A life changing decision

Friday and Saturday were pretty lazy days with a bit of cleaning and laundry thrown in followed by quiet nights on board catching up on some Netflix content. We did, however, have dinner out one night and enjoyed a fabulous sunset along the way too.

Sunday we had a leisurely start before heading over late afternoon to Sandra and Nigel’s for a typical English roast dinner. Great food, fab company and even a lovely little parakeet on the tree watching us chatting on the balcony. Was absolutely lovely.

Monday morning we packed a bag and headed north to Hemmant to visit with Ed and Yvonne (SV Steelee). Wow, what an amazing home – so close to Brisbane but in the middle of the country. Huge outside deck overlooking beautiful countryside and paddocks. Yvonne put on a great grazing spread lunch for us and we just chatted and caught up. Was so lovely to see them again.

Later on we rested up before enjoying the most amazing BBQ dinner on the deck under a full moon. We even got presents….completely unexpected….to remind us of Australia when we got home. Such amazing generosity.

Tuesday morning we had a great breakfast – OMG not going to eat again for at least a week LOL – before saying our sad farewells. It had been such an amazing visit. We drove back to Morphie and just rested up the rest of the day.

Wednesday we had another leisurely day before meeting up with Ernest and Eddie in the evening and had a farewell dinner at the local Thai. Lovely food and great fun!

Thursday morning and we headed to the Boatworks to sign some documents in front of a Justice of the Peace. What?!? Why?!? OK so it is now time for the big reveal. You might have noticed from recent blogs, as well as lots and lots of socialising, we have spent quite a lot of time just relaxing. Well, actually, in reality we have been mega busy because we had – after many months of soul searching – put Morpheus up for sale. We had imported her into the country (paying import duty and GST to the Australian Government) so she could legally stay here indefinitely. This process resulted in a document called ‘Authority to Deal’ which is a customs declaration that confirms we have permission to sell the boat in Australia so we had decided to test the market.

So the next question is why? Well, we have owned Morphie since she came brand new out of the factory in 2008 and started cruising in 2012 crossing oceans, experiencing lots of unique destinations and cultures having made it half way around the world. We have had amazing experiences and don’t regret any of it. However, Richard’s heart attack in 2020 gave us both a shock and, to be honest, we simply don’t want to head offshore to third world countries where medical assistance in another emergency would not be readily available. Richard is absolutely fine and has recovered amazingly well but these random curve balls do make you think.

Of course the global Covid pandemic has left us “trapped” in Australia for over two years now. We have absolutely loved our time here and recognise that we were very lucky to have avoided the significant lockdowns at home or, like some of our friends, ended up being locked out of the country with our boat abandoned overseas. Looking forward, even though international borders have reopened, there remains significant challenges in continuing with a cruising lifestyle. And, of course, on top of that my hip is causing some mobility issues. To leave Morphie here in Australia in storage is not inexpensive with large monthly bills and we would probably be gone for almost 12 months while I get fixed up. So, decision made, we decided to test the market because going home unencumbered was definitely a relatively attractive proposition.

Boat brokers are pretty expensive here in Australia – 7.7% of value being the norm – so we decided to try to sell the boat ourselves although we did actually engage a broker to do the legals plus supply the escrow account which gave confidence to any potential purchaser that we wouldn’t do a runner with their deposit. We wrote an advert, cleared the contents of the boat to a local lockup, tidied up and took photos. We then published the advert and received some initial calls…. We had a couple of viewers – one hippy ‘influencer’ couple followed by a serious contender. However, he was talked out of it by his wife as they had just had grandchildren and she wanted to spend time with them…. And then it went quiet. We decided to reduce the price to stimulate some interest and this worked – Island Packets are not particularly well known here in Australian and are expensive when compared to what else is available on the market. Discerning sailors will know why but the newbies don’t… So we expected a bit of uphill struggle.

But, unlike many international sellers, we weren’t desperate to sell and, if it didn’t work out, we were very happy to keep Morpheus. Anyway, long story short, we advertised on the 5 February, we got a serious offer and banked a 10% deposit. We did a sea trial followed by a survey which Morphie passed with flying colours…. And, this week, on Thursday 21 April the sale went through. OMG can’t quite believe it. It has been incredibly emotional to say goodbye but we also know that the new owners will love her and cherish her going forward.

So we have temporarily moved in to Sandra and Nigel’s apartment here on Hope Island. Friday was a manic day of clearing out all our belongings and I admit to being very emotional most of the day. But, we broke into our day by continuing to socialise and had a very tasty lunch out on Friday with Lester and Helen (SV Joule). Afterwards we returned to Morphie and said our very sad and emotional goodbyes before heading to Sandra and Nigels where I admit we probably drank way too much!

Saturday we headed over to Morphie and met with the new owners again and did a final handover. And here they are looking very excited and happy with their purchase. This time I managed to walk away without too many tears….

Saturday night we headed out to George’s Paragon restaurant in Sanctuary Cove for dinner. Fantastic food – as always – and a great fun evening despite the problems with getting taxis to and from LOL.

