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Published: October 15th 2013
The travel lift came early thursday morning so I dashed down to slap a second coat of antifoul on the patches revealed when we had the stands moved the day before and Naomi rushed down to the local butcher to pick up our order of vacuum packed and frozen meats.
The boat went into the water and we tied a rope to the aft sling to keep it taught as it passed under the hull to avoid snagging on our wire between the keel box and rudder. As the end was near to coming out the other side, the boat was being pulled sideways and then suddenly released as the rope went slack... and then I pulled up the snapped end... not sure what it caught on, hopefully no damage done. Not had the nerve to dive and have a look yet - will wait until we are out of a murky crocodile infested inlet.
As the boat settled into the water I went to check the newly installed hydraulic ram and my heart sank as I could hear water gushing before I had even lifted the floor boards! I pumped more grease into it and it did slow
me underneath covering the last exposed spots with antifoul
down but was still slowly pouring in. Kept working more grease into it but the lift had to move on so we backed out of the pen and moved to a pontoon that the manager kindly let us use.
Spent the rest of the day pumping more grease and working the keel up and down, flicking on the bilge pump and praying the water would slow down.
We stayed the night on the jetty and called in the guys from Norship again. They tightened up the flange for the ball joint (the part leaking) which didn't make much difference and then suggested they find a stickier/thicker greese. They criticised the state of the metal parts but of course it was these same parts they serviced and re-installed and now it leaked far more than ever before. Other options were getting new metal parts (probably impossible) or repairing it (very expensive) and both would require going back on the hard stand.
We released the ropes to free up the pontoon and headed down Smith Creek to a very tranquil spot amongst other anchored boats and mangroves... it was nice to be in nature again. Had
to pull the chain a little later as we swung very close to the mangroves. Had great fun speeding about the nearby narrow creeks and I later went back to Norship to get the new super grease. Its pink/orange stuff that's stringy like chewing gum - pumped it in and no real improvement... doh!
Next morning we took Luna Ray to anchor outside the Marina as we knew Dale & Tam were back there after their excursion to the Low Islands. And later that morning we all met up with Pippa & John at the Muddy's play area so the kids could go crazy.
Got a bit nervous about where we were anchored and heard from Dale who had left earlier that we were swinging quite close to a pylon now that the tide was changing. So I rushed back on my own and pulled the chain in so we didn't swing onto it. Fortunately Dale was able to bring Naomi & Alex over so I could stay on the boat, and then we moved slightly more north. Apparently this anchorage is known as the Skating Rink as boats swing all over the place and often drag anchor.
We were not much happier in our new spot. We came back from the bottle shop about 6pm and found we were now hanging very close to a catamaran, so we lifted anchor again and moved a few metres south. Then we still had a nervous night as we swung very close to the same boat... it was like it was following us! Planned to move the next morning but the catamaran moved to the marina so we felt safe again. Then next time the tide changed we were hanging right next to another boat that hadn't been as close before... had we dragged a little?
We got sick of this place and Naomi was aging fast with the stress so yesterday afternoon moved again, about a mile south, outside the entrance to Smith Creek, the same spot we stopped at the night before our lift out.
More time spent monitoring the water leak which didn't seem to get better until this afternoon where it has slowed to a rapid drip... fingers crossed it continues to improve. More trips back to the Marina to visit the lagoon and do more shopping.
Said our goodbyes to Dale (Tam was shopping) as they went to Fitzroy Island this afternoon on their way south, and we will head north tomorrow.
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