I left New Caledonia on the 5th of November by sailboat and headed to Brisbane. The owner of the sailboat that i joined is from England and has been living on boats almost his whole life so I could learn a lot from him.
It took us 6 days to reach Brisbane, Australia.
We had a great wind-window, never really too little wind so we only had to motor once. A few days without clouds and only sunshine and also some cloudy colder days with 25-30 knots of wind which was great because we could move fast and I could learn what to do with all the wind-changes, how to adjust the sails, reefing, etc.
The owner kept his sailboat in a marina a bit north of Brisbane, in Scarborough. Once we cleared in on the dock in Brisbane we left and sailed to Scarborough. The marina there is very lovely and the small town around too. Lots of bicycle and running-treks along the waterfront so I could finally do my runs again every morning and get back into a healthy routine. I finally had unlimited and fast wifi again after spending so many months on the islands where it was very difficult to find any wifi. I felt pretty spoilt getting to stay on the sailboat for a while and being in such a lovely and relaxing environment.
There were 2 bicycles on the boat so we often drove around, went for a swim, checked the second-hand shops around, bought food, …
The first days we cleaned the boat properly and made the cockpit look like new again. It was very hot most of the time as it was summer-time in Australia.
After a week of getting back into a good routine with lots of running, yoga, meditation, reading, writing, playing ukulele and help cleaning the boat I decided to head down south to Lennox Head. It is a small town on the ocean close to the famous hipster town Byron bay. I found a couch surfing place where I could stay. The “couch” turned into an own bed room in a super awesome house on a hill with great view to the ocean. I felt so spoilt.
My couch surfing host who is a great person had 3 other room-mates who are all really lovely too and it was super fun to stay there. We went surfing every day in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon as my goal was to learn how to surf and spend as much time as possible in the ocean. We started to bake sour-dough bread and healthy coconut-cake and created other great things like a brew of home-made ginger bear. I really enjoyed my time there.
After a few days I went back to the boat in Scarborough Marina as it was the 70th birthday of the owner, Eric. His wife came on his birthday too, all the way from England. I prepared some healthy food to take for a picnic and we drove to a natural reserve around Brisbane somewhere. On the way we picked up my friend that I met in Vanuatu who came for a few days to visit Brisbane. We all drove to a lake and had lunch together and enjoyed the relaxing environment.
In the afternoon my friend from Brazil who lives and worked in Brisbane since a few years joined us too. Eric had to go and pick his wife up from the airport so I stayed at the lake and went for a stand up paddle board session. I could stay in Brisbane city for the night as my friend had spare rooms in their house. We cooked manioc pancakes with vegan ice cream which was a great combination that I never tried before and learned some songs on the ukulele. The next day he dropped me off at the marina as he was heading to a festival. I finally met Eric’s wife on the boat who is a lovely lady. I spent a few days with them before I packed my backpack again and headed back to Lennox Head as I really loved it there and my friend, the couch surfing host, offered me to come and stay longer and help out around the house and garden. We made some garden-beds, painted the balcony and deck cleaned the windows & walls inside and other stuff.
We always went for a surf in the mornings first thing after breakfast and I could definitely improve my surf skills a lot!
Once we did a camping-trip a bit south in a national park for a few days. It was absolutely lovely there and very quiet on the camp-side. Only 3-4 other cars there and great hikes around and lots of beaches to surf!
We baked fresh bread, made coconut-cake and brewed ginger beer & made hummus before we went so we had great food for our camping trip. It felt more like “glamping”.
There was only one compost-toilet and no shower or water or electricity at the camp-side so it was super relaxing and back to nature. There was water from a lake coming out off a pipe on the beach a bit further up so we had a great natural shower all the time after the surfing sessions.
Our days consisted of surfing, breakfast, surfing, lunch, surfing & dinner.
When I arrived in Lennox I didn’t have a clue about surfing but after getting a surf everyday for around 2,5 months really improved my surf-skills a lot and I am so stoked about it & can never get enough. It is truly such an amazing sport to be connected to nature & learn to be present in the moment and learn how to react quick when you see a wave. I love it.
My friend has another house up in Brisbane where he has a shop with his brother, a news-agency, so I sometimes came up to Brisbane too & did some work in the house there. I also helped his friend who just bought an old house to convert it to a student-accommodation.
I never did some proper painting job before, only for fun, but this time I got paid to proper paint the wardrobes, ceilings and walls in a house so I really did want to do a good job. I started early in the morning and worked 10 hours every day which were really long days but great to save up money for my next adventures.
I never thought that painting is such an exhausting job for the shoulders and arms therefor big respect to all the painters out there. I was exhausted after a few hours of only looking up to the ceilings.
I also found another paid job around Byron Bay, in a small town called Edwingsdale. A 74-year old guy is living in a really beautiful sort of treehouse with windows everywhere and he can’t clean everything anymore so I sometimes went there for a day or two to clean to windows and house. It was super nice to be able to decide when I want to work and also to be in such great environments.
The best surf-spots around Lennox where at the main beach here at the boat-ramp. Also a bit further south a beach called Sharpes Beach. Then Broken Head beach close to Byron Bay is a lovely surf spot with a beach and a point break and small walks on the headlands around too.
We often went for a surf when there were only northerly winds blowing which means it will be shitty surf everywhere else than in South-Ballina we took the ferry there and had a surf at South-wall Ballina right next to the river mouth. Its a really remote and beautiful beach and the stone-wall from the river protects the surf from the northerly winds a lot. The water is super clear and beautiful there and its such an amazing surf-spot as not many people come here all the time because its a bit far away as you need to get a ferry both ways in order to go there so you pay 6 dollar one way for the ferry. It’s totally worth it though.
On the 26th of January it’s the Australia Day and also my friends birthday (the owner of the house where I stayed). Friends from Brisbane came to visit and we all went down to Lennox with the other housemates to do some lawn-bowling. It was really hot on that day, another heat-wave in australia at this time. I never tried lawn bowling before but it was great fun.
The day after Australia Day we went surfing with his two friends who came to visit for the weekend for a surf to South-Wall Ballina. It was morning when we arrived there and only one person out there in the surf. The waves were beautiful and the water so clear. We jumped in and paddled out.
I stayed a bit on the inside as sometimes there are bigger waves coming and I don’t feel so comfortable to be out the back yet.
I saw a beautiful wave coming and paddled for it. The next thing I remember was nose-diving straight under the water and when I came up I looked down on my leg where I had this big and deep hole in my inner thigh.
I waved my friends back in the looked at the hole in my leg which was super deep and big and you could see all the fat-tissues hanging out and it looked really bad. On the way back to the car I fainted and when I woke up again 4 guys were carrying me to the car.
One of them put a bandage around my leg which was super nice and we drove to the hospital in Ballina. Once we arrived there we didn’t had to wait too long until the doctor had a look at it and put me on a bed there. After that I thought I don’t have to wait too long until the doctor comes back and stitches my hole up but after 2,5 hours he was still not there as there were so many people in the hospital on that day.
After spending a couple of hours in the hospital I finally got my 6 or 7 stitches and a tetanus injection in my arm. I felt very weak and after that accident and especially after getting this tetanus injection. The next days I felt super weird and dizzy mostly and had no energy. I could do much anyway as my leg had to heal but I fortunately got to take care of an old dog from my friends friend. The dog was super lovely and didn’t need much walking at all so I had great company. 4 days after the accident I had my flight booked to India, Delhi so I made my way to the airport in the Gold Coast and flew out to the north of India to do my yoga-instructor-training there for a month as my Australian visa was about to expire.