Planning another road trip…

Wednesday (29 July) we tidied up down below and did some laundry. During the afternoon we received an email from our current marina saying that they would be willing to match the (introductory) Sanctuary Cove quote if we would like to stay here instead for the month of August. Wow, another very generous move by The Boatworks who have looked after us so well since we returned to Australia. Although Sanctuary Cove has its many attractions (largely restaurants and access to a hotel pool) the main issue there is transport. Here we can book courtesy cars in advance for Richard’s medical appointments (plus it is a working marina so we can liveaboard without any issues) so we made the decision to stay put.

Thursday and Richard reinstalled all the lines in preparation for us getting the sails on in due course. Apart from that it was pretty much a lazy day onboard.

Friday morning and we started tackling the companionway boards and a couple of internal drawer fronts. So we sanded them down on the dock and gave them their first coat of varnish.

During the day the news came in that, because of an increase in Covid cases in New South Wales they had closed the border to people from the Greater Sydney area. And, of course, this is where my nephew and his family live even though they have had very few cases in their district. Checking out the new rules in more detail it turns out that, although we could definitely enter New South Wales as non-Queenslanders we would be refused entry on return by boat or face 14 days compulsory quarantine in a hotel (at our cost) if returning by land assuming that we would be able to secure a border pass in the first place as the restrictions tighten. So sadly there goes another reunion opportunity. We will see them one day just not sure when right now….

Late afternoon we picked up our courtesy car for the weekend and did some shopping at the Westfield mall before having a quiet night on board.

Saturday morning, picnic made and packed, we headed to our favourite spot at Paradise Point and enjoyed a few hours just people watching and relaxing in the sunshine. We found a place out of the wind so it was a very pleasant way to spend the day.

On the way back we popped into Sanctuary Cove thinking we would have a drink in one of the wine bars there overlooking the water but, as they were preparing for dinner, they wouldn’t serve drinks only. A bit of a wasted trip so we returned to Morphie.

Sunday morning and back out to Paradise Point again. This was a busy day at the sailing club with lots of dinghies being raced by kids and adults alike. Was fun to watch. But the strangest picture of the day has to be the guy who was taking his own floating pontoon with him up the river LOL.

Having enjoyed our picnic lunch we headed back to Morphie via Hope Island. We came across the tavern on the boardwalk overlooking the marina and enjoyed a couple of drinks there and watched the sun go down. Afterwards we headed back for another quiet night in.

Monday we returned the car to the marina, rubbed down the boards and the drawers again, and then varnished them on the dock. We left them outside to dry and headed back down below and talked through our plans for August. We don’t have that many boat jobs left to do with the majority of them really scheduled for the final week we are tied to the dock. For example we need to get the genoa and staysail on; need to activate our Iridium Go! tracker; unpickle and test the watermaker; and renew our navigation subscriptions etc. Which gives us a couple of weeks of sitting here on the presumption that we get the all clear to go sailing in September after the plethora of hospital tests and appointments for Richard at the end of August. So we decided to book another road trip – this time heading to Cairns for five nights and then on up to Port Douglas for four nights. We don’t really plan to sail that far north so very excited about this.

Tuesday we sanded the drawer fronts and the companionway boards again followed up by another coat of varnish (using the rubbed effect Epifanes for the internal drawers as opposed to the high gloss version for the exterior wood). Morphie sits looking pretty on the dock patiently waiting for the day she can get out there again.

Oh yes and our Lewmar stainless steel anchor locks arrived in the post which we had almost forgotten about as they had only taken two and a half months to arrive from the USA! This is the final bit of the bow project so Richard quickly installed them and they have two purposes. One is to secure the anchor and the other is to stop the chain bouncing off the newly-installed black starboard strips (in a big sea) and damaging the wood. They do look a great addition.

Whilst he was doing this I got on with the laundry again. Returning to the boat and the drawer fronts were dried so I reinstalled the stainless knobs and put them back in place. Richard kept busy filling up the boat with water again before another quiet night on board watching more box sets.

This morning, Wednesday, and I’m blogging while Richard does a final sand down and varnish of the companionway boards. And that will probably be it for the day although I have a car this afternoon to pick up a few bits of shopping and to see the doctor (just for prescriptions nothing more). The rest of the week will probably be taken up with getting our suitcases out again and packing for another Queensland adventure.

Oh yes and the Covid restrictions have just toughened up with the border between Queensland and New South Wales being completely closed again from Saturday morning as the Premier here continues to respond quickly to outbreaks elsewhere in the country. The situation has certainly not been helped by a number of idiots who have been caught breaching the border restrictions which have then led to clusters of infection in Queensland.

Stay safe everybody and bye for now.