Our first and primary focus on our arrival in Manly was the deadness of our generator. Oh the woe. I think I mentioned it got washed over in a wave on the way to Lord Howe Island, and never recovered. Well, the engine still runs very well, but it NO LONGER MAKES ANY POWER. Which is a problem. Because if our batteries are low (which they frequently are – especially after passages when the sails inevitably shadow our solar panels) then we really need it to get the anchor up. Especially if it’s overcast.
Fuck, I hate generators; even while I can appreciate all the goodness they provide. Noisy. Stinky. I would have preferred to dump the money on lithium batteries, or a wind generator – but, as M counselled, the generator can be used off the boat – to run tools to fix things onshore (or on other boats, as happened in Vanuatu), it can be used if we get around to building a tiny-house – and… they have good resale value. Gah. So a generator it was.
Which brings me to another issue that we often encounter – where did we have it sent to? We don’t know anyone in Manly. I decided to take the angle that I did when we were overseas – contact the closest and easiest access point, and ask nicely if you can have your package delivered to them. Oh Q-Station Manly – you could not have been more awesome!!
They were so happy to help us – they didn’t treat us like scumbag boaties or strange hippies of the sea – they just gave me a call when the package turned up and we went and got it. HALLELUJAH! The credit card took a beating, but at least, with a generator, we were able to anchor without fear, rather than hop from mooring to mooring.
Our time in Manly was a virtual replica of our previous visits, although we didn’t fit in a visit to the gallery, which was a shame. The day after we arrived we managed to snag one of those five moorings that had all been occupied during the night. And in doing so we saw a nearby boat at anchor that we recognised from when we’d been in Manly before – it was Sumbawa!
We had a good chat from the confines of our dinghy – they have been doing some great work on their boat – including installing a composting toilet (something that M and I both wish we had opted for). It was great to see them again – check out their The Large Family Around the World Adventure (and podcasts).
Unfortunately both we and Sumbawa had our eyes on the weather – they moved on before we did and we didn’t get to catch up again. There were massive winds predicted and we bade sad goodbyes to Manly and headed under the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the more sheltered confines of Blackwattle Bay.
But the wind. Omigod – there were times as we were going under the bridge, both motors cranked to 11, that the boat almost stopped moving. It must have been about 40knots and we battled every last breath of it. Geeez. M got trophy points for getting us through, because on Sydney Harbour, it’s not just the wind, it’s the ferries, the powercats, people towing boats, the whole banana.