Another week tied to the dock in Coomera

Friday afternoon the riggers were on board and took away the worm drive furling mechanism for the main sail. Here they are trying to remove it and the space left behind. It looks very strange with just a hole in the mast. Oh yes and Richard had to check it all out but we managed to keep him away from the winches and the sail flaking.

Saturday morning we had a lazy start and had just got our laundry packed up and ready to go to use the facilities when Steve and Jody turned up on their bikes (they are now on anchor out in the river somewhere). We had collected a parcel for them from the office on Friday afternoon so they had come to pick it up. We had a nice few hours chatting and catching up before they left us to it. By now the desire to do laundry had waned LOL so we had a lazy afternoon / evening on board just reading and chilling.

Sunday morning we took ourselves off to the laundry facilities after breakfast. Of course, this is the most popular day to do laundry in the boatyard so we had to wait our turn for machines. And it really annoys me when people don’t bother to come back to empty them when they have finished their cycle. These ‘smart’ machines actually tell you how long they are going to take, so it’s not rocket science. Rant over…..

Eventually we managed to get the washing on and, as the place was pretty quiet, we took up residence in the cruisers’ lounge. We don’t often go in there as it is too small to allow for proper social distancing but as nobody else was around it wasn’t a problem. Woo hoo! This meant we could use the Boatworks internet rather than our own mobile SIM data package (which is what we use onboard) so we made the most of it and managed to download a couple of our favourite TV programmes to the iPad to watch later.

Finally the laundry was finished and we returned to Morphie, stowed it all away, and had a evening in front of the laptop (having worked out how to mirror the iPad to the larger computer screen). Linking the bluetooth stereo with the laptop means we also have surround sound. Thankfully the evenings here are quite cool as we head towards winter so it is really comfy and cozy down below.

Sunday we had decided was a day of rest so we just chilled and read books, ate heathily, and went for a few walks. Richard has definitely picked up the pace now so he’s going off on his own most of the time two or three times a day. But we do occasionally walk the docks together to chat to people we know.

Monday morning and I had a courtesy car booked.

Richard was waiting on calls from Rene (about the fridge) and Iain (about the rigging) so I headed off to the mall on my own. The roads are so familiar around here now I don’t even need to use a sat nav. First stop on my list was to an Australian bank. Over the weekend I had been googling the requirements to open a local bank account. This is the only way to get refunds paid from Medicare for medical expenses that we have incurred prior to our registration number being issued. I had found one in the local Westfield mall that would consider us even though we are non-residents. So, armed with lots of ID paperwork, I waited in line. The woman in charge of the information desk was surprised by my request, having never been asked by a non-resident before, but when I explained about Medicare only using local bank accounts she understood and got someone to help me. Within half an hour of entering the branch I came out with a new bank account, a debit card was on order, and I had all the details needed for Medicare to add this to my application. Really friendly, helpful and efficient service – thank you Commonwealth Bank.

I then headed into Woolworths (making a change from Coles supermarket as I was parked up that end of the mall) and picked up lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Back on board, I got everything stowed, and then sent off another email to Medicare giving them the new bank account details to add to our application. Was feeling pretty pleased with myself. We then had a quiet evening on board.

Tuesday morning and we heard from Rene that they were coming back on Wednesday. So I left Richard resting down below while I started on the stainless steel cleaning. I managed to finish the starboard side before calling it a day in the hot sun. While I then chilled Richard did his daily walks and also visited some of the trades. After dinner we had a quiet evening watching another couple of episodes of the Peaky Blinders. Not quite addicted to this box set but each episode finishes on a cliff hanger so you end up binge watching just to find out what happens.

Wednesday morning and Rene was back with another of his guys. Look at this lovely new refrigerant plate before it gets bent into shape in the box. Rene was in the lazarette and the other guy was in the fridge as they took out the old equipment and reinstalled the new. The insulation foam had to be cut away in places to allow for the new installation but, once they had checked it all and re-gassed the system, they filled these in too. Take a look at the removed damaged old unit!!!

