The Great Escape
Well, after a deeply frustrating week in Mackay marina, we
finally escaped just before lunchtime yesterday (Saturday). We are currently on
passage North! Not yet decided where will be the next port of call!! WE are now
in “catch up” mode, and have to be in
There was very little wind to start with today, but we sailed and after a couple of hours we went from averaging 3 to 4 knots, up to 6 to 7 knots on flat water and a lovely bright sunny day, albeit quite cold. The winded died at sun down, so faithful Perkins has once again been pressed into service.
The boat had splashed over a week ago and we had high hopes
at that time of getting way on the Tuesday, and spending at least a couple of
days in the Whitsunday Islands. Alas, this was not to be. We had two major
issues that just could not seem to get sorted. Toilets and my old favourite the
Fischer Panda Generator. One of the toilets was brand new and had a leak, The
other “the Vacuuflush” toilet had a vacuum leak. The company
working on this changed pipes, changed joints, serviced the motor,
replaced all the duck bill valves and even changed the plastic base. In the end
the key problem was a rubber grommet that joined the exhaust pipe to the vacuum
tank. Once that as sorted it then turned out one of the new plastic joints had
a hairline fracture and once that was sorted….the water seal on the toilet
base was leaking. FINALLY, Jeff came on board on Friday and fixed the last
issue. Phew, a fully operational vacuuflush toilet. First time it has worked
100% since Nick Henderson “fixed” it, back in
The generator problem was as a result of all the work we had done on it to vastly improve its reliability. Although at times over the last week I felt once again that the best thing for it would be to chuck it in the sea! WE had new injectors fitted, full service. Also fixes for the raw water leak involving all new raw water hoses. A well as fixed for the “slight” fresh water coolant leaks. Then a new bigger, more accessible remote diesel fuel filter. Day after day they tried to get it to run reliably. But to no avail. In the process we also discovered that water had managed to find its way into the electrical connection box, low down on the genset side. This had caused a serious electrical fault that had burnt back the cables and destroyed one of the terminals. So I had to strip back the cables, clean up the mess and then reconnect it all with new connectors. I then had a water tight gasket fabricated for the terminal box cover to ensure that this problem could not re-occur. (Should have been one fitted in the first place!!) WE then discovered that the seals in a near brand new Jabsco water pump on the genset had ailed. So this too had to be fixed. Meanwhile work continued on the fuel side of the genset to sort it out. We then discovered that the filter element in the Racor filter was the wrong mesh size. This had made it very hard for the pump to force diesel through the system. Then an air leak was found on the new pump….it was endless. Finally, finally by 4pm on Friday, Rick and Mat of Marine Engineers had all the problems were sorted (or so we thought) and we went to bed, just knowing we would escape yesterday. There was loads more work done on the boat, but it would be all too boring for you to have to read out the full list here…………….
We were in Mackay for exactly one month. Half of that was
back in the
Now for Mackay…well sad as it may seem, I never
ventured outside of the
We DID have fun in Mackay marina. WE got to know the staff well in all of the restaurants in the complex. We enjoyed some excellent food & wine. As this picture of a fresh Coral Trout attests, some of it was truly novel.
We also enjoyed the fact that everyone we met in Mackay
seemed happy. There was none of the cynism you get in
Finally, one word on Australian phrased and names. There are legion, but I was tickled by the name used for the ladies toilets………………………….
Until the next one…………………….wherever we might be!!