Monday, 1 April 2013

NSW Coast: Jervis Bay anchorage

Jervis bay is about 120nm north of Eden and so a reasonable 24 hour run up the coast.  With fair winds and weather we sailed into the bay with plenty of light and sunshine.  Just on the port side of the entrance are four public moorings, great for passage stopovers and just around far enough to be sheltered from the ocean. 

After a short relax on the mooring here we decided whilst it was pleasant and sheltered there would be some lovely beach anchorages further round.  We spotted another public mooring further along and it was free! so ten minutes later we were tied up at Murry's beach. 

Anchorages seem to have there own character and this spot was exceptional for spending the evening.  I often wonder why it is so inspiring to be on the water and this spot reminded me why.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Hobart: Constitution Dock and Sandy Bay anchorage

A few pictures of Hobart.  We spent some time here over the summer, from January until April in fact.  Fortunately we chose the best summer ever, one local described it as 'the summer we will talk about in twenty years time' and for sure we were spoilt with only a handful of rainy days in the whole of our stay.

It is also described as 'Australia's best kept secret' although that is a term coined for just about everywhere in Australia where tourism is needed.  After four months here though I tend to agree it is an amazing place to visit and stay.  We kept bumping into people with the same story. they came for a short visit, bit of work or sailing or visiting friends and twenty years later they had never got around to leaving.  I can easily understand why as there is just something about it, the scenery maybe reminds me of the UK, the buildings are reminiscent of English towns not surprisingly.  The people I sense are living with less energy on themselves and with more interest in others, relaxed and happy.  Of course with only 300,000 people in Hobart  the pressures of life are less than a big city and the whole feel is one of a town rather than a city. 

Of course to yachties arriving by boat then the main port of focus is Hobart.  On arrival we headed here and spent a week in the Constitution Dock relaxing, drinking coffee and going to the various pubs and cafes in Salamanca.  The market at the weekend is also worth a visit.  The port authority charge by the week only and you need to call several hours ahead and ask for the bridge to be opened into the dock.  We used VHF and they also are on the phone. 

It is obvious that the walls to the port and starboard as you go in are going to be the quietest as the far side is next to a busy main road. 

It was strange as when we called the office originally they said that living aboard was not allowed in the dock anymore.  We went in anyway, preparing to explain we were cruisers visiting the island for some weeks.  On chatting to the various local boats it felt as if there was some effort to restrict live aboard boats who stay forever, work in the town and are not too interested in cruising.  We also asked a few boats if there was water and all replied no. We were grumbling about the lack for several days when we happened to look right underneath the wall and found hidden away from view was a fresh water pipe with many taps  running around the whole dock.  This is taken from the lifting bridge that gives access to the dock, it is quite a small entrance and we needed to be careful not to catch the mast on the raised bridge as we went in.                                                                                    
As you enter from the outer harbour then you have Elizabeth pier on your port side.  This picture was taken from the inner constitution dock side and looking out to the entrance. We were happy to hear that MAST had built this new public wharf for short stays, three hours, which is handy to shop and wait for the constitution dock to open.  As always various boats stretched the rules and arrived late to stay for a free overnight.  
Outside of the dock there is no close anchorage for Hobart.  As a next stop we went to the south just a few miles into Sandy Bay and anchored outside the marina in between the various club moorings.  We had thought to use a mooring as there were plenty empty.  The marina have some available which were not easy to find so we dropped the anchor after waiting an hour.   We are more nervous picking up unknown moorings than being on anchor - at least we know that when we are dug in well and have consistent weather forecast then we are pretty secure.  In fact, touch wood, we have yet to drag on anchor once we have dug ourselves in and we have sat through some pretty blowy conditions to date.  The marina is a twenty minute walk to the town although there are shops nearby in any case and we enjoyed several days here.
The sunsets were often stunning in this part of the world.  Its what sundowners were made for!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Derwent Marine: Replacing the fuel and water tanks

When we bought the boat the old mild steel fuel tanks had seen better days.  In fact as part of the work before completing the sale we found that the two fuel tanks were in fact full of water!  The outsides had been left to rust and so we knew that one day soon it would need to be tackled.   I had tracked a small fuel leak in one of the tanks in Sydney and so it was time.   There are usually horror stories about replacing tankage in old boats and ours like many are in the bilge and under the floor.  We had spent some time figuring out just how much of the floor and fittings would need to be cut out to do the work and had been pleasantly surprised at how little it would take. 

