Well hallelujah, we're back! We were terribly disappointed in not being able to update the site (mostly it's a really quick way for me to find out where we've been & upload photo's). So amazingly one month from last update & four months on the 13th since we arrived in Cairns, & I stopped smoking. My health saga continues & I'm still undergoing copious amounts of tests & no closer to stopping the constant pain. As much as it's delayed us from heading north we are not alone in that all marina's are full due to the unbelievable weather everyone is either hiding from, or complaining about as they're getting blown about on anchor in 35 knot plus winds as the southerlies are relentless & still show no signs of abating well into the end of next week, so here we sit. Skipper is upgrading his Flight Simulator, happily spending his days flying airplanes, whilst I am back on the sewing machine making new outfits for the wet season, (light & airy), doing a few jigsaws, trying to take it easy & not hiking pain levels up!
Well here we sit, waiting, always waiting for something, parts, mail, weather or as it is these days, all things Co-vid which has caught up with us here in FNQ & we are in our 2nd only lockdown so we really can't complain. All the boats that are wanting to go north are all either crammed in at Trinity Inlet or tied up in marina's waiting for the weather to improve, it has been wet, a tad chilly & rather blowy. We've had fun nights, with Micky & Suzy out at Palm Cove where the shops & restaurants are built around the Paperbark Melaleuca trees, some 400 years old, & also enjoyed dinners with Rog & Jan from Opportunity who are like us waiting for the weather, parts & mail, could be worse, large stink boat on fire in the Breakwater marina where we were for 6 months!
2nd ACNES Injection done & I am now on my 4th day pain free, woo hoo! We've been out & about with lots of bus/cab trips & discovered a very helpful chap called Henk at Pasma Electrical who talked Rod through an upgrade of the firm ware when he swapped out our 13 year old Victron Invertor (we've been carrying a spare for 12mths). We have had lots of fun with several catch ups with friends, some we met in Townsville, going on a dinghy ride around to Yorkey's Knob Yacht Club for $1 oysters & $15 buckets of prawns & trying out Dragonfruit martini's & strawberry daiquiri's! We also had friends drive up from Adelaide in their camper van, all enjoying another super fun night at the Bluewater Bar & Grill where we were joined again with Michelle & her sister Jancy, rounding off the night with Pina Colada's. (A bit of a tip, for clear pictures you do need to tap on pictures).
We've been quite the little gadabout's of late, having just returned home from a stay in Cairns catching up with my dearest friend & birthday girl Michelle, enjoying a lovely lunch out & evening in with Moet. We caught the train down to Townsville the previous weekend catching up with some other friends whilst Rod went to check out a boat for future employment prospects, we also caught up with some other friends staying in their lovely home in Kuranda for the night, all very nice! We are now staying here until the 2nd August with 1 more injection to be had & hopefully medicine & health issues finally sorted so we can be on our way, fingers crossed.
Initially after parts for the desalinator & none being available Rod located a new pump to do the job & all up & running ok. He has since found replacement seals etc for old pump so now have a back up. With health issues causing further delays in our heading north, & only 4 months left until cyclone season again we are currently being torn in 2 directions & contemplating returning to Townsville for "White boat" position & writing off the current sailing season!
Well after copious poking & prodding, hospitals & Dr's I've finally been given the tick of approval to undo the ropes & get going! So whilst we've been waiting for appointments skippers been going over everything that is coming of age, ergo everything that was put on new 13 yrs ago & wanting/needing to be replaced now, we thought all was good but have now discovered the salt water feed pump on the desalinator has a dodgy seal & has started leaking into the motor, with a little drip, drip, drip! The plan was to leave at the end of the week but now we have to wait for a new pump to arrive before we can get going, so here's hoping nothing else is on it's way out.
