22 October 2021 | 'S: 'E, Grand Chancellor Hotel, Brisbane
15 October 2021 | 27 26.662'S:153 06.434'E, River gate marina, Brisbane
12 October 2021 | 26 18.073'S:156 00.246'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
11 October 2021 | 25 41.635'S:158 24.609'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
10 October 2021 | 25 03.764'S:160 40.921'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
09 October 2021 | 24 16.537'S:163 21.449'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
08 October 2021 | 23 23.005'S:166 09.112'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
07 October 2021 | 22 12.270'S:168 20.490'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
06 October 2021 | 21 00.046'S:169 58.439'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
05 October 2021 | 19 49.684'S:171 35.302'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
04 October 2021 | 18 37.463'S:173 06.679'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
03 October 2021 | 18 11.767'S:175 05.347'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
02 October 2021 | 17 46.369'S:177 22.935'E, Port Denarau marina , Fiji
18 September 2021 | 17 46.369'S:177 22.935'E, Port Denarau marina , Fiji
16 September 2021 | 17 46.369'S:177 22.935'E, Denarau, Fiji
15 September 2021 | 17 46.369'S:177 22.935'E, Denarau, Fiji
14 September 2021 | 17 44.915'S:177 22.373'E, Denarau, Fiji
13 September 2021 | 17 44.915'S:177 22.373'E, Quarantine anchorage, Denarau, Fiji
11 September 2021 | 17 14.384'S:178 18.007'E, At Sea to Fiji
10 September 2021 | 17 32.600'S:179 35.350'W, At Sea to Fiji

A catch up of the past 10 days before leaving for Fiji

27 August 2021 | 17 32.383'S:149 34.232'W, Papeete Marina, Tahiti, French Polynesia
So I left the blog off at the point when both Gerry and I began to cough choke and splutter, there wasn't too much happening at that point but I thought I would just fill you in on how things have developed in the last week as we are about to leave Tahiti heading for Fiji today. So here it all is in glorious technicolor , you'll have to excuse some of the language as most of it was written under duress.
The recovery couch is getting more uncomfortable by the bloody day, mostly due to the squashed flat foam filling that is taking a hammering and being sat and laid on constantly! I'm feeling better but still getting quite breathless on exertion and I won't even start in on the chunky lungs bits that I keep coughing up. I'm pretty certain it's just a regular cold/ flu bug as its following all the normal course that I put up with. Gerry is feeling so much better but he never gets the same shitty chest hacking that I get, as such he keeps wanting me to go out to places like the market and the supermarket which is a fair walk in the heat when you feel in top form, it leaves me feeling like shit, hot and weak on the odd occasion when I go. I just wish it would piss off and stay away! We have to have our Covid swabs done tomorrow (Wednesday) for Fiji, I keep wondering what we will do if they come back positive, best not to think that far ahead! Then we are supposed to get our second jab on Thursday so it will be 2 days of a long trek to the clinics, oh joy! We plan to leave here on Friday after a trip out to immigration at the airport to clear out, a trip to a different marina to fill up with fuel and an overnight anchoring so Gerry can jump in the water to clean the boat bottom and make sure there are no barnacles growing on the prop. It will then take us about 18 days to get to Fiji, if they let us in still, not certain as we don't know our Covid status and Fiji has a massive outbreak of Delta variant that it is trying to deal with!