Still it was a big job requiring good carpentry skills and so we asked Don Bailey at Derwent Marine near Hobart to help us do this and also weld up the new stainless gantry for the solar panels.  We went alongside their wharf and were glad we did this job whilst in the water as it was much more convenient than it would have been on the hard.

I had searched around for the options to replace and really it was a 'no brainer' to replace with HDPE (plastic) both on cost and ongoing integrity.  I ended up ordering with Atlas Tanks in Brisbane, mainly because any business that has an actual production schedule gets my vote of confidence on the basis that they must be organised, or trying to be, and possibly even reliable on delivery.  Turns out they were organised, reliable and professional and produced great tanks delivered exactly when planned.  

At this point it was time to move off the boat to a nearby apartment.
Glen who works at Derwent marine is a good carpenter, which is just as well as the first job was to take out the companion way steps and then cut out the main floor below.  We were lucky in that we could do this without resorting to cutting out cupboards and bench seats.    

The two mild steel tanks were built port and one starboard which I never understood as if one only was used the boat would be heavy one side. The water was the same configuration. They were very obviously put in before the coachroof was built as there was no way they were going to get through the hatch space without being cut in pieces.  We set to with jigsaws and a sabre tooth saw which made short work of the job. It took four hours for two of us to cut and clear them out of the hull. 

I had measured up carefully and planned that the replacements would be built to fit across the width of the boat and so be longer and thinner.  The new size allowed them to just fit though the hatch space.  Each tank was 375 litres which was marginally smaller than the originals.  Outside size was exactly the same and the reduction came as a result of the 10mm sheet size of the plastic lowering the internal capacity.

There was a lot of shifting and pulling to get access to the space, this is Glen, not me! adjusting the tanks before cutting them up.  It was pretty clear that the time was right to clear them out as the insides were a sludge of rust and the outsides a mass of flaking rust. 

The bilge had not seen the light of day since the build in 1984 so there was quite a lot of mess and sludge.  I scooped out what i estimated to be 30kg of mess and this explained the old boat smell.  I scrubbed it all back degreased cleaned and ground it all back to clean fibreglass before painting the bilge with a two pack paint.  I also took advantage of the space under the floors to re route all the electric cables through tubes so I know where everything is. 

After taking the fuel tanks out I had a good look at stainless water tanks. they were immediately forward of the old fuel tanks that were now scrap. Again they were the original and it had been difficult to see what sort of condition they were in.  I found four small leaks on one of them at the base welds so there was no question that they needed to come out as well given this was the only time I planned to pull out the floor of our home.  The space made by the fuel tanks departure made enough room to slide them out, cut them up and send them to the scrap yard. I had cut out lots of panels to be used for backing plates for the planned new winches and deck gear.
The new tanks were pretty easy to replace in comparison to the removal.  Glen did a great job of preparing batons to fix them down and ensuring they do not move and then replacing all the joinery.  He re organised the joists and fixings on the companion steps so that it would be a fairly easy task to take them up if the need ever arose in the future.

I moved the tanks around and put the fuel forward and the water aft.  Tiki sits too high in the water at the rear, a legacy of losing a mizzen mast perhaps when converted to a cutter, and we have more water than fuel on most occasions so there is more weight aft now.  We also only use the rearmost fuel tank as 375 liters is enough for most journeys and the forward will be filled only on long ocean trips where we need to have 700L of fuel.

Lots of detailed fitting of new lines, gauges and breathers and realigning access hatches and we had a glass or two of bubbles for a job well done.  We even came in under what we expected to spend which is a minor miracle in marine world! It took just over five weeks, longer that planned because of the need to wait for the additional water tanks that had not been scheduled to be built. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Maintenance Haulout: Oyster Cove, Kettering

We arrived in Tasmania in early January after a great cruise over the Tasman sea.  We seemed to arrive as the best summer in living memory also settled in so we were very spoilt for the four months we eventually spent enjoying the island.

Our first stop had been Consitution Dock for a few days rest after the trip down from Sydney and then we headed off to Kettering and Oyster Cove marina to get on with all the work that arrives with taking her out of the water.  In our minds we had pretty much decided that we wanted this to be the last haul out before South America planned in three years time so we had lots to do and of course more work appears than planned so it turned out to be a very busy three weeks.

