Leaving Boatworks for Sanctuary Cove

Saturday (6 March) we headed out early to go shopping for provisions and to get some prescriptions filled. We came back to Morphie, unpacked and stowed all our goodies, then I headed back out in the car to Westfield whilst Richard stayed on board fixing the shower sump pump (yes again!). I enjoyed my girlie time getting a manicure and pedicure and when I returned found everything was back in its place. We then had a couple of sundowners in the cockpit followed by a quiet night down below enjoying a Netflix binge.

Sunday morning we were heading out shopping again, this time for fresh fruits and vegetables. On the way we popped in to see Tim. We had met him on the dock at the Boatworks a few weeks ago and were inspired by his story. He is a veteran Australian Navy Diver with PTSD who has struggled with his mental health and has taken on a project to rebuild an old sunken steel boat which, eventually, can be used to take his fellow veterans out for some time on the water. As we had failed to sell our old anchor and it was just taking up space in our stern cabin (aka the ‘garage’) we decided to donate it to this great cause. Tim was delighted to receive it and both him and his wife made us really welcome with food and great coffee while we got to look around their beautiful home. Here is the official handover…

And here is what the anchor looked like after some loving care and attention from Tim.

Whilst there, as the highlight of the day, we were able to feed a friendly kookaburra by hand which was sitting on the screen to his pool. A really lovely way to spend the morning.

Afterwards we rushed off to do our final bits of shopping then back to the Boatworks for laundry duties and Netflix downloads whilst we had good internet. So that was about it for the day although I did come across another (smallish) suspicious critter in the showers that evening – this one I have since identified (I think) as a scorpion spider which is not considered poisonous to humans. Still didn’t enjoy sharing my bathroom with him!

Monday morning we did final boat / engine checks and then headed down to the river to Sanctuary Cove marina. Steve (of SV Tamanu) was waiting on the dock to help us with our lines and we were delighted to be next door to them in the marina. What are the chances of two British-registered Island Packets alongside each other in an Australian marina?!?

After we were secured, washed down, and hooked up to power etc we then checked into the marina office and picked up our security gate keys. We then went to a café for coffee and caught up with our favourite barista David. And, of course, by now it had been raining….

Later on in the afternoon we welcomed Steve and Jo onboard Morphie for sundowners. Had been a very long time since we had seen them so it was great to catch up.

Overnight we had heavy rain but thankfully come Tuesday morning it started to ease. We were up early and on the bus towards Southport. We arrived at the terminus about 50 minutes later and found the medical facility that we were going to have our visa medicals at, had a coffee, then waited in line. People were there for all sorts of medicals and visas, so it was quite interesting people watching. Eventually we were dealt with in terms of initial meeting / basic tests then it was an X-ray, followed by a meeting with a doctor. After a couple of hours, and $700 lighter, we left and made our way back to the bus terminus for our return trip to Sanctuary Cove.

Later on we headed over to Tamanu for sundowners on board which was fun especially as we watched the lightning flashing around us from the cockpit.

Wednesday morning we borrowed Steve and Jo’s car (which was very kind of them) and took off for the Boatworks as we had mail to collect. We also took the opportunity to pop into Bunnings as Richard wanted to buy a new tap for our heads. Back on board and the weather was really miserable and cloudy so we stayed put. We had received our National Police Certificates in the post so I scanned those in and uploaded them to the immigration website which also confirmed that our medicals had required no further attention. So everything done we are just waiting for the visas to be issued now but, at least, we remain legal on our bridging visas so we are not worried about this delay.

Later on we headed back over to Tamanu for a curry as Steve had been trying a new Indian restaurant recipe that he had found so we were (happily) the guinea pigs. I supplied the poppadums and naan bread which we had found in Woolworths that morning. The Madras was great – really enjoyed it – thanks Steve. We were chased out of the cockpit by torrential rain so took cover down in the saloon for a while – but, eventually, it was time for us to leave and the rain just would not stop so we had to make a dash for it and got soaked in the process!!! Never mind…..

Thursday it was another cloudy and rainy day so we just stayed on board. Richard swapped out the tap in the heads while I was his “gofer” getting tools as required…. Other than that we just relaxed on board and had a quiet night in.

Friday morning I was up early and headed to the lagoon pool at the Intercontinental Hotel for water aerobics. Steve and Jo have been going to these three times a week so thought I’d give it a go…. Richard could not be tempted as he wanted to swap out the faulty Balmar battery monitor and bluetooth gateway while I was off the boat and out of the way so he stayed behind to do that and Jo had an early on-line meeting (as she works from the boat) so it was just Steve and me. The instructor wasn’t great so I really didn’t know what I was supposed to do half of the time but I got through it. Afterwards Steve and I headed to the hotel spa pool to warm up as the lagoon pool was pretty chilly before returning to our respective boats.

Back on board and I’m blogging while Richard continues to fix his new instruments – of course it is not as simple as it would seem – so I’m keeping quiet in the corner while he rants away LOL. He has just finished and everything appears to be working as it should be so fingers crossed that they have ironed out all the bugs… Think that will be it for the day then, it is still cloudy and grey out there, so no pool time today. Fingers crossed for a real break in the weather tomorrow.

So that’s it for now folks. Things appear to be improving at home although some concern over whether there will be another spike now that the kids are back at school. So fingers crossed that the easing of restrictions continues as proposed. But we do recognise that you are all still living in lockdown whilst we live an almost normal life so here are more Australian cuties to make you smile. These two are a Tasmanian pademelon mother and baby – they are small herbivore marsupials, that breed abundantly and are preyed upon by Tasmanian devils and quolls.