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Friday, May 11, 2012

May 3 – 10 Hamilton Island (Hamo), Frank Up The Mast & Waiting For Parts

Hamilton Island literally has something for everyone, if one can afford to stay there. Although the history reflects a bit of this and a bit of that, more recently it is the dream child of an Aussie billionaire who owns Rosemount Estates Vineyards and the racing yacht Wild Oats, among other enterprises. I picked up my information in bits and pieces, so I offer what I know as I understand it.  We didn't need a key for anything and rarely even closed the boat when away for the day. Knowing that we would be here for a week, Frank arranged to have our winch part replacement that had finally arrived at Mooloolaba marina to be forwarded to us here.

We determined to get to know our new digs and soon discovered other than the ambulance, fire engine and the bus there are no motor vehicles here, just golf carts zipping by. 

There is a bakery, a post office, a small grocery store, a trading post, an Italian restaurant, a fish and chips shop, a pub, a steak house a seafood restaurant, a café.  The yacht club is an architectural delight to the senses. The homes are all holiday homes. We are told there is only one "resident" on Hamo. The homes, condos and villas are rumored to cost millions. I don't think there is even a police presence on the island. It is like an upscale "Howdy-Doodyville". We had access to the beautiful pools, the beach, all of the amenities that the island has to offer. We enjoyed lunch that first day at the Fish and Chips Shop, where we were visited by local, beautiful but persistent little beggars...cockatoos and lorikeets. I had to fight one of them for my Pepsi!

Across from Hamilton Island is Dent Island, which is where a golf course has been built for the sole use of Hamilton Island guests. I think it costs $150 per 18 holes/$100 for 9 holes.  We signed up for the free tour, and were treated like absolute royalty. The views from there are nothing short of spectacular, but I didn't even think to take my camera to get pics. Frank really wanted to play but didn't want to go it alone. This is when I wish I was a golfer.

Our third day on Hamilton Island we began to feel a little guilty about just hanging out at the pool, hiking and lazing around when we needed to get some work done.  It was time to fish a broken halyard out of the mast, remount a radar deflector that had fallen off the shroud, re-rig two other halyards and whatnot, so Frank and I set out with a plan to send him up while we both negotiated this somewhat daunting task with just two of us. Across the dock from us were a couple of guys who asked if we needed a hand. Thank goodness, because there was no way I could have managed everything that needed to be done below while Frank was working up top. 
Juri and Barton
I would have had to be in two or three places at one time. I could do it but with a lot of running back and forth whilst leaving him literally hanging there. Their names were Juri and Barton. I warned them that this may take a while, but they seemed eager for something interesting to do other than enjoy another lousy day in paradise. Those poor guys! They were a huge asset but as is always the case with boat chores, our two-hour plan turned into an all day undertaking that resulted in most everything getting done except replacing the fallen halyard that we could not fish out of the mast. 
Frank up the mast
As you do, we rigged an alternative on the outside to fly the genoa. That's all we can do for now. To top it off, Barton and Juri are engineers, and tried every imaginable option to no avail.  By the time we called it quits it was happy hour, so Frank trotted some beers over to them and I joined soon afterward.  We discovered that Juri and his family had immigrated to Australia  from Johannesburg, SA. Lovely people. We enjoyed a wonderful evening with them that turned into a long night when Frank introduced them to a bottle of Vanuatu's finest: Bounty Rum. We had such a great time with them that we planned out our visit to see them when we arrive at Airlie beach the following week.
at The Yacht Club

We spent the next day just taking it easy. Frank was so sore from being hefted up and down in that boson's chair all day his groin was bruised, and his arms ached from working above for hours. Poor guy. This is not the type of exercise one envisions doing to get into shape, rather to get laid up for a day or so. The next two days we enjoyed the pool, taking walks and appreciating the blue-sky weather that this season is bringing to us. Every  day we checked in with the marina office on the status of our delivery to hear; "Nothing yet, Mate".

By Friday, May 10th our week was up at the marina and so it was time to scoot away. We planned to cruise around To Whitsunday Island and stay close by so that when our package did arrive we could swing by to get it.

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