Friday morning, 7 January, we were up early and headed out to Bistro 19 for breakfast before picking up a few bits and pieces in the Sanctuary Cove Village IGA supermarket.
We then returned our access keys to the marina office and started to get Morphie ready to depart, including engine checks. The wind had picked up by now and was pretty feisty. Although we had changed a number of our lines to slips to make an easy departure from the berth we were being pushed hard off the dock towards the huge wooden yacht next to us. Hmmm… Richard felt that we needed assistance to do this manoeuvre safely so he walked the dock and found three guys chatting who readily agreed to come and assist. So they kept us close to the dock as we reversed out until we had cleared the piling and then we slipped away. Phew! It went really well, thankfully.
We headed up the river and visually checked out our allocated berth in The Boatworks. This was alongside within a huge catamaran pen so we thought that, although we were being blown off the dock, as there was no other boat in situ we could manage it with assistance. So the Boatworks guys – always so helpful and professional – came down and did a great job in the very strong gusty wind conditions and we got ourselves in and tied up. Phew, glad to be here, had been quite a morning so far LOL.
Oh yes, and of course, it was raining so we went for a wander around the pretty empty facility – trades don’t return from Christmas holidays until Monday 10 January – so not many boats around either. This is the works yard which is usually absolutely rammed with a waiting list for spaces. Check out the aerial shot I found online for a comparison.
So, for the first time ever, we had a choice of washing machines so did all our bedding and towels whilst we sat in the air-conditioned comfort of the cruisers lounge and utilised the excellent 5G wifi. Once the laundry was finished we headed back to the boat via the office and picked up our courtesy car for the weekend and had a quiet night in trying to stay cool in the very hot and steamy conditions. Made worse, in our cabin, by the dinghy being on the coach roof and the removal of one dorade – and we couldn’t even open the hatch.
Saturday morning we awoke to another rainy day. Oh well, never mind. We headed out early to the Westfield mall at Coomera and I went to the hairdressers whilst Richard had his appointment in SpecSavers. I also dropped our prescriptions off at the chemist who told me that Covid RAT tests were coming into the store at 2pm. I then went to SpecSavers to find Richard mulling over all the frames until he eventually managed to find one he liked so ordered two new pairs – one being prescription sunglasses.
Tasks completed we then headed to Coles for some shopping, picked up our medication, before returning to the Boatworks. We unpacked and stored our provisions before going into The Galley for a bite to eat – we were welcomed ‘home’ by the staff which was lovely, such great people!
We then headed back to the mall hoping to get our hands on some of those elusive RAT tests. Well, this was at 12.45 pm (the delivery was coming in at 2pm) and the queue was already quite long – in fact there were two queues snaking through the mall. This is the start of it….
Around 1.30 pm the police turned up, presumably in case there was trouble when the supplies ran out and people were frustrated at having queued for nothing! All we could do was keep all things flexible crossed. By the time we got to the front of our queue (around 2.15pm) there was only about 10 boxes left so we felt very grateful to have got our hands on a couple each (the maximum allowed). Phew job done but felt very tired and sore having stood around for so long. So back to the boat where we rested up for the rest of the day keeping out of the rain.
Sunday morning we were up early although were delighted that the rain had finally cleared and we saw the sun for the first time in quite a while. We got dink off the bow onto the dock, gave it a bit of a clean, then walked it down to the stern, splashed it into the river and hoisted it back up onto the davits. Having got the dink off the bow we reinstalled the dorade and put the canvas on the bow – yay, airflow restored to our cabin!
We then headed back to the cruisers lounge and did the remainder of our laundry (clothes this time) and spent some time sorting out SIM cards. The Nokia phone we purchased in Australia is failing, the battery doesn’t stay charged for any length of time at all and, as we are constantly using it as our internet hotspot on the boat plus QR code check-ins when out and about this has been a bit frustrating as we constantly have to carry a mobile power supply with us. So we swapped the SIM card out and installed it into my UK Samsung phone and then I worked my way through all the settings so that the Australian SIM was the only one being used for calls / mobile data etc etc. Fingers crossed that works out OK. But, of course, we then realised that the contacts hadn’t come over with the SIM card so we had lost all our useful numbers like marinas / trades etc etc. So swapped the SIMs back again and linked the phones together and transferred the data wirelessly. Then swapped them back again and, finally, job done! Phew….
It was getting late by now so we returned to the boat and had a couple of sundowners before dinner in the cockpit, although we were then inundated with critters, so had to take ourselves down below to avoid the biters! Another quiet Netflix night in.
Monday morning we were up early and washed the topsides down and dried them off. We then worked our way around the coach roof giving it a good clean with Grunt, one of our favourite products that we came across in New Zealand.