The yard team and their support were nothing short of amazing.  We hear stories of hassles and difficulties in yards and here the complete opposite was true.  As soon as the boat was in slings Jerry said 'whatever you want just ask, we want to make your stay easy' and he meant it.  They took over the pressure wash, no charge, so I could help move the wind gen. Trestles appeared and help  to set up was always around.  No charge.  Extra lift to help epoxy the keel was happily forthcoming.  No charge!  Helpful advise always provided and use of the workshop bench drill available.  No charge.  Live aboard as well was no problem and no charge.  The local tradies were around and about and  always happy to chat, support and guide just because they are nice people.  We we left after three weeks very happy we had visited.   

The first fast-ball was the rudder, it was pretty wet inside and had been leaking around the stock.  I had pulled it off two years before to effect some minor repairs so the actual process of taking it off was not too daunting and required the dismantling of the hydraulic connections, quadrant and seals.  We then needed to raise the boat on the crane in order to drop the whole rudder out of its fitting. The 'scratch your head' part was deciding what to do with the rudder to make it secure and knowing who's expert advice to take. 
I got the angle grinder to cut out inspection patches on each side to see how much damage and rot there really was.  It was pretty bad in some places so I cut out and ground back to solid material, checked the integrity of the tangs and generally cleaned of the rudder post before washing clean with fresh water.  It was all very wet and with a lot of hollows in the build, not the best quality lay up - although it had lasted thirty years so far.   
Drying out was slow and I made up a small green house pointing towards the sun to keep it hot and dry.  It worked well and after several weeks sat in the hothouse was bone dry. After that it was a case of mat, resin and filler to repair the job and get her back to the original shape.

Whilst the rudder was off I also ground back and repaired loose patches on the rear of the keel as well as cleaning and sealing the rudder post fittings.  I had run the boat onto a bank a couple of years before and so took the time to get under the keel and cut back and re epoxy the base where there had been chips taken out of it.  The propeller had been cleaned several times whilst in the water and even so was caked in barnacles after more than two years since the last drying out.  So this time we figured we would prop speed to avoid all the hassles.  We are now hoping the build up will be eliminated. 

Whilst out we had planned to spend two weeks only and get the basic jobs done.  Some through-hull fittings to give the rear heads better water supply, new main anode for the engine, anti-fouling and some interior work that would be easier in the yard.  We had in our mind that maybe, just maybe we would roll and tip the top sides.  She was not very attractive and had a lot of damage and dents and scratches.  We got chatting to some of the sprayers and $ numbers were mentioned that were far too extravagant for us.  We had pretty much given up on the idea until we got chatting to Sam who was happily spraying a nearby boat that was looking very impressive.  We talked it through and came to an agreement where I, and my unsuspecting crew Keith and Margaret, would do all the prep, sanding, filling and masking (all the hard work)  and he would get to do the glamorous bit with the spray gun.

Whilst the lines that give her a wood appearance are lovely to look at, sanding them ready for paint was not the easiest job.  We estimated we spent, three of us, three days getting her sanded back properly and ready to begin the process of filling in the various bits of damage in the hull.  I guess half of this effort was on the 'tramlines' as they are now called.  After more sanding back and prep after the base coats we are now proud owners of a very shiny yacht courtesy of Sam and Wattle paints.   Of course we previously were pretty cavalier about scratches and dinks and now are converts to the idea of putting extra fenders and protection out before approaching berths and wharfs. 

After a lot more minor jobs it was time to go back in the water and head up the river to undertake our biggest task yet on the boat.  Replacing the tankage. 


Monday, 6 August 2012

Pittwater: Cowan Creek and Bobbin Head anchorage

Right at the very end of the journey inland through the Ku Ring Gai National park at the top of Cowan Creek is Bobbin head.  We enjoyed a calm and tranquil journey under motor intending to stay a night on either the public moorings or on anchor at the end of the inlet next to Empire Marina.  We stayed three eventually as it was so relaxing.

Tiki is in the distance on this photo which is taken from the road bridge facing north.  The public pontoon is in the foreground.
There are two 24 hour stay moorings in this area and they were both empty.  We were in the week after Easter and the regular moorings provided in bays along Cowan Creek were on the whole free and the river very peaceful.

The shore here has picnic and barbeque areas and a national park office where we picked up maps for the trails in the local area.  There are plenty of walks to choose from.  We took one or two that went inland and spent an energetic day working our way through the forest tracks. 

