We arrived at Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron and moored at the end of Jetty A in front of their substantial boat yard where many yachts and powerboats are undergoing repairs and restoration. I checked in and collected the usual key for access to showers, laundry and other facilities. Keith went to the club to contact his family and returned with news that he had to return to the UK, with lots of urgent calls Kieth is headed for the airport. Paul contemplates staying on till Darwin but ultimately he decides he needs to return to get his ribs and shoulder looked at. It is later discovered he has a fractured rib from a bump he received earlier on the trip and a torn ligament received while lifting a bucket of water. Paul decides to stay till the Friday to give me a hand with some of the required maintenance.
The marina is right in the heart of Cairns heavy industrial area. This operates 24 hours a day, yes angle grinders and banging and crashing at 2am in the morning were not that uncommon. While we were moored I decided to track down the intermittent problem of the chart plotter not receiving GPS or speed information. While checking the connectors on the chart plotter I snapped off one of the pins at the radar plug. Thinking it would be a fairly simple pin replacement I ring around the marine electronics services and soon discover it requires a complete board replacement. Luckily there is a company in town that has a board and can do the work. I also organise another technician to come have a look at the intermittent problem with the speed and GPS. The problem is tracked down in a couple of hours and parts are ordered.
Paul flies out on the Friday and I decide to move marinas to a nice quiet development further up the coast in Trinity Park. The access to the marina is via Moon Creek, a mangrove lined shallow creek, timing will need to be correct for a high tide arrival.
I depart Smiths Creak in Cairns early in the morning and head out into Trinity Inlet to gain access to the ocean and head north. I turn the radar on to discover I am not getting any returns. With the autopilot on I head north for the leisurely 90 minute motor up the coast. Yorkeys Knob is visible from some distance, covered in luxury houses and apartments with the Yorkeys Knob Boating Club bordering the Northern slope. I track in on the leads and enter Moon Creak past the dredging barge.
Moon Creak is a mangrove lined creek with a narrow dredged channel. Just to the edge of the channel the sides rise rapidly and the depth gauge gets nervously low.
An abandoned yacht marks the sharp curve and gives warning to what happens if you stray from the channel. I inch forward at walking pace and suddenly as I pass Half Moon Creek the depth gauge hits zero and stays there for the next 5 minutes. I know there is a good margin built into the reading so I glide forward and listen for any hint of the bottom touching the hull. Slowly the depth gauge rises again an Bluewater Marina emerges from the mangroves.
Five minute later I pull into the berth and the welcoming committee grabs the lines. This will be home for just over a week while ordered parts are installed, boat jobs taken care of and crew organised. It is a quiet canal development with homes lining the area with a tavern restaurant at the end of my jetty.
During the week the main fridge freezer is not keeping up with the increasing temperature so I have it rewired back to thermostat control from the timer setup currently installed. The fault with the speed and GPS receives a new converter so the two networks will talk with each other. The fault with the radar is tracked down and a temporary fix installed. Many other boat jobs are finished and spare parts purchased.