Bit more than 2 weeks for an update, sorry. Had nearly 3 weeks in Brisbane gardening with my friend & I'm now back in Townsville with humidity at 70%, just on the edge of the storm that saw my flight delayed by nearly 3 hours, great lighting strikes in the air! Skipper has been busy re-vamping heads, re-coating varnish work & spending money, buying a new microwave an air fryer & a car, (being that were stuck here for 4 months) we can get out & about more without 2 hour limitations on a car.
With blue skies the weather has been lovely, 10kn breeze & pretty much 30 degrees every day. Rods back dealing with anchor winch spare motor & I've made a new bbq cover, tool bag & 1 1/2 tops! We've had a few trips out & about & catch ups with friends & getting organised for BrissyTuesday.
With the ferries going to & fro the island, Picnic's anchorage is far to rocky/rolly for us & we have now returned to the marina as our base for the wet season, keep insurers happy against cyclones, whilst our friends on Pelargic are facing Cyclone Lola in Noumea, so fingers crossed for them. Rod will have to fly to Adelaide, whilst I go to Brissy & wait for a new knee!
We moved around to Bolger Bay to make some fresh water the day before, having caught up with Roo bin esq & meeting Jen & Tony off Anapa & have now moved around to Picnic bay, keeping an eye out on possible cyclone around Solomon Is.
So we had a quick trip over to the "Duck pond" (just outside of the marina) to vote last weekend & have just now dropped anchor at White Lady Bay (think Horseshoe Bay), 2 little beaches here and a string of "Shark Bouys" so no paddle boarding again! We're currently biding our time with various issues & contemplating aeroplane flights.
So yesterday, we had a dinghy ride ashore, went for a wander, then lunch at the pub & chat with a lonely local, and a nice stroll along the beach. Today we had a quick catch up with the "Roo bin Esqu" crew & then thanks to a moron that sailed in amongst anchored boats, right across our bow, no engine, & dropped 5 metres of chain 10 feet in front of us, & another loser who anchored over the top of our anchor, we've move back to Bolger Bay, with 30 plus knots forecast tomorrow, we put out our happy 50 metres & we'll sit it out again, for another week. People are stuck up north at Thursday Is, Cairns etc, still trying to get back south pre Nov 1st, cyclone season, because the wind won't stop!
Up & at it at 7am (joy), we have moved around to Horseshoe Bay for the next 30kn blow coming over the weekend & suss out the whole voting thing, tried doing it before we left town but ballots were not printed. There's been some glorious night skies, still trying to catch the shot!
We have left the marina & have just anchored back at Bolger Bay. Skipper did an awesome job of replacing engine mounts, on his own, in under a day & no swearing!! I did hospital/ Dr thing & await a decision from them before determining our movements from Townsville.
We have come into the marina for a planned "1 week" stay initially for my hospital appointment, but now skipper has the ominous job of changing over the engine mounts in situ, so timing may blow out, plus we just lost a circlip off a winch, so we'll have to chase that up too.
Finally enough of a break in the wind to do an 1 1/2 hr jaunt over to the duck pond (outside of the marina entry) & do a dinghy ride into the marina where Phil off Vivamus (our neighbour in the marina) is going to drive me around to get essentials, think beer, wine .. oh & food!
Thought I'd do a brief update, & advise of nothing new, 80 odd boats around at Horseshoe & a rally going on & we are still getting blown about with our neighbours "Roo Bin Esq". We've had 2 catch ups on both boats, lovely couple, it is however just too rough to dinghy about further, they did get their drone out early on so we now have a lovely shot of Double Bubble at anchor in the bay, very shallow here & have to anchor a fair way out, lots of crocs ashore, so very much boat bound, with various things to keep us both amused, currently making bread as our food supplies slowly diminish, no wine & only 7 cans of beer! The marina is full & we are not able to go in again until the 23rd for yet another Dr appt.
Well after a few days and a mad influx of boats all trying to anchor on top of each other we have up anchored & away back to Bolger Bay NW side of Magnetic Island. We had a lovely day out, ashore, even enjoying a very nice lunch. Skipper repaired compass light (wiring seemed to have collapsed with age) he also diagnosed & repaired over the phone Duets pump failure which was meerly the switch, clever skipper, he does that a lot & should start a business!
We did a quick trip over to the marina yesterday, offload rubbish & fill up 120 litres of diesel in jerry cans, then back to Bolger for the night to make more water & we have now come around to the NW side of Magnetic Island into Horseshoe bay ready for the 25kn South easterlies headed our way tomorrow, (this place will fill up pretty soon). Just as an aside Horizon anchored in the bay near us yesterday, a boat from our marina in Adelaide! This wind will blow for another week at least so this is the spot for now.
Up early to go with tide & make our way back to Maggies Bolger Bay, skipper has spotted a tiny split in the sail, 15mm ish, so I have myself a little sewing job! I meant to show the pictures of the Lucinda jetty, the longest in the southern hemisphere!
