Photo shows the two boats off South Stradbroke
We are back off South Stradbroke Island in the Broadwater after a lot of dithering around. It's hard work with two boats to look after, especially when the weather turns funny. Work is continuing on both boats intermittently between moving from one anchorage to another. Saraoni is slowly having an internal face lift, but we will soon have to put it on the market and maybe take it down to the Pittwater.
We expect to sail Sundari when it is ready up to New Cal., then down to New Zealand later in the year. One bit of welcome news is that the Tutukaka marina manager will arrange for us to swap our leasehold berth for one that will fit Sundari. Unfortunately, the Penguin Pad just behind the breakwater will be too shallow and probably not quite long enough, so the idea is that we take a berth on the piles in the middle of the marina when we leave Sundari any time.
It's been hectic at times with the two boats although we've been becoming adept at manoeuvering both at the same time, generally with Al on Saraoni and me (Geoff) on Sundari, mainly because at the moment it's easier to see through Saraoni's nice clean glass in its hard dodger rather than Sundari's rather hail scarred clears, which need replacing.
Mr Whippy, mobile boat version. On weekends, this guy chugs up the Broadwater selling booze and ice creams. It has been hot, so plenty of customers!
We've had two dramas. One when we both went aground more or less at the same time trying to anchor behind Wave Break Island, just inshore of the Seaway. Luckily it was at low tide so we got off easily. The next drama, which could have been more serious was when anchored off Runaway Bay after Cyclone Oma disappeared. The weather was quite squally, but most of the time OK. As we were getting covered in goo, paint and other crap on Saraoni, a squall came through and we noticed Sundari dragging - even with its 60 lb Manson Supreme! I rushed over in the dinghy to get it before it hit the rocks on the mainland while Al watched as Saraoni started to drag, too! I managed to reanchor Sundari, rush back to Saraoni, up anchor and then Al hung around motoring up and down, while I dashed back to Sundari as it was dragging again. Then we set off round the sandbanks and re-anchored again in the shelter of South Stradbroke. As we have very rarely dragged anywhere in the world, we assume the Runaway bay area has terrible holding - it's probably hard-packed sand, swept by the strong tidal flows.
Since then we have been up to Coomera again and into the Gold Cost City marina to get Sundari's Volvo engine crankshaft oil seal replaced, which was leaking.
Sundari now has a rather sporty looking pair of davits, a wind generator, two of the three solar panels strapped to the deck, a home made boom bag for the new main sail and some nice new hatch covers to stop the hatches from crazing any more.
Sundari's solar panels draped on the deck off South Stradbroke in lovely, if hot, weather. Note the new boom bag and hatch covers!
In between looking after the two boats, improving both of them, we are still furiously tapping away at the computers making the money to pay for it all!
Think we need a holiday!