Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fitzroy Island to Cairns

Scribbles 16/09/2012

The last couple of days has been quite good on the social scene and catching up with people. Friday afternoon we went ashore for sundowners at Foxy's Bar at the happy hour which starts at 1630 hours to 1730 hours. When we arrived and got the first drink we noticed Jonathan's dinghy anchored of the beach and the surging tide was causing it to crash into the coral beach, I went down to pull it further ashore and notice the anchor was slowly being dragged. I secured the anchor and hauled the dinghy as far as I could up the steep slope of coral beach, the dinghy was quite heavy and I could not drag it up all the way. I returned to my drink and kept an eye on it. Soon after this Jonathan and Joey arrived and joined us for a drink, well a couple of drinks whilst happy hour was on.
(Foxy's Bar on Fitzroy Island)
(Happy Hour at Foxy's, as you can see I am happy)

We returned aboard just at last light and had dinner and a quiet night, Saturday 'Backchat' arrived with Jenny and Irvin so we had afternoon tea with them, Jenny knows I like muffins so she baked a fresh batch for us. Irvin offered to check my outboard motor for me so I took him up on the offer.

In the afternoon 'Muscat 7' anchored nearby with Brian and Annette, Brian had his sons family aboard and called over for a chat and a beer.

Sunday, Irvin and Jenny came over and we had morning tea and Irvin and I had a look at the outboard motor, the problem had got worse, it has been out of the water on the stand and it has seized completely since it has been sitting there, so it looks as though it has to go to the Yamaha dealers.
(Our floating home, 'Alana Rose' at anchor at Fitzroy Island)
(Trawler anchored nearby in the calm waters)
(Day visitors come from Cairns for water sports and relaxation)
(The yellow submarines that operate at Fitzroy Island)
(One of the four ferries that come to the island daily)

Then this afternoon 'Walk on Water' arrived and Martin and Raewyn came over for sundowners they are sailing south tomorrow under the lighter ESE winds.

Monday - 17/09/2012

Today we went ashore for a walk and went over to Nudey Beach and on the way we bumped into Jenny and Irvin off 'Backchat' who were talking to a New Zealand couple Jim and Gina off 'Tiare Taporo III'. Jenny said they had been down to Nudey Beach and there were no nudes she stripped off and went for a swim.

Nudey Beach is more coral than sand the southern end has more sand than the main area on the northern side. We walked the whole area and when crossing the rocky area I was confronted by two white pointers, a young lady sun baking and I must say very pleasing to the optic nerve. We walked on a little further to see six young ladies flaunting their breast taking photos of each other and running around giggling. The views are very nice on this island I thought to myself.
(Nancy on the walking track to the Nudey Beach)
(Looking towards the mainland from Nudey Beach)

Fitzroy Island is a very nice island not just for these pleasant sights but for the walks and the resort itself. There are quite a number of day visitors that come over on the ferry each day and there is plenty of water sports to entertain, many just come over and relax on the beach or snorkel around the coral. They have kayaks, jet skies and two yellow submarines. They also have glass bottom boat tours over the coral areas.

After the walk we returned on board and later went ashore for sundowners at Foxy's Bar, they have happy hour from 1630 to 1730 hours, a schooner of beer is $4 and a jug (4 schooners) for $11, they also have wines, cocktails and spirits. After a couple of drinks we returned on board for dinner.
(Sunset from Foxy's Bar)

Tuesday - 18/09/2012

We said farewell to 'Backchat' this morning Jenny and Irvin headed off to check out some of the bays on the mainland around Cape Grafton as the wind was favourable to anchor over there. We stayed as today I wanted to dive on the props and make sure they were clean. I did this when the sun had warmed up. I was pleased with the props they were clean, it is the first time I have checked them since going back in the water when we hauled out at Mackay in June. I coat the props with lanoline grease and this stop barnacles from attaching themselves to them. I have a cotton gardening glove that I cover in the lanoline and when I dive on the props I wipe fresh grease over the props. This is probably the last chance I can do this other than Lizard Island as else where there is the danger of the crocs.

After I had finished the props I then went around the hulls wiping the areas around the waterline as we had algae come in on some north winds the other day and this clings to the hulls waterline.
(The algae that floated in with the north winds also known as plankton)

Jim  and Gina sent us a text message saying that they would be going to Foxy's Bar for sundowners so we joined them, Jonathon and Joey also joined us so we had a good chat.


Wednesday - 19/09/2012

Jonathan and Joey on 'Peggy Jane' left this morning they were heading over to Cairns anchoring at Trinity Inlet, they are not sure whether they will venture further north or start heading south. A little later Peter and Tania on 'Cassini' headed out, Peter had a rash on his arm and it was getting worse so they are off to see a doctor.

We had a quiet day I did a few maintenance chores, it was a very warm day, we ended the day with our last sundowners at Foxy's Bar with Jim and Gina as we will both be heading off tomorrow for Half Moon Bay Marina at Yorkeys Knob.

Thursday - 20/09/2012

Jim and Gina headed out about 0630 hours this morning but there was no wind I thought we might wait a short time to see if the wind kicked in once the sun was up in the sky, by 0730 hours I could see some ripples on the sea away from the island and Jim's yacht in the distance had a sail up so we headed out. Unfortunately the winds were very light and all we were able to do was motor sail.

