Thursday, July 12, 2012
Hamilton Island Marina -
I am very pleased we made the trip over yesterday as today's weather has been awful. As we anchored at Beach 25 just on dark last night it started to rain albeit only drizzle and that continued through the night. As it got light this morning the rain started to come down a little heavier and visibility was very poor. The winds predicted from the east only lasted until about 2200 hours last night then it change to a southerly, fortunately the anchorage was good and the only annoyance we had was wind waves slapping on the hulls which can make it hard to sleep for anyone that has not experienced it before but we slept through it.
We had booked into the marina at Hamilton Island and we can enter there at 1100 hours so I again kept an eye on the weather hoping there would be a break in it around that time or a bit later so we can go in without getting drowned. Unfortunately looking at the weather radar on the net there was no relief in sight. Nancy phoned the marina to get a berth allocation so we knew prior to getting there where we would be going, Nancy has a book with all the marinas layouts that we go to which she has got off the internet or got the marina to email a copy to us. This makes life easy when one enters a marina you don't go in blind. We was allocated an end of finger berth so at was our choice which side we wished to tie up, we always prefer starboard to as this is the same side as the helm on the boat.
We donned our offshore foul weather gear, the rain was steady not really heavy but the wind was around 20 -25 knots driving the rain right into you. We rigged the fenders and docking lines ready then we started engines rolled all the covers up around the cockpit and weighed anchor. I had the navigation lights switched on due to poor visibility, whether they are necessary or not I rather have the lights burning as many yachts/boats like us are hiding behind the clears (plastic screen), to keep dry and these clears also reduce visibility under rain conditions. I did notice some others with their lights on but others did not.
(This is the visibility from outside the clears, the clears reduce this visibilty slightly)
As we got outside the marina we called on the radio and was told to enter and wait at the orange buoy just inside the harbour where we would be met by a staff member and taken to the berth. This is the normal routine a guy or girl comes out on a boat and guides you to the berth and normally will go ahead and be on the dock to tie you up, however, today we could see that he was busy in the pouring rain and he had to take a yacht that was in front of us first and the radio was going with more customers for him some leaving wanting his assistance as well as others coming in. I asked Nancy to radio him and ask if we could go to the berth as it was close by and the wind was blowing me in that direction, by the time he answered I was about 10 metres away from the dock I just moved forward about 3 metres and let the wind blow me straight onto the dock, the boat just drifted right into position all we had to do was tie the docking lines and shut the engines down.
(Concentration, holding the boat near the orange buoy with other boats around)
(Photos taken by Nancy today)
The young bloke came over in the boat to book us in, it is all done on the dock as he has a portable EFPOS machine, he asked if we were alright and thanked us for freeing him up and looking after ourselves. That is one thing I like about this marina is the service, it is still an expensive marina to be in but a lot cheaper than Airlie's Abel Point Marina, but you get service here and the use of the facilities on the island such as the swimming pools the free bus service to take you around the different places on the island. As he was booking us in he asked the size of the boat we said 42 foot, he looked at me and said 40 foot, 12 metres? I said that will do. That saved us $15 per night. They did the same with us last year on each occasion we visited, although I must say the prices have increased by $5 per night since last year. Last year we paid $100 per night and for our size boat it should have been $115. Abel Point Marina is $128 per night and you do not get the same service, most other marinas charge around $60 per night for a boat our size.
Well we have been in the marina all day so far and the only time we have been off the boat was to tie up and hook up the electricity. Let's hope for a better day tomorrow.