Keeping busy in Coomera

Wednesday morning (1 July) Richard worked on the old stainless steel cabin lights that he had removed and replaced. Some needed fixing and they all needed a good polishing. They came up looking pretty nice.

While he was doing that I got a call from Medicare thanking me for the certified copies of our passports but they still need sight of our application form and visas. Well this was the straw that broke the camel’s back and I lost it a bit with the operator as I went through the whole sorry saga (again). She said that she’d investigate, would resolve the issues and then call me back. Putting the phone down Richard told me off and said that they would definitely not fix it for me now. I knew he was right but these people are so damn difficult to deal with! So I was very surprised, less than an hour later, when she rang back and had actually got it all sorted. A card had been issued to us, the expiry date had been extended to March 2021 (in line with our current visas) and she even supplied an ‘access code’ so that I could use their online service. OMG I think we have finally reached the end of this long and winding road…..

So while Richard continued working on the old saloon lights up in the cockpit, I used the access code to sign up online with Medicare and started the claims process for the medical bills we have paid to date. The website is slow and restrictive in terms of its upload limits so I had to do these pretty much one at a time so it took most of the afternoon. Finished that, so then I started on the prescription medication refunds system. Got all that completed and printed ready for posting (yes this bit couldn’t be done online). Had been a frustrating day but it felt good to make some progress.

Thursday I did the laundry after I had made posters for the various notice boards to see if anyone wanted to buy our old 12V lights. Richard headed out and wandered around the chandlery and found a black Hella 12V fan which we were told had been discontinued – so he came back very happy with his purchase as we had broken one over a year ago and had not wanted to replace it with a different type or colour.

Richard then got on with servicing all the winches in the cockpit while I cleaned all the ports on the starboard side and removed / serviced the ‘peek-a-boo’ blinds. And that was that for the day.

Friday, Richard finished servicing the winches on the mast (he’d done 10 in total) while I completed the ports on the port side. We finished working around the same time and decided to take the rest of the day (and weekend) off so headed to the Galley for a nice lunch.

At 4pm I headed to the office to collect our booked courtesy car and then drove to the doctors in Coomera Medical Centre. I am running low on my prescription medication so, now that it was possible to visit a doctor without paying per visit, the timing was good. The doctor thought my blood pressure was a bit high and was concerned over the length of time I had been taking some of the medication especially ‘at my age’ LOL. So he changed my medication around a bit to try and help me manage the pain better. He also ordered a full range of blood tests to make sure everything is working OK. Once he has the results he’ll consider whether I need blood pressure tablets too as most ‘older’ people need them. So nothing to worry about just the doctor doing a great job – it’s a shame we don’t get this service in the UK, or at least we don’t from our local GP. Trying to get blood tests done by him on a preventative basis is like getting blood from a stone!

Saturday morning we were going out for the day but, first, we headed to Garage 25 to see if anyone was still around from the early morning car meet. Was fun checking out all these cars while we had a coffee.

Afterwards we headed to the beach at The Spit at the end of Seaworld Drive in Southport. We found a little spot and made ourselves comfortable. It was pleasant for a little while but the wind picked up and it got chilly so we literally crossed the road to the other more sheltered beach (Bum’s Bay). This was lovely until a few hours later we were descended upon by a large family group who seemed to want to sit very close so we decided to get out of there.

We drove into Southport and headed to the Marina Mirage and wandered the boardwalk there before taking a picnic table to eat our packed lunch.

Afterwards we headed to the Southport Yacht Club and had a lovely few hours relaxing in their waterfront bar. And very nice it was too.

Sunday morning we headed out to Paradise Point and made camp on the grass just above the beach. Lovely outlook and lots going on, including some kids trying to sail their dinghies in very light airs against a current. Was fun to watch and we enjoyed relaxing and having our picnic. About 3ish the wind picked up a bit and there was a chill in the air so we headed back to Morpheus having had another day of rest and relaxation. A smashing weekend.

Monday morning and we started early. Richard had a physiotherapist assessment at the heart clinic in Helensvale so I dropped him off first then headed to the nearest pathology collection centre in Oxenford to get my bloods taken. Mission accomplished

I then headed to Australia Post to post the prescription medication refund form and supporting documentation. Afterwards I headed to the Westfield at Helensvale to pick up some fresh fruit then headed back to the clinic to collect Richard. Richard had done amazingly well managing to walk 10% further than they would expect from a person recovering from a heart attack. This was on a measured six minute walk while they monitored his oxygen levels, heart rate and blood pressure. So he continues on a strong upwards trajectory.

We then came back to Morpheus and started to do some internet research for our next trip away. We had hoped to spend time with my family in New South Wales (now that the borders are confirmed to be opening on the 10 July) but sadly there wasn’t a whole week we could all get together as the family juggle busy jobs and child care during the school holidays. So we now plan to see them all in the next holidays in September / October instead (by which time we should be down in NSW on Morpheus anyway fingers crossed).

Right now we are not able to go sailing (as the medics have not given their approval) and as the boat jobs are almost finished we want to make the most of our time here in Australia as Covid restrictions continue to be eased (other than in the state of Victoria). We had thought about flying to Cairns and then returning, via a few stopovers along the way, on the Spirit of Queensland train or vice-versa. Neither of us fancied the driving option as the distances are huge. But we really couldn’t get everything to come together with dates / prices of accommodation / train / plane schedules etc despite spending many hours on it. Domestic flights and trains are subject to social distancing so there is much less capacity. Plus low demand levels have reduced services available. For those wondering, we did check that Richard is allowed to fly domestically and the answer is ‘yes’ so we are good to go – woo hoo!

In the end we decided to do something more straightforward instead and fly to the Whitsunday Coast airport from Brisbane. We are going on a new-to-us airline (Alliance) which has just started up in this region and is doing great introductory deals.

We also reserved an apartment in Airlie Beach on the coast. This area is the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands so there are lots of things to explore while we are there. We really want to go snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef for a start! So that’s all booked for the middle of next week so very excited.

This morning, Tuesday, and Richard is off to see the outboard guys again. We made the mistake of telling them we weren’t in a hurry to get this resolved so guess they took us at our word LOL. So time to put some pressure on, we definitely want it back secured to the rail before we go away again.

This afternoon we are back off down the M1 to the Gold Coast University Hospital as it is time for Richard to get his bloods checked again so will probably do a bit of shopping on the way back. Oh yes and we have started to receive some medical refunds into our Australian bank account from Medicare – who would have believed it?!?

So that’s it for now. Sending love as always to family and friends.