June 29, 2012
Am in the fishing harbour at Carnarvon sorting out the problems. Thanks to Colin, excellent man at SCHIPPSHAPE I have two replacement sections for the Aries self steering system.
“I think it needs some reinforcing here,” he said and whipped out the aluminium welder.
He had a sign at the entrance to his workshop. There was a picture of a dog and the text said, “He can run to the gate in 2.8 seconds. Can you?” (Dammit! I should have taken a photo!)
Then Bruce at Carnarvon Tractors miraculously had a master link so that I could re-connect the chain for the auto-pilot.
“I don’t normally do this small stuff,” he said while rummaging around in a plastic box.
He produced a section of chain AND a master link. We were BOTH surprised.
“Well, you’re in luck. It wasn’t on the computer system.”
Then as I was sewing on a piston hank on the staysail yesterday the woman from the Department of Transport walked down to the shore waving a parcel. It contained three replacement blades for the wind generator. The broken blade was replaced and just on dark I had it all back in place and going. I was back in business for “Cold Beer Making.”
Mind you, getting the 17kg turbine unit down and getting it back up again was good exercise. I had a “fail-safe”pulley system so that it couldn’t fall into the water.
So the pics I have added show:
the new shaft section for the Aries – with the broken one. (I know they are boring pics but I have various people who will want to see that.)
the remnants of the wind generator blade. The manufacturers said that it was a rare occurrence that a blade is lost. It is usually due to a rope hitting it in high winds.
That could have happened the 30knot stuff I had at the time. The topping lift may have been loose. I am also wondering if the "Person Overboard Marker – which is a long fibreglass pole like a fishing rod – may have flicked or flexed and WHAMMO
the exhaust riser that I had made in Geradlton is presented for your inspection and delectation. It is working…so far so good!
On THELIST is to paint the metal bits before I leave for the next part of the journey.
June 26, 2012
Some pics on the camera to put on the blog.
What about the “barracuda clips!!?”
I use them for holding the charts on the table. $1.21 in Bunnings
hardware was a good deal -until I found them in the Red Dot store for
SO as I lurched across the cabin at one stage and knocked the clip off
the table there was a sharp, burning sensation in my shorts.
NOT funny at the time as I was dealing with too many other variables
including “Impending Breakdown of the Skipper!”
I raged, swore and behaved Very Badly.
That’s when I know I am really Fatigued but have to push on.
Now as I sit Absolutely Still in a harbour I can be amused at some of
the events of the past few days.
June 26, 2012
After the list of things that kept on growing the Ultimate Ignominy was
when I realised had broken my glasses.
Now of all the problems THAT really irked me.
BUT…as much as I go on about the Luxury of the fridge having not had
one for 20 years and surviving quite nicely, thank you. IT’s the Luxury
of the SuperGlue that works when you need it and not having to go out
and buy a new one every time you need to fix something.
The “bonds all plastics” kit that I bought works.
However it is the magic of the “Clip on readers” which I bought a
million years ago in Malaysia that really get things working!
“Jesus, Joe, they are fabulous. Where did you get those?” I said to a
bloke known as “Ipoh Joe”when I saw the funny clip on lenses that he was
using for something or other.
He told me. I went and bought two pairs (one for me mate Jerry as I
thought they were excellent) and you know what…..I have never been
able to find them again.
So I keep my eye on them.
June 26, 2012
Got in…sorted…tied up and had an ice cold beer. (That is the Luxury
of the fridge – and having motored for 4 hours!)
My hands are/were SO SORE that I had to open the can with a spoon.
WORSE is to come.
You see, one of the simple pleasures I have found in life is to be able
to squeeze and crush an aluminium can after emptying it.
It’s that feeling of “strength,manliness,control and General Oafishness
It’s also the RELIEF that I can actually crush the can as I couldn’t
when they were genuine, early days iron things. That used to be an “oof,
grunt” exercise as others around the campfire would make cattle type
grunts – crush the cans- and throw them over the shoulder…..well, I
THNK they did that!
So after the demolition of sailing and rope coiling, pulling and General
Abuse…I had to leave the cans intact and whole, albeit empty, on the sink.
A very low moment and signalling “almost defeat!”
But I crushed them in the morning with a bounce-back Act of Vengeance…
and had a laugh about it.
