Fourteen days quarantine in the Pacific Hotel in Cairns was compulsory for us after our arrival in Far Northern Queensland. We enjoyed the stay and the meals from the 28th July to the 10th August 2021, but not the cost of $4,130 plus $1,894 for a marina berth while we were in quarantine.
The hotel deserves compliments for their meals which were excellent, albeit a tad too much, considering that we could not exercise to shake off the results. We had fast internet access and a balcony that we could go out on, with a view of the city and the sea. The hotel arranged live music by Craig Phelps on the pool deck with free pizzas delivered to our rooms on Friday nights, which we enjoyed on our balconies.
Craig Phelps playing Jack Johnson.
During our stay we had three PCR swab tests with negative results during the 14 days, before we could leave the hotel. Upon discharge, we met with a Department of Agriculture Biosecurity official to have our boat checked for timber bug infestations. For this we had to pay a charge of $310.
Another curved ball was a Customs law dating back to 1901, which required us to re-import our boat after more than a year abroad. We didn’t know that we actually exported the boat in the first instance. The cost of a Customs broker was another $480, to have the boat released from Customs.
We were haemorrhaging money, as there were also numerous repairs to be done after the long ocean crossing: torn jib sail, torn spray dodger, the forward toilet mounting screws stripped, requiring the replacement of the toilet, etc. We set about doing this as soon as we got back to the boat.
Two days before our release from 14 days quarantine in the Pacific Hotel and after our third negative Covid PCR test, we were advised that Cairns will go into lockdown for three days because of a new Covid-19 case in Cairns. This meant getting back to our boat, but not being able to go anywhere for a day.
We then spent a pleasant week in beautiful Cairns enjoying the tropical Far North Queensland parks and gardens. The council goes to great lengths to make the town tourist friendly with well planned and clean facilities. The tropical trees were different to the ubiquitous eucalyptus trees of NSW.
Our mobile SIM cards for Australia expired during our absence, so we had to get new ones and I had to get my iPhone repaired due to water ingress. We hired a car and stocked up with food, booze and gas before we departed on the 18th August, after filling Esprit up with diesel.
We will now motor sail the 17 nm to Fitzroy Island south-east of Cairns, to tie up to a Parks Board mooring and will report on our journey south, as we progress. Cheers for now!