I think we managed to navigate the arrival our newest crew member, baby Ava and Covid-19 remarkably well. Yes, we are grandparents and we now look forward to family visits on The Bossa with an eager young one to share our travels with.
Unfortunately, a week after departing Victoria by road, staying well clear of the Sydney coast roads and towns, Victoria too entered another lockdown. Times have not changed in the last 18 months. We felt very fortunate in 2020 to have made it north and once again this year. The warmer temperatures and sunny skies here in Queensland are certainly being appreciated. Mind you, the nights are cold and some days out on the water in the sea air, it’s bloody cold! My mum’s beanies have certainly been appreciated.
So what’s new on The Bossa? After a long four weeks of maintenance at The Boatworks last year, we were hopeful we’d only spend a few days setting up this time, then be off. Neville had also spent 10 days a few months back doing some annual maintenance and improving a few things. The Bossa is nearly 8 years old now so we are definitely not a new boat any longer. But we do pride ourselves on fixing anything that breaks, replacing anything that has perished, cracked or discolored and we also like to update and add features that improve our life living aboard.
All went according to plan … bar the batteries taking a dive. Not totally unexpected, but we were hopeful of getting another season out of them before upgrading to a lithium system next season. Not to be. After some research and browsing on Gumtree Neville found Ashleigh in Southport who reconditioned old golf cart batteries (of course it’s ‘golf cart city’ up here on the Gold Coast so no surprises there). Perfect! We had Trojan golf cart batteries so it was a straight swap BUT we only paid $400 instead of over $2000 for new ones (only to be replaced with lithium batteries next year). Yay! A big win.
Other changes … a bigger invertor and a bread maker have been added. The bigger invertor will mean more power to charge phones and laptops, run a few electrical gadgets and specially to run the bread maker so we can wake to the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the cabin each morning … oops, I don’t think so … we nor The Bossa needs any extra weight!
So we splashed last Wednesday, sat out some strong westerlies in The Broadwater, sailed to Mooloolaba with our friends on Ilikai for an overnight stop, then crossed a very calm Wide Bay Bar at the southern end of Fraser Island two days ago. It was probably the calmest ‘mad mile’ of them all. Instead of feeling a bit edgy in the cockpit corner seat asking “are we there yet?” I was standing, idly chatting with a friend on the phone. We had just logged out with the Tin Can Bay Coastguard and I received a text from a friend from home … “Just heard Bossa Nova on the radio. We have just crossed the WBB and were wondering if you were the Bossa Nova they were speaking to?” Yes, we were! What a crazy coincidence. We’ve since learned Marg and Ross have just purchased a yacht from Newcastle and are heading north as well. And we had crossed the bar at the very same time!
We are now anchored off Big Woody Island sitting out some rather strong westerly winds (again) but we have just enjoyed a cuppa (and some freshly baked bread) on Nautilus which is a big roomy Lagoon 45 catamaran.
Oh … did I mention an engine alternator stopped working minutes from Boatworks or the fan belt slipping the following day? We’re off to the Sandy Straits Marina to collect our new parts next.