Well after getting CT scan etc we have had to stay longer & wait for a hospital procedure on Tuesday & then still wait for Dr's verdict next Saturday which adds to the pain, just hoping we will be good to go on up to Port Douglas after that. After I posted the photo of Rod & I, Maureen sent two photo's of her & Bob & Shjerk & his wife, previous owners, it's kind of like a 20 year anniversary of owners, from when she was first launched in 1991.
I have confessed to more health issues, & am currently sitting in the Emergency dept, waiting for a resolution before we are able to resume our travels, not that that will be happening at present as the wind just keeps blowing full on out at sea. So with it looking like at least another week before we can head off we have kept our little "Leo Getz" & done a bit of "touristing", up to Port Douglas & surrounds, been through the Botanic Gardens & spent another night with our friends, ending up at the casino with lucky husband winning $142, which paid for our expensive dinner & night out!
Quick update, I have seen a specialist here in Cairns, had a few more tests done & will see him again on Thurs, hopefully for the all clear, so we can be on our way. We caught up with our friends from Adelaide who run a motel here, (it is through Micky that we met 23 years ago). We had a nice trip with them to Ellis Beach & $1 oysters & also spent a night with them at the motel. We hired a "Rent A Bomb" for the week, now increased to 2 weeks, the car we initially hire died on the very 1st day! Prior to Garrys departure we got out to see a few sights, up to Kuranda, out to Baron Falls & the Crystal Cascade, very pretty. Poor skipper has to top up the esky himself now Garry has gone. We've had friends from Townsville arrive (2 boats) & have had a catch up at the hotel here at the marina.
Not exactly how we foresaw our arrival into Cairns, but we are here now, nonetheless! Skipper & temporary 1st mate Garry brought Double Bubble over on a 4 hour jaunt to Bluewater Marina were we will stay for a week with follow up appointments. The guys picked me up from the hospital where we returned to the boat by bus. Still a bit woozy from drugs etc, but thank you to all concerned for their kindness including brother Garry for his support of my caring husband.
Well that didn't go according to plan. The plan was to go ashore, to the Foxy's Bar on Fitzroy Island, have a look around & some dinner! I didn't last 10 minutes, (couldn't breathe) before I was in with the medics in the resort, a shot of morphine helped & then after lots of questions/concerns I was flewn to Cairns in a Medi Vac Chopper (now there's an experience)! Symptoms a bit CoVid ish, tested for that & all clear.
After much deliberation we chose to go straight through to Fitzroy Island with Rod checking in with medico's via phone along the way, & a gradual improvement in health on my part. We will go in to Cairns in the morning (we are 15nm away) & suss out Dr's. We carry several types of medicines for such events, I just am struggling to get brain to work. There are 4 free moorings here, so no anchoring & nice blue water, we can finally go for a swim or snorkel & I can't breathe!
We had a good bit of rain shower down upon us Sunday, so we were able to fill our water tanks & our new exhaust outlet arrived on Monday & skipper has replaced old for new on the generator. We waited out Tuesday at Dunk Is, as more rain was predicted, so opted for a better sail today & arrived at Mourilyan Harbour. We were going to go straight through to Russell or Fitzroy Island but as I've not been feeling very well, skipper decided to come here as there is access to a Doctor 20mins away, I'll go back to sleep instead.
Just a quick update to mostly share some photo's. We moved over to pick up a mooring when other boat left. We've been ashore for a walk around & seen some of the carnage from Yasi's wake, Dunk Island is still not up & running as a resort destination. Garry paddled to shore & walked up to the lookout. Being that we can't make any water without the generator working, we have been able to use the hot showers in the camping grounds & then caught up with Tramp II on the beach for sundowners. If needed we can carry 40 litres of fresh water back to boat so we can still make ice.