June 26, 2012
S245395E1133903 …although whales were sighted! Even some small humpbacks close by as sailed in Shark Bay region. That was surprising as I thought they would have been further out to sea. ANYWAY – I’m in the fishing boat harbour with a list of repairs. Aries wind vane section has to be replaced. The joint where an aluminiuim tube accomodates the pins to allow movement sheared off. So anew section has to be made…I’m getting 2! The wind generator sheared a blade. Thought a bird had hit it but no gruesome bits of evidence. So that will keep me wondering for a while. A chain link necessary for the electronic autopilot fell off and then dropped somewhere into Hades – or the Bilge. That has to be replaced – and a spare purchased. The Satphone is NOTGOOD at this stage and I have to sort that out. and there are a few other things on the list…but I HAVE repaired the reading glasses which I broke providing the “straw on the camel’s back”moment! Getting here was a trial. The pics attached show two sections of my charted positions where I was stuck for HOURS not going anywhere (despite trying!) due to very strong tidal flow that stoppedme dead in my tracks even with the engine doing more work than it has done for years! Eventually I had two “four hour windows”over two days and made 18 miles each day before being blocked. Anyway – I got there, Well yes, I ran aground on a sandbank -re-floated and got into the harbour. Found two pylons and tied to them. “Well, it’s not a designated mooring,” said Sophie (in the office in the morning) “but you can stay there if you are happy with that.” So at midnight I sat down and took a photo. Looks like a whale managed to get onto the boat! I think I’ll tell everyone, “it was the shirt – but it has now gone to the engine room rags collection!” PITY. I liked that shirt. Bought it in a remote section of Indonesia 20 years ago. The label said “my sailor.” Tick. gone! Over and out.
June 26, 2012
That was what Dirk Hartog put on his pewter plate. I know as I
have seen it in the West Australian museum.
Well I’m off the West coast of this island. Easterly winds are gusting
to 20 knots and I’m bouncing around…well, the boat is…I’m sitting in
the cabin on the berth where I have been doing a bit of snoozing under
the duvet! I have to sit there as I don’t slide around the cabin.
There are some spectacular moments as waves meet the side of the boat
and spray across the cabin top.
A fantastic sunrise. Took a photo but at this stage it is enough just to
get some sort of report out on the sat. phone. it took ages yesterday as
I couldn’t get a consistent signal.
Today I need to look at the weather so will be working on how to
download that information.
Cheers for now.
Postscript…attached the pics.
June 26, 2012
or the title should be “IT hits the fan.”
Because that is what happened at 2200hrs. One blade of the wind
generator disappeared into the darkness and the rattling and vibration
had me really worried. I thought it was a sail problem as the wind had
freshened to over 20knots, SE and I decided to lower the mainsail.
So at 1000 Friday…
Am sailing on staysail only, currently at 5.3knots. Being blown along.
Wind is SE, gusting 18 – 20 knots. Hey Frank, that’s Force 5 on the
(It was Frank’s antecedent – The Admiral – who devised the scale.)
Now as to the question, “Do albatrosses stop flying around just above
the tops of the waves?”
The answer is “yes,” as I just passed one bobbing up and down in the water.
In the distance can be seen the large splashes of humpback whales as
June 26, 2012
I am planning to begin the 1500 nautical mile journey today. Of course I
need to check that I can send updates using the satellite phone.
NOWWHATYOUNEED TO KNOW…is that just because there may not be an
update via the sat. phone it does not mean that I am dead and lost at
sea! It is more likely a technical hitch-glitc…
and folks – this is posted via a land connection “x” days later…but
more is to come!!
June 15, 2012
That’s what the man said to me yesterday as he walked past. I had talked to him before.
“I caught four today and you’re welcome to take one.”
“Wow, what a treat!”
There have been tmes in Australia when I have looked at crayfish (aka rock lobster) and thought, "dammit, I’ll pay the $59 as they are superb etc, etc…
THIS time I had a lobster staring up at me and very much alive. I could see in its eyes that it knew I was contemplating murder!
Yes, I did it – after consulting “Steph.” (the cook’s companion, by stephanie alexander)
SO – 8 minutes cooked in sea-water, broken and drained, melted butter, cracked pepper, lemon, bread and some “leaf.”
I FORCED it down folks…suffering and bleating just to prove that a Yachtie’s life is miserable and plain!
Or in the words of my nephew’s partner, Sev…NOMNOM.
June 13, 2012
Earlier on in my life I listened to some “nostalgia radio” programmes. Orson Welles as “The Shadow” was a wonderful crime/detective programme. Coincidentally I now have a boat called “SHADOW.” So there are links. The Shadow had a friend called Margot. As do I….and she is a much loved and long term friend. That’s why the new Walker Bay dinghy is now named “Margot – tender to SHADOW” – let’s hope the “long term and much loved” description transfers to the dinghy! Margot – that is to rhyme with “Jean Harlow” and not harlot (as someone famous was known to say) – wants to see the picture of the boat that is named after her. So here you are. No champagne for the naming ritual I’m afraid…I’ll be cleaned out just paying for the pen as I sit waiting for good weather here in Geraldton!