Day 211, Year 2: Too Close for Comfort
Date: Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Weather: Another Beautiful Day
Location: Bundaberg Port Marina, Australia
Voices on the dock at 6:30 AM? Not usually. Then banging and crashing sounds . . . not on the dock, but on our boat. Mark hopped out of bed and was on the back deck in seconds fending off a sailboat that was being pushed by the strong current sideways onto the back of Windbird. We used boat hooks to fend them off, but the current was very strong. Finally they were able to use their motor to propel them forward, still sideways to the finger pier docks, and on to the power boat to our side.
By this time, Paul and Marie were out helping and Mark went down the dock to the slip these folks had just tried to leave and started pulling them back in. Once the boat got its nose going into the current, the captain gunned the engine in reverse and was able to pull them away from the docks and safely on their way. Nothing seemed to be damaged on our boat, although we had to borrow White Swan’s dinghy this afternoon to check the wind vane steering mechanism that is attached to our stern. We
found a problem, but we don’t think the problem was caused by this morning’s little “crunch.” It is not a major problem, but something loose that shouldn’t be. We’ll check that out further and are very grateful that more damage was not done. When we came into Whangarei last year, the same thing happened to us when we tried to come into our slip. We ended up sideways to the finger piers, and it was Paul and Marie’s Ranger that we almost crunched. Not a good way to greet your new neighbors, but
a fact of life when in the swift currents in the rivers here.
So by 7 AM, we were up and very alert. I decided to go wash the rags we have been using for polishing stainless in the marina laundromat. I had soaked them overnight to get rid of most of the gunk, but washing these by hand didn’t sound like fun. As long as I was doing one wash, I decided to do two loads and include our dirty clothes. By the time I reached the laundry room, there were only two machines available and I had more clothes than I thought. So I washed some by hand. While up at the
laundry room, Mark was installing a fan to keep the battery compartment cool. I checked in with Jeff at the marina office to see when he was going to pay a visit to Windbird today. He is the marina manager, but he also offers a boat watching service for people leaving their boats here. He wanted to visit the boat today to take pictures and get the directions from the captain as to what would need to be checked while we are gone. Jeff said he would be down before 11 AM so that we could take the
11:30 AM bus to town. As it worked out, he came earlier and then Ranger took us to town.
We returned to the marina by 1 PM and then started the afternoon of work. This is when we went to borrow White Swan’s dinghy to check out the stern of our boat, and then used the dinghy to clean the stainless windvane and wax the port side of the boat. We have a pier on our starboard side, but not one on the port, so waxing that side without a dinghy in the water would be impossible. By the time we got that done, we were pretty much exhausted, so only a few small jobs got done after that. We
are making good progress on the things that must be done. We’ll finish waxing the boat in the morning, and take the rest of the day to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner aboard Windbird tomorrow night. We’re hoping to go for a late afternoon walk to look for kangaroos, and then Paul and Marie of Ranger and Dianna and Bob of White Swan will join us for dinner on Windbird. Tonight we watched a small dolphin playing behind our boat at sunset. Maybe he will return and put on another show for us tomorrow
evening. For that, we would be thankful.