Some of you may think cruising is all about fun, sun, snorkelling, sundowners etc. Well today could be a lesson.
Our boat has been on the ‘hard stand’ (ie out of the water) since December. Some jobs needed to be done that required access to the bottom of the boat. It’s also cheaper once out, to keep it out. So today was the day to get back in the water. To complicate matters you need to know a little back story. The dinghy that came with this boat was sold and we bought a second hand dinghy that could take wheels to make it easier for this old lady to haul up the beach. However we were in a hurry when we bought it and didn’t wait for the guy to give it the all clear. Yep, we’ve been patching it ever since. Ron has been getting very frustrated with it. So today he walks into the chandlery to buy rope and other sundry items, and lo and behold, there’s a brand new dinghy drastically reduced. Made locally (or rebranded). Comes and gets the minister of finance to check it out. As I can’t stand the complaints and sighs, I say, just get it. But that leads to the problem of ‘what do we do with the old one?’ especially as we’d planned to leave the following morning for a week’s outing. Advertise on Gumtree the chandlery blokes advised. Did so, with doubt. Within 10 minutes had a bite, but Mrs pessimist says ‘it’ll be a scammer’. But then Ron has to take off wheels, name decals, refill holes where wheels were. All this takes 1.5 hours. To add into the mix, courtesy car booked for noon – to go and buy grog and last minute items – as well as 12.30 booking for putting boat back in water. Told dinghy purchaser to come after 2. This proves to be optimistic. Grog purchased, and arrival back just as boat being put on giant lift out gantry. We’d had the engines overhauled previously and as part of their service the mechanic comes to reprime engines as they go back in the water. No surprise, they wouldn’t prime. Whaddya know the water pumps on BOTH engines have died. Luckily (?) engine place has two after-market pumps. Mechanic removes old (shows us, definitely cactus), installs new. Running like a charm. Bit of exhaust smoke however from one engine. New problem. As it’s a public holiday tomorrow we can stay in the slip overnight and head out lunchtime tomorrow. (The ‘m’ key on my pc is knackered, crap).
Have to say that the young blokes in this yard who run these big machines are the friendliest, most laid back guys we’ve ever met. Nothing is a problem. No problem is wasting their time. Happy to chat. But so professional. The caretaker of the place has also taken a shine to us and came down for a chat later to see how we were. He gave me a kiss goodbye! Then he came back later with two caps. The boss of this place has, amongst other toys, a car that he races at Bathurst. So we scored two caps with the owner’s name embroidered on them. Not that we needed them, but we were very touched by his thoughtfulness.
Needless to say, we are in bed at 8.30, both exhausted.
Tomorrow we plan to head out late in the morning up to Dux Anchorage on Sth Stradbroke Island for a few days to test out some of our systems.