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