Monday, 4 June 2012

Rain, pain, driving insane - then sunshine again

It took 11 days but we finally made it to Cairns and Sea Piper is anchored in Trinity Inlet. Tomorrow we'll head up to Yorkey's Knob and the Moon River (just like the song).
Things to do with bottoms having been a recurring feature of the past week.
In the blog before last where we had arrrived in Innisfail, we were having toilet problems - again. Rather than buy another $100 worth of parts, we ordered a new toilet which includes the pump, macerator and all the other intricate pieces that make a marine toilet work. However we could not have this fine machine until we hit Cairns.
I won't go into details about the machinations in making a less-than-functional toilet do its job but let's just say it introduced a whole lot of new challenges and mechanics.
Back to our stay in Innisfail. We dinghied to land on the Tuesday to wander the town and pick up some filters and odds and ends.
It's a lovely town with a number of well-kept art deco buildings along the hills of the riverfront. People were very friendly (I think the small day packs are a giveaway that you're a tourist) but I was amazed that the town had four chemists (that's just my count from one street corner). Either the place is thriving or the people are incredibly sick.
Innisfail - out there somewhere
Thank goodness we went to town when we did because for the next four days and nights it poured, and poured, and poured. It is next door to Tully, the wettest place in Australia. The cloud mass reminded me of a great big bottom that hovered overhead then settled itself into a nice soft cushion, from where it was reluctant to move.
Apart from the Wednesday (when it blew like crazy and twirled us around on anchor like a cork on a string), Thursday, Friday and Saturday were just solid rain. For us, no sun plus no wind equals no power. We would run the motors for a while twice a day to keep the fridges going and to check to weather over the Net but we had to be miserly with everything else. No internet, no TV (well, just a little bit), minimal lighting.
Thank God for knitting and ukelele!
Royden, of course, found things to fix but we were both feeling a little stir crazy by Saturday. We donned coats and dinghied over to get the weekend papers.
A welcome break
Finally on Saturday evening there was a break in the clouds and the setting sun's pink rays shone through.
Throughout these days, the volume of water coming down the Johnson River increased dramatically and brought with it logs and debris. Every few hours we would go out the front of the boat with boat hooks and dislodged these from the anchor bridle ropes and anchor chain, with the knowledge that when the tide changed they would all come back again.

With an early high tide and a perfect forecast we lifted anchor at 6.30am Sunday and made our way out over the bar, heading for Cairns. The sky was clear, the sea was smooth - and there wasn't a breath of wind. So we motored the whole way, stopping for morning tea at Russell Island and lunch at Mission Bay. The breeze was just getting up as we entered Trinity Inlet at Cairns. How perverse this weather!
It's quite lovely here. There are hundreds of boats anchored or moored along the inlet and creeks.
This morning we went to collect our new toilet, leaving the dinghy (floating in deep water, we thought, and anchored back and front) off the public boat ramp and walking to Whitworths. We caught a taxi back but unfortunately the tide had beaten us and our dinghy was high and dry. An attempt to push it off the mud ended in a mud bath so there we were in the middle of the industrial estate, destined to wait about six hours for enough water to float our boat - and only the one toilet to sit on between us! Oh how I wish I'd taken my camera.
Help came in the form of a fisherman arriving at the boat ramp. Royden threw him a rope, he backed his boat up and, Bingo, our dinghy went sliding off the mudbank into the water. We hastily brought it into the boat ramp, loaded the toilet on (another photo moment missed) as well as ourselves and set off back to Sea Piper, leaving a mark down the mud that the next people at the boat ramp might mistake for a crocodile slide! Oh dear, poor things.
The new toilet is now installed and we now realise how crook the old one was. Past visitors will be happy to hear this news I'm sure. Future visitors won't know any different.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear all poo problems taken care of before the influx (of guests of course)!! leigh