Thursday, 11 September 2014


 
A new chapter is just beginning.  It is with mixed emotions that we have just sold QuickStar in Australia.  We have been blessed spending the past seven seasons sailing across the wild blue yonder.  Although we could have continued to do this for the rest of our lives, we have been called back to terra firma thanks to our growing stable of amazing grandchildren.

When we started out our goal was two years.  I figure we got pretty lucky squeezing another five years of sailing.

Who knows what exactly we'll do now.  We live 5 months of the year at Silver Star Mountain in Vernon, B.C. Canada.  For the other 7 months of the year - we'll have to see where the wind blows us and the fancy strikes us.  We do have a little "castle" (fondly named by our granddaughter) - in reality a little trailer that we have on 25 acres of our son's 80 acre hobby ranch.  Makes it easy to see two of the grandkids whenever we drop anchor here.

We run a very busy reservation business for Silver Star properties which you can check out at www.silverstarstays.com.   I continue to sell and promote my book www.financialfitnessbooks.com and am still overwhelmed that it became a #1 Amazon best-seller.  Just so we don't slack off too much we also continue to manage our real estate portfolio and are also launching a new online retail store to sell Back on Track products.  That website will be www.wonderwear.com.  The beauty of all of this is that we can do it anytime, anywhere - so we are as free as the wind to travel at the drop of a hat.

My name could be "no fixed address", so to this end we will continue to travel at whim and create new dreams and memories.  We've done a last minute 2 week Alaskan cruise this summer and will be heading to Ontario for six weeks this coming weekend.

Thanks to all of you who have faithfully followed us across the ocean.  May you also discover your dream and do whatever it takes to make it happen.  There will be obstacles and set backs and naysayers each step of the way.   Keep walking.  You may well be your biggest enemy.....move aside.
Whatever you do - set a date - you won't be ready - but cast off your lines anyway.  Wishing you all the best as you live your dream.  If you need some motivation - email me at svquickstar@shaw.ca.  My personal saying is "money is a renewable resource - time isn't".  Live life today!

Saying farewell for the time being......Diana Young & Peter Bruckmann


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Our final QuickStar post of the sailing season!




Leaving QuickStar in Pittwater, Australia


It’s hard to believe we have been back in Canada for almost a month now.  I have been meaning to do my final QuickStar blog of the season, but we have been in a whirlwind since we’ve arrived back home, and I have been procrastinating on what might be my final blog posting.


We have left QuickStar in Pittwater Bay on a mooring ball.  It is being looked after by David Bray Yachts in our absence.  We are also thinking about importing our boat to Australia and selling it, so this could be our last season on QuickStar.  We started out in 2007 and had intended on spending two years cruising.  Instead we have had 7 wonderful seasons, sailing further across the South Pacific.  We have made it to our goal destination of Australia – thanks to my awesome Captain.

Taking the bus to the airport to fly home 

 
Because we are not sure if we are going to sell QuickStar, the last week aboard was bittersweet.  I was driving Peter crazy by saying things like “this may be the last time I use the power winch”, “this might be our last dinghy ride”,

“this might be Peter’s last sandwich”  (and you all know how he loves his sandwiches)


 “this might be our last game of bridge with a gin and tonic”


   “This may be our last dinner”


This might be the last time I'm ever on QuickStar

 
We arrived home in time to spend Thanksgiving weekend with Danny, Ashley, Addison and Ty, Kylie & Taylor and about 20 other great friends and family.  It was a very special weekend.  During the weekend everyone helped out to put in an underground water line at the ranch.

You can see why we want to be land-based and closer to the family.


 
We also spent this past weekend at Danny and Ashley’s again, and loved seeing the kids in their Halloween costumes and romping in the first snow of the season.  Addy turned three on November 3rd and we were thrilled to share it with her.  Lots of fun with the first snow of the season.



 Kylie and Taylor are expecting our next grandchild on Feb. 15th, 
so we are all very excited and making it even harder to want to set sail again.


These last two weeks Peter and Taylor have spent renovating our rental house in Kamloops.  That’s now complete and fully rented, so Peter has finally come home to Silver Star to join me for the season.  He is thrilled to be cheering on the Vancouver Canucks for another season.


So without getting too maudlin – this could be my last QuickStar Blog.  Thanks for coming along for the ride and sharing in our highs and lows over the past seven seasons.  I will report in that either we have sold QuickStar or that we will be returning to spend a season in Australia next Fall.  So, I guess this won’t be my final farewell! (I hate goodbyes)

Have a great winter season.  We will be at Silver Star for the ski season, with Peter snowplowing and me running my rental accommodation business.  If you want to come to our winter wonderland, check out our website www.silverstarstays.com


Until next time…..Celebrate life!

P.S.  If you are looking for a Christmas gift idea for someone special on your list, check out my  #1 Amazon bet-selling book at www.financialfitnessbooks.com

Monday, 7 October 2013

Loving being a tourist in Sydney, Australia



With QuickStar moored at Pittwater, we are an easy 45 minute bus ride to downtown Sydney.  We’ve enjoyed being tourists, getting to know Sydney.  It reminds us so much of Vancouver (although much larger). 

The obligatory Sydney Harbour shots of the bridge and Opera House






Lovely converted old buildings and warehouses surround Darling Harbour



The delicious Aussie pies...I think I've gained 10 pounds because of them!
 
