How many people get to live their dreams? I am..........!

This is my story from the time when Capt'n John and I first decided to sail around the big block, to circumnavigate this great land of ours, AUSTRALIA.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Nice Weather We’re Having – MacKay Marina

Nice Weather We’re Having – MacKay Marina
21’06.888 E – 149’13.509 S
Strong winds howling – constantly blowing 20/25knts with sunshine and some showers, gusting 30/35knts with rainsqualls at times

And now it is the end of the month! MrJ and I have been in the Mackay Marina for three nights and will be in for another night before hauling out o tomorrow, Friday, morning. The weather has been the worst that I have experience in this area. Usually if the weather turns bad it will last for only a few days before changing and clearing up. Not so this time!

Monday 28th May 2012
Into Makay past the big ships
MrJ and I had fun getting onto the dock with the strong winds blow, taking a couple of goes to get settled into our pen. On the walk up and back to the office we ran into a couple of yachties that we knew; Gary and Mercedes off Forever Dreaming and Graham, the WA crew off Endless Dreaming and Simon and Julie of Good On Ya.

What a surprise to see Simon and Julie! The last I heard was that they were back at Keppel Island. Apparently they had decided to make a run for it, doing overnight sails, to the Percy Island but because the weather was so nasty and the wind/seas were pushing them along, their choice was to seek refuge in Mackay Harbour like us. Big fast trip from Great Keppel Island to Mackay; as their boat name is – Good On Ya, Simon and Julie!

We ran into Shelly off Neriki while checking in at the marina office; Shelly was still feeling a little unsettled in herself, still coming to terms with all that has happened, coming to terms with all the new experience, the experience of rough weather and bad seas and the relief of finally being in a safe harbour but also having the worrying thought in the back of her mind about this haul-out business. Shelly was in need of a big hug!

That night MrJ and I arranged with Ric and Shelly for drinks and dinner at the either the Yacht Club or the Pub.  MrJ and I walked up to the southern end of the marina to find that the Yacht Club did not open till 6pm, so the sign said; we walked back to the northern end and down the fingers to Neriki where we stayed for drinks and then ventured up to the Steak House at the Pub for dinner. The steaks were very good at a reasonable price for a nice restaurant/cafe but it still had that awful pub feeling and noise with the big TV scenes putting out different sporting events.

Home to bed where I slept like a log all night; not stirring once till daybreak.

Tuesday 29th May 2012

Up and out early after a restless night with the strong winds pushing AR around in the pen making all the lines grown and creating new noises on the boat. One noise in particular annoyed MrJ and me for the better part of the night; it had us climbing out of bed several time to see what it was. Not an extremely loud noise just a constant tap, tap, tapping. MrJ went up top many times to try to find the cause; I stayed in the warmth of the cabin only to stick my head out of the hatch to give him an idea of which direction the noise was coming from. First we thought it was the fenders and then we thought it was the kayak. Several times we thought it was the kayak! No! The noise happened to be a lose stanchion vibrating oh so ever slightly with the howling wind, vibrating enough to send the tapping noise down through the hull and echoing in the cabin. Bloody thing...........! :o{} As a temporary fix MrJ shoved a piece of cardboard down in beside the offending stanchion and we got another hours sleep before the dawn and our body clock wake us up anyway.

0800h - MrJ and I make a bee line over to Neriki. It is their haul-out day and time to go. MrJ and Ric trot off to see the men at the yard while I am keeping company with Shelly, on board. I was glad that Shelly was able to be on board this time for the haul-out., last year she was not. If you are going to be a yachties then you need to experience all of it, even if it gives you butterflies in the tummy or bad nerves.

On the sling

The boys are back, time to go! I ask Ric if he would like me to single up the lines on the pontoon for leaving the berth. He gives me a strange look. I explain what I mean; taking the line from the boat cleat to the dock cleat around once loosely and then back to the boat cleat so that you can flick the line off from the deck instead of untying from the pontoon. Great idea! (I hear) Shelly is amazed that she does not have to do the lines and then jump back on board. I’m so glad that I have been of help to someone.

Off and away with only one fender to protect the wind generator on the back, Ric steers his boat between the poles and over the slings. He does a very good job of pulling the Neriki up with the wind pushing from behind. Slings on we all hop of to watch Neriki being hauled up by the huge travel lift and carried into the work yard where the boat will be pressure sprayed before sitting down in the yard. This part can take an hour or so and the boys had to have their smoko first. Ric and Shelly’s friend, Wayne had arrived and we all decided to go to the local cafe for food and coffee while they wait.

