Our final week in Coomera (for now)

Sunday (6 September) it was very cloudy, chilly and the wind was howling. Pre-empting the long-awaited decision that Richard would finally be allowed to go sailing we made the most of our courtesy car and headed to the Westfield Mall where we stocked up with meat for the freezer. We also got another month’s worth of medication to store on board. Once back and everything was stowed we called it a day and relaxed down below getting used to heeling over again despite being tied to a dock LOL.

Monday we got out all our stores and did an inventory whilst creating a shopping list of dried / canned / frozen foods that we needed to purchase. The aim is to avoid doing large supply runs by dinghy! We also ran the engine to check everything was OK and then spent some time troubleshooting the wind generator. It is working fine (in that it is generating power) but the monitor is refusing to tell us exactly how much. We couldn’t resolve it so will need to do a bit more research. Richard had already checked all the wires / fuses etc to ensure it wasn’t something basic. Never mind, it’s not really a big issue. We then went to the office to book more courtesy cars for the next set of medical appointments and called it a day.

Tuesday morning Richard headed off to get his bloods taken. Then we went and did a big shop and got most of the things we needed. It took us a while once back on board to get all our supplies stowed and, afterwards, we just lazed around reading for the rest of the day.

Wednesday morning, very early, we got the staysail hoisted and furled as this was the first low wind day we had had for a while. This went very smoothly but the wind then picked up so we decided to leave the genoa for another day. Then we treated ourselves to breakfast out at the Galley and then got dink down onto the dock for a good scrub down. We then cleaned the tubes and polished them with a special UV protector. Afterwards we got the outboard off the rail and reinstalled it on the transom of dink and Richard took a little test spin up and down the river to check everything was working as it should after it’s stint in the repair shop.

Very happy we then hoisted dink back onto the davits so our tender is now ready to go. We usually stow the outboard on the rail when going to sea but as we plan to just meander around the river networks here for a while we don’t expect large following seas so it is safe for the outboard to stay fixed to dink.

Then it was time to head back to the doctors and, thankfully, the blood test results were good and the GP was happy for us to go sailing. Wow, our enforced stay in the marina had been quite a lengthy one so we were both a bit giddy and happy to finally be able to use Morpheus as a boat once again rather than a floating hotel room. I then talked to the doctor about my left hip which is giving me significant pain and restricting some mobility. He referred me to get a CT scan to identify the issue and, if the left hip is also impinged (as the right one was back in 2018 which necessitated surgery) he agreed that he would refer me onto the consultant’s waiting list. Finally we did a bit more shopping for the items that we couldn’t get the other day and returned to the boat. We spent the rest of the day looking at charts / guides / tides / weather forecasts and planning our escape!

Thursday morning very early we got the genoa hoisted and furled. It was flat calm with no wind at 6.30 in the morning so was worth getting out of bed to do! We then “unpickled” and flushed the watermaker. This piece of kit had been in storage mode for quite some time so we were delighted that it all worked well and we hadn’t sprung any leaks. Richard then installed new filters so we are able to make water again now once we have left the dock.

Early afternoon I headed out for my CT Scan. I had to go on my own as the facility only wanted patients (wearing masks) with no visitors. Not a problem. I turned up, filled in the paperwork and waited to be called. Right on time I went through and had my scan. It is hard to believe the speed in which these appointments can be booked online here in Australia – they are virtually on demand providing you have the referral paperwork. Just amazing.

By the time I returned to Richard and Morphie the skies were really grey and it was drizzly and miserable. So we just hibernated down below for the rest of the day.

Friday morning we awoke to another grey cloudy day having listened to the pouring rain on the coachroof most of the night. We were also heeling over again in the strong winds. We had planned to wash Morphie’s topsides but decided that this wasn’t a good day for it so we just chilled out onboard and relaxed all day.

Saturday morning and we had breakfast at the Galley before heading back to the doctors for my results.

And then we were thrown another curve ball. No, it wasn’t hip impingement it is severe osteoarthritis and basically I need a complete hip replacement as there is no cartilage left and is now bone on bone. The doctor then referred me to the hospital but wasn’t sure how long the waiting list would be for this surgery which is classified as non-urgent and elective. Our travel medical insurance does not cover private hospitals as we have access to the Australian version of the NHS through Medicare and the reciprocal country arrangements with the UK. Damn! Clearly the doctor was shocked with the terrible scan results and so were we. He then said that I would need to see the dietician as losing weight would help (yep knew that…) and also to see the physiotherapist for pain management. Hmm….not sure that is going to help having been down that road before…but have to go along with the process. The clinic nurse who then organised my care plan was very surprised that I was walking at all let alone moving around so well and still smiling!!! We left the doctor feeling quite deflated again particularly after the excitement of only a few days ago of Richard getting signed off. The follow up medical appointments for me were fixed for the week after next so we are still leaving the dock on Monday even if it is only for a week!

Leaving the doctors we headed straight down to Labrador on the coast to get some fresh fish from the Charis seafood market. Had a very successful shop coming away with some lovely mahi mahi, swordfish, mackerel and salmon fillets.

Later in the afternoon Richard took me to the pub so we had a pleasant few hours sitting on the boardwalk at the Hope Island Tavern. We discussed our options – Australian international borders remain closed so even if we were able to get a flight home (doubtful) we would be abandoning Morphie indefinitely with no return date in sight. So we decided that we’ll see what happens about the timing of the referral and take it from there….

Today, Sunday, we’ve been out shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables. All stowed I left Richard filling up the water tanks, cleaning the boat and reinstalling the fuel cans on the rail. I took up residence in the Cruisers’ Lounge doing the final bits of laundry whilst blogging. Back on board now and doesn’t she look lovely and clean, ready and raring to go. We just need to swap out the tatty Ensign and the boat job list is done!

So a bit excited about leaving, albeit for initially only a short period, and looking forward to exploring the local waterways by boat for the first time tomorrow. The weather forecast is nice and benign so that’s a good start! But we are not immune to the news from home and the rise in Covid cases again – stay safe folks and look after each other.

Bye for now