The marina is convenient to the anchorage area and moorings and has a pleasant cafe for finishing off a walk with a coffee and snacks. There is also a fuel pontoon where we topped up with diesel and petrol. 

Pittwater: The Basin / Coasters Retreat moorings

Coasters retreat, and also called the basin by some is a popular anchorage that is entirely taken over by club moorings.  We visited several times over the March and April period and enjoyed some late summer weather as well as some small storms that came through. If you are cruising then you will likely end up having to tie up on a mooring here as there is little room to anchor in the bay.  At most times it is pretty quiet and at busy times you may be asked to move to another mooring if the club owners turn up.
Looking inshore from the mooring area towards the beach on the north. 
It is popular with good reason.  The tidal 'basin' inshore is a great place to relax and go for a swim, we made it for an end of season warm weekend in May.  Also the national park campsite provides some facilities behind the beach that include toilets and barbeques.  There is a small charge,  a few dollars, to use the facilities and a warden will appear on busy periods as you land on the beach. There are many tracks and paths into the national park that are worth exploring.  The coastal fringe is so interesting in this area it is easy to forget the region is an amazing national park as well.
The bay from the north shore beach.  the local ferry lands here regularly and the beach gets busy on the weekends as it is sheltered, warm and clean. 
Looking out to the north from the bay towards Barrenjoey Head
This is taken from just inside the basin entrance which is netted off, stopping sharks and boats entering.  

The basin from the campsite

Friday, 3 August 2012

Pittwater: Brooklyn anchorages

We headed up to Brooklyn to pick up a friend and have a look around the small town and marina at the north end of our navigable waterway. For sail boats the rail bridge stops any travel further up the river.  

There are three courtesy moorings available in the channel, just north of the northerly cardinal 424 shown on the map - and of course they were taken when we arrived so we anchored just to the north of them as marked on the map.  The moorings are the 24hr stay national parks moorings and as elsewhere the stay tends to get stretched out in some cases until conscience, more travel or authority provides a motivation to move.  On the anchor we managed to get out of the main tidal current in just enough water for our 1.7m draught, it was springs.  However the southerly gusting wind sent us dancing around beam on and bum to wind against the outgoing tide and although we held well enough it would need settled weather for me to stay the night – well stay and sleep well without numerous anchor checks around the turn of tide. 
We also moved around to the south of the small peninsular into Dead Hose Bay.  Maybe it should be Dead Horse Bay yet Navionics says ‘Hose’ so that's how it stays.  There are numerous moorings all along the shore here and it looks as if there is no room when viewed from the channel. There is and after moving close to the beach we found plenty of space for several yachts to anchor.  The water is deeper than the chart suggested and on the anchor marked we ended up with 2.5m below datum and with plenty of sticky mud hanging on to the anchor and chain when we hauled it up.  To the south of us was also plenty of room to stay in deeper water and weather that does not leave you on a lee shore. 

We tendered around from here into Parsley bay  just to the north where the public pontoons are convenient for locking the tender up for a visit to Brooklyn.  The Marina in town has fuel and water, beer, pay showers and laundrette and it is possible to visit and tie up if there is space.  The town has convenience stores, pleasant cafes and restaurants and pub for hanging out and some basic provisions.


Much as we wanted to stay a while longer the southerly winds were heading in so we  headed off down to to the southern bays for a few days.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Pittwater: Bayview Anchorage and RPAYC

We’ve just made the trip up to Broken bay which is about a twenty mile trip north from Sydney harbour.  It’s a hugely popular sailing area for sailing that is also a national park.  There are literally hundreds of safe anchorages to visit in the area and so we are making a start at exploring some of them over the next weeks. 

Heading south in Pittwater- Tiki self steers when in a good mood!

Our first visit on entering Broken Bay was to head south along the Pittwater all the way down to Bayview opposite the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club since we had pre arranged to meet 'Me Too' in this area before they headed north for the winter warmth in Whitundays.  The Pittwater is a busy waterway that just became more and more populated as we headed south down the water on a wonderful Easterly wind and flat sea - and since it is was Easter weekend it was only going to get busier.   

Pittwater, Bayview area
The channel is well marked and by the time we arrived at the Bayview area there was not much room to anchor outside of the channel markers.  Of course after a closer look around we did find several places on the edge of the channel that can still be used for anchoring – luckily someone forgot to put a mooring in the space and rent it out!  If you have shallow draft you can find more room and in fact dry out right up the beach south of the isolated danger mark as several boats did whilst we were there..    