We’ve gotten a kick out of the many different signs and sayings there are here.  The half man walking sign is a crosswalk sign…but we can’t figure out what this one means.  Any ideas?


What is somewhat funny is when I spent my week at Coff’s Harbour, I went on all the walks that I could fit in, but one eluded me.  It was called Refuge Island and I saw lots and lots of signs to access it, but I could never find it.  Once we started on our road trip, I noticed many cities had Refuge Islands, but none of them were on the ocean.  I couldn’t help but laugh when it clicked that Refuge Island is what the Aussies call the meridian in the middle of a road where pedestrians can safely stand before crossing over to the other side.  
Sydney at sunset 

 
We love so many of their sayings.  When we went to a museum and bought entry tickets the lady asked if we had any concessions.  We thought she meant popcorn and drinks, as we call concessions at movie theaters.  In Australia, it means are you a student, disabled or senior.   Peter was meeting up with a local here and Rod said “okay savo”.  After getting the translation we learned that means see you this afternoon.  Peter is also starting to say “shift” in place of “move”.

The largest pelicans I've ever seen 




 
One thing that we can’t understand is the grocery carts that are in Australia (as well as in all the other South Pacific islands we’ve been to).  The carts have all four wheels turning instead of just the front ones that we have in North America.  This means that their carts cannot go in a straight line, so you are constantly pushing them sideways. Just don’t get it!

 
The museum that Peter really wanted to see was the Maritime Museum (how do you say “booooooring”?).  I, of course, have to walk the talk and stick to my frugal financial principals.  As always we use a discount coupon and it was still a $28.00 entry fee…so I decided to take one for the team and pass on going…instead I went to Margarita Ville where Happy Hour was in full swing.  Wine for only $5.00 a glass – so instead of spending $28.00, I only spent $10.00 and had WAY more fun. 






It was great timing to be in Pittwater for the final race of the America’s Cup.  The American’s won against the New Zealanders (although there were only 2 American’s onboard – the rest were Kiwi’s and Aussies).  The Captain is an Australian named James Spithill who is a member of the Royal Alfred Yacht Club right here. 
(He was also the skipper in 2010).  Lots of excitement!  

 
They do lots of racing from this club and they are just starting a disabled association, which I was very interested in as I am a volunteer for the disabled ski association at Silver Star.



The Gold winning disabled boat in the London 2012 Olympics that sparked 
the yacht club to create a disabled component to their club.  They had a
big fund raiser while we were there to purchase more boats to modify.




  The mooring area, marinas, and yacht clubs in Pittwater are lovely.  The area is surrounded by parks on one side and nice houses on the other.  



Great dog-friendly parks and beaches 






 We explored in Newport, which is close-by and has a beautiful beach.
 


 
Another highlight was going to the local pub to watch the final match in the Aussie Rules Football League.  It was packed because there was a power outage in the area, so the pub was running the game with their generator. We have been following it everywhere we went in Australia, because the locals just love this game.

View from the Newport Arms sports bar 



We bought a 7-day public transit pass which includes all buses, trains and ferries – all of which we have used extensively.   On the first day we went in to Sydney on the bus, the bus driver had to slam on his breaks suddenly – this was a two-car bus which was packed with many standing in the aisle.  A little girl was thrown into the front of the bus and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance.  No one else was injured.  It was just a reminder that some of our family members are worried about us when we are out at sea, but it is usually the everyday things that cause most accidents.

We went to see the movie Gravity on what is billed as the largest IMAX theatre in the world.  Terrible movie, but great to see the 3D effects.

The other “good timing” event was the 100th year celebration of Australia’s Navy.  This was a massive event with up to 16 tall ships, 40 warships and 8,000 naval personnel from more than 20 nations – plus Prince Harry as the honoured guest.  We went in over a 3 day period and took in the events from different vantage points.  The first day it was pouring rain, but the next two days were good. 

On the second day they closed off much of the park at Bradley Point because the Governor General was onsite to do the official Fleet Review.  Most of us climbed up to sit on the rocks in the bush so we had a great view, until the Ranger came and told us all to get down.   The Australians held their ground though and said there were no signs saying we couldn’t be there and also, in the program it said the park was a prime viewing location.  Many of them got quite vocal about it, with the Rangers calling for “back-up” by the police.  Some of the people were old, but steadfast.  The police ended up making an arrest of one man, who for sure is going to be taking his case to the Minister.  This all made for great entertainment.

The Governor General's car with gold license plate emblem

 
The first day of the event was the arrival of the tall ships in to the harbour.  
Pleasure craft were invited to accompany them. 





After all the tall ships had arrived, and we were thouroughly 
drenched we took the ferry from the zoo right to downtown. 
 Enroute we saw lots of the tall ships and tons of activity on the water.

Note the sailors aloft in the rigging.




 The second day was the arrival of the War Ships.  Here are some photos, although if you are interested you could see great photos on the official Fleet Review website.











 
Until next time….Congratulations to our daughter Kylie for getting the Teacher-On-Call position in her school district.  Lucky, lucky kids.




QuickStar

QuickStar
46 foot Beneteau

The journey begins.....

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Thanks for dropping in to visit. Hugs from Diana and Peter.