Soggy in the Sandy Straits

Life in a leaky boat!

You will recall we had a few leaks appear during the heavy downpours of mid December, two of them easily dealt with, one of them major. Since then, we had been waiting for a sunny day with no forecast rain to reseal one of the three large windows on the port side, and last Monday was it! It is a big task – 4 hours with both of us at it.

Here is the process: lift the glass from the frame, clean up the old sealant from the frame and the glass, put masking tape all around, reapply new sealant (black Fix Tech FS200) around the frame, stick the glass back on. You need to be an octopus to fit the thing back in! Unfortunately the glass slipped a bit so we were not convinced the window would seal properly.

Wade cleaning the frame after removing the window – hot work in 310C
Chris cleaning off the goop from the edges of the glass

And it did not! Our handy work was tested during the next days of incessant rain. As we feared, we still have leaks, not only between the frame and glass on the window we worked on, but also between the aluminium frame and the side of the cabin. And the other two windows are leaking too. We found puddles inside in odd places. That’s the thing with heavy rain and wind; water penetrates in every tiny gap you did not know existed and finds its way inside sometimes a long way away from the ‘source’.

We have investigated where the leaks come from on those and it seems to be between the frame and cabin wall rather than between the glass and frame. This will require each frame to come off, get cleaned up and white Fix Tech 15 to be applied between the cabin wall and the aluminium frame.

For now a bead of sealant around the frames is a temporary fix and we are on drip watch, armed with rag towels for mopping up! The real job will have to wait a while as we have at least a week of widespread rainfall… oh joy!

Temporary fix with FixTech 15 in between showers

Change of Plan – Already!

With the wet season in full swing, made even worse by La Niña, sailing anywhere while getting drenched is not happening! Our trip to the Reef in January is cancelled and at the moment exploring in the Sandy Straits is on pause too. We hope the deluge is breaking the drought in the East and North of Australia but it is unfortunately drowning our plans and making our life miserable.

Another day, another downpour

All we can do is sit on board and mop up the drips. It is testing our patience. It is also challenging physically as we have little opportunity to get ashore, stretch our legs and our spine. Chris has had a wrecked lower back for days and is struggling! Yoga and stretches in the saloon are better than nothing but…

As we have mentioned in previous posts, we don’t do ‘waiting’ very well. We are just killing time at the moment, and being boat bound in rainy conditions is not a lot of fun. The only consolation is that it is not as hot and sticky as before, just awfully soggy and boring! It is one of those periods when cruising life is far from idyllic.

On good days the Straits are quite appealing so we will leave you with a few images showing peaceful scenes.

Eastern Curlew on the flats at Garry’s Anchorage
Dawn in the Sandy Straits
Early morning departure through the narrow and shallow channels
Pied Cormorant fishing next to the boat
Sunset in the Sandy Straits before the rain sets in

On this first day of 2021 we hope life will soon get a little easier. Here is to better times ahead. Keep smiling, stay safe and big virtual hugs from us to you all.

21 thoughts on “Soggy in the Sandy Straits

  1. Happy New Year my friends. I can’t believe you have leaks having gone through the this process on most of your windows earlier. Hang in there we have only 23 today, overcast and showery.

    • Happy, healthy and safe New Year to you, Sue. The leaks… the trouble on the large windows is that we haven’t been able to take the frames off the cabin wall. So until we do, we have come to the conclusion that we need to at least redo the outside seals every two years. We will give the big job a go when we are back at Boat Works.

  2. Happy New Year Chris and Wade!!
    I hope you get some nice weather soon…so do we. Front paddock is a swimming pool for wild ducks 😃
    All the best for a happy healthy 2021

  3. Frustrating news with the leaks. Very annoying on a boat. Looks like the rain is settling in. Might have to put on the stinger suit and go for a swim/sandbar walk for exercise?

  4. Being rather a realist I shall not utter the usual three accepted words on this day dated 1st January 🙂 ! Don’t think the practicalities of life acknowledge the calendar ! But, especially just having read your story of the past days, I sincerely hope that the days and months to come achieve more things right than wrong and bring genuine smiles of contentment to both your faces . . . Down in the Southern Highlands we have been so happy that mostly night-time showers half the days of the week have ensured we do not have to be worrying about the development of bushfires . . . . to you the same leads to disappointment about cancelled plans . . . . down here daily showers are forecast for the next seven days . . . enough said ! At least the wretched monster raising its head across the land again should avoid you on the water . . . . do hope the blessed leaks won’t worsen until they can be fixed . . . . be well and thank you for the dreamy photos . . .

    • Thanks a lot Eha. We do like getting your words of wisdom. Less risk of bushfires and a possible end to the drought has to be a plus. A forthcoming week of rain here too… but we are safe on the boat from the monster and keeping our distance! Stay well and safe too.

  5. Happy New Year Anui. You may be unhappy about the heat, humidity and rain but bear a thought that you could be stuck in temps zero or below like us and more importantly we have not seen the sun for a week with mist and freezing fog. Enjoy your dream life.


    • That’s just the conditions you need for skiing, what are you complaining about? 😊 Oops, we guess you can’t travel to Europe with the dreaded plague! Happy New Year Phil & Jo!

  6. Hi Chris and Wade, We are in stifling in Darwin visiting our daughter and heading home today via sickly Sydney. Your post reminded me of camping on Defiance ( international 8 metre) as a child, before we replaced the rotten laid deck and sleeping under polythene sheets to catch the drips and also catching fresh water in the boom awning for a shower!

    • Hi Meredith, fortunately it is not that extreme on Anui, just frustrating! We have been to Darwin in the wet and it is stifling as you say… could never live there. With age we are less and less able to cope with heat and humidity! Take care and stay safe.

  7. We feel your pain guys, water leaks in the Qld wet season …. where’s the fun in that? Reminds me of renovating a few vintage caravans in recent years, stripping out all the windows, cleaning, repairing then glooping them back into place. We had one persistent bedroom window leak while camping at Maroochydor …. eventually got sorted. Anyway, with engineer Wade and his gloop gun on the job, you’ll surely win out in the end! Happy 2021 and here’s hoping for a few dry days in the wet season!

    • Hi Elgar –
      With a few gaps between heavy showers, we managed to do the quick and dirty on the 3 big windows in each side… white goop all around the frames which seems to have put a stop to the dribbles. We will do the real job when we get back to Boat Works… maybe! Hoping for better days for everyone in 2021!

  8. Oh dear tired of chasing leaks for sure !
    Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you when you are back here 🥳

  9. Chasing leaks does not sound like much fun. I am glad you had at least a few breaks in the weather that allowed you to capture some beautiful images, including the curlew and cormorant shots.

    • Hello Mike, yes the camera comes out at every opportunity, but it has been a bit hard going of late… plenty of time to document cruise stories and magazine articles! You’ve got to see the positive side of things 🙂

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