Really pleased that everything was working well, Richard took himself off for more walks while I got on with the stainless steel cleaning on the port side of the boat. Was really really hot….. We then had another quiet evening on board – not like there is really much choice in the current situation.

Thursday morning and I tried to get hold of Medicare on the phone. Richard has a GP visit next week and it is two weeks since I sent off the documentation (although I do recognise that Easter was in the mix). What I really wanted was confirmation that they had received all our documentation and that the process was ongoing and, to ask if possible, whether they could give me our Medicare number so that we could use this in the interim period before our cards are issued. Sadly they were unable to help me, so will just have to trust in the process and keep all things flexible crossed in the meantime.

So then, of course, the fridge decided to fall over! What?!? We called Rene and, luckily he was working nearby, so he came over pretty quickly. He did another complete check on the system and this time he found the high pressure “quick connect” fitting was now leaking. He quickly replaced this (without any further charge) and, again, all was working well. Great service.

After he had left we rinsed Morphie off as she was pretty dusty and then used the chamois to get off the excess water. I did actually let Richard help me with this so he did starboard while I did port. He is chomping at the bit to get back to work but he has another week before he is supposed to do anything although he remains a good dishwasher LOL. So that was it for the day apart from a couple of walks around the boatyard together and then back onboard for dinner and to watch another film before turning in.

Oh yes and we had an email from the British High Commission here in Canberra, Australia. They had asked all UK citizens in Australia to register and outline their future travel intentions. We had done this and explained that we intended to sit it out here as the risk of travelling home was significant (particularly after Richard’s heart attack) and that our visa did not officially expire until the 11 March 2021 (although we had hoped to return home before then). The UK government email explained about checking travel insurance; enrolling with Medicare for NHS reciprocal arrangements; availability of flights home being very volatile; and replacing expired visas. We had already worked through all this ourselves so the advice was a little late in the day but at least it confirmed we hadn’t missed anything we needed to consider. At least they know we are here….

This morning, Friday, and we are doing the laundry. We had hoped to use the lounge again but there are four ladies in there so that is that. So instead, we have found a nice bench tucked away which is in the shade and we are keeping cool whilst still able to use the lounge internet access.

We are still waiting on Iain re the rigging – he is in discussion with Sparcraft about replacement parts and availability – so that is ongoing and Richard has just gone off to see him in his workshop. Not sure when we’ll get this resolved but we weren’t going anywhere anyway right now. In fact, we have just extended our stay on the dock for another month so that takes us up to the end of May.

Stay safe every one and take care. Bye for now


Recuperating in Coomera

By Saturday morning the rain had passed through and we awoke to a lovely hot and sunny day. We had a lazy time just relaxing, reading, watching box sets and generally just chilling down below in the cool. During the day we did two 15 minute walks (flat surfaces only through the boat yard) so that Richard could start building up his strength.

He did really well and it was clear that he was bouncing back very fast. The hardest thing is going to be stopping him doing stuff because he feels so well right now…..

Sunday we had another lazy day with a couple of longer walks. And, of course, during the day the fridge decided to pack up. Was very strange – one minute it was working too hard (which we thought could be because the water here in the river is quite warm); then it went below the set temperature; and then the compressor fell over and wouldn’t restart. We tried to ‘force’ it on by mucking around with the set parameters but that didn’t work. So last option was to re-gas it – so Richard taught me how to do this with the pressure gauges etc – assuming a leak somewhere. This worked briefly as the compressor did come on but then fell over again and wouldn’t restart. The controller was working properly as it was ‘calling’ for cooling at the right time but it just wouldn’t play. We realised that we needed professional assistance so we sent an email to one of the on-site companies to see if they could help us.

