Boat jobs and more exploring in Queensland

Saturday afternoon (9 May) we managed to get the eyebrows and the edges of the capping rail rubbed down and varnished. We then had sundowners with Steve and Jo in the marina’s BBQ area before returning on board for an early night. We were lucky to get back just in time before heavy rain set in for the night.

Sunday morning and we sanded again, or tried to. The eyebrows were dry so I quickly varnished them again too. But the capping rail itself was much too damp and wouldn’t sand properly. So we called it a day and had a really lazy day and then stayed home alone.

Monday morning we sanded and varnished both the eyebrows and the capping rail. Woo hoo! At last we can see some progress…. In the afternoon we had sun downers and we cooked our dinner in the BBQ area of the Boatworks with Steve and Jo. And nobody came to join us the whole time we were there so that was a perfect end to a good day.

Tuesday morning we sanded and varnished both the eyebrows and the capping rail again. After that bit of exertion we rested up for a while. During the afternoon we were informed that Richard’s heart clinic appointment was deferred for a week – which was a disappointment. Oh well, never mind.

It was a difficult day for me emotionally as it was the second anniversary of losing Mum. Really can’t believe how quickly time has passed. I miss her so very much…..RIP Mum, love you.

Later on we headed over to SV Tamanu for dinner with Steve and Jo – definitely our last night together this time – and had a lovely meal. This was followed by a new dice game to us – and, of course, I lost again! So much for beginner’s luck LOL. We hope to see them again later this season once the restrictions are eased and we have the all clear from the medics to leave the dock and head north.

Wednesday morning, as rain was forecast, we got up really early and started sanding again. At around 8 am we waved goodbye to Steve and Jo as they headed out up the river. We will really miss them! The sky was very black and foreboding so we decided not to risk varnishing so called it a day and chilled out after finishing the sanding. Richard chased the trades up in the afternoon as we have a few outstanding jobs still to be completed – the Boatworks are still offering 50% off the hard stand / slips and this has generated a lot of work – so most of them are under significant work pressures at the minute. In the afternoon we had booked a car for the medical appointment so made the most of it and headed out to the shops for some further fresh provisions. And, of course, the promised rain failed to materialise….sigh…..

Thursday we were up at 7 am and varnished the rail and the eyebrows. At 10 am we had a courtesy UTE booked (Australian for an utility vehicle ie a truck) so we headed over to Richard’s favourite hardware store Bunnings to pick up some hard wood. We wanted to replace the wood we had been using to hold the cans to the rail (which were installed in 2015 and hadn’t worn well).

On top of that we some new stainless steel footman loops (or webbing straps as they are called here in Australia) from the chandlery. At 1pm, actually as forecast for a change, it poured with rain. Thankfully the varnish was dry and hard enough by then to withstand this onslaught – phew! We also received a bill from the Southport hospital for Richard’s blood tests….which we thought were free…but hey ho, it was only £30…so we paid immediately.

Later on we realised that the wood we had purchased was leaching colour onto the dock – so did a bit more research – to realise that this hard wood (Merbau) has a lot of tannin in, so we need to scrub down a few times. We really don’t want to risk staining the gelcoat so have decided to varnish these planks too before we install it all. Never mind, it’s not like we are going anywhere….

The rain continued heavily throughout the afternoon and we even heard thunder for a while but, thankfully, there was no lightning around. I also managed, finally after over an hour on hold, to get through to a real person on the Medicare telephone helpline – to only find out that we have not be processed yet and to call back in another week’s time. So damn frustrating…..but guess these are not usual times…..

Friday morning we sanded the eyewbrows and the outside rails. Then we varnished it all. This was the final (eighth) coat for the eyebrows and the last (third) for the edge of the rails….from here on we’ll be sanding and varnishing the whole capping rail. We still didn’t hear from the main sail worm drive guys – other than to confirm that the bearings were back from the machine shop – and will chase them down on Monday for a confirmed date of installation. We are really getting fed up with the banging from the foil inside the mast every time someone goes up or down the river and sets us rocking and rolling in our slip! But at least we have no live aboard neighbours right now.

Later on the solar man came to check out our solar panel installation. We are not getting as much input from these as we used to and thought it was worth getting them checked. Well, obviously, in the years since the original installation (two panels in 2008 and one additional panel in 2012) the technology has moved on considerably. So we have asked him to quote us for three new panels and a new controller and will see what they come up with on the price before we decide whether to go ahead and swap them out.

We then had another quiet night on board having picked up our small courtesy car for the weekend.

Saturday morning, after breakfast, we headed north first to Cleveland Point and had a walk around the area, admiring the lighthouse. The place was rammed because of the easing of the Covid restrictions and it seemed that everyone was out and about enjoying the great outdoors although everyone was keeping their distance.

Moving on we headed to Wellington Point where, at low tide, it is possible to walk across to King Island. We didn’t take the walk but lots of others were….. Was lovely to be off the boat and exploring local landmarks.

Heading back down the M1 motorway we came across a modern art installation which is a bit weird to be honest! Hope they don’t switch them on at night or the planes will be landing LOL.

As we had been a bit ‘naughty’ with our diet (chips and ice cream whilst we were out) we only had prawn salad for dinner back on board followed by another early night.

Sunday morning and we headed down towards Southport and parked in the Doug Jennings Park before walking around The Spit on the beach. Was lovely and we enjoyed watching the boat traffic although it was a bit manic for a while and not sure everyone knew the rules of the road LOL.

We then wandered out to the Gold Coast Seaway and watched a boat coming in. Looks really calm until you see the surf hitting the beach beyond the wall….

Moving on we headed north towards Labrador and made it just in time to see the wild pelicans being fed all the fish scraps from the cafe at Charis Seafood. Lots of people turned up and we struggled to find somewhere to park (which was a definite theme this weekend) but were glad we managed it in the end. Was a lot of fun to see so many pelicans up close.

We got back to Morphie just before the heavens opened again. The forecast for the next week is, of course, rainy as we are planning to varnish. But the forecasts we have found not to be totally accurate so we will take each day as it comes. We have lots of other jobs on the list to get on with anyway…..

Take care everyone, stay safe. Bye for now