Anyway, we are going to stay in the area for a few more days before we then start heading south to New South Wales to visit with my nephew and his family again. And, of course, there is also our touring holiday to Tasmania too which we are really looking forward to. So yes we are coming home and we are coming home for good! We need to get ourselves fixed up and then we can plan the next adventures! It will be a huge difference for us and we know we will definitely miss our cruising lifestyle but we are really excited to be going home, moving back into our house and, last but not least, catching up with all our family and friends.

Bye for now


Another social week in Queensland

Tuesday (5 April) we had a lazy day on board before being joined by Lester and Helen for the “buy one get one free” burger night combined with musical bingo at the Blue Water Grill and Bar. It’s a bit of a naff concept but surprisingly it was a lot of fun. Sadly no prizes won LOL.

Wednesday morning we had a bit of a tidy up followed by coffee out in the local cafe here in Hope Island before doing a bit of shopping and returning to Morphie. And that was about it for the day with a quiet night on board catching up with some Netflix content.

Thursday I did a bit more shopping (and cooking) and around 5pm we welcomed Helen and Lester (SV Joule) and Clive and Anne (SV Ishara) on board for sundowners. Thankfully the rain held off and we had a nice time sitting in the cockpit chatting.

Friday morning I headed out really early to the local hairdressers for a cut and colour – what a treat having been mostly colouring my hair myself during our travels – while Richard started clearing out cupboards in his usual ‘love it or launch it’ routine. Thankfully he didn’t actually physically throw anything out until I got back as he wanted to check and, yes just for once, I agreed with all his suggestions. Must be getting soft in my old age LOL.

During the afternoon we popped over to see Ernest on SV Crossbones just to check he was OK – he had been a bit poorly after his recent trip to New South Wales – and were pleased to find him on good form. Not wanting to risk anything infectious we stayed on the dock while he chatted to us from his boat cockpit. Whilst we were there, surprisingly, along came a nosy dolphin to give us all a boost. Didn’t expect to see one this far up the river so was a really nice treat but, sadly, no photos to show for it!

Saturday morning we did more general tidying up and the heavens opened yet again.

Thankfully, by the afternoon, it had cleared up a bit and Sandra and Nigel came onboard. Was a bit chilly so we sat down below and toasted Nigel’s birthday before heading out to dinner – was another lovely evening full of laughs and perhaps a bit of wine LOL. Here is the birthday boy looking very happy with himself before he tucked into his large plate of ribs!

Sunday wasn’t a very nice day so we just lazed around doing a bit of admin work on board.

Monday morning we spent a few hours just clearing and doing the laundry up until around noon when Lester came by to give us a lift to the nearby car rental place here on Hope Island. Yay, we have wheels again! We picked up our hire car – a relatively new Hyundai Elantra – and headed out to the mall for a bit of shopping stopping off at The Galley in The Boatworks for a coffee on the way. Was nice to catch up with David and the gang again…..

Tuesday we packed up a small overnight bag, said our farewells to Morphie, and took a drive north to Manly where we checked into the Manly Cove Marina Motel for the night. Wasn’t anything special but we thoroughly enjoyed the air conditioning, the TV followed by a leisurely soak in the bath. Oh what bliss!!!

Later on we headed across to the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron for drinks and dinner with Tom and Diane (SV Avalon) and we had a fun time catching up. Couldn’t believe how fast the evening went, actually!

After a really good nights sleep in a huge comfy bed that didn’t move we enjoyed great showers before heading off again – this time to Raby Bay – where we met Steve (SV Tamanu) plus Andrew and Lynne (SV Mischief) for breakfast in a cafe sitting overlooking Raby Bay marina. Was great to catch up with everyone again and the food was lovely too which is always a bonus!

If you are wondering, we are on a bit of a ‘see you later’ tour as we have decided, now that the borders have reopened, to do a bit of sightseeing in Australia before going home early June (just in time for summer) so we are not sure when our paths will cross again.

After saying our farewells, we then drove slowly back towards the Gold Coast where we popped in to see Tim (SV NavyDayz) for a cuppa and to see how he was getting on with his project – he is restoring an old sunken steel yacht and hopes to take veterans with PTSD out sailing at some point in the future. Well, rain and some further medical issues, have delayed progress but it was good to catch up with Tim and his son Thomas again.

Heading back towards the marina later in the evening, I didn’t feel like cooking so we headed to the Hope Island Marketplace to check out their food offerings. We came across the Canton Road Chinese kitchen and decided to give it a try so got a take away. We returned to Morphie – now in the pouring rain – and enjoyed what was probably the best Chinese we had eaten in Australia. Really good, yum!!

This morning, Thursday, the rain has stopped and the air temperature is much cooler so we are just planning a relaxing day on board to recover from the last few days of socialising.

Before leaving Australia, along with some other small trips, we have also just booked a self-drive car tour to Tasmania in May so really looking forward to that.

