29 May 2007

Airlie Beach, Queensland

Moored Abel Point Marina
Airlie Beach, Queensland

We have been back here in Airlie Beach since last Tuesday. We plan to leave here today, within the hour.

Upon arriving last Tuesday we filled up on diesel and pulled into a berth here at Abel Point Marina. We were completely out of water, fuel, beer, and fresh veggies. Our plan was to spend two nights here, then leave to start heading north on Thursday. But of course we found that our dripless shaft seal wasn’t a minor problem, but a major one that need attention soon. We had some of the guys from the shop come by to look at it. They said they could order the part and put it in Monday. So much for getting out of here.

So we thought we’d go back out to the Whitsunday Islands with our friends on Blue Sky. But because the weather was reporting strong winds, we weren’t sure we would be able to make it back Monday morning for our appointment. So we spent another weekend in Airlie.

We didn’t do much this weekend. Just relaxed by the lagoon when it wasn’t raining. Checked out the farmers' market. And we even had a Sunday brunch in the park with Shiraz, complete with eggs, hash browns, tortillas, fruit salad, bacon, and Mimosas. The parks in Australia are so nice, clean, and most have free electric burning bar-b-ques. Tom and I are always joking that if they had a free bar-b-que in Oakland, there would be bums surrounding them cooking up the neighborhood rats.

After our relaxing weekend we headed back into the marina on Monday morning at 7.

The dripless shaft seal is a pretty important piece of equipment on the boat. It actually keeps the boat from sinking, so it was imperative we get this fixed ASAP. The shaft connects the transmission to the propeller through the boat's hull. Our old shaft seal was self-destructing and letting water into the boat. Not good!

We are able to access the engine from the cockpit by removing the cockpit floor. After we removed the floor, we hooked a come-along winch to the engine to raise it up. We were ready for the professionals to come aboard to install the new shaft seal. The shaft seal went on fast and easy and the project was complete by early afternoon. We are so thankful we were able to get this part while here. However, if this had happened in The States, it would have cost us a third of the price here. Parts are very expensive here.

We are leaving this afternoon for an overnight trip to Magnetic Island, 120 nautical miles from here. We shall see then how the new shaft seal operates on this voyage.

Happy Birthday to Janice Wilson!!
Tom’s sister and best mail handler around!

Happy Memorial Day to all!

Ride hard Bob Sherman (Amy’s dad)!
He is currently participating in the Thunder Run by riding his Harley-Davidson Fat Boy from Sacramento, California to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC to join the thousands of other Vietnam Vets on Memorial Day.

Love to all,
Amy and Tom

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