Change of berths

Wednesday 8th June 2016

 

We were up reasonably early this morning as Steve had a dental appointment at 09:30.  All seemed fine when we left the boat to go ashore for showers, but when Steve went back with our shower bags, he found our finger pontoon at a very worrying angle.

 

m_IMG_1634.jpg

 

The boat that had been on the other side of the finger pontoon had left, and it became clear that it had been holding the pontoon in place rather than the other way around!  We spoke to Elise, the marina manager, and she agreed we should move to the berth opposite which had also been vacated in the last hour.  There was no time to do this before Steve needed to be at the dentist’s, especially as we were told not to let go the lines from the pontoon until Clayton had arrived in the RIB to lend a hand, as there was a possibility that when we did, the pontoon would roll over.  So as it was very calm and the boat was unlikely to move, we set off into town – Steve to the dentist and me to the supermarket.

 

I arrived back at the fishermen’s dock first, and stood a while watching the marina office being dismantled.  In the car park beside the Fishermen’s Co-op, a portakabin which would be the temporary office was being set down from a truck. 

 

m_IMG_1632.jpg

The marina office was dismantled piece by piece.

 

I chatted to Andrea from the office while waiting for Steve to return.  She confirmed that the marina would not be closing down – in fact they expected it to be fully refurbished and up and running again in three months.  This was largely due to the fact that the owners had already had an upgrade and refurbishment plan agreed and the new pontoons were in the process of being made.  The piles had not been damaged, and would be reused for the new pontoons.  This work had not been due to start until the breakwater had been raised – work which should have started this week.  So the storm had not really changed very much.

 

When Steve returned, we got a ride back out to the boat and set about preparing her to be moved.  When Clayton arrived, we dropped the lines and fortunately the pontoon did not roll.  We backed out and motored round to the vacant berth where she was soon tied up again to a not entirely level but in better condition pontoon.  Craig and Brett lost no time in removing the now empty pontoon, and it was towed away to the pontoon graveyard.

 

m_IMG_1635.jpg                m_IMG_1647.jpg

Our old pontoon, now empty, sits at a very jaunty angle.                                             The workboat arrives with tools to remove the pontoon.                    

 

m_IMG_1645.jpg                m_IMG_1650.jpg

Power tool at the ready to cut through the wooden battens.                       The broken section is pulled free from the pile.

 

m_IMG_1651.jpg                m_IMG_1652.jpg

The broken section is towed clear and taken away to the island end of the marina to be craned out.

 

m_IMG_1638.jpg

The old girl much happier in her new berth on the opposite side.

 

The excitement over for the day, we spent some time poring over the Beacon to Beacon guide and charts of the Broadwater, looking for possible anchorages that would be protected from the south.  The trouble with the B to B guides is that they do not show depths so are not much use on their own, but they do show where the anchorages and marinas are.

 

By coincidence, that evening an email pinged into our inbox from Brian and Sue on Darramy.  They had heard of the bad weather in Coffs and knew that we were still there, so were checking we were ok.  They also said that they were in a marina in the Broadwater if we were planning to be that way anytime soon.  What luck!  If they were in a marina, we knew it would be deep enough for us as they draw more than we do, so we checked it out on the internet and sent an email to see if they would have a berth for us at the weekend.  It would be so nice to catch up with Brian and Sue again as the last time we saw them was in Sydney. A plan was definitely coming together.