Easter Monday and Richard had his first GP appointment since being released from hospital. Yes, the local medical centre here is open seven days a week, even on bank holidays, which is quite something. This was the original doctor who had called the ambulance the week before so we had decided to sign up with him as patients. We haven’t yet heard back from Medicare (not surprisingly really as all the documents were only emailed last Thursday) so we still have to pay for the GP visit which, actually, isn’t too bad at $60 (about £30) a go. But I’m hoping that Medicare will be sorted out soon, especially when they start re-doing his bloods and ECGs. The doctor was very pleased with Richard’s progress and to see him again – reviewing his discharge papers he kept telling him how lucky he was to survive. This is really just starting to sink in for both of us now. Dr Hassan was clearly pleased that he was going to be involved in monitoring Richard’s progress going forward. Next appointment was then fixed for two weeks time.

After the clinic we did a quick shop at Coles for some fresh provisions and then returned to Morphie. This little excursion had worn us both out so we rested up for the rest of the day before having a quiet evening watching some more episodes of the Peaky Blinders.

Tuesday morning and we were up early as I had to return the car keys to the office. Having returned the car we relaxed below waiting for the refrigeration guys to turn up. They investigated the electrical side of the whole system and said that was all good and beyond this, it was not really their speciality, so recommended Rene from a neighbouring marina who is the ‘best refrigeration guy around’. As they couldn’t help us they didn’t charge us for their time either….

So Richard called Rene directly and he agreed to come to us the following day. Richard then relaxed down below while I started tackling the cockpit. I cut and buffed the gel coat to remove the oxidisation so happily got to play with our new toy. There were also lots of fiddly bits that had to be done by hand too. Afterwards I sprayed it all down with water to remove the dust and then wiped it all clean. Phew!

Afterwards, while I was getting cleaned up, Richard went out for one of his daily walks. I wasn’t really happy with him going out on his own at this stage but he promised to be good and took his emergency spray with him, and I can’t keep him tied up down below forever LOL. I was anxious while he was out but he came back very happy to have done a longer walk and had picked up the pace without any ill effects. So all very positive stuff. Oh yes and he came back with a bit of teak that he needed for another job on the dinghy for when he is stronger……

Wednesday morning the specialist heart nurse (Imogen) called Richard for a telephone update. She also confirmed a follow up consultant’s appointment at the hospital for early May and discussed his progress to date. All is apparently going swimmingly and they may change his drug regime as he is tolerating it so well – but still very early days. About half an hour later we got another phone call, this time from Peter at the local heart clinic who are also going to monitor Richard going forward, so that was fixed for 13 May. We remain very grateful that we are here in Australia with this amazing medical service. Just hope that the Medicare registration comes through in time….fingers crossed!

Rene then came by and checked out the fridge compressor in the lazarette. He also monitored pressures and also thought we had a leak in the system somewhere. He had this whizzy nitrogen recorder which confirmed that all was well with the back end of the system. So I emptied the fridge out and he used it again inside the box – and it went absolutely crazy – confirming we had a leak in the actual refrigerator plates. Oh well, never mind at least the mystery is solved. So he ordered a new one and hopes to install it sometime next week. In the meantime he got the fridge up and running temporarily to tide us through. What great service!

Afterwards Richard then went out for a walk on his own again and I started to wax the cockpit now that we weren’t expecting any more trades on board. It was time to get the polisher out again and, as before, there were lots of areas that had to be done by hand. But was pretty happy with the end result. I called it a day later in the afternoon with just the binnacle and the cockpit sole to be finished off.

Thursday morning I waxed the binnacle and then worked on the cockpit sole – all done by lunchtime – phew! Don’t think Morphie has ever looked quite so shiny LOL. Richard headed off during the day on two longer walks on his own and talked to some more trades about some things he wants looked at whilst we are here. The main item is the rolling furling mainsail as the worm screw in the mast is a bit tight and stiff so it is not so easy to pull the sail in and out anymore. They are going to come and check it out on Friday. The rest of the day we relaxed and chilled.

This morning, Friday, for a change we turned right rather than left for our walk and admired our large neighbours that are in the new super yacht area of The Boatworks.

A huge yacht was hauled yesterday and you don’t realise the scale of it until you see the size of the 300 ton travel lift it was pulled out by. Check out the size of those wheels!

