Boat life and cars in Coomera

Tuesday (18 August) I started catching up with the blogs and did the first part of our latest road trip in the morning whilst Richard ran the engine and flushed the bilges through. In the afternoon we headed out to get his blood tests done in Oxenford followed by a bit of shopping. It was pretty cloudy and quite a bit cooler than in Cairns so we definitely noticed the difference. Before we settled down below for the evening we did a quick check around and spotted that two boats had gone aground in the river nearby. Oops!

Wednesday I blogged again to bring us up-to-date and then it was just domestic chores like laundry and spring cleaning. Richard also did some shopping for parts eventually having to order them from the US as we weren’t able to source them in either Australia or New Zealand. Then we got a phone call from the doctor who asked Richard to come and see him. Luckily we managed to get a courtesy car for later in the afternoon so headed out to the Westfield Mall in Coomera. The GP noted that Richard’s platelets were low and he wanted to repeat the test in a week so that the latest information would be available prior to his heart clinic appointment the following week. By now it was pretty late so we stayed in the mall and had dinner at the Thai restaurant. Was a treat and absolutely fabulous food!

Thursday morning it was another early start as we headed down to Helensvale for Richard to attend the physiotherapy clinic at the local community health centre.

Dropping him off I then headed to the nearby Westfield mall to get our medication prescriptions filled. We are trying to get a good supply of medication on board so that we don’t find ourselves under pressure once we go sailing again – here in Australia the pharmacy will only give you one month’s supply per visit.

Mission accomplished I returned to pick Richard up and we were both delighted that they had signed him off as he had made such great progress. One major hurdle overcome – yay! When we got back to the boat it was blowing like stink so we just lazed around down below being buffeted and heeled over by the very strong winds. We eased the lines a couple of times to try to minimise the creaking. Definitely one of those days we were glad to be in a marina.

Friday morning we had breakfast at Garage 25 (the other cafe at the north of the boatyard) and also laundered some cushions while we have access to washing machines. As we were hoping to go sailing soon we started compiling our final boat job lists. Back on board Richard did a complete engine service including new oil and fuel filters etc. I spent the day in the cockpit online updating our Navionics charts (on both iPad and Raymarine chart plotter chip); activated a new SIM card for the Iridium Go! unit and got that all up and running (so the tracker facility is live again now on the blog which you access by following the ‘Where are we now’ button); and downloaded some routes etc. So quite a productive day and a few jobs ticked off the list.

Saturday morning there was a ‘Caffeine and Gasoline’ event at Garage 25 so we walked up there to check it out. Was the first meet since the introduction of the Covid restrictions in March and it was rammed with an interesting array of cars. There were so many that they spilled over into the boatyard (which they are not supposed to do) so the security guard was having a bit of a nightmare trying to corral them. We had coffee (plus pastries yum!) and enjoyed watching them come and go. They even laid on live music. Was great fun!

You might wonder why these petrolheads descend on Garage 25 here at The Boatworks. The Boatworks is owned and managed by Tony Longhurst who is a famous retired Australian racing driver and he has a collection of his own classic cars in a showroom behind the Garage 25 cafe. So the strong connection with a variety of car clubs here on the Gold Coast is not surprising.

On return to Morphie we did some research into various local anchorages and routes from the Beacon to Beacon pilot guide. After that we relaxed for the rest of the day.

Sunday I headed out to do more laundry while Richard finished up with the engine – swapping out the impeller and realigning the alternator. And that was it for the day.

Monday we had breakfast at the Galley then filled up our water tanks. We popped into the office to confirm all our forthcoming medical appointments and to check that we had courtesy cars booked for them all. In the afternoon I took Richard to the pathology lab again for a repeat blood test and then I went for a doctor’s appointment myself. While I was at the medical centre the hospital phoned to see if Richard could move his echocardiogram appointment from 8.30 to 7.30 on Tuesday morning. OK, no worries… Another quiet night on board.

Tuesday morning and very early we headed down the M1 to the Gold Coast University Hospital for Richard’s echocardiogram. All very efficient, running on time, and we were out of there by around 8.30 am.

We headed back to the Boatworks and had coffee and breakfast in Garage 25. Realising that we had actually booked the car until noon (just in case of delays) so I dropped Richard off and then headed back out to the mall to get a hair cut. Job done I returned the car and we had a lazy afternoon onboard. Later on Richard picked up another car so he could go to see the doctor to pick up his blood test results. I didn’t go with him this time electing instead to stay on board and cook dinner for his return.

Wednesday we had a leisurely start and picked up another car at noon to head down to Helensvale again for the heart clinic. This was the make or break appointment we had been waiting for as they would have access to Richard’s results from all the tests. The echocardiogram showed that Richard’s heart function had improved from 40% to 47% since his heart attack in April which is great news. His ECG was also showing a better rhythm and his blood pressure was good. The doctor, however, wanted to increase one of his tablets so we need to stay around for another couple of weeks while they check he can tolerate the new dosage and have further blood tests to ensure that there are no ill-effects. So very good news but a bit frustrating as we had hoped that we would be able to leave the marina next week. Never mind…..more time to get those jobs done I guess….

This morning (Thursday) Richard has headed off to Bunnings to try and get a new shower head for our solar shower while I’m bringing the blog up to date. So that’s about it for now and another week tied to a dock in the Boatworks looms. But there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are very grateful for the amazing medical service Richard has received here in Australia. He is feeling great and we just need to get those last bloods done and we can then head out into the river. The cyclone season is upon us soon (November to April) so we won’t be going too far north (and south is out of the question as the border with New South Wales remains closed). So we plan to just rock hop around and check out some places we’d like to see that we haven’t explored yet like the Tangalooma Wrecks anchorage which has great snorkelling apparently.

Stay safe everyone, take care. Bye for now