MrJ and I went back to AR to start doing a few of our own chores. We ran into Simon and Julie again, inviting them around for coffee and a chat before lunch which they did, it was so great to catch up and we didn’t get any chores done. Oh well! That’s boating life for you.

The afternoon I spent cleaning the heads and bathrooms; using up some of the water that we have on board to help lighten the load for our haul-out and because you can’t run any water through the boat drain when the boat is on the hard-stand.

Yes we are hauling out in Mackay! Yes we can live on board! As long as we keep it hush, hush; so don’t you go telling anyone, will you? After helping Neriki with their haul-out MrJ and I went and spoke with Vicki, the lady in the yard office. MrJ had already spoken to her yesterday following a missed call telephone conversation about our haul-out. Things had been sorted and a time was discussed. So our meet up in the office with Vicki confirmed a time for Friday morning when the weather is supposed to be better.

That afternoon MrJ and I wandered around to Good On Ya for sundowners with no sun but the warmth of the inside of the boat and the good friendship of Simon and Julie. As always MrJ and I take our own drinks and some nibbles. These days I am drinking G&Ts and not so much wine and I am not getting the bad headaches that I used to – this is good.
Good On Ya - Simon
Simon makes all his own spirits on board and when he sees that I am about to pour myself a store bought Gin he stops me and suggests that I try one of his. Whoooo! How much, he say, just a little, I say and he proceeds to nearly half fill the tumbler with Gin. Hold up, I say and then fill the rest of my glass with tonic, diet tonic too as I am trying to be good. Yeah right! As I keep taking sips from my strong drink I keep adding more tonic water and do get away with this tactic for this drink and another drink poured the same, but by now the Gin has gone to my head and the third drink let slip and forget to keep topping the tonic. Now with the forth drink, and this is my last drink, I don’t really care. I didn’t feel drunk or even very tiddly and am very surprised that I even made it back to AR along the long fingers in the strong wind without falling into the water; good sea legs and MrJ’s arm to hold onto. What a great evening we had with great friends and great stories.

That night I thought that I would sleep so soundly. But no!  That old stanchion was at it again until MrJ plugged it with a toothpick.


  1. Hi Liz

    We also have a Leopard 42 that we are world cruising. Currently in Corsica.

    However, we need a new anchor as we are tired of dragging ours around the bay!

    I see you have a Rocna - presumably the 33? Are you still happy with it? Any bad experiences with it? Does it fit in the bow roller without problems?

    Would love to hear your feedback on it. Not sure how you reply, but you can reach me at noel "to be found at"



    1. Hi Noel
      We have a Rocna 25 and we are very happy with its performance, the only time it caused a problem was when I anchored in mud and was not happy so lifted the anchor and re-anchored and I left a small amount of mud on the anchor and it would not set, brought it back up washed it off and it was fine. That only occurred once. Looking at some recent tesing the Rocna, Manson supreme and the Sarca they are much the same highest performers I think the Sarca came up the best out of the independant testing. Our Rocna 25 holds very well at 5:1 ratio (chain/depth) we have sat in 35 knots and better with wind bullets throwing us side to side and have not moved.

      The Rocna fits well in place of our old CQR the only thing I had to do is put a rubber pad to protect the gelcoat where the roll bar on the anchor may come in contact if the anchor is pulled up too far.

      Hope this helps.

  2. Hi Nancy. Oops, sorry. Not sure where that Liz came from. Was thinking of someone else!


    1. Hey Noel
      Will forgive you for calling me Liz! ;o))))
      Just checked out your travels on your blog page - looks great – living the dream!
      We also bought our Leopard in the Caribbean but sailed west, not east like you, home to OZ. The islands and the people of the Pacific are so beautiful.
      I think that MrJ has answered your query about the Rocna as well as the other anchors that are on the market.
      We had some really nasty weather the past couple of days/nights - especially during the nights - with 30-40knt wind and some terrible bullets, so had that I thought that the bridal was going to pull out of its point in the hulls. Bit unnerving to say the least! Our Rocna anchor held fast in 5.5mts of water with 25mts of chain out plus the bridal. We are in good holding of sand/mud.
      Safe sailing

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