We also had a look at the newly-constructed VIP lounge which we don’t have access to but the cleaning ladies let us take a peek. Here is Richard pretending he is a VIP LOL.

It is really very nice – we particularly liked the scuba helmet and the ship’s bell – and the great views out of the glass walls….

We also took a look at the new marina ‘beach bar’ which is currently being landscaped – it is going to be really nice when it is finished. Apparently the next phase of this development is for waterside bars and restaurants – don’t think anyone will ever leave LOL.

When we got back to Morphie we checked on our supplies and realised that we had pretty much eaten our way through all the fresh fruit and there weren’t many vegetables left either. Luckily a courtesy car was available at noon, so I donned my chauffeur hat again (Richard is not allowed to drive yet) and took him back to Coles in the Westfield mall. We did a quick supermarket sweep – very few people around – and returned to the Boatworks.

We popped into Print Image on the way back to Morpheus only to find that they had completed our new logo – a little present for Morphie – and came straight round to put it on. Doesn’t she look smart?!?

No sooner had I returned the car, and then put the shopping away, the riggers came on board to check out the in-mast furler. Sail down and worm drive out….only to find that the bearings have gone. So they have taken that away to fix and hope to get that back early next week too.

Take care everyone – stay home and stay safe. Bye for now


Week of hell in Coomera

Friday, apart from doing the laundry, we had a lazy day reading and chilling. In the evening we had to fight a mosquito invasion – hadn’t really suffered much from them here before so was a bit strange – but thankfully we won the battle.

Saturday we went for a walk through the marina to the on-site cafe, Garage 25, for a take out coffee and sat at the bus stop shelter (there are no buses LOL) before returning to Morphie.

In the afternoon after a bacon and egg brunch, Richard decided to start tackling the cockpit. He scrubbed it vigorously with boat wash and was using the chamois cloth to wipe off the residual water when he had a sharp pain in his chest which felt like he had pulled a muscle. So I finished off and we had a long evening and night of him feeling under the weather, but really all the symptoms appeared muscular combined with severe indigestion / reflux, as sucking Gaviscon tablets helped.

Sunday morning Richard said that the pain had eased slightly after having taken some anti-inflammatory tablets but was still persistent. So we had a lazy day but in the evening it worsened again – not helped by his struggle to get any sleep as it hurt to lay flat so he ended up sitting up all night again.

Monday morning we made a doctors appointment and got a courtesy car from the marina to go there. When we arrived, they decided to do an ECG just to make sure everything was OK before considering other reasons for his discomfort.

The ECG was not good and the doctor said that it looked like Richard had actually had a heart attack, although obviously he was not a specialist. As non-essential hospital appointments are being scaled back in Australia due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the GP decided the most efficient way forward was for him to be transported to the Gold Coast University Hospital in Southport so he could get into the system. So the ambulance was called….and then the nightmare really began. The paramedics said that he was actually still having a heart attack – and had been for two days – and they gave him lots of medications as they whizzed us down the M1 motorway. In the meantime the Boatworks sent a couple of their guys out to collect the courtesy car from the mall’s car park.

We arrived at this extensive modern teaching hospital and were put straight into Resus 1 where the paramedics passed Richard over to the on-site staff.

He was quickly stripped off and gowned up and there were at least 12 doctors / nurses plugging him into multiple machines, taking measurements, taking blood, and monitoring all the outputs. They sent the results to the on-duty cardiologist and, suddenly, Richard is being whisked up to the theatre for an exploratory procedure.

Throughout all of this I was able to stay with him, but at this point I was sent to a waiting room, and the reality of what was happening hit home. Couldn’t fault the amazing Australian medical services nor the facilities of this five-year old hospital – have never seen anywhere quite so clean. We were concerned over Covid but they explained that those poor people are isolated elsewhere so we didn’t have to worry about contamination.

Thankfully after what felt like hours I was taken to the recovery room to reunite with a sedated Richard whilst they continued to monitor him – they had found a blocked artery and had inserted a stent there and then.

