Our week in Coomera

Saturday we did a few jobs and I finally finished the stainless steel cleaning. We also had a chat with Greg and Bev from SV Liberty as they were about to leave the marina. They were very supportive to me whilst Richard was incapacitated and had really looked out for both of us since. Hopefully we’ll see them at some point later in the season out on the hook.

During the afternoon Mark from SV French Curve came by to see us. He is currently located in the Gold Coast Marina next door with his mast down. He told us what had happened and, basically, without going into detail the relationship between him and the rigger had broken down. This was for a total re-rig of his boat and he had been in situ without a mast for months. The marina management had stepped in to mediate a way forward but, one of the future conditions, was that Mark and his wife Cheryl would not be present on board whilst the work was being completed. They were very fed up about this but need to get the job finished so they accepted the condition. As we are not doing much right now with Covid restrictions combined with Richard’s recuperation we agreed to ‘baby sit’ their boat and be their representatives whilst this was going on. Guess this could make the grade as another “international rescue” as they are from California…..

We had a quiet evening on board and watched another rubbish movie. Not sure what film the reviewers were watching but continue to be surprised at some of the official ‘ratings’. Never mind we have 2 GB of movies to get through, there must be a good one in their somewhere LOL.

Sunday morning we had a lazy start and come lunchtime we had a knock on the hull. It was Steve and Jo from SV Tamanu (fellow Island Packeteers) who had come into the marina a day earlier than planned. They are having problems with their engine turbo…. We said a quick hello and arranged to meet them for sundowners in the BBQ area later and had a nice socially distanced time catching up with Richard making do with coconut water as he has sworn off the booze right now. Steve and Jo had been great support to me whilst Richard was in hospital so it was nice for them to see Richard looking so well.

Monday morning we picked up our courtesy car from the marina and we drove to the doctors. Richard had his blood pressure tested, the GP listened to his heart and lungs and checked his ankles for swelling and declared his satisfaction with progress to date. Richard’s recovery is going so well it is hard to believe he has been ill at all. The GP is coordinating his recovery plan so we told them about other appointments that had already been made elsewhere. He also gave Richard a flu jab as we are heading into winter here in Australia and Richard is now in the ‘vulnerable’ category. We collected our printed prescriptions, paid our bill (yes still no Medicare) and headed off to Coles for the weekly shopping.

Back on board, car returned, we unpacked and put away all our fresh provisions. Currently there is a glut of huge fresh prawns around as the fishermen are unable to export them to the Far East because of the border closures. So we are supporting them by buying at least half a kilo each visit LOL. It is also advocado season so Richard is making the most of this superfood glut too. We met Steve and Jo for sundowners again and caught up on the events of the day.

Tuesday morning and we were picked up at 7.30 am and taken over to Mark’s boat. She sure looked strange without any mast or rigging. Mark and Cheryl vacated and then Jason (the rigger) came on board. We were a bit concerned that he would be difficult with us as we were there as Mark’s representatives but he was fine although did a lot of cussing and complaining whilst he was working.

During the day (which was a cloudy and gloomy one) Richard went for a walk and admired the amazingly sleek superyacht Dragonfly in the yard. This belongs to Sergey Brin of Google fame. What a beauty eh?!? Allegedly (and this is just a rumour which cannot be substantiated so don’t quote me) the yacht sailed through the massive pumice stone raft which was created last August by an underground volcanic explosion and floated from Tonga on the trades towards Australia. This scratched up the hull hence why it needed a new paint job.

We got back to the Boatworks late afternoon and had a quiet evening on board enjoying being back on Morphie.

Wednesday morning and Mark picked us up again very early. This was supposed to be the day that the mast was going to be stepped….but there was a problem with one of the new deck plates as the holes didn’t match and Jason had to make new holes to fix it in position. This delayed everything and, eventually, we were told that the mast would be stepped the following day. We were there until about 3pm anyway keeping an eye on progress until he called it a day.

On return to the Boatworks we headed over to see how Steve and Jo were getting on with their jobs and ended up staying for a while chatting. We also said farewell to SV Calagorm who were heading off to anchor out – we hope we see them again later this season too. Was a nice end to a long frustrating day…..

Thursday morning at 5.30 am we were picked up by Mark again. This was finally the day that the mast was being reinstalled. We got the boat ready to depart the slip and I walked the dock to the lift-out area and helped tie the boat up from above. So I watched all the action from this relative place of safety whilst Richard remained on board to check all was well and gave orders about the easing lines as the tide was still dropping.

By 9am the mast was in and secured. We motored back to the slip for the final fixings.

All tied up safely and Mark went off to collect Steve and Jody (SV Enavigo) to help with the remainder of the work as we had to leave to head down to Southport for blood tests. While he was gone we continued to watch progress on the final fittings.

They arrived, we handed over the baton, and Mark took us back to the Boatworks. We got ourselves cleaned up and changed, picked up the courtesy car, and then drove south. We had a bit of trouble getting the tests done for free under the reciprocal NHS arrangements and without a Medicare number as the GP had filled in a ‘private’ form rather than a public one. But we had Richard’s unique in-patient number so that sufficed and we were able to get this done eventually. We also got our prescriptions filled at the hospital on-site pharmacy and, because Richard was in the system, they were able to give them to us at NHS prices which was a result.

We drove back to Morpheus – the roads were pretty busy as more businesses are re-opening – and gave Mark a call to check on progress. They had been able to do most things, everything had been tensioned, and all the sails were reinstated. Around 4pm Mark picked us up and we headed over and the six of us had a nice dinner on their boat. Was a good end to a very stressful period for Mark and Cheryl so we were glad to have been able to help them out.

This morning, Friday, and we are (alone) in the cruisers lounge again whilst the laundry is going around in the tub. Later on we have a car booked as we had a consultant cardiologist appointment at the hospital but this is now going to be done by phone instead as they are trying to reduce the footfall through the hospital during the Covid pandemic. A bit of a shame as Richard was hoping for a repeat ECG / cardiogram to see how things were progressing but guess this will have to wait until we have the appointment at the heart clinic on 13 May. But this week, as well as the GP visit, he has had a chat with his specialist heart nurse plus the pharmacist to check his progress. He is being so well looked after, we just need that damn Medicare number!

This coming weekend is a Bank Holiday in Australia (Monday is Labour Day) and we have a car booked for the whole time which is great. The Covid restrictions have been eased a little (there have been no new cases in Queensland for the last two days) and we are allowed to go out providing we stay within a 50km distance of our ‘home address’. Well, around here, that includes both the beach and the mountains so we are going to enjoy just going for a drive. If there are too many people around we’ll stay in the car but hopefully we’ll be able to just relax on a bench somewhere taking in the breeze and a different view. Such simple pleasures but we are really looking forward to it!

So we have lots of sympathy for our UK family and friends who remain in total lockdown mode and hope that at some stage they will be able to enjoy life’s simple pleasures too. Stay safe everyone and take care.

Bye for now