So our plans are just to continue being social and seeing as many people as we can before returning home. We have been very lucky to have met such wonderful, kind people who have looked out for us whilst we have been Covid pandemic refugees. But, that said, we are also very excited about seeing all our family and friends again having been in Australia for over two years now.

So continuing the Australian cutie theme, thought that for this blog I should share some baby Tasmanian devils to give you a glimpse of what we’ll be seeing in the flesh very soon (fingers crossed).

Bye for now,


Another week in Hope Island Marina

Wednesday evening (30 March) we headed out to dinner with Ernest at Blue Water Bar and Grill having enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the marina first. The guys both chose a pasta dish each and enjoyed them but I did catch the envious glances at my steak and guinness pie dinner LOL. Was a fun evening.

Thursday we dropped dink into the river and reinstated the outboard. Then we headed up the river to The Boatworks where we had a couple of things to pick up at the chandlery and made the most of our time there by also popping by to see Maryanne and Kyle on SV Begonia plus Lynne and Andrew on SV Mischief. Both these couples were heading back out soon so it may be the last we see of them for a while – it was really good to catch up. As we returned to Morphie we enjoyed checking out the luxurious properties on the waterfront as we slowly motored through the canal network. Of course, completely forgot to take photos of our reunions so you’ll have to make do with photos of their boats!

We then returned to Morphie for a quiet afternoon / evening on board watching the thunderstorms build all around us. Thankfully they were not too close but the rain came down with a vengeance.

And, of course, it didn’t stop raining all night or all day Friday either. So we just stayed on board keeping dry, relaxing, reading and watching movies….

Saturday morning it was still cloudy but at least the rain had stopped. We did some laundry and a bit of shopping before Lester and Helen came by to take us out. We ended up in Coolangatta having a fish and chip lunch which was a nice treat. We then returned for a quiet night back onboard.

Sunday it was cloudy and rainy again so we had a lazy morning. By about 3pm we were feeling a bit stir crazy so we headed to the Blue Water Bar and Grill to listen to the live music. The guy’s taste in music wasn’t ours particularly with a definite leaning towards country (which is very popular here in Australia). But we enjoyed the few hours off the boat before returning for another night down below out of the rain.

Monday it was pouring down, again, sigh….. Richard headed out with Lester to get some more screws (just to add to the hundreds we already have on board LOL) plus some petrol. I stayed on board and listened to the biblical rain lashing the coach roof. Come on, give us a break, this is getting really tedious…. In the afternoon we had organised sundowners with SV Ishara but, sadly, weather cancelled those plans! So another night on board and, for the first time in a while, it was quite chilly so we ended up snuggled up in our joggers…

Tuesday it continued to rain…the marina water levels rose rapidly until it then flooded across the pathways…and houses opposite us had water lapping up their garden steps. There was a lot of debris in the water too from flooding further up the river system. So we just hunkered down again.

Wednesday was more of the same with lots of rain and terrible scenes of flooding in both Queensland and New South Wales. Sadly it also hit many of the same communities as previously and there was, once again, loss of life. Our hearts went out to everyone affected.

Thursday we dried out a bit and headed off to the ‘Bowlo’ (the Paradise Point Bowling Club) with Helen and Lester for a few hours. We were treated to a spectacular sunset as we parked up and headed inside for our roast dinner – the weekly roast offering is such good value we can’t turn down this invitation LOL (although it was beef and pork night).

Friday I did the laundry whilst Richard spot cleaned and waxed the topsides where they had got dirty in the rain. Walking up the pathway we were both shocked by how much debris there was in the river and the marina certainly had their work cut out. We did a bit of a clean up and spring clean before relaxing for a quiet night in.

Saturday morning and it was a lovely day so we made the most of it and headed out for a little sail up and down the river system. Was good to get back out there even if only for a few hours although we could have done without the required emergency anchoring procedure when, for some reason, the engine conked out! This meant anchoring in the channel so we ended up being subjected to huge wakes and wash from motorboats who deliberately came too close – certainly made life a bit uncomfortable for a while. Not sure what exactly happened as the fuel filter was completely clean and the power supply was fine so probably down to a bit of dirt in the fuel – but we managed to restart quite quickly and get back underway, enjoying a downwind run back as the wind direction had switched to a northerly.

Sunday we had a lazy day on board before heading out in the evening for a lovely Thai meal sitting on the rail overlooking the marina as the sun went down. Was a bit naughty but very nice!

Today Monday I’m blogging whilst Richard is pottering around doing some small boat jobs – like starting and checking the generator; fixing one of the gas struts in the freezer; cleaning out the shower sump pump etc. There is rain in the air again…sigh…so that will probably be it for the day.

So that wraps this blog up – life is quite relaxed here in the marina and we are enjoying access to the facilities although do miss the serenity of being at anchor in an isolated anchorage. But with land access we get the opportunity to socialise, so making the most of it right now! Today to sign off I share with you the fairy penguin, the cutest and smallest of the 17 penguin species who grow up to 41cm and weigh in up to 1kg. They are found in Tasmania and gives you a hint of another Australian adventure we might be considering before we come home….


Bye for now