The lower-left ventricle heart muscle has also been damaged as it was ‘stunned’ by the lack of oxygenated blood for a period of time although it is possible that the functionality could improve over time and under treatment. The team worked hard doing constant ECG monitoring and scans. But Richard’s blood pressure and heart rate was all over the place. The machines were constantly sounding alarms and this was very scary – it was quite clear even to me that he was unstable. After an extended period in recovery they decided that he was OK to move to critical care. So I followed him on his journey along the corridor and he was taken into his own room. Richard remained pretty cheerful throughout the whole time and even managed to flirt with the nurses a bit. He was still being constantly monitored and it soon became clear I was in the way – I probably wasn’t supposed to be there anyway. So a nurse walked me off the premises – in a tearful daze – I really didn’t know where I was. Thankfully there was a huge line of taxis waiting and I was able to get back to Morphie for $50.

Back on board and the whole situation hit me really hard especially when I started contacting friends and family back in the UK – some by phone, others online. I also walked the docks to tell some friends who are on boats here in the marina. Then back to Morphie again for more calls, more internet, and lots and lots of tears. I was so scared and every time the phone rang I thought it was going to be the hospital bringing me bad news. I didn’t get much sleep for sure.

Tuesday morning, at 7am, I went to the marina office. Without any dramas they had booked the free courtesy car for me for the whole week through to the Tuesday after Easter. The manager of the site even came out and bought me a coffee from the on-site restaurant. He also explained how I was able to get out-of-hours support if I needed it from the Boatworks family and said that all I had to do was shout. Unbelievably supportive and they definitely live up to their reputation of being Australia’s Greatest Boatyard.

By 9am, google maps at the ready, I headed out in the car (very thankful they gave me an automatic rather than a manual) towards the hospital. On a good run it takes about 25 minutes but the roads were rammed – they couldn’t all be essential workers, could they??? Anyway, I managed to find the hospital and the car parking, grabbed a drink from the vendor in the main hospital reception and wandered aimlessly towards a lift block. The wards here do not have names just their location – so I was heading towards Floor 4, B block, North. Got a bit lost but eventually I made it to the ward, checked in with the nurses and was escorted to his room. It was a very emotional reunion and I quickly got told off for bawling everywhere as I was supposed to be there to support him!! Just so damn relieved. The doctors came on their rounds and they were very pleased with his progress. They explained that they would keep him in for a minimum of four days while they introduced him to a whole new drug regime. They also explained that he was in AF too. They confirmed that this was genetics rather than lifestyle so he could have had a heart attack at any time – thank god that we were locked down in a marina because of the Covid problem. The medics said that he was lucky to have survived and the horror of this happening underway or in a remote anchorage someplace doesn’t bear thinking about.

During my two hour visit (maximum allowed daily) we were visited by Justin who is a specialist heart nurse. He talked us through the problems, the symptoms, and the recommended changes we needed to make to keep Richard safe from other episodes. All very sobering stuff. Quickly my time was up so I drove back to Morphie – again surprised by the amount of traffic around. I visited the office to keep them updated and then walked the docks again to update our friends.

Back on board I did some research into Medicare here in Australia. The in-patient and future out-patient appointments are all covered free of charge as Australia has a reciprocal arrangement wth the UK. We are also entitled to sign up for Medicare to give us free access to GP services which is going to be required going forward. Although prescription medication, apparently, is charged at cost to everybody. So I rang them to see if I could make an appointment for Wednesday afternoon to be told you have to come in and do it in person. So I got the form printed off.

Another night on board but was delighted to speak to Richard in the evening to find that he had eaten and he was very happy with his three-course dinner service! In the evening, for an hour or so, I joined Steve and Jody – at an appropriate social distance of course – and it was nice to get off the boat for a little while. It is incredibly strange to be onboard Morphie without Richard – we are always together 24/7 and it just felt plain wrong. This was followed by another busy evening of messaging updates on his condition but sleep still remained elusive.

