Boat repairs in Bundaberg

Monday (7 June) having finished the blog, we chilled out and just waited for emails to come in with the quote for the work plus an acknowledgement from our insurance company of receipt of the documentation. We then had a quiet evening on board catching up with Netflix.

Tuesday we headed out in the Marina’s courtesy bus and got dropped off at Bobby’s car hire and picked up our car for the day. We proceeded into the town centre and stopped first at Coles and Liquorland to do a provisioning run before returning to Morphie where we stowed everything away.

Then we went out again to the large central shopping mall. Bundaberg centre is around 30 minutes drive from here through farm land which is quite flat and it is harvest time for the sugar and sweet potatoes if the activity in the fields is anything to go by.

The town centre seemed a bit depressed with lots of closing down sales and boarded up shops so I guess the lack of international students, backpackers and tourists has hit this area quite hard. We picked up a few things and I managed to get my hair cut before we headed back to the marina via the scenic route, including Burnett Heads, which hadn’t changed much since our last visit in October 2019.

Back at the marina we were relieved to hear that the insurance company had received all our documentation and were covering all the damages (minus our excess of course). The quote from the stainless fabricator came in under our excess so that’s down to us but at least our insurance company are going to deal directly with the third party claims so we don’t have to get involved, which was great news! So despite the nightmare of getting the documentation to them in the first place they have been very responsive.

Wednesday we were up early and headed out and did our customary run to Bunnings before returning the car. Was a wet, windy and stormy sort of day. Check out this sky.

We were lucky when we returned our hire car as another couple were picking up a car and were returning straight to the marina so we got a lift back. Back at the marina we headed over to the workshop to find that a lot of our work had been done and they had even fabricated replacement connectors to match the undamaged side as these original (US-manufactured ones) are not available in Australia. Very happy with the work so far….

We then took ourselves off to sit at the benches near the office (which is where the best marina internet is to be found) but it was so cold we gave up pretty quickly and returned to Morphie admiring the cormorant who had made himself at home on top of our neighbour’s mast. Guess it is a good vantage point to spot those pesky fish! We then had a movie night tucked up down below with blankets as the temperature continues to plummet.

Thursday we got busy on some other minor jobs while we waited to hear from the engineering shop. So I took the rugs off the boat and scrubbed them clean, then dried and hoovered them on the dock. Richard re-bedded the screws on the hoyt boom; fixed the zip on the canvas that had been damaged; got a top up of diesel; and soldered the new cockpit light wires that had been snapped in the collision so got them working again. Woo hoo!

I continued on a bit of a clean up and washed all the floors down below. We then left Morphie and checked in on the engineering company – they were coming by later to polish out (as best they could) the damaged arch rail and the rest will be ready for installation on Friday. So we confirmed with the office that we will now be leaving here on Saturday if all goes well.

We tried to download some more Netflix content but, again, got driven back to the boat by the cold so gave it up as a bad job. We were both hungry so got some fish and chips again to bring back as they are just so delicious they just can’t be ignored.

Later on, as promised, Trevor came by and worked hard on polishing out the damage on the 2-inch arch rail. The only way to “fix” this rail would be to remove the whole structure; remove all the wiring that goes inside it to our solar panels, AIS, GPS, satellite communications etc; and then to get the damaged piece cut, a new piece welded in, and the whole structure reinstalled. This would probably mean living on the hard for a couple of months and would still not be perfect so we had decided that Morphie will live instead with a ‘battle wound’. Anyway, here is the ‘before’ picture followed by the ‘after’ pictures – we were amazed at how good Trevor got it to look actually.

We then had another quiet night on board and checked out the latest on the weather to see that snow had fallen heavily in some parts of New South Wales. Some of the locals had never actually seen snow before so this was quite an exciting event for them LOL. Because it was so cold we added some more blankets to our bed before we had an early night.

This morning, Friday, and Richard went over to the engineering shop to collect our steel which was now finished and to pay the bill. He then came back and we worked hard to put it all together and, yay, we are all fixed and ready to go back out there! It had been a stressful week but we were very pleased with the work that had been done and the speed in which they fitted us in. So kudos to Trevor and his team at All Quality Engineering – thank you so much! Here are some before and after shots.

After we had done the initial install of the steel I headed into Burnett Heads to have a facial as a bit of a treat. Richard stayed behind and got on with reinstalling the canvas, the cockpit lights and then moved onto engine checks; a water top up. He also did the final bits of laundry. So here is a final picture of the cockpit ready to go once more.

We had a few more jobs to do today which we have just finished – we have planned our passage for tomorrow; we have taken the outboard off the dinghy and onto the rail. So once this blog is published we are ready to go

Tonight we are going into Burnett Heads for a celebratory dinner at the Lighthouse Hotel Tavern and then we’ll be having an early night in preparation for our departure tomorrow. Hoping to see some big red kangaroos too on the walk….fingers crossed.

Wow, what a week! So very glad to be putting this behind us and we are both looking forward to more adventures in new destinations in the weeks to come. When we leave tomorrow we’ll be off line while we visit Lady Elliott Island (followed by Lady Musgrave Island) so don’t be worried as we will not be able to get a signal out there, although we will have our satellite communications of course to check weather etc.

If you want to find out where we are check out our live tracker on the ‘Where are we now’ page of this blog. After that the itinerary is a bit flexible at this stage, as so much depends upon the weather conditions. We are very excited to be heading out to island anchorages and even hope to go snorkelling, although I think we might need to wear our wetsuits LOL. Take care everybody and we will be in touch as soon as we get back online. Hopefully the restrictions will continue to ease and you’ll be able to get back to some sort of normality. Sending lots of love and hugs