I often heard my dad and other retirees say they were so busy in retirement that they don’t know how they ever found time to work. Whilst paid work is over for both of us our days are still very full and we’re not yet fully enjoying a relaxing retired life. We are enjoying the retired life but it isn’t yet as carefree as we’d like it to be. Over the past couple of months we have shifted two houses into one and continued boat works and preparation to sail north for what remains of Winter.
Shifting house wasn’t as straightforward as it should be. Living on an island has always been a dream and has now become reality.
Maybe not quite the idyllic palm lined coral fringed tropical island of my imaginings but the sub-tropical, semi-urbanised Southern Moreton Bay Islands will do for now. Island living of course comes with additional considerations of ferry and barge timetables. Consequently, vehicle travel on a barge timetables comes with some stress but when the furniture truck is late arriving to load because it has broken down en-route to us and still has a barge schedule to meet later in the day, there is extra worry. After a hasty loading and a re-scheduling of barge bookings for their truck and our cars, they never arrived on the island with our furniture – it had broken down again before it even got to the barge for the return. It did however arrive the next day but that delayed any moving in.
Now after two weeks on the island settling in, tidying up and repairing the house after ten years of rental tenants we again drove north, back to Bundaberg and Vaega tolu. There is still many jobs to attend to and get her ready for our journey north. One task was to get a new mast for the wind generator installed. The marina wouldn’t allow welding to happen in our berth so a second haul out was needed. At least this time it was only for two nights, but it was still an unplanned cost and inconvenience. As well as helping the welder I started running the new wires for the wind generator and cleared out the old manual toilet from the aft head in readiness for installing the new electric one.
Another job was to fix the freezer but the small pump I got was too strong and consequently didn’t’ suit. A second smaller volume pump has been ordered and according to online tracking details is at the marina office waiting for us. We also started shopping and storing away food supplies for the trip. It’s surprising how much food can be stowed away in odd shaped compartments under the saloon seats and any other nook and cranny.
Serious thought went into what was stored where so we weren’t shuffling through all the stowages looking for supplies.
I also took time to seriously consider what tools and other things weren’t really needed on board. I have so many tools, toys and clothes, not all will be needed for the months ahead. It was a full car when we drove back to Brisbane.
Family responsibilities had us returning to Brisbane and continue house jobs. At least on the island we are close to the water and can see it from the back verandah of the house and it is only a 100m walk across a park.
We are still preparing for our trip whilst doing house jobs on the island. New cushions for the cockpit have been made and with two food dehydrators lots of fruits and veggies have been dried, practised making yoghurt and paneer cheese. More spare parts and additional charts have been ordered online and are waiting for our return to the marina.
There will be more shopping when we get to back to Bundaberg and also connect the wind gen, install the new macerating toilet, replace the leaking racor fuel filter, and install the replacement cooling pump for the freezer. Hopefully a week should see us ready to go and enjoying a live-aboard life.
Now, with a snap lockdown due to COVID-19, our departure from Brisbane to get back to Bundaberg has been delayed – fingers crossed it is just a three day lockdown.
Lockdown presents many challenges both on land and for those at anchorages wanting to provision, travel or sightsee. Let’s hope that by the time we ship to sea that all the Covid cases and sources are under control and not a threat. I have more styrofoam to remove!
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Hi Geoff! A great post here mate. Nice to see your use of the dehydrator! We did the same and wished we put more down. It is such an excellent way to save weight, increase fresh produce capacity and have some more variety. Cheers for your follow on our site too! Chris