Wednesday morning, again at 7am, I headed into the office to update the office staff. Back on board I filled the 13 page form in and gathered all the original documents ready to take with me. They wanted quite a lot of information that I had to sort out. Armed with all this, plus the address of the local Southport Centrelink office, I drove back down the motorway to see Richard. The traffic had quietened a little – with lots of messages about essential travel only – but still more than I would have expected. The motorways aren’t too bad to navigate as at least they drive on the correct side of the road in Australia LOL. They also have roughly the same speed limit as us which is 110 kph / almost 70 mph.

I arrived to find Richard sitting up in a chair watching the TV. He was so much brighter I couldn’t believe it. They had got him up and about with a mobile monitoring device so he had been able to shower too. Here he is looking surprisingly well considering. After the photoshoot I got him to sign the documents.

The doctors were incredibly pleased with his progress and said he may even come home on Thursday – which is a day earlier than we thought was the earliest release date. So we were pretty chuffed. Again Justin came by for another chat this time about support going forward. Basically Richard is going to be monitored very closely and has been allocated a specialist nurse practitioner who will be keeping in touch with him and his GP (when we have signed up with one) and monitoring his test results and tolerance for the drugs etc and also organising his out-patient check-ups. There is usually a rehab clinic to attend too but this is not operating at the moment due to the pandemic. The reality is that the medics have asked that we don’t move away from the Gold Coast for the next three months whilst he is closely monitored….and, as we are virtually in lock down here with non-essential boating prohibited, we weren’t going anywhere anytime soon anyway.

Leaving him again after my allocated two hours I headed off in the car to find this Centrelink / Medicare office. I found a free public car park and watched the queue up the street. Great…. I joined the queue (suitably masked up) and had to keep moving to maintain my position in the line but also to keep away from the damn people who clearly had no regard for the social distancing practices put in place. After an hour I made it into the office itself and then to the check-in desk – only to be told that they no longer do enrolments here and I have to send the documents in via email. Great, what a waste of time. The experience was certainly an education and people watching never gets more interesting than that!

Back to the boatyard, I did my now customary dock walk and visited the office ladies to give them some chocolates as a small token of my appreciation for their help and support. Then I started the process of collating pdfs of documents in readiness for the submission. And, of course, at that point my scanner packed up! Really…..I only had two more documents to do……sigh…. So that was the end of that for the evening so again another evening of messaging and keeping people informed. Another lonely and pretty sleepless night on board followed as I was by now feeling increasingly anxious about everything.

Thursday morning, again at 7am I’m back to the office, to get these last two documents scanned. They did it on the spot – amazing service or what?!? – and back to Morphie to get them all sent off. Phew, job done, and then back in the car down to the hospital. I did my usual two hour visit but Richard was still unsure of whether he would be released or not as the doctors were late doing their rounds. By this time he had been moved into a two-man room as his original one was needed for someone who was in a very bad way. That’s when you start counting your blessings!

So I left as usual and asked him to call me. When I left him this time I headed straight to Coles supermarket in the Westfield Mall (which we have found to be the better stocked supermarket locally). And, being the day before a long holiday weekend, with numbers being restricted inside the store, I had to queue for a long time to actually get inside. I was after some new essential ingredients to help Richard with his new diet plus lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. The weird thing was that the seafood stuff was all gone – so no hope of getting some fresh prawns and salmon then?!? Also eggs seem to be the latest things to be in short supply but there was lots of toilet paper instead LOL.

When I got back to the car I had missed a call from the hospital. So I rang back and it took me quite a while to get through to Richard – not great for my stress levels! But it was very good news and he confirmed that he was coming home and I should return at 4pm. So I rushed back to Morphie, unloaded the shopping and did a quick clean up job in readiness for his return. Then I headed off down the Pacific Highway towards the motorway as I wanted to pop into the rug shop. I know that this was non-essential (was actually surprised they were still open) but if we are going to be sitting on the dock for a long while we really need the saloon to feel more homely. Richard had given me permission to choose it on my own LOL. Anyway, job done, I headed to the hospital for the second visit of the day.

