The only past experience we have had with this central Queensland hub was a helicopter ride to the hospital due to a medical condition so Mackay has fond memories for us…. um no.
Our luck in Mackay was set to continue with the wrath of the dodgy gearbox striking again and we can only reverse which makes for some interesting viewing among the marina folk. Oh so you are on that yacht that goes backwards everywhere? We decide to haul the Nanny out and get to the bottom of it once and for all.
After scouring half the world for a replacement 22-year-old gearbox that was in half decent condition (impossible task), Ric found a compatible gearbox in Mooloolaba which turned out to be for sale by one of Jezz’s friends. As this was to be a 10 hour each way 2 day road trip back down the coast it was decided to put the boys and myself up in the marina hotel rather than stay in the sky suite in the boatyard (lucky us!!). Ric and his wingman Jezz hired the marina car and off they went into the night.
Well about 3 hours later I get what I thought was the usual good night call …… ‘We hit a kangaroo!’Ric blurts out. Being the jovial type I don’t believe him for a second. ‘Yep whatever, very funny’ I reply.
‘NO SHIT WE HIT A KANGAROO AND WE HAVE WRITTEN OFF THE MARINA CAR!!!!!’
‘Oh God Jesus are you and Jezz ok’?
‘Yes we are fine but the Honda Accord is no more as we hit a huge big red and launched off it Thelma and Louise style and landed 50m down the road.’
‘Where are you?
‘Hmm, somewhere on a really dark highway between Mackay and Bundaberg. Oh wait a sec, I’ll call you back, someone has just stopped up ahead.’
Anyway it turns out that the person that stopped was an interesting character by the name of Sonny. As if that name doesn’t sound Ivan Milat style dodgy enough but Sonny was kind enough to offer Ric and Jezz a ride to Bundaberg. Before they took off Sonny trotted off to the back of his car and remove something from the boot which had Ric and Jezz a little concerned that they were indeed in a Milat mobile. Naturally being central Queensland it was a BONG! which he kindly offered to Ric and Jezz for the journey. How thoughtful. Ric tells me they declined the offer but given their state of Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure I am not so sure…….
So off they go into the distance with driver Sonny high as a kite and Ric and Jezz like a couple of teenagers in the back. All they needed was a Wicked Camper with some strange and offensive mural on the side.
They stay in a hotel close to the airport thinking they would just hire another car and drive on the next day but being war games in Broad Sound all the cars have been hired out to the army men. Fab. So stranded in Bundaberg they come up with Plan B to fly down to Brisbane, hire a car there and drive back up 2 hours to Mooloolaba. Why has the Neverending Story theme song suddenly entered my head?
So they pick up the golden gearbox and drive all the way back to Mackay in one stint (10 hours), then go to fit it and of course it doesn’t fit!!!!!! Ric’s facial expression was drifting between ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ and ‘Explosion Imminent’ but as usual he keeps calm and we decide we can patch the leak in the old one which should see us out til we get back to the Gold Coast in a few months. Thank God the guy we bought it off took it back and gave us back our $$$. We return the Nanny back into the water and enjoy what Mackay has to offer which is actually a fair bit before we consider our next passage.