There is plenty to see and do ashore although we enjoyed a cruise around in the tender doing some really lazy tourism before sundowners arrived and it was time for socialising and also watching the moon rise.  The picture has Wild Oats X in the middle, largest mast, having a well earned rest.  Going ashore can be a multiple choice if you are cruising as much of the foreshore looks private and is.  Pittwater council has some good information on wharves  
and of course the marinas have tying up facilities for visitors.

We also visited Coasters retreat which is on the western shore of Pittwater.  A well sheltered bay that seems to be entirely taken over by club moorings, with no public that we could see.  The moorings all have ‘private’ or some version of ‘keep off’ painted on them so we moored up anyway since most are unused most of the time. 

Moon rise in Pittwater

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Sydney Harbour: Blackwattle Bay ancchorage

Blackwattle bay is one of the most convenient and sheltered anchorages that gives easy access to Sydney city.  It is frequented by cruising boats to varying levels depending on the time of year. 
The anchorage area is marked with buoys
The marked anchorage is in about 4m of water and it is very small and so you need to be prepared to anchor up close.  On one occasion we could have stepped off our bowsprit to our neighbors stern with no trouble.  Its a good practice for accurate anchoring technique.  It is also renown for the nasty smelly mud that sticks to your chain and so in general it is good holding.  We were inspired to fit a deck wash after visiting  several times. 

Of course various friends will take a deep breath and tell me of the times they have dragged here after being sat happily on anchor for two weeks or more.  The fact is there is a lot of rubbish sat in the mud, we have dragged up old cables and others blocks of wood, wire, metal etc. so care is needed not to be complacent once you are dug in.   Having said that it is a sheltered anchorage on the whole and we have enjoyed our stays because there is a lot of city life nearby. 

The city views are great and there is a lot of convenience with everything close by.  This picture is taken from just by the Glebe Point cafe and the pontoon is used regularly by tenders.  We spent many happy morning in the cafe using the WiFi and enjoying the view.  The fish market is across the bay and they are happy for tenders to be tied up on the inside pontoon by the ramp.  We asked the office and they were happy for us to tie up Tiki for an hour or so midweek where we took on water.  They are busy weekends and will charge if you tie up.  It is also a great place to visit and the fish-market tour is worth going to early in the morning.  

Sunset and sunrise was my favourite time here, the city skyline always made a great ambiance and backdrop for sundowners.   

Sydney Harbour: Manly Cove anchorage

We have visited this anchorage in the north harbour several times in the last months and enjoy our stays in this well known and pleasant spot.

The whole anchorage is dominated by the Manly Wharf and a continuous stream of ferries heading to and from Sydney.  Don't let this put you off and they are going so slow by the time they arrive close that there is very little wake to notice and you just have the friendly wave to the children and tourists a lot if you anchor close!  Manly wharf bars, cafes and the town shopping is very convenient and we enjoy a beer on the front watching Tiki bob about on her anchor.

It is fairly open and is not a good anchorage in southerly weather, yet in northerlies it is calm and in settled conditions a great place to swim from.  There is a swimming enclosure in the picture that is in regular use and can be used also if you are cautious of the stories about Bull sharks.  We tender up the beach and have never had any problems with landing ashore, being careful as there are often swimmers in the water.  The protected 'little penguins' come up the beach here and there is often a crowd of people at dusk waiting for a chance to see them, we have yet to see them and are still wary of running them over!  The come under a lot of pressure from foxes and dogs and there is a lot of effort to protect them and ensure they continue to breed.  They, well their support group even have their own website
We took the picture of Tiki from the  west side of the cove at Manly Ocean world whilst having a coffee there on a warm sunny morning in March.

The anchorage is pretty large and we anchor anywhere off the beach and keeping clear of the ferry wharf on the east and we end up in 3 to 5m of water depending how close we move in to the swimming area.  It is a sand anchorage and holding is good. with sea-grass patches that can be seen and avoided easily. 

For electronic navigation we use our Ipad and are using charts from Navionics.  We also have INAVX downloaded as an app along with the charts.  We love both systems for various different reasons.  Navionics charts on the ipad now have a 'community layer' where anyone can upload chart information to the community, noting uncharted buoys, marks, changes etc to the Navionic charts. The anchor on the image is our upload of our anchor location in Manly Cove. We also use the google overlay for land features as well and find it really useful for working out where to head once ashore.  