It was a great morning as far as the weather but no wind, as we passed Cape Grafton 'Backchat' that had been anchored in the bay also weighed anchor and was heading in the same direction of Yorkeys Knob. It was 18NMS from the island to Yorkeys Knob, we checked with the marina to see if we still had the same berth they had allocated to us, it was we are on the end of 'A' finger the same as last year.
(Entering Half Moon Bay Marina at Yorkeys Know north of Cairns)

As we entered the marina Jim and Gina was at the fuel dock they are going up to the next marina up the creek, Blue Water Marina, apparently they have had a fall out with this marina. 'Backchat is also going to Blue Water Marina as they are leaving the boat for a short time and it is cheaper rent up there and it is cyclone proof, if we were staying for the cyclone season we would have gone there to. The only drawback with that marina is that there aren't any shops close by although I believe they do have a courtesy car available that you can book for 3 hour periods.

My first job once we had booked in was to source an outboard motor mechanic to have a look at our seized outboard motor. I saw Don at the local chandlery and he gave me a contact but unfortunately this bloke is very good and like all people that are good at their work they are also very busy. However, after talking to this guy he gave me a few things I could check and he said if it is the engine itself the parts are hard to get and expensive it is cheaper to buy another motor. We really live in a throw away world.

I went back aboard and took the starting mechanism off and I could not turn the engine by hand, I put a spanner on the shaft nut and was able to turn the engine although it was a little stiff, I then drained the gearbox oil and that was clean and then I unbolted the gearbox and lowered it about 100mm and all this rubbish fell out which included salt and one small piece of alloy. However, as soon as I cleaned it out the engine turned freely. I could not get the gearbox completely off without force so I thought I would put it all back together. I did this and the motor turned freely still so I put it back on the dinghy and it started first go and ran well so I thought I will leave it as is until we get to Darwin when I have more time.

Friday - 21/09/2012

The first job I did this morning was load all fuel containers in the dinghy and went over to the fuel dock to fill up with diesel and ULP, the outboard ran well so I was quite pleased although my concern about this small piece of alloy.

After getting the fuel I started the shitty job of the day, the port aft head was leaking dirty water. I knew what the problem would be as I had the same problem some time ago with the starboard forward head. The toilets are the TMC brand which is a good toilet one of the cheaper ones and I have found that the flange where the macerating pump screws on to the toilet bowl is where it leaks and the reason for this is that the pump has a metal flange and the toilet is a plastic flange and the sealing face is very thin between each hole and is sealed with a rubber gasket. Over a period of time the flange with the operation of the pump flexes and creates a leak in the seal face at the top and bottom of the flange and it erodes the metal face. I have found the easy fix is to clean the flanges thoroughly and then use Permatex form-a-gasket. I still use the rubber gasket as it is in good condition and use the form-a-gasket on all mating surfaces. I did this with the other toilet over 12 months ago and it has not caused any other problems. After doing those repairs I had to refit the toilet and hoses. By the time all that was done and everything cleaned up it was time for a cold beer. The weather is nice now and temperature around the 30C which after the cool or cold winter we have had we need to get used to the climate again.
(One of those shitty jobs, this is the macerating pump, the eroded flange)
(A good thing to have on board, if you break an 'O' ring or need a gasket this will do the job)

Both Nancy and I had a busy day doing things and it was good to sit and relax have a good meal and crack a bottle or was that bottles of wine, yes I think it was bottles, it was good anyway.

Saturday - 22/09/2012

Had a nice surprise this morning a friend on the FB site that we have tried to meet on a few occasions when they have been sailing or we have been in Cairns and it has never happened was on line this morning so I sent a message to say hello and let her know where we were. Friend Kelly answered and asked if we wanted to go into the markets in town, I said that would be great and she picked us up within the hour and off we went. It was good meeting Kelly after all this time, Kelly run a number of marine colleges, one here another in Gladstone and she looking at another place now.

Kelly took us to the bloke who is a farmer that grows the produce he sells really great bloke we had a good chat with him the vegetables were nice and fresh. Then Kelly took us to a butcher that has very good meat so we are pretty well stocked up with vegies and meat. She then took us home for coffee and we met her father who is also a good old sailor from Victoria.

Kelly took us back to our boat and came aboard for a while and we had a good chat.

The rest of the day was a bit of a lazy day which may have had something to do with the night before.

Sunday - 23/09/2012

Nancy cooked me a very nice breakfast this morning and after that I did the last fuel run getting all the containers filled. I then had to rearrange storage so I could place the fuel in the forward hold area so that I do not have to bend over on the transom step waving my backside at crocs.

After lunch a friend Vic came to visit, we first met Vic and his wife Yvonne in Brisbane when he was getting his Leopard 47 catamaran ready to go to Tonga in the charter fleet, he also has a Leopard 46 in Airlie charter fleet. Yvonne was working so she was unable to visit. It was good catching up with Vic once again, he is bringing his cat back from Tonga next year that would be a good trip. We had a good afternoon chatting about boats and sharing information. It would be great to do the Pacific run again.

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