back in soggy Mackay for 2011

CR and KN Williams
Mon 4 Apr 2011 07:50

21.07S 149.14E

Tuesday 5th April, 2011

Arrived back in Mackay after a long journey which we broke for 3 days in Hong Kong.  A fascinating city which does no good at all for my cervical spondylitis, jolly good food though. We then spent a night in Sydney and finally saw kangaroos, koalas, crocodiles, kookaburras and lots more; all at the zoo in Sydney Harbour. It may be cheating but at least it takes the wildlife pressure off the rest of the trip.


Whilst in the UK I went to seminar in Northwood full of squaddies, Navy types and reps from yachting organisations. The message was very clear, the Royal (and other) Navy is only interested in commercial shipping and couldn’t care less about yachts in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. This was recently confirmed with the deaths of 4 Americans and capture of 5 Danes including 3 teenagers. Stuart Ingram has written an impassioned blog from mailasail Troubadour. What  is amazing is that all these pointless and spineless admirals are still writing endless letters to the newspapers demanding £12bn for aircraft carriers without aircraft, whose rules of engagement prevent them from doing anything other than ‘observe’ the pirates. They say they don’t want to endanger the captives, but they could perfectly easily blow the mother ships out of the water on their way out; they even know the names of the boats! It seems only the Indian Navy know what they are paid to do.


When we left Mackay last November it was pouring with rain, and it seems this has continued without pause until now and is expected to continue for at least another month. This means that much of the work on the boat (antifouling, varnishing and gel coating) cannot proceed until the sun comes out! Fortunately Cyclone Yasi missed Mackay but the rain hasn’t.  The pot holes here make the UK look like a billiard table, and many roads are closed from flooding.


Our new engine is on board but not yet finished and the interior varnish looks beautiful. Clare is having problems finding cheapish rooms for the next two weeks; she thought about a caravan site but decided it would probably be under water.