Timshel - Mackay and Australia

The Marina is lovely, hot showers and a really good launderette. Only problem it is a 25 min bus ride to the shops, mostly the buses are exclusively occupied by WARC folk. At the mall we were surprised to find ourselves doing food shopping in Woolworths which went bust in the UK some years ago. Such a lot of stuff available, but the fruits and veg seemed almost too perfect, we are used to more natural looking produce. There was a trip to view wallabies feeding on the beach at dawn, later the prize giving and the dinner. A really good function, just a shame that the results for the leg had not been worked out correctly, motoring hours not applied in some cases so that prizes went to the wrong boats, and I think this has also happened on previous legs. A new version was issued next morning but may still not be completely accurate. But Steve got a prize in the Photo competition for his Black tipped reef shark in really shallow water off the beach at Suwarrow. There were certificates for all and plaques for those of us leaving the rally at this point. We are so sad that this is our last function and last stop, I can't believe that we are voluntarily leaving such a fantastic community, such wonderful camaraderie, but we always intended to take an extra year. We will rejoin next year's rally in Darwin, Aurora Polaris, Atla, Misto and Shamal are also on the list for 2018 and maybe others who have stayed behind will join too. We are taking the opportunity to get some persistent problems with boat properly fixed - such as the generator and the autopilot as often things that are worked on while you are going along do not stay fixed and you can't go back. We are getting a new chartplotter which means also a new radar. Then we were horrified when one of the seacocks broke so we have to get the boat hauled this week to get them replaced. Gradually we have said sad farewells to the wonderful friends on the other boats as they have left to head north and round to Darwin. Now there is just us and Zeeland (waiting for new rigging) on the dock.

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