A journey in limbo

A little electrical issue had us heading to Yeppoon and into Keppel Bay Marina where things may be easier sorted out. However, a planned few days alongside turned to a week, then two, now three and most likely to become four weeks in the marina.

Whilst sitting at anchor off Long Beach at Great Keppel Island we noticed that the freezer and fridge weren’t turning on and a check of the battery monitor indicated very low battery voltage. The Batteries were old and in need of a change. Of course to buy and pick up new batteries meant time in a marina. Hasty phone calls to the marina for berth availability and then a rapid departure from the anchorage. The entrance to the marina is very shallow at low tide so with our 2m draught we needed to be there to catch the most water we could. All was good for the crossing and entry to the harbour but, as we slowed to come into our berth and dropped the engine to idle the oil pressure alarm sounded again.

At the best of times it is hard to find a tradesman with available time to look at things. But when you add ‘marine’ to the list of required skills and qualifications it becomes a little more difficult. There are always heaps of car mechanics but when the number of mechanics and tradies with marine experience becomes limited, their time is heavily booked. “Can’t see you for two or more weeks‘ is the usual response – one electrician suggested 6 – 8 weeks before he could do any work.

Batteries were bought online and following delivery, installed. Electrical wiring and work leaves me totally confused so I did enlist the help of an electrician to swap out the old and install the new. It does become off-putting when his first comment on seeing the battery compartment is “that doesn’t comply with current standards“. However, he did put the new batteries in and watching him and talking about what’s what did help me understand some of what’s there. We’ve arranged another guy to come and tidy things up to standard – but that will be next week.

Organising a mechanic to help with the oil pressure issue has been more difficult. We’ve got someone coming to test the oil pressure next week and then we’ll see what happens from there.

Time in a marina give opportunities for exploring, enjoying restaurants & live music and other boat work to happen. We’ve taken walks along the local beach and ventured into Yeppoon for shopping. Not having a car means public transport – something we’re not at all used to. That can sometimes be a harrowing experience as buses swerve and swing wildly around roundabouts and intersections almost throwing us out of our seats. It also means remembering carrying small change to pay the fares.

Add to the woes of boat maintenance, I dropped my phone overboard as I was stepping from boat to dock. It was gone in a flash and with it photos, contact information and other data I’d not thought to store in ‘the cloud’. A rushed trip to town for a new phone and then at low tide with boat hook lashed to a fish landing net I dragged the bottom and did manage to retrieve the old phone. Salt water and dark, sticky marina mud don’t mix well with technology but it’s been rinsed and is drying with the remote optimistic chance of recovery some information off the SIM card at least.

A plethora of boats come and go through the marina. All, we imagine, are heading north for what’s left of the sail season. We sit here enviously and watch them go where we dream of going. Hopefully soon we’ll be off joining them.


  1. We’re off to check GG and go for another sail on Friday now that Quarantine has lifted. Not sure whether I told you we hit 9.4kn reaching out in front of M’Bah in about 18kn of ESE. Started to drop the nose a bit and I thought we were going over the handlebars! Good luck with the motor mate- has Vaega tolu got a generator mate?


    • Yes, you have to sail a cat a lot differently to a monohull. And you’ll need to be careful of the weight you put in it.
      No generator – got wing gen, solar, alternator off the motor to keep the batteries charged. And charger when on shore power.
      Have a good weekend on GG.


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