After an absolute star studded night at anchor we have had a quick 3 1/2 hr jaunt up to Dunk Island passed the Family Islands group notably Coombe, Wheeler, Bedarra & Thorpe Island, lovely casual trip, with pretty much no wind, so motored all the way. Skipper got to pass the time by inspecting & solving an issue we had with the generator, turns out the exhaust elbow is corroded (obviously we've not spent enough money yet)! So now we get to sit here & wait for the delivery of the part to Mission Beach & get the water taxi to drop off to us here at Dunk Island, all depends on good old Australia Post, so fingers crossed for expediency, apparently Monday.
We have sailed up the east coast of Hinchinbrook Island (aka bugsville) & anchored in Missionary Bay around the top end for the night passing Eva Island along the way. Very pleasant cruisey day, all set for a bbq tonight. We're off to Dunk Island in the morning.
Arrived safely, anchored at Orpheus Island at 3.15pm, cruisey little motor/sail, and picked up 1 of the 4 free moorings & will spend the next 24hrs here.
Well woo hoo the time has finally come & we are ready, fully laden (spent an easy grand on food, barely a waterline visible) as we have don't know when we can get stores past Cairns or costing twice as much! We have had a few trips about town & a bit beyond thanks to the use of The Starships car, got up to Crystal Creek, Paluma, the Ross River Dam & Saunders Beach (my maiden name). We also got up early for the Dawn service, just up top of the marina, a really well done affair. Our plan tomorrow is to head straight up to Orpheus Island & hopefully everyone is on there way back from the long weekend, maybe Zoe Bay, then Dunk Island, we shall see.
Quick update as the 17th has come & gone, our official 6 months in the marina, with us coming in early in November, with our 2 weeks on the slip Breakwater have allowed us another 2 weeks free of charge, this being a good thing with the current strong wind warnings for the next week or so & the amount of money we have spent. Vessel's that have already left including Tramp II & Duet having 30 knots plus & are not happy, we will bide our time. With Garry's help we have achieved a lot more, with new chain, nav lights on Adrian (tender), new clears, locker clean outs etc.I have
made a new cover for our helm seat & am now back on mozzie nets prepping for Hinchinbrook Island & it's bugs!
With our fresh new antifouling job complete (this time stripping back both legs & trying out propspeed instead of hard a/foul). We have now moseyed on back to the marina & been cleaning up the boat. Garry was an exceptional help in his "4th year apprenticeship" of all things slipping, sanding & polishing, & is coming along quite nicely (also saving us both from extra hard yakka)! We met some great people on the slip & had a few good nights (still we all got bitten by the midges). We are now getting our stores sorted for our DEPARTURE onwards & upwards, next stop Cairns, yippee!
Day 7 on the slip, all going well & we have been quite lucky with the wind blowing a cool breeze, keeping midges reasonably at bay. I have discovered a new repellant that seems to work. Take a small bottle of baby oil, pour out 1/4 qrt cup of oil, add 2 tblspn of Dettol & 1 tblspn of citronella oil, shake up & slap on, excellent! We decided to book accomodation & have been staying in a twin apartment, with pool & Foxtel (bring on the footy)! We had a great night with friends who live nearby, staying onboard last night, ready for early start today, getting a tie coat on ready for antifoul later today, hopefully go back in on Tuesday.
So happy days, we have left the marina and had an hour's jaunt around to "woo hoo", the Rosshaven Marina for a slip, which is on the Ross River, so even better, bring on the midges & Dengue fever etc, awesome! So with all things slipping my kind, thoughtful brother has donned a mask & flown 8hrs over from Perth to assist with the antifoul job & cruise on up to Cairns (if he'd like) with us. So with corner rain covers FINALLY finished, quite literally upon his arrival, fabulous light show of lightning & rain overnight & now as we sit ready for the lift at 8am tomorrow, it is now pouring (& all the rain covers are up because we travelled here), gotta love Murphy!
