The weather is “Mainly Fine”

Or so they say on the newscasts here and I have to agree. Long days, the sun and we rise at about 6 am and we both set around 8pm. We get a lot done during the day.

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We finally figured out the wine casks. We were thinking large wooden barrels, lots of wine. They are actually sold in 2L or 4L quantities. It’s much cheaper than bottled wine, partly due to quality and partly due to taxation or lack thereof. They are also referred to as Chateau Cardboard and some sort of Ladies Handbag.  The innovation is  a vacuum sealed bag inside the box that prevents the wine from oxidizing once you open the box.  The downside is you get a plastic taste as well.

Some towns only carry 2L sizes in an attempt to combat alcoholism. We seem to have a variety here and will give it a shot. Tomorrow we begin to load the palette on the ship. It’s mostly symbolic but I will feel better if we get started. We’re going bush walking next week, which means we have to load the boat by this Friday. Suddenly the pace quickens.

I finished knitting a sweater I began at home and sent it off in the mail today. Luckily I found some merino, possum wool and started a pair of socks .DSCN0269.JPG

DSCN0258.JPG We went back to the orchid exhibit in the City Park today. The flowers and trees are simply amazing. Huge, with evergreens growing next to palm trees.

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DSCN0260.JPG We reflected on this.

The Tasmanian Tiger had a pouch?!

We’ve been running along Cataract Gorge on the Tasmanian Tiger trail. They post information on benches where I learned the Tasmanian Tiger is no longer here and had a pouch. We are planning to go on a bush walk so maybe we’ll sight one. Next week we will walk the Overland Track, when all our chores are done. Oh boy. We may find the famous Tasmanian leeches. And here I was worried about white lipped snakes, tiger snakes and copperheads. Silly me. The real threat comes from the jack jumper ant . Here’s a perspective photo . Yow.

Today was much nicer. I saw peacocks and wallabies along the running trail.

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We are still trying to work out our wine list. We were planning to bring what we thought was a barrel of wine but may actually turn out to be box wine. We’re in a bit of a tizzy. We can’t even try them unless we buy a box. Beer making is set though. One batch of blonde and then a batch of stout. Yogurt procurement still in process. it sounds complicated unless I just buy a carton of yogurt, use some for my first batch and so on and so on…

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I took Tim to the City Park with wisteria, rhododendrons, orchids and snow monkeys. On the way home I spotted this perfect Christmas flower, complete with gold dust. I don’t know what it is yet but I have identified some of the birds here. We saw a flock of galah in the local park. Very pretty. galah2.jpg

Those were no sheep outside my first night’s window. They were the Australian raven. They sounded like sheep though.

Food shopping can be exhausting

Shopping stage one, complete. Next is the fruit, vegetable, cheese and meat list. The biggest job was converting units (kg, lbs, cups) and finding equivalent items. Here’s a link to the list if you too need to provision for three months. 50 kgs of flour certainly sounds like a lot. I couldn’t find corn starch and substituted arrowroot. After I submitted it, I realized I was missing several things, all of which start with the letter “C”. Not sure what that’s about but I’ll need to add crackers, crabmeat and corn meal. I think I probably ordered too much toilet paper but what if??? Tomorrow we’ll work out our wine purchase. Cask begins with “c” too.

Then I slept for eleven hours!!! I think I am adjusted to the new time zone.

The calla lilies are in bloom

We are exploring Launceston on foot and the gardens and parks are lush. It is spring and there are huge rhododendrons, wisteria trees and flowers. A guide in a park, pointed out a 175 year old wisteria tree at the site of an old garrison. There was a hothouse full of orchids and indeed, the calla lilies are in bloom.

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I think we have set up internet for our time o Deal Island and purchased the modem and cables we need. I found a local beer brewing and yogurt fermenting? supplier. So it looks like our basic needs have been met. Today I hope to complete and send my main shopping list to the supermarket on Flinders Island. Then I’ll have time to fill in gaps here before we head out on some camping trips.

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Too much or not enough

I’m not sure if we over or under-packed. Tim can never find anything but the airlines keep losing our bags. At least we didn’t have to carry them to our hotels. On our last flight, they had to fly standby and missed the plane. We’ve been reunited once again. I’m not used to hearing remarks about how much stuff I have because I pride myself on packing light.

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We are settled in for a few days in a hotel which used to be a hospital. Apparently we are staying on the surgical floor. We’ve begun scoping out food items. The one thing we packed was whole fat powdered milk because it is never in grocery stores in the states and we ordered it online from REI. Well they sell it here for a quarter the price in the grocery stores. I won’t be packing any vegemite though. It’s not for me.

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Most importantly, I met a couple who raise merino sheep and promised me a fleece and a glass of chardonnay. I’m set. I want to spin it on the island and bring it home as yarn or maybe even a sweater!!! I’ll use a turkish drop spindle which will keep me busy for a while.

Almost there

Well we left NYC Monday and arrived in Melbourne, AU Wednesday. We only encountered two delayed planes, one missed flight and one lost bag. We have all been reunited and fly to Tasmania today. Sometime during the flight to Sydney, I finally became excited. The work of closing up and leaving is behind us and now we can focus on travel and provisioning.

This morning we are in a large city where I hear sheep bleating ouside my window. I have arrived.

Crossing t’s and dotting i’s

The past two weeks have been all about the details: making sure all the bills get paid, the house stays warm, the cats are cared for and my spinning wheel gets spun.  Final dentist, doctor, vet appointments,  and vaccines…for all of us. What if we don’t have internet?  Download all the recipes and knitting patterns I need to my kindle.  Will 167 books on the kindle be enough??
While I am at it, upload recipes into a Google Document so they are accessible to all.  Load movies onto a hard drive since netflix won’t deliver to a remote island. Will 167 movies be enough?

Then philosophical questions such as,  should we bring our camping gear or not? (yes) Do we have too much stuff? (probably)  Can I carry my stuff? (not really)  It begins.

First I’m traveling for hugs before I leave.  Last night  we went to a roller derby tournament in Providence.  It was way less violent than I remembered and much louder.  Today it’s ultimate frisbee and Thanksgiving on Long Island.

Next a flight itinerary which gets us where we want to be three days after we begin.  Ooh boy, I hope the TSA is looking kindly upon knitting needles these days.  The TSA has a blog???