Boat jobs in The Boatworks (final week)

Friday afternoon (7th May) Richard had his telephone consultation with the hospital consultant. They confirmed that not much had changed and, although there remained some damage to his heart muscle, he was doing well and was able to tolerate the drug regime. And, the best news of all, was that they don’t want to see him again for another year! Woo hoo, we can go sailing, finally….

Later in the evening we headed to the works yard and was treated to a beautiful red sky en route. We had sundowners with Ernest and other tired cruisers taking time out from working on their boats. Was a nice social evening.

Saturday morning, I headed out to get the car cleaned while Richard stayed behind and the new genoa tracks were installed. So another job off the list.

We then drove off at noon (in two cars) heading towards Manly pick up Steve and Jo. The roads were absolutely rammed and we crawled in traffic much of the way north. When we got there, sadly, Jo was feeling poorly after having her first Covid jab so we headed out to lunch with Steve at the Moreton Bay Trailer Boat Club. This place has a great Fijian Indian chef so we couldn’t not have the curry of the day LOL.

We dropped off Steve and Jo’s car and thanked them again for their kindness in lending it to us. We are both sailing north in the coming weeks so we hope to catch up with them in a few anchorages along the way. Having said our sad farewells we then returned to the Boatworks in the courtesy car we had borrowed for the weekend.

Sunday morning and I was up and out early to do some shopping while Richard stayed behind to give the boat a good tidy up down below. We then got ourselves ready to receive guests – Andrew and Lynne from SV Mischief – who are on the dock behind us. We had a fun evening and it felt really good to have a social weekend again after all the hard work of the last couple of weeks.

Monday morning and boat jobs started again. I used a compound to ‘cut’ the gelcoat on the topsides and used the polishing machine to get the best finish. Phew was pretty hard work in the heat of the day. Richard stayed below and washed down the gelcoat with water and vinegar to stop any mould from forming. He then moved on to oiling all the teak cabinetry and finished off with the hoovering.

Afterwards we got ourselves cleaned up and while Richard was off having a shower I relaxed on one of the sofas only to get splattered in bird poop through the open cabin hatch. How the hell this damn bird sitting on top of the mast could get it through the hole without hitting the boom is beyond me LOL. So my idea of relaxing went out of the window as I had to clean it all up before Richard got back. After that was done I headed up top and the bird was back – I could have sworn he was laughing at me – so I shook the rigging to get him to leave and he did, but only after sending another large deposit onto the deck. So more cleaning to do……sigh….

Later on we headed over to see how Ernest was getting on with his jobs and he had now antifouled his boat Crossbones and she was looking very smart with her new name decal too.

Tuesday it was time to wax and polish the topsides so we both worked together doing that. Afterwards Richard started to put the boat back together – lots of little jobs like putting the boards back on the rail in readiness for the fuel cans to be reinstalled; running the lines back to the cockpit; putting the blocks onto the new genoa track etc. I kept busy washing down the two dodgers and the ‘infill’ sunbrella canvas from our bimini on the dock. Once they were scrubbed and dried I started to re-waterproof them but ran out of products half way through. Never mind, we managed to get a last-minute courtesy car overnight, so headed out to buy some more and also did some provisioning while we were out. Oh yes and during the day we chased down to the gelcoat man yet again as he still hadn’t finished the job on the stern, although, thankfully it is watertight. Not impressed at all! Back on board we had an early night.

Wednesday morning and I was a bit sad because it had been three years since I had lost Mum. Really can’t believe that she has been gone for so long and I still miss her so much everyday. I carry a photo of her in my purse so I had a little chat and sent her a kiss. Love you Mum.

We then spent a few hours in the cruisers’ lounge downloading some more Netflix content making the most of the time whilst the laundry is going around in the tub. All done we returned to Morphie and Richard got on with more jobs like reinstalling the lifebuoy on the rail and ‘burped’ the dripless stuffing gland which means letting water run through it to avoid any air locks. This is a simple job but, of course, not in an easy location being buried in the bilges beneath the aft cabin berth so the ‘garage’ had to be emptied to give access to the locker.

