Low Isles to Port Douglas (unplanned stop!)
Wed 15 Jun 2016 01:44
Tuesday, 31st May – Syd’s birthday and the plan was to head off at 8.00am and enjoy the 15-20 knot South Easterly forecast. Black clouds covered the land and were getting closer, rain started and the generator packed up!!!!! Now what do you think Syd would enjoy doing most on his birthday – those that know him would agree – upended, muttering to himself and covered in oil! After several hours he was defeated and the only option was to go into Port Douglas Reef Marina and seek help. Genoa up and we bounced our way over the big lumpy sea at a very respectable 7+ knots into the calm and tranquillity of the Reef Marina. First call was to Port Electrics who the following day sent James to help - strangely he came from Somerset???? He checked out voltage readings – not good, only option was for Syd to separate the electrical part from the engine and get it to Cairns for an internal check which resulted in corroded wires being replaced. So the first 2 days were spent with the boat in bits, oily tools everywhere and lots of swearing. Finally the alternator part (all 25+ kilos of it) was out, then had to be packed for a Courier to collect it the following day. ‘Trady’s’ here have strict rules and though they are built like ‘brick shit houses’ are not allowed to lift heavy weights – so Syd was on his own to get the packed alternator off the boat, onto a trolley and up to the car park to meet the Courier. The next couple of days were better news as the place in Cairns pulled out the stops and did the repair and had it back by the following Monday.
In between all this we did get to see Port Douglas which is lovely, loads of really nice restaurants, bars and cafes and a magnificent 3 mile beach with pristine hard sand which is a favourite for people cycling along. We also found a resort which had a gorgeous lap pool which we used (most days for free) so we did a lot of swimming – I swam a mile a day and did several wonderful barefoot runs along the beach. Reef Marina was a great central spot and there was a very friendly crowd of people living permanently on boats there. Every day tourists flocked into the Marina to take the tripper boats out to Low Isles and the more adventurous out to the Outer Barrier Reef. The only down side was that the Micro Brewery which was due to open in May was behind schedule – it looked temptingly ‘nearly ready’ but unfortunately was still not open when we left!