We thought we would start on the provisioning for the trip on Saturday with a walk to the market only to find it was closed, along with just about every other shop on the way, Maccas was open but empty so we breezed in thinking we would have an early lunch only to be told after getting our order that there was no eat in as we were in lock down! This explained the closed market and shops but it was the first we had heard of a lock down! We took our burgers back to the boat and began investigating. Apparently we went into a snap lockdown from Friday midnight for 2 weeks! I'm sure it's just to piss us off as we hadn't been notified by the marina, there was no English language notification and we needed to know the rules. Our neighbour on the dock is French and tried to explain as best he could that there was no movement without an exemption paper, this left us in a quandary - would we be able to leave as planned. We were also told that it was a lockdown on " gathering places" like restaurants but that most other things would be allowed to operate. So we stewed on it and did nothing until Monday when we had planned to do our laundry. Gerry set off with two bags load and an hour later reappeared with them still in hand, uh oh, the laundry was closed - how were we supposed to do our washing? We asked at the marina office and was told that there was possibly another laundromat near the supermarket (not certain if it existed or if it was even open) at that point I was beyond caring and said that we weren't walking miles with the washing to find it was a waste of time, we would do what we could on the boat. So I have spent the last 2 days with 2 buckets, one for washing and one for rinsing and a temporary washing line strung up throughout the cockpit, up to my elbows in soap suds and every pair of jocks and most of Gerry's polo shirts, the sheets and towels and the minimum ( thanks to not wearing much other than a sarong whilst I've been sick) of my clothes. Talk about a shit job! I would have given my eye teeth for Nan's old boiler and mangle! At least it's all washed and the last load is hanging out to dry at the moment. I have to add at this point that Gerry has already worn another 2 polo shirts and pairs of jocks so the load is already on the rise again. Funnily enough every other boat in this marina is looking like a Chinese laundry at the moment, guess we aren't the only ones who are missing the laundromat, what a ball ache! Then yesterday another edict came out saying that all travel between marinas and other islands has been banned, it's a shit fight! Gerry contacted DEPAM who put out the notice asking if we were able to leave Tahiti as planned and apparently that's OK as long as we aren't stopping at any other French Polynesian island, which we weren't planning on doing so we are still planning on Friday to leave. We have printed off the permits to be on the street for the allowed exercise/ grocery shop/ Drs visits/ customs attendance/ immigration attendance etc. etc. (maximum time of an hour even though it takes that long to walk to the grocery store and back without stopping to buy anything) and so far we have been to the market yesterday which was open and operating normally, picked up some take away rolls (all food places can operate on take away basis ), been to the mini mart for a few bits, then today Gerry has been on a long walk to the customs office only to be told that they won't check us out unless we are leaving in the next 24 hours so that means another trip on Thursday - I swear they are doing it to mess with us! Thursday is going to be busy enough with last minute provisioning, prepping food and the second jab! I'm not particularly happy about the Fiji stop over but as our water maker has given up the ghost and we are reliant on being able to top up our water tanks there it's a no brainer. I think we could make it all the way to Brisbane without the stop (28days or so) but Gerry doesn't want to take the chance. He applied to Qld health for an exemption to the 14 days of hotel quarantine when we get to Brisbane or for at least our 10 days at sea between Fiji and Brisbane to be taken into account but to no ones surprise we got a resounding no, we have to do the 14 days at our expense in a quarantine hotel! Talk about not following the science, it's a total none sense but there's no way around it apparently. So now we know for certain that the Covid tests they are using aren't accurate or they would trust them, the vaccines aren't working or they would trust them and isolation doesn't work or we would have reduced quarantine time after spending 10 days at sea with no contact with anyone else!
A call from Abigail was totally out of the blue last night, she thought we were leaving around then to head to Fiji, probably should have on reflection! There wasn't anything that she wanted at the time and it's too bad now if there is anything she wants as everywhere is locked down that she would be interested in (like the pearl shops - left it too damn late to spend my money!)
We had our Covid tests, results back today (Thursday) and of course they were negative, so we just had shitty colds. I am almost better, still got the residue hacking of a 60 a day smoker and not so much lung coming up now thank goodness, I still feel hot but my temperature is normal so I guess I'm just being a hypochondriac! The walking to the clinic followed by a detour to the supermarket just about killed me, I was wheezing and breathless for hours afterwards. Then today was ground hog day as we had to go for our second jab, followed by a side trip to the supermarket. I'm at the point of thinking that if we haven't got stuff now then we will just go without until we get to Fiji. I think there may be some interesting meals in the coming trip! I'm cooking up a couple of things today for those days when we can't cook due to bouncing around but I see a lot of soup in our future at this point! I have the laundry almost finished, if Gerry would just stop wearing clothes we would be ok! As to why I was the one doing the suds in bucket stuff, well apparently it's only any good when I do it, I was upset at the amount that he wears but at the end of the day at least it's not really dirty so doesn't need much more than a quick dunk and rinse. Gerry has been doing the longer walking to customs etc by himself, it's quicker than if I drag along and less moaning on the way! Unfortunately we both have to attend the airport for immigration tomorrow in case it's not really me with him leaving. I suspect that by the time we get back from the airport, go to the other marina to fill up with fuel and Ged has jumped in the water to clean the boat bottom it will be too late to leave tomorrow and we will head off on Saturday morning instead, not that it makes much difference apart from one last decent nights sleep. We expect to make Fiji in somewhere between 14 and 18 days, depending on how the wind and waves are along the way, I will keep the blog current so you know where we are once we get underway. We have an Australian single handler in the slip next to us, funnily enough we have gotten to the point of having him over for cocktail hour almost every night and we have discovered that we are from pretty much the same area in the UK, at least within the same school catchment area! He's from Qld and is heading back there as we head towards Fiji. We are just 2 years younger than him with pretty similar histories and life styles - who knew that we would bump into him in this huge wide World! We think he is leaving at the same time as us to have someone nearby to buddy boat with even though we aren't going in quite the same direction. We think he is nuts doing it single handed but he's quite content with his plans, apparently his wife won't do the long passages with him but otherwise loves sailing (quietly I doubt this, she is a little older than him at 71 and I think it is a big ask of her) he talks of doing 2 years caravanning around Australia when he gets home and then buying another boat and doing Alaska (rocks in his head) and then the Medi. I asked him what his wife thinks of the idea and pointed out that she will be 73/4 by then and who knows what health issues the pair of them might have at that point, hopefully he took it on board, there is no way I would want to be doing it at 70 + and even Gerry joined in agreement with me on this, so you needn't worry that we will be doing this again at any time in the future!
