Week 3 on the hard at The Boatworks, Coomera

Wednesday (16 February) after the riggers had left, Lester and Helen came by for a coffee so that gave us a welcome break and it was nice to see them. Richard then rubbed down the antifoul – as it is ablative paint there was a constant stream of blue-tinged water running everywhere – so whilst he was busy I was armed with the fire hose to move all the excess water towards the drains as we didn’t want to leave a mess on the new concrete floor. Later on, when I had finished the blog and Richard had prepped the hull, we washed the mainsail so that it had the night to dry off.

Thursday morning we were both up really early and applied Sailcote to the main (which makes it slide easier inside the furling mechanism). The rigger came by (at 7 am) and helped us reinstate the sail – but the furling mechanism was very tight and stiff – not good at all! So we pulled the sail out and did it again and checked that all the vertical battens were going in straight into the mast and, yes they were. Puzzled by this, especially having just had the whole mast serviced whilst the rigging was being replaced (and having serviced the sail ourselves), we spoke to the rigger who said that when the boat was back floating and the final rigging tensions had been set properly (we have the specifications to hand) then he was confident it would be fine. We weren’t sure whether this was true but having done some further research on the worm drive furling mechanism, we have found that this could well be the case. So we’ll have to wait until we’ve splashed to get this sorted out. Sigh….

Richard then started applying primer to the most worn spots on the antifoul whilst I got on with sanding down and applying the first coat of varnish to some interior cupboards / drawers / external fuel jug boards that needed some attention.

After a break to let the primer dry Richard then continued to work hard and managed to apply the first coat of antifoul to the whole boat. Phew!

In the evening Ernest came over for dinner with us (in the liveaboard BBQ area), so was nice to catch up with him again. The cruisers had organised a movie night in this area so we started watching – the new James Bond – but none of us were that enamoured so we left and returned to Morphie so that we could chat. Was a really nice evening.

Friday morning I sanded down and applied the second coat of varnish to the cupboards and drawers while Richard applied the second coat of antifoul.

Once the varnish was dry I put the locks back on etc and reinstated these on Morphie. I then started on our cabin floor – there were three planks of wood where the varnish had been damaged by a bug spray – so I taped up, sanded them down and then gave them a coat of varnish. By the time I had finished Richard had almost completed the antifoul.

So we got ourselves cleaned up, collected our courtesy UTE at 4pm, and headed over to Hope Island to see Sandra and Nigel. At this point the thunderstorms were rolling in so we were grateful that Morphie was parked next to a huge catamaran on the hard LOL.

Sandra and Nigel had kindly offered to let us stay over at their apartment whilst we were doing the interior varnishing so we didn’t have to sleep down below with the varnish fumes. We got ourselves settled in, had a few glasses of wine on the balcony before then retiring indoors for our dinner escaping from the torrential rain. Was a really nice evening and we had great fun – in fact it turned into a bit of a late night, not turning in until the early hours of Saturday morning! Outrageous behaviour LOL.

Saturday morning we headed back to Morphie after a leisurely start. I sanded down the floor again along with some other interior surfaces and then applied the varnish. Whilst I was doing this Richard was working on the refrigeration and earth plates under the hull in preparation for splashing on Monday.

Job done we then packed up and headed back early to Hope Island – we had planned to spend some time in the pool. Sadly the rain continued sporadically throughout the day so that wasn’t such an attractive option but, never mind, we had another lovely dinner and evening. Although this time the physical hard work of the last few weeks kicked in so we ended up having quite an early night!

Sunday morning we had a leisurely breakfast and headed out to have a look around the beautiful grounds of this apartment complex which overlooks Hope Harbour Marina. We then headed to the pool for a few hours which was lovely and warm and I enjoyed bobbing in the shallows…. Had been a long time! Sadly we then had to bid Sandra and Nigel farewell and thanked them for their great hospitality and returned to Morphie.

We then headed to the Coomera Westfield mall for a bit of shopping and a visit to the doctors to get some repeat prescriptions. Job done we returned to The Boatworks and had a catch up with our fellow cruisers in the BBQ area before having an early night.

Monday morning we were up very early and returned the UTE to the office. We then had to get everything off the concrete and back onto the boat. And, of course, after a wet and rainy weekend it was a blisteringly hot day. Typical! We were in the middle of doing this when the electricians turned up to reconnect all the wiring through the mast so we were able to check things like the plotter / radar / VHF was working. We were due to splash at 12 noon and by around 10.30 am we were ready to go and admired our girl, she was looking absolutely beautiful, and certainly worth all the effort we had put into her. It made us so proud when so many people commented on her too!

At 11 the travel lift came for us and lifted Morphie into the strops and removed all the stands so Richard rushed around to get a couple of coats of antifoul onto the areas which had previously been inaccessible. At this juncture, Buddy turned up for a chat too!

Job done we did the funeral procession back to the dock and climbed back onboard.

We were then lowered and splashed into the water. Before releasing us from the slings, we checked for leaks (none) and got the engine running with no problems. We were then free to go so we reversed out of the slip and went down the river to our berth. We pulled in, got ourselves tied up, and breathed a huge sigh of relief. We got all the additional fuel cans off the topsides and placed them on the dock – these will be reinstated once the topsides have been cleaned, cut, waxed and polished. But we are putting this job off until the riggers have finished as they will continue to climb all over Morphie for the fine tuning of the rig. We got the fridge up and running so I collected our belongings from the liveaboard communal fridge and restocked. Had been quite a day and we decided to relax for the rest of the afternoon and once it got dark we were able to check out that all our mast lights etc worked. Actually we felt so weary we ended up in bed by around 7.30 pm. Was lovely to be floating again….

Tuesday morning it was very windy so we weren’t expecting the riggers to come by. I picked up a courtesy car and headed to the shops for some provisions now that I had a working fridge again. Whilst I was gone Richard cleaned, cut, compounded, waxed and polished the hull on the two areas on the starboard side where the posts had been in the way. He was able to do this from the dock. On my return, after a short break, we got dink down from the davits and I held the dinghy away from the hull on the port side whilst Richard completed those two areas too. Afterwards we pulled the dinghy alongside the dock where we scrubbed, cleaned and protected him before returning it to the davits on the stern. Richard then put the dinghy back together – in terms of canvas / locks etc – whilst I worked on our cabin floor. Everything else was good but I wasn’t happy with this so I did it again….. Afterwards I locked the cabin door and exited via the heads so that we couldn’t inadvertently step on the floor – it also kept the smell isolated. While I was doing that Richard started on the topsides as there were a few very dirty areas that he wanted to get on top of now and, finally, we called it a day. We had a quiet night on board watching a pretty useless movie before retiring to bed to sleep in our stern cabin.

Overnight it rained really hard and the forecast for Queensland is abysmal. Autumn officially starts here on the 1 March so I guess summer is over sigh…….

So, in the light of the forecast, we probably don’t expect to see the riggers before next week now so it’s a good job we are booked into this berth until 7 March. So today, Wednesday, I’m back in the cruisers lounge blogging (and multi-tasking doing the laundry) whilst Richard is doing a complete engine service including oil change / filters etc.

So that’s it for now folks. We have been watching the devastating footage of the succession of storms at home and hope that you all are safe and well and suffered no damage to yourselves or your properties. Thinking of you all and sending lots of love and hugs – please take care of each other. This week’s Australian critter is a male lyrebird who, as well as being extravagantly coloured and feathered, clears patches of forest floor to prepare themselves a stage on which they sing and dance their complex songs in order to attract a mate. Another beautiful cutie that made me smile….