Filling in time

Waiting in a marina for weeks on end would have to be one of our least favourite things. We get so bored!

After a while there is only so much tinkering you can do, so much peering at charts to plot future reef escapes, so much chatting to friends on the phone or on neighbouring boats before you go totally loopy! Have we told you we hate waiting and don’t always have a positive attitude to all things boating?

Fun Interludes

But believe it or not we managed to keep ourselves amused over the last few days.

It started with socialising with the neighbours… all bigger multihulls than Anui. We felt a bit dwarfed but we think we won on vintage style points!

Anui (Crowther 52), Earthling (Young 57), Cara Mia (Outremer 59)
The three multis from the other direction!

We then did some sailing on a 50ft Grainger called Wet Bar. Owner Ross keeps his boat in the Mackay Marina and periodically visits from Melbourne. He was in Mackay and we got talking, as you do! The funny thing is that Wet Bar was one of the boats we considered when we were looking for a replacement for Take It Easy. Ross was searching for a boat too and looked at Anui! Some months later we all decided on our respective vessel. We bought Anui, Ross bought Wet Bar. Small world!

Wet Bar (50ft Grainger)

Whereas Anui is our fourth boat, Wet Bar is Ross’s first! Lots to learn on a big boat since he is quite new to sailing. He was having trouble tacking his catamaran and asked us to teach him… So we spent an afternoon showing him a few tricks and practicing! We have never done that much tacking in an afternoon! The tacks are a bit ugly and Wet Bar won’t win any races tacking upwind, but at least now Ross does not stall the boat. And we did well with the swap of assistance: Ross is lending us his car while he returns to Melbourne, which will come in handy while we are in the shipyard!

The other fun thing we did was spend a day with friends Mick and Lyn, who bought our second boat Medina and live in Mackay. Told you it’s a small world! They have rescued us a couple of times out of the marina, showing us Mackay’s northern beaches and lookouts.

Slade Point at sunset

This time they took us up to Eungella National Park, about 80kms inland. We had a wonderful day up the misty hills and along the Broken River, watching several platypuses and spotting beautiful kingfishers. How lucky is that!

The view from the Eungella Chalet
Azure Kingfisher
Little Pied Cormorant

Out we come!

And now we are ready to be hauled out! We moved the boat to the lifting pen yesterday: John Sticklan and two helpers gave us a hand, while the conditions were perfect: high tide, barnacles and oysters underwater, low wind. Backing the boat into the pen on one engine was a bit nerve racking. We had to use the dinghy tied to the back as our reverse gear on the port side and the guys were ready to fend us into the very narrow space. Wade was at the controls for this little exercise and did a great job… it was far too scary for Chris to handle! You can see on the photos how narrow the gap is! The weather has ben very fickle; it was a rare calm day sandwiched between two insanely windy ones! Lucky we took it or we would have been waiting for another week!

Today as we post this we are getting lifted out of the water and work starts at long last. Stay tuned for the recount and photos of the haulout, removal of the old engines and saildrives in the next post.

20 thoughts on “Filling in time

  1. I’m looking forward to the haulout photos and new powerplants! The photos of the inland area are beautiful, so green and lush forest. Anui must have about one-inch clearance in the lift slip, wow! And it was so nice of your friend to lend you his car, now you guys can get about easily. Be well!

  2. I have also seen platypuses at Eungella NP, it is a remarkably beautiful place. Go well with the lift today and I hope the work goes well. It was interesting to see the 3 cats together. I changed my email address as you advised yesterday.

    • Hi Sue – Eungella was gorgeous and it was a treat to see the platypuses. We’ll probably go back up there once work is underway.

      Anui looks small next to the other monsters! Just when you think 52ft is big, the other two dwarf us in width and length! But coming into the lifting pen we would not have wanted to be bigger!

  3. Always nerve racking with a tight haul out. What is Anui’s beam and what gap or overall width do you think the haul out dock is? Our Nautilus has 7.98m beam. We hauled out at Martha Cove last summer and the great team there had to have the white vertical rubber buffers removed on one side of the dock/cut posts to get us in with about 50mm to spare 🙂

  4. I’m glad things are finally moving. How lucky to see the platypus, I’ve never seen one in the wild.

    • Hi Maree! Yes it has been a long wait. Now the real work starts.
      The platypuses were amazing: we saw a family of 5… incredible! Last time we saw any in the wild was in the Gordon River in SW Tassie.

  5. You guys have been amazingly busy doing ‘fill in time’! Platypus at Eungella are beautiful eh? We found a few there in our recent round Oz camping trip . And how did you get the kingfisher to pose for you? They usually zoom off just as we press the shutter!

  6. You are finally out of the water, Chris. Congratulations. I know it has been a long and frustrating wait for you all. I love your photos of the wildlife–I have seen cormorants and kingfishers, but not these specific species, but nothing that is even remotely similar to a platypus. It was fascinating to hear of all of your connections with the other owners. I guess that at a certain point, the community of like-minded folks is quite small and it is good to see how you all are able to help out each other and pool your expertise and equipment.

    • Hi Mike, yes it is the beauty of the cruising community, you cross paths, understand the highs and lows and there is always somebody who can help… you pass it forward as we say!

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