Up & away at 6.50 today & picked up a mooring at Orpheus Island 10.30. We'll stay here today & make water, (to muddy in the channel), get some washing done & general clean up and probably head on down to Magnetic Island tomorrow.
Up anchored enroute to Haycock Island inside of Hinchinbrook Channel, (think Cardwell FNQ) where we're wanting to get a good spot before everyone else comes into the channel to escape the strong south easterlies coming next week. I can't recall if we had a good signal so am posting now, hopefully I can stil get a footy score, with the up coming Blue moon, maybe a few more good shots & no bugs! Last time we were here we watched a crocodile steal a crab pot! Ok so super, we have just anchored, & have signal, now we can watch the footy, yay. Repairs to the anchor winch all seem to working fine, so woo hoo.
Off early again with a very pleasant cruise up to Macushla Bay, atop Hinchinbrook Island on the skippers birthday! Lots of whales along the way, still to far away for a decent shot!
So after testing everything prior to departing, the wind meter refused to spin at anchor, so up the mast the skipper did go, & with a bit of engineering nohow, he fixed it. So off at 6.50am today, beautiful clear day trip up to Pioneer Bay, Orpheus Island, picked up a mooring 13:50pm. Skipper saw several whales bounding about early, whilst I slept & only saw 1! We'll stay here overnight & head for Maclushla Bay top of Hinchinbrook Island tomorrow.
Well 3 surgeries later, quite a few get togethers & a whole pile of sewing we have finally departed the marina & anchored over at Magnetic Island's - Bolger Bay. We'll hang here for a day or 2 to ensure our anchor winch is working properly underload prior to heading north.
So we have had a good catch up with our friends Micky & Sue, from Cairns heading back to SA & also caught up with our friends from SA heading to Cairns, both caravans, with friends due to arrive by yacht maybe tomorrow & a catchup with our Pies supporter who Power play tonight. With the howling South easterlys still raging on were saving ourselves from being boat bound & remain for another week as La Nina turns to El Nino & sorts itself out. After 11 years the tv decided to start dying so we've bought a new one, with skipper altering brackets etc., I've finished cushions & just have a bit of tightening to do on bases, looks pretty good. We've also finally given in & bought a decent trolley to lug jerry cans, gas bottles & beer etc.
Firstly, cyst came back benign so excellent results there, & I've moved onto "soft foods" light pasta's etc. We had planned to leave Thursday but with the next weeks weather, friend Phils 70th & friends coming here from Cairns we've decided to stay another week! Skippers been pfaffing with various jobs & I'm now sewing covers for back cushions we've just cut up, endless sewing! We had every boaties fear happen yesterday with a big steel boat losing control in the marina & took out 2 boats, 1 liveaboard, 1 cruiser, very loud crunches, & a fair amount of screaming! V8 Supercars are on here, with various other activities, even treated to a "Loop de Loop" airshow this morning!
So sorry to all the southerners but goodness me, we have had some beautiful weather, with most boats going out to the reef in ideal conditions, we are of course not one of them! So surgery has been done & cyst removed, & they think the nerve is intact, now all my food needs to be pureed for at least the next 4 weeks, woo hoo, so fingers crossed for benign results with follow up next week & hopefully we can be on our way by the end of the month. Skipper has been busy doing little touch ups here & there on deck & made laminate surround to hide bigger electric winch cables, good job, he also put up sensored strip lighting in the pantry. I'm now back phaffing with cushion covers & finishing flyscreens, biding our time, getting sorted, watching the footy, hanging out with Albuquerque neighbour! Our delay in leaving meant we were here for 25mins of the new F35 jet & just 1 lucky dude getting to do his thing above The Strand, so close to us - AWESOME
We have had another delay with regards to us leaving as I have had another surprise crop up health wise & face another surgery, another scan now & surgery asap! We have both been busy I have completed cushion covers for now, (will phaff with them later), Rod has had to re-do sink plumbing all due to not being able to get a plug that fits a 30 year old sink, so thats now sorted. We've had a few catch ups with friends as we were each departing, even gone to the movies (Maybe I do) with Sailway friends. We also went out & bought a 1 burner Induction cooktop (of course new pot/pan required) works a treat, super fast & no heat in galley!
So nearly good to go on Friday/Saturday being that the southeries still have a while to blow up the coast we'll use that to go further north where it's warmer, when the change comes will head back south aim for Tassie (in summer) & then go "West about" to the Kimberlies next year, who knows, we're very fluid! I've completed "rubbing strake" & it's now secured on tender. Rod has mastered eye splicing on sheet ropes for our headsail so hopefully no longer gets snagged, excellent job, complete with heatshrink! We've also mounted a "solar headlight" over anchor chain, works a treat! Also after approx 10 years "hard labour" sewing all our covers my little Elna sewing machine finally died so luckily 50% off at Spotlight & making new covers for cushions as fabric burrs badly on previous ones.