We were surprised just how dirty Morphie was because whenever we had access to fresh water we had washed her down. Anyway, she looked much better and even shiny when we had finished. And, of course, because we were working on the boat under a very fierce sun we had to wear flip flops as the deck was just too hot to stand on!
Job done we had leisurely showers before heading back to the air-conditioned cruisers lounge. This time we did Netflix downloads and I installed all the apps that we use in Australia onto the Samsung phone. We then returned to Morphie for a snack meal as we were both feeling just too tired to bother with anything else.
Tuesday morning and Happy Australian Birthday to me!
Richard said he would spoil me for the day but only if I finished waxing the topsides first LOL. So we started, made short work of it, and Morphie is definitely looking sparkling and lovely.
I then stayed in the cockpit as we had a mechanic coming on board to check out our engine as we had a couple of small issues which we would like some assistance in resolving. He was great and we think we are fixed, we just need to start the engine from cold first thing on Wednesday to find out! Fingers crossed….
Once the guy had gone I took myself off to the ensuites and had a leisurely shower whilst Richard carried on with a couple of jobs. When I got back I continued working on the phone and managed to get our Covid vaccination certificates loaded so we don’t need to carry physical ones with us anymore. Felt quite pleased with myself getting all this sorted out…..
Then I got a call from the office to say a parcel had arrived for me! Very excited I went and picked it up. It was a bit mangled to say the least but the fragile contents (nothing exciting really, just skin products) were thankfully intact. So what was my Christmas present to myself – having ordered this on Black Friday to get some freebies – turned into my birthday present instead. Woo hoo. Funnily enough I had only complained about the courier sitting on this parcel earlier in the morning – coincidence or what?!?
OK so now it was time to get tested for Covid. Neither of us had any symptoms but wanted to make sure we weren’t carriers for when we go and stay with my nephew and his family in New South Wales on Friday. So we read the instructions, sat down, completed the test and waited the allocated 15 minutes and were delighted (and a little relieved) to see negative results! Yay, the trip is on. Very excited now.
We got ourselves cleaned up, collected the courtesy car, and headed out to the Westfield mall again. As we pulled into the car park so did Ernest alongside us. Completely out of the blue – was lovely to see him – and we promised to be in touch once we returned from New South Wales. We then did a bit of shopping before stowing our goodies in the car and went into the Nahm Thai restaurant for a birthday dinner. I even had a few bubbles for a change. Was a lovely meal – they do the best beef massaman curry – and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Back to Morphie we both had a couple of pontoonies with Richard making up for his earlier abstinence as the designated driver. Had been a really lovely day and I just want to say thanks to all my family and friends who sent me electronic cards, emails, messengers and FaceBook greetings – made this old dear feel very special LOL!
Wednesday morning I started on the blog and we did a quick clean and tidy up in the cockpit and down below. Richard started the engine with fingers crossed and we were both really chuffed when it started up first time and all issues were resolved. Fantastic – what a result!
I then prepped the food as we were hosting sundowners for Lester and Helen (SV Joule, fellow Island Packeteers) which had been cancelled during our stormy week in Sanctuary Cove. Everything done we relaxed for a while before they arrived at 4pm. We had a lovely afternoon in the cockpit – was a lot of fun to catch up with them again.
This morning, Thursday, we were up early and picked up our courtesy car at 8am.
We then drove 25 minutes north on the M1 to Loganholme to pick up our hire car – an i30 this time.
All the paperwork completed I left Richard to drive onwards to Yatala whilst I returned the courtesy car to the Boatworks. Richard had finally found a company in Australia that would change the valves and recertify (for 10 years) our original USA LPG bottles. Absolutely great news as they are pretty unique (as they lay down on their sides when in use) and as Worthington had never exported these bottles to Australia we didn’t think we could realistically get this done. So he has left them there and we’ll pick them up on our return from New South Wales.
So the rest of the day is going to be spent packing and preparing the boat to be left alone. We have decided not to eat out during the eight hour drive as we want to stay away from people now that Covid is running rampant throughout NSW so I’m also going to prepare some food we can eat along the way. There are lots of ‘rest areas’ along the route where we can stop to eat and keep ourselves to ourselves. Very excited about our family reunion trip now that we are actually going!
So that’s it for the week and we got a few jobs ticked off the (ever expanding) list of boat jobs. The absolute best thing this week is that the sun has come out and the rain has stopped – everything feels so much better as a result. We hope that this finds you all safe and well at home and looking after each other. To wrap it up thought I’d return to my earlier signing off theme of Australian cuties – today it is the turn of the lovely wombat – which made me smile. Bye for now.