Due to some damage from the heavy weather we faced outside of Cape Bowling Green, we made the call to take advantage of the boat repairs facilities in Townsville.
This wasn’t an anticipated haul-out. Our original plan was to spend a day or two in Townsville provisioning for the Islands. However, it seems that you can’t plan too far ahead when you’re sailing.
By Olly Gaspar, traveler, travel blogger & photographer for 5+ years with 600+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.
Anchoring Outside Townsville Marina
While we would have liked to get into the boatyard straight away to save some time, we were forced to wait a few days in Townsville. This was due to a local public holiday which wasn’t technically legitimate. Either way, most shops and boat facilities were closed regardless.
There aren’t too many opportunities to anchor outside of Townsville. Most people that sail tend to favour the more beautiful Magnetic Island, which has plenty of anchorages.
Thankfully, Malaika has a relatively shallow draft of 1.4 meters, so we were able to anchor behind the break-wall outside Breakwater Marina in Townsville.
It was a satisfying feeling watching the anchor bite after only a few meters of chain, especially after the Cape Bowling Green shenanigans.
Hiking in Townsville – Castle Hill Lookout
Since we weren’t able to get straight to work due to the public holiday, we decided to check out Townsville.
The only immediate adventure opportunities is to climb the prominent rocky outcrop of Castle Hill, which stands proud behind Townsville and overlooks the sea.
The hike only takes a few hours for the return trip, however, offers impressive views over Magnetic Island, Cape Cleveland and even out to the Palm Island group.
If you’re ever in Townsville, I’d definitely recommend checking out Castle Hill.
READ THE FULL BLOG POST: CASTLE HILL TOWNSVILLE HIKE – QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA
Slipping Malaika at Rosshaven Marina, Townsville
After a couple of days waiting for the opportunity to get hauled out, we finally had a locked in time to – or so we thought.
It seems that Townsvillers run on island time. Which isn’t as nice as it sounds when you want to do urgent repairs. We were forced to wait at the boatyard dock for another day and a half before we could actually get the sling on.
In saying that, once we were finally able to get out of the water, things ran fairly smoothly. It took less than an hour for Malaika’s hull to be sprayed clean and transported to our designated spot in the boatyard.
A Week of Boat Repairs
For the rest of the week, we worked from sunrise to sunset. Our priorities were welding jobs on the forward mast, as well as pouring some additional ballast concrete in the anchor well.
We also were determined to locate the source of a trickling diesel leak from the large 1000 liter tank that had been plaguing us.
While we were on land, we also hosed off the barnacles and slapped on a fresh coat of antifouling.
On top of those more urgent boat repairs were smaller trivial maintenance jobs that are essential on steel boats.
If you build a boat, it’s impossible to hang up the tools and call it done. There’s always something that needs attention. It’s true that you can get frustrated, but as soon as you surrender to the fact that repairs and maintenance are an essential part of life on a boat, the happier you’ll be.
Setting Sail for Magnetic Island
While this week wasn’t the most interesting or exciting in contrast to previous weeks sailing in the Whitsundays, it was nice to have Malaika looking brand new again.
It certainly felt good being lowered back into the water where Malaika belongs. Especially after a full week of sweaty, dirty work.
I can assure you that setting sail into beautiful weather towards Magnetic Island made that victory taste even sweeter!