So enroute now for hopefully last MRI & the end of the doctor shuffle, we're now paid up until the 2nd of June & then we're back out to sea, woo hoo! We are still undecided, but we'll probably go north for awhile & then meander down for cyclone season at Fraser Island or hey go to Louisades!! We've both been busy, skipper setting up Starlink, running bigger cables, making bracket etc as another alternative to our Iridium Go. Sorting engines & spares etc & had to polish out all the a/foul ingrained after slip. I've made another outboard cover this one for Ziggy & Tessa & their new dinghy!
Well happy days & hip hip hooray, we are in the water & back at the marina with skipper currently hosing off the black antifoul, dirt & dust, inground into our beautiful deck! We have decided to give Oyster White Alltex No 5 a try, it seems to reflect the light better & appears to do a better job repelling barnacles, we shall see. So with days of rain & then 10 days of 35kn SE we couldn't go back in until the wind dropped off ergo 20 days & $4,500 later, we're back. We met new yachties on the slip "Beyond Outrageous Reloaded" Shell & Tony, so we had company the whole time watching each other work!
Well happy days on the slip, bonus is, the first few days had a lot of heat build up, then down came the rain, so we got held up a bit with that & now have had a lovely cool breeze blowing straight on us as we work, realistically Rod doing most of it! We were fortunate in Rod locating in the give away section in the marina a 6mth old A/C with a note saying it rattled so clever skipper pulled it apart & got it going for a cool cabin jury rigged for exhaust & drainage into the heads sullage (our 4 A/C's are salt water cooled so no good on the hard)! Weather is going pear shaped later in the week, blowing big time so we won't be back in the water until mid next week, unfortunately planned to be done pre my surgery but not happening now so pressure off to do the job in a hurry!
Fortnight update, we seem to be constantly on the go of late. We had Rods cousin Kelly & her lovely friend Barb come for a visit for a few days after driving up from down south. We also had a couple of visits from our friend Wayne up from Bundaberg, & we got to yell at the telly & watch Power v Pies game, we lost again! We "au revoired" our friends from "Starfish" Rick & Kerry as they've sailed off up north to Darwin, we may or not join them, insurance looks to be approx. $9000 for that trip, Cape Tribulation is now the cut off for insurance, now considered "Remote" so incurs extra fees. We are now waiting on our new alternator to be re-jigged so we can go "woo hoo" around to the slip next week for ANNUAL slip. We also had a lovely surprise visit from our Bowen friends, John & Ann, great to catch up, albeit a quick one.
Well woo hoo, I'm back on, yay! I think maybe that last whirly gig that we dodged & ended up in Auckland did a lot more damage than we heard about here! So as a catch up, I went to Perth for my Aunty Kaths funeral & saw quite a number of reli's I've not seen in, easy 20 odd years then after a weeks recovery from that we both flew to Brisbane with Rod heading down to assist Duet in having topsides painted & I went to Michelles to garden.
Well we have certainly had our fair share of rain recently & barometer is going down again with curly little system off in the Coral Sea, think it will miss us, looks like heading over to Auckland on the weekend, opposite direction to my heading on a plane to Perth to farewell my beautiful 95 yr old aunt. We had a lovely Australia day get together with friends & Skipper has been busily ticking items off our "to do" list, & finally have lovely doors over a little cupboard we have under the saloon table, end to end the chain, wired up new repeater plotter screen whilst I'm still sewing yet more covers, this time for instrument cover at helm to protect controls, compass etc & now repairing big cover over saloon that got torn in the last storm we just had.
An update on all things Double Bubble in Townsville with success at last being achieved on the drama of the anchor winch, the one thing we did not have was a reversing solenoid so this was ordered with the motor & was in fact too small for the motor, needless to say one very peeved skipper! I've been having some Emmett Technique treatment which is allowing some freer movement for my body, thank heavens. We are both continually busy, I'm back on the sewing machine, outboard covers are now the game with 1 down for Stu, & Ziggy's to commence. We've caught up with several couples & enjoyed a lovely Thai meal last night with Lisa & Stu, Lanise & Ty & the pups (we were on puppy sitting duties yesterday), & I did a few feet & hands.
Happy New Year folks, so glad that YIT appears to be working in 2023, thank you Mike. So lots have been going on, starting with great New Years gathering being enjoyed on the Bubble with another spontaneous night of hilarity with the return of Ziggy & Tess back to the marina with Pelargic from Cairns on Saturday night with Lisa & Stuart, all a bit quiet Sunday! The anchor winch drama continues with the people at Nilsons in NZ, we just got another motor today, same thing happening, drawing way too much yet a smaller motor @ 1200 watts, put ours back on @ 1400 watts, works perfectly (replacing ours because its 30 years old & we don't want the anchor winch to fail enroute to Darwin). I got booked in for a new knee op for 10th Feb & Bupa no longer covers it, so the waiting game for public hospital commences.
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