After nearly 1200 nautical miles, we arrived in Cairns – our last big pitstop before commencing the rally to Indonesia.
From Mourilyan Harbour, we spent a couple of rolly nights on mooring balls at Russell Island and Fitzroy Island (but got some snorkelling in at both) and then headed into Cairns.
We berthed in the Cairns Marlin Marina, who looked after us extremely well. There was a constant stream of cool looking ships and boats (ABF vessel Cape Jervis, HMAS Melbourne, S/V Fidelis (a fancy super-yacht) and US Warship Green Bay) and a constant stream of visiting friends and family (Graham, Stevie, Alex, Noah, Billy, Tuva, Shirley and Roger, Val, Tim and De, Dave, Carmen, Sarah and family, Luke and Amelia, and Tanja! Great to see you all.
Late one night while we were saying goodbye to some new boat buddies (from S/V Harmonic) a very large splash interrupted the conversation. One minute we were standing around the back deck and dock, and the next minute there was an almighty splash that sent water flying everywhere. It was dark, so noone got a good look at the splash-maker, but our first thought was a crocodile…very occasionally crocodiles do come into the marina (but not normally at this time of year)…but it was more likely just a big barra. Hopefully it was the latter, because the next morning I had to go for a quick snorkel under the boat to help retrieve a lost skateboard!
I didn’t see either crocs or barra during my little dip, but we did see a whole bunch of crocs on a visit to a local croc farm…
The list of boat jobs is never finished, but we managed to complete all the “must-dos” to finish off our boat preparation for the upcoming passages:
-AIS installation (thanks for the help Luke!)
-Solar panel upgrade (ditto)
-halyard replacement (which required trips up the mast!)
-mast light replacement (ditto)
-another motor repair
-anchor chain servicing and addition of 40m rode.
-preparing all the safety equipment (ditch bag, fire extinquishers, etc)
-buying spare parts and servicing stuff for EVERYTHING
-sorting out mobile phones and connecting the sat phone
-collecting passports and mail
-major provisioning for the passages to TI and Indonesia (including stuff like dairy and pork that is hard to come by in Indonesia)
-trying (in vain) to keep the mould at bay.
“Cruising = boat maintenance in exotic locations.”
So we were kept busy!!
It’s a relief to finally set sail again. We welcomed our new crew – Peter and Sondra – who are on board ’til Thursday Island, and we have just moored at Low Isles!