Things never go to plan

After managing to successfully repair our failing water maker, we thought we had things sorted and were hoping to go to the Reef as soon as our friend Phil arrived. But things never go to plan!

False Starts!

Unfortunately there were two false starts on Thursday 9th May. As we were motoring out of our pen at Bundaberg Port Marina at dawn, Wade noticed water was not coming out of the starboard engine. ‘Stop’ he shouted and we did! An hour later we had changed the impeller, bought two new ones at the chandlery, just in case, and were ready to go.


Broken Impeller!

Take two: Cast the mooring lines, start edging our way forward… ‘Why I am not going straight out’ I wondered with only one engine engaged, the other skipping and the boat twisting? We are out of the pen, perpendicular to it in fact, and Wade shouts “forward gear is not engaging, get us back in the pen!” “Bloody hell, how am I going to do this on one engine” I think to myself, but we get back in there, helped by Wade’s mighty leap back to the floating jetty, mooring lines in hand!  Half an hour later, Grumpy aka Kent Noble, local marine mechanic, is on the job. We are lucky enough to catch him very early in the day and after diagnosing the problem, he spends a few hours manufacturing and fitting a temporary fix for a faulty dog clutch. It will do for the season, but we will need a proper repair when we next get dragged out of the water in November!

We might be a little stressed by the day’s events, but Bengie is looking pretty relaxed!

Bengie -2588

We leave the marina that afternoon, only to anchor in the Burnett River as by now it is too late to leave for the reef.

Change of plan

The next morning the weather forecast is such that we decide the reef is not a safe place to head to with 30 knots south east forecast for a few days, and we instead sail to Seventeen Seventy, some 50 miles up the coast.

Bundaberg -2603

Dawn at Burnett Heads – We are off, but not to Lady Musgrave!

Bundaberg -2609

Main going up!

We enjoy very light conditions under spinnaker. Phil is in charge of trimming Bluey and does a better job than we would have, keeping it flying in 6 to 8 knots breeze.

Slow spinnaker sail

We end up spending a few nights anchored in Bustard Head Bay rather than in the river at Seventeen Seventy. We are by ourselves, very comfortable, and wait there in the hope we will be able to get to the Reef early in the week. It is an opportunity to clean the hairy hulls, relax, walk ashore and explore up river in the dinghy.

To 1710 -2644

Phil and Wade looking pretty happy!

1710 Panoramic

1770 Panoramic

To 1710 -2698

Glorious sunset at Bustard Head Bay

We are a point of interest for the local “Pink Duck”, an amphibious vehicle that does a lap around Anui!

1770 -2702

Early this week, the conditions are forecast to lighten and we hope to give Phil his first taste of the Reef. Fingers crossed we can enjoy some snorkeling out there before needing to sail to the Keppels.


The boys are checking the forecast!

It is not really going as planned, but we enjoy having Phil on board, and he seems to enjoy his time on Anui. He is a sailor, a meteorologist, and more than anybody he understands the vagaries of weather dependent activities. All is not lost though and we hope to head to Mast Head Island and surrounding Reefs by Tuesday. Wish us luck!

13 thoughts on “Things never go to plan

  1. Good luck. You are definitely having more than your share of annoyances, but somehow things manage to get fixed. As always, it’s nice to have a shot of Bengie. 🙂

  2. I knew that is an impeller straight away, bummer! Glad that was repaired, then a clutch. Uhg! I would be sooo frustrated. Safe travels!

  3. Beware new cyclone declared, I think called Anne. It is in the coral sea. Way up north. I hope it does not impact you and the tour of the reefs. Have fun

    Cheers S

    • It already is, Sue. We are not at the Reef and are not sure we will get there with Phil… blowing at 30 knots. At this stage we are staying on the coast.

    • Don’t like crowds and anchoring in rivers in strong winds… too much spinning around! It was really nice and calm in a south east at Bustard Head Bay for the past two days. Very comfortable! It is turning more easterly now and the swell is picking up, so we will move to Pancake tomorrow morning and spend a day there before heading to the reef on Tuesday.

  4. Surely you have worked through all the gremlins by now! Must be great having your own personal forecaster on board with Phil. The failure on that water pump impeller looks a bit unusual. Very little wear on the lobes, apart from the one that has been “chewed” off. Was there any foreign body that you found to cause that?
    Fingers crossed for settled weather for the reef. With the Highs centered south, there still seems to a strong SE kick. Looking forward to the next report.

    • Hi Graham
      It’s really that the impeller was old and brittle. We changed the other one when we bought the boat.

      And yes we hope we’ve finished with the gremlins!
      We have had a couple of brisk sails from 1770 and today from Pancake Creek to Mast Head Island. Phil has been enjoying hand steering and doing a better job than George the autopilot would do! Anui is handling beautifully. Having fun now!

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