventures: A taste of history

Friday, 28 July 2017

A taste of history

A "taste" of history - beer off the wood
The Captain and First Mate both have many happy memories of Brisbane, seaparately and together. The Captain's company had an office in Brisbane and he has visited many times, so he was keen to catch up with old workmates. The First Mate lived in Brisbane for two years, enjoying Expo, making friends through Playgroup and having her baby son at Wesley Hospital. She has friends and family in Brisbane she was keen to see. Together the Captain and First Mate have visited Brisbane a couple of times, with a visit to the Breakfast Creek Hotel being a particularly fond memory they were keen to recreate!

Little Ship Club, Dunwich
We entered Moreton Bay via North Stradbroke island on Friday, enjoying an exploratry walk and lunch at the Little Ship Club at Dunwich, then cruising across to drop anchor in the lee of the breeze near St Helena Island, an historic prison site, on Friday afternoon. We enjoyed a walk ashore, the captain spent some time cleaning the dinghy while the first mate explored the historic cemeteries. Returning to Manookatoo, the dinghy was hoisted aboard in preparation for entering the port of Brisbane early the next morning.

Prisoners' cemetery, St Helena Island
We were up at first light on Saturday to take advantage of the tide into the Brisbane River. Passing through the busy entrance, we saw container ships from all parts of the globe on the port side, while planes from all parts of the globe landed on the starboard side! It is 14 nautical miles from the river mouth to the city and river traffic gets busier the further up you venture, with CityCats, CityHoppers and CityFerries adding to the mix. We arrived at Dockside Marina, just before the Story Bridge, later that morning and tied up at our marina berth, keen to go exploring. Catching a CityHopper across the river, we walked to the markets at Powerhouse, Newstead, and explored the busy food stalls. After some deliberation we decided we would try cooking "Turkey Shanks" that night, and bought a range of vegetables to accompany our dinner before catching the CityCat back to dockside. Later we caught another CityHopper upstream, to South Bank, where we ambled along the boardwalks and food stalls, enjoying a Bratwurst lunch before crossing the Goodwill bridge to the city, and making our way back via the Botanical Gardens to Eagle Street pier. where another CityHopper took us home.

Enjoying times with Donna and Mike
Sunday dawned bright and sunny and a walk across the Story Bridge and back again started our morning. We had invited Donna and Mike, friends we had met aboard Star Flyer in Scandinavia, to visit our boat for a drink before lunch at the Story Bridge Hotel. They brought the Moet - our tipple of choice during the cruise - and we recalled happy memories of our Star Flyer cruise, including Mike's proposal, which Donna accepted! A lovely lunch followed, with a few drinks and many stories shared. Later, we worked off our "excess" with a walk along the river beneath the Kangaroo Point cliffs and a CityHopper ride back from the Maritime Museum.

Our opportunities for revisiting old times continued on Monday; the First Mate caught the RiverCat to Regatta, where she enjoyed a morning coffee with Anne and Silvano, talking family and memories. Lunch with Fran and Peter, friends from Playgroup days, followed - it had been a long time between conversations but it felt like no time at all. Meanwhile the Captain met Don, an old work colleague, and enjoyed reliving past experiences and sharing new stories over lunch and a couple of beers. That night we had plenty to talk about!

Brisbane Town Hall
On Tuesday we revised our exercise program to accommodate the First Mate's injury, then we ventured out to explore history of a different kind. We took the CityFerry across to Eagle Street Pier and walked down through the streets to King George Square, where we enjoyed a tour of the "This is Brisbane" exhibition and a lift ride to the top of the Clock Tower. Brisbane's history is interspersed with river floods, the worst being in 1893 and the most recent in 2011. Photos and film show the story of its devastation. Returning to the square, we walked towards the Queen Street Mall and down to Eagle Street Pier, passing the beautiful Catholic Church and Customs House on the way. We returned to Manookatoo for lunch and a lazy afternoon, before another of the Captain's work colleagues, Peter and Deb joined us for dinner at the Story Bridge Hotel.
Breakfast Creek Hotel

Another walk across the Story Bridge started Wednesday, meandering down into the city to discover what was on offer at the markets near the river. Finding nothing that particularly tempted us, we returned to Manookatoo via the CityHopper. After a refreshing cuppa we boarded a CityCat downstream to Teneriffe, where we walked to the Breakfast Creek Hotel to enjoy a delicious steak and seafood lunch and, for the Captain, a beer "off the wood" in the historic old bar. After such an extravagant lunch we certainly didn't need much for dinner!

Thursday was "medical day", with an early train trip to the Gold Coast where the First Mate had appointments for X-rays, specialist follow-up and hand therapy. Luckily everything went smoothly and we were back at Manookatoo by early afternoon. That night we caught the RiverCat to Teneriffe and enjoyed another lovely night with Donna and Mike in their apartment overlooking the river. We caught our first Uber back to the boat that night - the experience was so easy (and cheap!) it won't be our last.

For our last day in the city, we started Friday morning with a walk along the Kangaroo Point cliffs, returning to Manookatoo for breakfast and to ready the boat for tomorrow's departure - doing the washing, filling the tanks and ensuring everything is "ship shape". We caught the CityHopper to Sydney Street wharf and wandered through the lovely old streets of New Farm, shopping at the local precinct for infgredients for an antipasto lunch. Later that afternoon we caught the CityCat to Northside Hamilton to Eat Street, a large market made out of shipping containers where all manner of cuisine can be purchased. We enjoyed Chandon and Coronas, chinese dumplings, turkish mezze and slow cooked lamb, listening to bands and enjoying the atmosphere before returning to Manookatoo for an early night.
Gateway Bridge at sunrise

A busy port - plus warship
The Captain was up well before 6am on Saturday, keen to catch the outgoing tide on the river. We made our way downstream, past Donna and Mike. sleeping in their apartment, RiverCats still tied up at their wharf, the P&O Dawn Princess berthed at Brett's Wharf and the many container ships, plus a variety of war ships fresh from international "War games" off the coast. We have loved our week in Brisbane and the opportunities it has brought us to have a taste of history.

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