Posted on August 2, 2017
Mutiny on the High Seas
Carol and I are back in the marina now, rental car returned and we’re looking forward to getting a move on north. The weather has been spectacular. We’ve not seen rain for so long I don’t think I’d recognize it if I saw it. Even clouds are a rarity. We had a lot of fun on the road trip and enjoyed our stay in Bowral, and our day drives into Sydney and Canberra. On our way north from Sydney we were looking for something to do when we would have been too early to arrive at our motel, and chose the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary which was close by. It was to be a choice better than we could have hoped!
Not just a small backyard operation, it is in fact a large modern zoo filled with indigenous animals. They have a state of the art hospital where injured animals can be brought free of charge, operated in in one of a few operating theaters and then allowed to recover in the sanctuary until able to be released into the wild. We explored this place by walking and also by Segway, the first time Carol and I had tried this novel method of mobility. They are great! I’d love to buy one for home use, but unfortunately they are still illegal on public roads and sidewalks and most parks in Toronto.
Currumbin is one of only 2 places in Australia where it is legal to hold a koala. Of course we had to take advantage of this! Koalas are quite docile and lighter than you think. They have to be brought in fresh leaves from the gum tree, the trees we call eucalyptus, each day and only eat the tender new leaves at the ends of the branches, wasting most of the branch.
There’s been some improvement on the spare parts front. A spare starter, which I had almost given up on, has been located at the shop that was looking at my alternator. It is waiting in town now for me to pick up. Pricey at $420, it is a small amount to pay if we’re in some out of the way place and our starter won’t start! I had drawn the line at $900, but this one is more reasonable. The Balmar alternator turns out to be without fault. The technician and I now both agree there is some problem with the wiring which developed while Prince Diamond sat in Tonga idle for a few months. Remember how men and ships rot in port? So true. I’ve attempted to run a new sense wire from the key switch, but after a few hours work have decided just to let the Hitachi continue and will leave the situation as it is for now.
If you have something and it is worth x amount of dollars, just say it is for a boat and you know the price will rise anywhere from 3 times to 10 times the original price… just because. Zincs here are something I need to prevent the dreaded electrolysis of my new folding propeller, but zincs at $45 a piece are outrageous. $17 a piece is better, so 5 zincs are coming from the States, halfway around the world, but still cheaper in the long run.
We took a look at the rest of our sailing itinerary and that has caused some concern. Due to the planned day-hopping up the coast, it is going to take us about a month and a half just to get to Cairns. And we’ve been in Bundaberg for almost a month now. It WILL be a month before we can gather up the last of the incoming parts here at Port Bundaberg and get moving. And South Africa is 8500 nautical miles after Cairns! Mutiny has raised its head. Carol has put her foot down. And I have to agree, there is no way to get to South Africa from here this year. We wouldn’t be home until Christmas, or perhaps even after. If we want to enjoy this sailing and not have it become an endurance race we have to slow! South Africa is just too far a destination for this year. Clearly, we are going to have to leave the Prince somewhere for Christmas and then resume the trip next year. It means the sailing goes on into 2019.
Where to go? Darwin is the most reasonable place to leave the boat, but Bali in Indonesia may also be attractive. More research is needed. Looks like we’ll be getting home sooner than expected this year, which is of course a good thing.