I arrived in good time and Richard was sitting in his chair, watching TV, all packed up and ready to go. The pharmacist was with him going through all his drugs and the regime he needed to follow and what each of them did. We still had to wait around for the discharge papers which are usually posted to your doctor – but, of course, we don’t have one yet – so we waited and waited. Realising that time was getting on I headed down to the hospital pharmacy to get the prescriptions made up in preparation for our departure. We got one month’s supply of eight different drugs for a total cost of $127 (as we elected for generic rather than branded ones) which didn’t seem that bad actually.

I headed back to the ward and he was still sitting there… I chased up the documents. I really didn’t want to drive back in the dark if I could avoid it. Anyway, finally, I was able to take him home. On arrival back we slowly walked around and visited three boats (at a social distance of course) to show them that he was well and then had a quiet evening on board whilst he phoned around his family after a very healthy dinner. We both slept pretty well.

At this juncture, I just want to praise the Australian healthcare system for being so amazing – fantastically prompt, efficient, professional, no-nonsense service. I’m not sure the outcome would have been such a good one if this had happened back in the UK right now with the current emergency situation. Grateful to be here in Australia and on the Gold Coast which has a relatively low number of Covid cases to date.

This rainy morning, Good Friday, and Richard is resting and reading in the saloon (with the new navy rug that he is not keen on, typical!). We’ll go out for a short dock walk later but don’t plan anything strenuous for him for the next two to three weeks as he builds his stamina. Guess the boat jobs will fall to me soon and expect to be tackling them going forward under direct supervision – not sure that will be fun LOL.

Happy Easter everybody. Take care, stay safe, stay home and to let you know we are thinking of you. Plus a huge thank you to everybody who have been phoning me; messaging me; and emailing me with supportive messages throughout this difficult time. You were all awesome!

Bye for now


Tied to a dock in Coomera…

Friday morning it was cloudy and windy with rain in the air. During the morning showers we took the chance to sort out down below so that finally all manner of things were tidied away. With two headsails; the liferaft; grab bag; and other miscellaneous items relocated to the aft cabin (our ‘garage’) the saloon looked much better. Sadly we no longer have rugs on the floor though as the backing deteriorated on the old ones so we dumped them before we left Morphie in December. The intention was to purchase new ones for the saloon but guess they are not ‘essential supplies’ right now. Having cleared the space so that we could actually see the floor we then did a bit of a spring clean.

In the afternoon we ‘spot’ cleaned the topsides to eliminate some dirty and rusty marks and then thoroughly scrubbed the topsides with boatwash and Morphie looked much better.

We finished this just before the afternoon showers and, of course, once the rain had cleared the annoying biting midges came out to play. So we retreated down below for a quiet evening in front of a great box set.

Saturday morning neither of us felt very motivated by our list of boat jobs so we decided to have a lazy weekend. We sat in the cockpit and watched the traffic – rocking side to side or nodding vigorously as every vessel passed us and watched the mayhem that is an Australian leisure weekend up the river LOL. Jetskis were going around at top speed so they were pretty annoying like bees constantly buzzing and seemed to particularly love doing 360s in front of the piers. Then there were two motorboats that came in under tow – one had sunk (OMG!!) whilst the other had engine problems. And then there were the fishermen trolling and the small tinny boats taking families out for a day in the sun with some big boys from the marina going out to play too. Was absolutely mad although we enjoyed our leisure activity of people watching. After sundowners in the cockpit we headed down below for some peace and quiet which was just as well as the heavens opened and there was heavy rain throughout the night. Here’s the view from our stern…

Sunday morning we had another lazy day ahead of us. Here’s the view from our bow…

Richard decided to treat me to breakfast so headed to the Galley for a take-away. I caught him on camera on his return as he was modelling one of our newly-designed rash shirts and very smart he looked too. Thank you Laura (

We felt guilty taking another day off so actually did do a few bits and pieces and cleaned up the stainless on the topsides. The stanchions and outer rails will wait for another day – they are definitely on the long list of jobs we have compiled. The recreational madness continued and was quite fun to watch so long as you hung on tightly as you rocked and rolled LOL. Clearly the Queenslanders do not consider social distancing measures need to be adhered to when it comes down to leisure and boating activities at the weekends. There were even boats having BBQs plus a few social get togethers ashore.

