Yes, one of my best pictures of the trip so far! The offending object is what made us stay two nights at Mackay, though the muffler was only on the sofa for a very short period of time. Mr Optimistic said, after we picked up the part at 1630, “I will have that installed by sunset and then you can pour me a dark and stormy.”. Ms Glass Half Empty replied “We will probably still be pouring it this time tomorrow!”. As has been the case of this whole stopover at Mackay, Pete was right and he did indeed have the job completed by sundown, as we sat on deck and watched the sun dip behind the marina buildings. I sat beside him and ate my hat – not really, but I did resolve to be more positive from now on!

We had chatted with a few of the ARC World crews and they were interested in the Whitsundays, so we were able to pass on some information to help them. Pete had spoken extensively to a Halberg Rassey called Owl, flying a USA flag but with a British crew, and we hoped to see them briefly as they flew through the Whitsundays to get to Darwin in August for the next leg!

We departed Mackay at 0930 on 29 July, headed north once again. We cannot recommend the marina more highly, as our experience in the shipyard, with the various trades and the marina office has been fantastic. To have been able to get our repairs effected in 24 hours was a superb effort, especially with all the major work still going on for boats with cyclone damage. We are very glad we made the trip here, despite the horrid conditions we came down in, and of course now we are heading north again, there is very little wind, and what there is is coming from dead astern!

As we potter along fishing in the sunshine, we are thinking today about all our friends who are sailing in the Sydney-Gold Coast race which leaves Sydney today. We will be looking forward to seeing some of them at Hamilton Island, and others at Magnetic Island race weeks. We wish you all safe and enjoyable racing, and fairer winds than are forecast!

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