Tonight marks our 2 year departure from Adelaide at midnight and we have come a long way, seen much & missed lots too, thanks to weather, various upgrades on the Bubble & all thing's Covid! I have safely returned from Brissy & almost finished Michelle's/(my) garden, collected more fabric from Quinrig for FINAL rain cover sections. Skipper has been very busy helping others out & completing jobs on our vessel & prepping for annual slipping next week & removal of rubbish antifoul that everyone said we should use up here, goodbye Joton & barnacles, back to Altex for us. So close to finishing rain covers, (which kind of seems ironic, it has hardly ever rained here), wait until we go up on the slip! Finally have my new pool set up, blew up the last one, so happy days!
Had a few issues get onsite, all good now. With 4 months now behind us it's getting closer for our departure north & will go pretty quick with lots more to do. We have completed the helm & console laminating & it looks great, with just 4 pieces to go (2 either side) for total re-laminating. I have finished the edging on our internal cockpit shades, finally & sewing machine away for now! We currently have a potential Cat 3 cyclone hanging around & will hope it stays offshore whilst I go down to Brissy for a week to Shell's, yay! I had a good day for my birthday, with drinks up top before heading to casino for tea with our friends..
Been super busy with all the jobs, skipper has now finished servicing on engines & genny, sorting out spares etc. We have completed 2 more replacement panels in the cockpit, the worse yet to come, helm & console.....all those wires! Enjoyed a bbq up top & an impromptu "private" fireworks display w/ Duet. I have made a couple of outfits in between working on rain covers which have proven themselves as we finally got some decent rain over the marina, still a work in progress & will finally get to finish internal shade cover trims thanks to Quinrig sending up fabric. Commencing the sorting & stocking up stores as few stops between here & Darwin, not too long to go now!
So here we are, halfway through cyclone season, 3 months left before we can continue our travels & at this point we think (with all things Covid) we will stick with our original plan & just keep turning left, heading on up to Darwin. With Tramp II we wandered up to the Queens Garden for the Halo light show which was pretty cool. We had a great Australia day bbq up at the marina & have been super busy, sewing covers, new outfit and renovating, with the help of Sol, replacing all the laminated ceiling panels in the cockpit, looks fabulous!
We had our first serious prep with Cyclone Kimi getting close, taking down covers, securing with additional ropes, removing pot plants etc she was a non event with no wind or rain at all, good practice as we look ahead to something brewing off the coast next week. We have been very busy with changes to the boat Skipper renovating "the shed" (stbd V berth) & I'm still sewing. As yet not made it to Halo light show, (cancelled for Cyclone Kimi) with hopes for the next few days. We had a fun night at the Townsville Yacht Club for Trivia night, catching up with Corroboree's Arlisse & Eric, coming in 3rd! Happy Birthday Ma.
A quick update, it has cooled down considerably with humidity around 50% and the drizzle appears to have ceased (for now). We're keeping an eye on a couple of curly winds off the coast due next week which may form into something, but as yet all good. Skipper had to pull apart pump from the A/C as it started to act up, as he is quite brilliant he repaired it for $17 instead of $300+ for a new one, bravo! We are waiting for the "Halo" light show that starts tonight in Queens Gardens & have been getting a taste of things to come each evening as they set up the lights. Basically we have been cleaning out lockers & rearranging things, & I'm back on changes to rain covers now that it's stopped. Averted tragedy yesterday when my "super specs" (multifocal $600 glasses) went for a dip in the drink with awesome husband hooking them out with a squid jag, first time in 23 years I've dropped something in the water so I consider that not to bad.
Happy New Year, 2 months down & 4 to go before we can move further north & time is wooshing by! We had a great night New Years eve, with drinks up at the marina common room w/ Duet, Tramps, The Starship & others then wandered down to the rocks for a fabulous fireworks display, & back to the Bubble finishing up somewhere around 3am, with a very quiet New Years day. We have had a fair amount of rain, with 1 or 2 great downpours from Cyclone Imogen who fizzled out to sea. No leaks from new windows, however 1 drip, drip issue from the mast that the skippers solving (& one wet night where 14 hatches were left open overnight - my fault!).
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