I have to say that everyone we have come into contact with here has been really helpful and quite lovely to us, even if they do have a bit of a giggle at our very pedestrian French! Gerry won't even try and always asks if they speak English, I can understand most things but stumble a bit over the putting together a sentence in the correct order or tense but I do try! The thing that is so unbelievable here is the cost of everything, it's very expensive. We got a shock at the pharmacy when I wanted to replace Panadol that we have used up, they only sell boxes of 16x 500mg tablets or 8 x 1 gram to prevent people using them for more than a couple of days in a row and the cost was US $ 3.50 ! They are only available through the pharmacy, none in the supermarkets here - honestly you couldn't afford to be ill for long! We also found that Aleve is only on prescription here, thank goodness we topped up in the States and I got all my prescription stuff over the counter in Grenada or I would be up shit creek by now!
We are now at Friday morning, Gerry was up at the crack of dawn, I think he gets excited at the prospect of leaving and can't wait to get underway. Luckily he had a couple of jobs to do early on which didn't involve me (like taking the trash to the dumpster and going to the bank) so I was allowed to wallow in bed until 06.45 then it was all hands on deck. Once we had finished with breakfast we took off for the airport to get checked out along with our neighbour who is also planning on leaving at about the same time as us. The clearing out was pretty simple as Gerry had sent off all the appropriate forms and had all the correct paperwork in hand for us, unfortunately our neighbour had missed a step - the getting permission to leave Tahiti during a lock down from the port authority and he was held for a while whilst the authorities contacted whoever had to grant permission for him to leave. We took off leaving him to sort it out as we had stuff still to do before leaving. Back on board we packed away all the flying objects, topped off the water tanks and stowed away the final awning, water hose and anything else that we didn't need. Finally we were ready to take off. Our neighbour, who had returned by this point,and one other guy helped by tossing our mooring lines on to the boat and Gerry took charge of the helm for a change and motored us out of the slip, we were on our way by 10 am. Our first stop is going to be the fuel dock at marina Tiana which we are approaching as I type so I'll leave this at this point and will be back tomorrow.
Vessel Name: Opal of Queensland
Vessel Make/Model: Tayana 52AC
Hailing Port: Bundaberg
Crew: Nicky, Gerry and Priss
About: Motley mostly, especially the cat
Opal of Queensland's Photos - Main
30 Photos
Created 22 October 2021
10 Photos
Created 16 September 2021
25 Photos
Created 14 September 2021
57 Photos
Created 7 August 2021
44 Photos
Created 17 July 2021
69 Photos
Created 11 July 2021
41 Photos
Created 10 July 2021
33 Photos
Created 13 May 2021
49 Photos
Created 3 May 2021
59 Photos
Created 9 April 2021
34 Photos
Created 5 April 2021
9 Photos
Created 5 April 2021
68 Photos
Created 4 April 2021
21 Photos
Created 12 March 2021
26 Photos
Created 27 February 2021
plenty of broken bits and things to fix in Colombia
44 Photos
Created 25 February 2021
25 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
27 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
29 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
36 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
20 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
13 Photos
Created 5 December 2020
Wind indicator replacement
12 Photos
Created 24 November 2020
15 Photos
Created 3 November 2020
leaving Port Louis marina, travelling to Spice Island Marine yard and hauling out to do the anti fouling
60 Photos
Created 3 November 2020
10 Photos
Created 29 July 2020
20 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 5 July 2020
28 Photos
Created 26 June 2020
62 Photos
Created 20 June 2020
10 Photos
Created 4 June 2020
155 Photos
Created 4 December 2019
104 Photos
Created 4 December 2019
55 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 1 November 2019
The life and antics of Miss Priss aboard Opal
27 Photos
Created 1 November 2019

Who: Nicky, Gerry and Priss
Port: Bundaberg