Monday morning we had another courtesy car so quickly headed to the nearest Coles for some fresh produce. Social distancing measures had strengthened over the weekend and we were relieved that we managed to do a fresh fruit and vegetable run with very little interaction. The staff even disinfected the trolley before we used it and were disinfecting self-service tills after each customer. Many shops in the mall had now ‘temporarily closed’ so it was clear that the economic impact of the virus was just starting to bite – and, like many other countries, the Australian government had taken measures to secure employment by offering payments to employers to enable them to maintain their workforce whilst we are living in this strange new world.

Back on board we scrubbed all the non-skid areas on the topsides and washed them off. Then we applied Woody Wax and, once it had air dried, we washed off the residue. This process brings these areas back nicely and doesn’t leave them slippery so pretty happy with this product.

In the evening we just lazed around, read books and caught up online. What made sad reading are the numbers of UK nationals who are stuck here in Australia with little or no practical official help. Our Government have sent rescue flights to people that are in some remote areas, eg Peru. However limited commercial flights are continuing to fly home to the UK so the official advice is just to book one of these. But the prices are absolutely ridiculous – from £1500 for a single economy ticket and we have seen some more than double that. Most travellers have lost their original flights (nor have received any refunds yet) and, with additional living costs, many of them are up against it financially. I recognise that people, especially in stressful situations, have very high (and to be fair often unrealistic) expectations of what governments can achieve but all the UK really need to do is to subsidise the costs of the commercial flights through an arrangement direct with the airlines so that people could actually afford them and get home. It’s really not rocket science. Rant over! Just very grateful that we are not in that situation.

Tuesday we started on the topsides with restorer wax which removed blemishes and deoxidisation and she came up really well.

Took us a while with all the fiddly bits on the coachroof and it was the first time we had used the new polisher but we were pretty happy with the result. But, of course, the process leaves dust everywhere so we had to finish off our day with rinsing down and drying off by hand. Phew was a pretty hard day particularly in the heat and fierce sun.So we ended up with another early night and consequently slept very well. The nights here are quite cool so it’s quite pleasant with just a sheet covering us.

Wednesday morning we were working on the bits that we couldn’t do with the polisher and cut and polished those by hand. At this point Jody and Steve turned up on Enavigo. They anchored in the river and came ashore – they had some spares they wanted to get plus their outboard needed attention. We maintained social distancing and chatted to them from our cockpit whilst they were on the dock. It felt very strange and was sad that we couldn’t catch up properly over a glass of wine. Oh well, never mind….. Anyway, it was nice to see them for a while.

During the day the Queensland Covid-19 restrictions tightened. National parks and areas of natural beauty (including their shorelines) were closed and no recreational boating was allowed. The exceptions were fishing for food and for exercise reasons like stand-up paddleboarding. And it was apparent to us that this meant no sailing from anchorage to anchorage. Various liveaboards online were saying they should be treated differently and that this didn’t make any sense for them but, to us, it was very clear. A liveaboard means your boat is your home – the message is ‘stay home’ – and only go out for essential supplies / medical appointments etc and exercise social distancing whilst out and about. The arguments continue but have little merit. Our view is that they should find a safe anchorage (or pay to go into a marina) and stay there other than for essential reasons. Some people could come unstuck as large fines are being threatened by the water police.

This morning, Thursday, and we got up early and waxed and polished the topsides. We managed to get it finished by noon before the heat of the day. Morphie is definitely enjoying this love and attention. Doesn’t she look pretty! So we are just relaxing now and tomorrow will be another day of boat jobs in isolation.

We would like to remind all our family and friends to take care of themselves. We love you, miss you, so please stay safe. Bye for now