Sorting ourselves out

Lots of moving around the Gold Coast, extremes of temperature from cool to sweltering, too much waiting around for our liking have characterized our last two weeks, but we have been sorting ourselves out. So let’s catch up with what has been going on.

Bird watching

First, some photos of beautiful birds, taken while we were at Tiger Mullet, hiding from a blow. It was so nice to shoot these but hard because of the wind and being a bit rusty with this type of photography! The Curlews were taken from the dinghy, the birds in flight from the back of Anui, neither craft very stable in the conditions!

Eastern Curlews, critically endangered wetland birds, were on the sand islets at low tide in large numbers, just next to our anchorage. We had never seen so many. Brahminy Kites and Whistling Kites were also in the air, hunting, looking magnificent. Here is a slideshow of our feathered friends.

  • Eastern Curlews
  • Eastern Curlews
  • Brahminy Kite
  • Brahminy Kite
  • Immature Whistling Kite
  • Immature Whistling Kite

Body and Boat Maintenance

Once back at the Gold Coast, we got a few things done!

  • Agreed with Chris from Shine Stainless Steel Marine Fabrications on the design of two new davits that will bring the dinghy up high while on offshore trips yet stow it safely without spoiling the view at the back while coastal cruising.
  • Lined up Scott Keogh of SK Yacht Rigging to re-rig Anui in February while we are hauled out.  Although the rig is only 9 years old, we don’t want issues with boat insurance next year when the 10 year rigging change deadline comes up nor do we want any problem while we are offshore! We are very pleased to have Scott organized for February as he is excellent but hard to get.
  • Managed to finally re-insure Anui. What a rigmarole that was! See our separate section in this post.
  • Dentist check up – all good
  • Medical check up – all good
  • Annual full body computer scan for skin cancer risk assessment – Chris got off unscathed but Wade’s face has a suspect patch on his cheek and he has just had a shave biopsy. We will see what happens next!

In between appointments, we have enjoyed catching up with friends, as well as some surfing and drone flying at the end of South Stradbroke Island, just near the Spit.

But then as the northerlies settled, Blue Bottle jellyfishes appeared on the beach, as well as these two species: the Velella also known as By The Wind Sailor, and the stunning and stinging Blue Glaucus or Blue Sea Dragon. Both we had seen in reference books but not washed up on the sand before! That was the end of the paddling for Wade and now he is not allowed to get his face wet anyway!

Fun and Games with Boat Insurance

While many land based people are struggling to get home insurance, especially in areas prone to flooding, we have had major problems getting insurance for our purpose-built home on water! We had a stressful month after our boat insurer of the last two years, Red Sky, decided to get out of Pleasure Craft Insurance. We know of many other yachties facing difficulties insuring their boat annually. It is getting harder, more expensive, more restrictive every year. So what follows will be of interest mainly to Australian yachties amongst our readers.

The search for alternative insurance was painstaking! Our original broker was only able to supply a quote from Pantaenius that had terms we found unacceptable. We then approached a number of insurers directly, including Club Marine, Trident, Top Sail, Nautilus and New Wave, none of which were prepared to insure us. Their biggest issue appeared to be that we were permanent live-aboards with no residential address. It seems insurers have a view that live aboards have no financial capacity and are thus unable to keep their boat seaworthy. They think of the rotting hulk on a mooring that somebody lives on because it’s cheap. Another issue for some was that Anui is not a production boat and is 22 years old.

Feeling quite worried, we approached Tudor Insurance Brokers and explained our situation, providing complete information about our circumstances. Brokers can often be more effective at securing cover with their ability to talk directly to the underwriters with detailed information about individual cases. They were able to provide a policy which met our needs although at 1.5 times the cost compared to the previous year, a sign of the times!  We are now insured by Hiller Boat Insurance, which is associated with New Wave interestingly enough. A big thank you to Lauren Davis (03 9707 3033) who would be happy to talk to any yachties about their boat insurance needs.

Where to next?

We have a few weeks to kill between now and our haul out on 30th January. We are staying in South East Queensland as our activities will be dependent on the results of the biopsy and the weather. Fraser Island and the Southern Reefs are on the wish list but we will see how things develop.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Tiger Mullet at sunset

18 thoughts on “Sorting ourselves out

  1. Thanks Chris, for the update on insurance – we are not looking forward to that little exercise – particularly at 1.5 times the cost – good grief, I may have to go back to work! (We can’t have that). Great to see the curlews – brings one hope that they are coming back in these troubled times. Love and hugs to you all. Trish

  2. The old saying is still true – a boat is a hole in the water into which one pours money! I am glad that Anui is insured. My father has had a few small skin cancers removed from his face over the years, he has been very vigilant about this, be well! 👍🏻☺️🇦🇺

  3. It is good to have your check ups and see if you need to take care of by doctors. The same treatment that you give your catamaran Anui. How is Bengie doing? Is she OK? Your photo of Tiger Mullet at sunset is spectacular! Take care… 🙂

    • Hi HJ, yes boat, people and cat are regularly checked! We want to keep sailing for a long time so have to look after ourselves! Bengie is all good. Big tail cuddle and head but for you!

  4. I am pleased you have sorted you medical things and all is good. It will be good to get Anui up to scratch again. Love the the pics of the Eastern Curlews. It’s a shame Aussie nature lovers have to battle so hard to preserve parts of the eastern flyways that they lake when flying here every year. Take Toondah Harbour which a big developer wants to wreck with huge buildings and boating facilities.. maybe the new environmental laws to be introduced in 23 will prevent the rampant destruction of wildlife habitats in the Aussie environment. Here’ hoping eh

  5. Merry Christmas guys, glad to hear that everything is moving along. According to Predict wind you are currently opposite Sea World. Hope the jetskis are treating you well and that it is not too hot. We are off to Kitikana on boxing day for a week. There is a big NYE fireworks at Lakes and we are hoping to anchor near town – any suggestions 🙂 – but might end up being a dinghy ride from steamers.
    Take care and big pats for Bengie.
    Natalie and Brad xx

    • Oh, so nice to hear from you two! We haven’t seen the Fireworks at Lakes so no suggestion! What are your plans for next year? We are hoping to escape for a few weeks away from the Goldie but it depends on what happens with the results of Wade’s biopsy! Take care and enjoy the festive season. 🎄 ⛵️

      • It has been ages. But we have been following your adventures 🙂 no plans for next year at this stage as have a few family things going on that make it difficult to plan. Will just have to wait and see how it all pans out. Have a lovely Christmas and I will let you know how the fireworks / anchoring goes 🙂

  6. Curlews and Kites ….. great birds, nice pics. BTW, the vallela (never knew the name for this), we often saw washed up on the beach at Sawtell, never seen the sea dragon, a thing of beauty eh? Here’s to your biopsy Wade, showing a benign result! Have a great Christmas guys 🙂

  7. Merry Christmas Chris & Wade & Bengie cat. All the very best too for 2023. Lindy Phil & Ella Bleu

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