FNQ – Far North Queensland….
The sail down to cairns was 136nm of nice sailing, interspersed with glassy seas as the wind dropped to zero, past some of the best coastal scenery in Australia.
We got to cairns at 8am, fueled up and settled into marlin marina. G jetty is new and set up for cats and at $58 a day was not as expensive as I was lead to believe.
Pam and Darren headed for a bit of 5 star shore based luxury, whilst Dragan caught up with friends. I launched into a long list of boat jobs, determined to get them done before Cas flew in on Monday.
But first I had a very quick catchup with Smiley, who came in to drop daughter and partner off before heading south. We will catch up with them later in our journey. It was great to catchup and swap sea stories about the places we both visited since we saw each other last.
Monday morning came around and it was time to finally lift Camelot out of the water at Norship Marine and smarten her up. Her bottom was still looking pretty good so we passed on the anti-foul and had a full wax and polish instead. Mcclouds Engineering were next on the job, replacing the leaky seals on the sail drive, a result no doubt of loosing our prop blade way back in the Abrolhos.
Finally, I got in Henk and his daughter to try and sort out my poorly performing solar panels and windgen. In a few hours I learnt more about solar/wind setup than ever before. Must to my dismay, I found out that both the new solar panel and the windgen had been installed incorrectly – the windgen was on the output connectors of the regulator and this is probably the reason why it’s buggered – they don’t like current being fed back into them. The two sets of solar panels on two separate regulars were interfering with one another and stopping each other from charging the batteries properly. So all in all, a complete balls up by two different installers – one of who runs a marine electronics business in Perth. Good news is that I’m full bottle on how to set up my next boat.
With the boat reasonably sorted, an excited little Steve headed off to the airport to pick up Cas. It was great to see her and we headed back to the casino hotel, the choice of hotel dictated by which one had the best Melbourne Cup function.
Think we did really well there as the lunch was great. I was the only guy on a table of women so that was a good start. Everyone was dressed up as we’re we – Cas looked exceptionally gorgeous and she had to bring some non-boat clothes up for me so I could try and match her. Had a great time from the moment they handed us a glass of Mumm champagne. Won a bit of money on number 14 as well.
We ended up kicking on with a few of the girls at our table – watching the sun set at mondos and dancing at salt.
Next morning it was time to do a bit of sightseeing – albeit land based – as we drove up to kalundra . We visited the bird park and the koala park – Cas got to cuddle one – then had a look round the markets, which were like a hippy amusement park. Then we drove up to the dantree and did a boat tour on its upper reaches (we thought this would be better than revisiting more mangroves). It was a beautiful trip, past cows and crocodiles – a biggie at 4m who had just eaten a calf the week before.
Then it was back to Port Douglas for the night, where we enjoyed a nice walk along the beach and a stroll up and down the Main Street.
Driving back to cairns, we got a series of calls about the parts needed to complete the work on the sail drive not arriving on time to get Camelot back in the water. So another night in a hotel room in cairns. At this rate we will get a job with TripAdvisor writing hotel reviews.
Next morning we were up and out to Norship. Camelot was back in the water and we were off to Fitzroy Island. Yippee!!!