so we had a few days in brisbane after all. I met up with helen, who I knew from muscat before she and her husband, ifan, moved to oz with work. and very nice it was too. she got a quick tour of the boat and a photograph, and she took me into town for a tour of the south bank. we saw QPAC (where julie in oman used to work) and some open air bars before I went back to the boat.
there wasn't too much maintenance to be done in brisbane, although sophie and mike (garmin) had to do some sail repair on one of the kites. there were sails all over the grassy area by the marina.
brisbane passed really quickly and soon it was race start. we nearly lost stephen when we had to leave before he'd returned from a routine doctors appointment. we offloaded his bags and left the pontoon when he turned up. the locals loaded him and his stuff into a wee rib and came out and dropped him off. we were very relieved to see him!
after a quick parade of sail, we motored out towards the le mans start line. on the way, one of the large 400A fuses on board blew, leaving us with no power. we tried to fix it while on the phone to jay, but no joy. no spare fuses on board meant we had to go back to brisbane... we hadn't even reached the start area!
a few hours motoring back on a sunday night meant we couldn't even get a replacement fuse as everything closes early. a quick phone call to doug, the head of lighting at QPAC, meant we knew where jay had to go to get a replacement first thing in the morning, so we had a few beers on board (courtesy of chris) as we couldn't leave the boat, having already cleared immigration and technically being in australia illegally...
we discovered that the engineers on board the shadow yacht berthed behind us were all scottish, and they very kindly checked their own supplies to see if they had any suitable replacement fuses for us. but no, they didn't. shame. so an early night was had, and jay arrived early in the morning with the replacement and some spares!
we eventually left around 24 hours behind the rest of the fleet, heading for singapore. as it was a time lapse race we were optimistic that we would do alright, as our start time wasn't logged the day before. we did our own le mans start and went north...