21 Mar The Marina life in Scarborough, Australia
Three months went by quickly at Scarborough Marina. We tied up to the dock on December 10, 2020. We were excited to re-connect with friends in the marina and begin our life attached to land. Plenty of boat projects were on the list to be completed while tied to the dock.
Summer was in bloom, and the weather was warming up. As Dick began the boat projects it quickly became apparent that it was too hot, and the fans were not enough to keep things cool inside of Maia. A stand-alone air con unit was purchased, and we investigated making or buying shade cloth to shade the cabin top. In the end we ended up purchasing shade assemblies from the hardware store. Inside the cabin it became tolerable, though it was still a little warm during the hot, dog days of summer!
Our number one project was to get the refrigeration, ie. fridge and freezer back in working order. In the meantime, we purchased an electric portable unit (cooler/eske) to keep our veg, cheese and other refrigerated foods fresh. Dick started the project on December 11 by pulling out the old compressor and evaporator and then got to work on removing the old WET insulation. Ick! He was hoping the job would be less than it was, (isn’t that usually the case with home and boat projects)? After he worked on getting the insulation out from the back of the fridge box, he realized he needed to cut out the bottom of the inside of the fridge. Out came the multi-tool saw and pieces of the icebox were removed.
Employing his amazing boat yoga poses Dick was able to remove the rest of the wet insulation. New parts were ordered and by December 23 the inside of fridge had been re-assembled. On December 26 D had repaired the cutouts with epoxy and was beginning the re-insulation with spray foam. He had it looking and working well by January 9. (It was keeping a perfect temperature.)
Unfortunately, the inside of the fridge smelled chemically, so we chose to not put any food inside. As the smell had not dissipated two weeks later, Dick investigated and was told that the epoxy needed to cure for one week before the topcoat was painted on… so off came the beautiful topcoat, (we were back to looking at the epoxied part of the fridge). Dick spoke with the coating company, and they recommended a two-part polyurethane. On went the new product, a week or so later it was still smelling nasty. We called the company again…. This customer service rep said oh no, that is the wrong product you need this food safe product….. coat off, coat on…. By February 25 the new coat was on, and finally on February 28 the fridge was working well, with the chemical smell dissipating, we were able to start re-filling the fridge!
During a regular maintenance check of the steering, Dick got down into the insides of the boat underneath the cockpit and found rust.. decay… on a few of the wires. On January 15 parts were ordered with an Australian merchant, but the parts would be shipping from the USA. As he dug deeper into the project, he found a sheave was badly worn and this part needed to be replaced. As the Australian company would not be ordering again from the US for at least a month, Dick ordered the sheave directly from the US manufacturer. As we are waiting patiently for the parts to arrive, we found out from the Australian company that our parts had been shipped to the UK and not Australia!??? Finally, by February 25 all parts were on their way.
While waiting for parts, new lifelines were constructed from Spectra cord, spliced together, and installed. (It sounds pretty simple, but we spliced around 20 lines… Dick also replaced the Engine insulation that had literally crumbed and fallen apart. We decided to order a Froli system which is a plastic spring type mechanism to put under the foam on our bed. (We are happy with the results; the bed appears to be a bit comfier!)
During this time Laura wrote an article for Go West magazine (an Australian cruising mag) that covered our previous five-month adventure on the Great Barrier Reef and sailing on the East Coast of Oz. You can read it here: https://issuu.com/downunderrally/docs/go_west_magazine_2021_digital/39
During our time in the marina, we enjoyed the cruising community. Spending time with old friends and making new. Laura specifically enjoyed her times on shore with the “Girls”, going for walks, shopping for veg at the Redcliffe Sunday Farmers Market, Thursday meditations at the LoveLight Crystal Sound Healing Temple, fieldtrips up to the Mountains, beach picnics and a few art afternoons in the park.
When our three-month marina stay was complete, we decided to extend for another week to finish up all the little things that we wanted to get done before we began living out and about, mostly on anchor. Our plan was to stay in the Brissy area until cyclone season had ended 30 April.