Finally getting to the end of our lists so we had sundowners again with Ernest and other cruisers in the works yard and was treated to a huge thunderstorm so we all ended up sheltering in an old shipping container LOL. Thankfully the storm circled us rather than a direct hit on the river so we didn’t get any hailstones this time. All very dramatic though…

Thursday we concentrated on the sofa cushions and took them all into the cockpit where we cleaned them (with a new product we had found), then finished off with some leather wax and then buffed them. They certainly look a whole lot better for getting some care and attention. And that was it for the day.

Friday we started on the cockpit and cut, waxed and polished the gelcoat. The gelcoat man had still not turned up and Richard went out to see the guys to complain – well that didn’t work, so we decided to accept defeat. The damage isn’t bad, it is sealed, and we will need to get other gelcoat things done anyway at the next haul out. The driver of the boat that hit us – a salesman for one of the local powerboat companies – has been great throughout all this and was as fed up as us about it. As some compensation he gave us some company rash shirts…. The stupidity of the guy though was that he was working on another boat on the same dock. He very quickly did a runner when he realised we were still around and, if he had done the job well, we would probably have used him for more work in the future so talk about shooting himself in the foot. Marine “tradies” in Australia often have a poor reputation and this is the first personal example we have had. Most people have been great! Oh well, never mind.

At 4pm we picked up the courtesy car and headed out to Tim’s house to see how he was doing after his recent spinal surgery. He was walking surprisingly well and we shared a nice bottle of wine while we caught up. Oh yes and the kookaburra was waiting to be fed outside on the deck so I had another close encounter. They are just so beautiful and, despite their huge beaks, they are very gentle too.

We picked up a takeaway on the way home and had a quiet night in.

Saturday morning and we were up early and headed to the doctors. As we are now leaving the area we wanted to get prescriptions for our medication and also to find out how we go about this down the road. He is happy for us to do phone consultations and can send us future prescriptions via email so we are good to go!

We popped into the chemist to get a month’s supply and then did a huge supermarket provisioning run. We got back to the boat and I started unpacking the first trolley load while Richard returned to the car for the rest….well, he came back and we put everything away. Then I asked him for the car keys. And, guess what, he couldn’t find them!!! So we retraced his steps and even ended up diving in the big bins to check they had not been thrown out with the packaging rubbish. Nope…can’t find them…and, of course, because this is a courtesy car they actually had the registration printed on the tag so this makes the car vulnerable to being stolen. But we had to ‘park’ the angst as we had Tim and Naoko coming over to see the boat in the afternoon. So we prepared some food and invited them on board. We were a bit concerned about Tim climbing on and off but he managed it well and we gave him the helm seat to sit on for more stability. We had a lovely afternoon in the cockpit, in the sun enjoying being on the water with friends….

After they had left we went through all the food cupboards and did some more searching but, alas, no keys. Damn! But at least the security gates are locked at 6pm so we know the car is safe overnight. Richard has been to the security guys; the works guys; and the Galley to see if they have been handed in but no. Really don’t know where they could be….

This morning, Sunday, and I’m blogging while Richard has stripped the bed and is doing more laundry. We were both relieved to see the car still in the car park this morning. We are definitely leaving on Monday and heading north so very excited about the possibility of going sailing again, although of course the immediate forecast isn’t perfect but we are not on a schedule so who cares…. I had wanted to pop out this morning to get some last minute things – particularly some fresh fish from the trawlers and a propane refill – but having a locked car with no keys has stopped that although we have loads of food on board so definitely won’t starve LOL.

This afternoon we have a reservation in The Galley as Sandra and Nigel are coming over for lunch so we can see them again before we depart. So looking forward to another social event. Morphie is looking absolutely beautiful and it is definitely worth all the hard work, especially when we have been receiving compliments all week from the tradies working on neighbouring boats. Feel like very proud parents right now!

Well, things at home seem to have changed a bit with the highly infectious Indian Covid variant being introduced. Really don’t know why the Government didn’t ‘red list’ India sooner to avoid the inevitable transmission with returning travellers but guess we all have a PhD in hindsight in these situations. Hopefully it can be contained and more lockdowns can be avoided. Here in Australia things changed again with the announcement in the Budget that the international borders would definitely not reopen this year and maybe not until mid 2022. Although they are going to be letting boats in directly from New Zealand as part of the Tasman travel bubble this is not allowable the other way. So will we get home this year? Not sure is the honest answer…

Anyway, on a more cheery note, as you can have hugs at home again now, here is an Australian hug to make you smile.

Bye for now, Jan