Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Monday, 24 October 2016

G'day - the first week in Australia

Our first week in Australia has fairly flown by but we've been busy. It's always the same after a few months spent away from first-world facilities, so we've been doing laundry, setting up an Australian bank account, getting a local mobile phone contract and re-provisioning in supermarkets that sell everything we could wish for (and more).

We have also been switching Maunie from Ocean to Coastal mode, so Winnie the Windpilot's rudder and wind-vanes have been packed away and the ocean charts have been replaced by coastal pilot books.

The Port Bundaberg Marina is great - really well organised and with some nice facilities.

The excellent Cruisers' Cove with free BBQ, fridge-freezer, kettle and crockery provided
The only downside is that we are about 20 minutes' drive from the town but there's a daily free shuttle-bus and there's also a small supermarket about 15 minutes' walk away. The marina is suddenly full of foreign boats as the destination of the Down Under Rally from New Caledonia and Vanuatu, so we've enjoyed meeting some new folks to swap stories. The local sailors have also been really helpful, sharing tips of where to visit and the various hazards of this tidal coastline to avoid.

We decided to focus on a few time-consuming boat jobs before we head south towards Brisbane in the next couple of days. Our deck remains the main area of focus since the repair of the main leak at Chesterfield Reef showed up some additional problems. Taking down the headlining (ceiling) in the forecabin showed some obvious signs of damp:

Water leaking past three bolt heads

Back to hands and knees work on deck

 A proper watertight fix - the bolt holes were drilled oversize, filled with epoxy filler then drilled and tapped so that we don't just rely on sealant at the top of the bolt hole to prevent water ingress.
In between these tasks, Graham also applied his engineer's eye to another important job:

Now, where's my spirit level?
We are getting used to the weather patterns here - it's generally been hot and sunny but once a week or so a weather front brings heavy rain and cold southerly wind. Northern Queensland is no place to be in the summer, though, as this is a cyclone zone so we need to be south of Brisbane by the end of November.

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