I have put on a short video of Manly Cove so that you can get a good idea of what a lovely place it is.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Sydney Harbour: Chinaman's Bay anchorage

Looking South to the anchorage
We've been anchoring around the Sydney harbour area for some months now and there are some great anchorages to enjoy.  The harbour is so varied and each anchorage is slightly different, from middle of the city to peaceful and silent waterways surrounded by forests.
We most recently spent some time relaxing in Chinamans bay which is in the north harbour area on the south side of the channel just less than a mile before spit harbour bridge and marina.  

It is a popular beach for anchoring and swimming at the weekends and safety markers keep boats from close to shore.  There are four small fixed moorings and anchoring around them in several meters or to the south and the area we anchored was 7 meters or so.  Holding is good on sand and there is some limited weed to be aware of that a good anchor will have no problem with.   We use a 60lb Manson Plough anchor  and it has not let us down in some heavy and varied conditions. 
from the north of the beach area. The harbour entrance in the distance

The beach is sheltered well in the south based winds and gets uncomfortable if the ocean swell comes in from the east and makes it to the middle harbour area.  There are plenty of other good places if that is the case – over to the east by Castle Rock Beach anchorage is well sheltered, popular and very shallow inshore. 

Onshore and just behind the beach front is Rosherville reserve which a pleasant park area to get some time in the trees and green and there are numerous recycling bins for talking rubbish ashore and well maintained toilets and beach showers.  The walk up to the main shopping areas from here is not one for the faint-hearted, we tried it, and we prefer to take the easy option and jump on the bus from Spit Bridge up to the Warringah Mall.

We were happy to have a great sunny autumn day on anchor doing some deck work, yet again, and watching the Sunday afternoon optimist racing around us.  Amazingly they all managed to miss us even though many were clearly just learning and seven or eight years old.
We anchored on the blue spot on the google image.  Just to the north of this anchorage are three pink public moorings that we also use on occasion and they are for 24 hour stays and rated up to 20 tons.  Whatever that rating means they are well maintained and an alternative to the local anchorages
We are moving up to Pittwater in the next day or two for several weeks to enjoy some more of the NSW coast and anchorages.  


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Using a Parachute sail - our initial trials in Platypus Bay

Setting off from the anchorage the wind was light and right behind us, the sun was setting gloriously in front of us - what better time to trial the new parachute sail?!  We obtained an ex-army issue parachute from the US and set it up by dividing the lines equally and tying them off onto two steel rings.

It was raised by one ring on the spinnaker line towards the top of the mast. The lower end Neil attached to a line and ran it through a shackle on the bowsprit and back to the cockpit. The results were fantastic! Without a breeze to mention we were being gently pulled along at just under 3 knots. The type of breeze from behind and changing direction that would require lots of work using a spinnaker or any other poled sail was a relaxing event with the parachute. We both lay on the foredeck with our arms folded behind our heads, looking up as the parachute changed direction with the wind as required - it looks so peaceful.

The current setup which requires some tweaking causes it to manoeuvre with a jelly fish like motion, meaning the vertical sides accordion in and out because the lines attached in equal lengths are relatively shorter here than on the top and bottom sections of the chute.

We will adjust as we go to see the best set-up, for now we deem this trial a success.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Sailing North - Scarborough to Double Island Point

Wednesday July 27th.
Refuelled with 300L, restocked with fresh vegetables and raring to go. Headed off into the bay ready for high tide, around Deception Point and off for a great sail into the sunset. Not much wind and direction was right behind us making for a roly-poly passage but with good average speed still over 5 knots. Lots of ships in the shipping channel to keep us alert and the coastline was lit up like a stadium at various points along the way even though we stayed a few miles off, wonder what they were? Out of the channel and further north sea traffic quickly disappeared and we settled into our watch pattern.
Thursday 28th July 2011
The wind picked up gradually as dawn approached so we rounded Double Island Point lighthouse around 07:30 and turned into a very fresh offshore breeze around 20kts. Edged as close to shore in the anchorage as draft allowed and dropped the hook for the day in 3m waiting for the high tide to cross the bar into the Tin Can Bay area.
Sea temperature has risen to 18C, but blowing a hooly. Prop can wait.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

@saltygardener, 28/07/11 4:18

Heather White (@saltygardener)
28/07/11 4:18
Just passed Noosa headed to Fraser Is. sailing by the stars, fresh SW cruising at 5.2 knots. Paradise.

Sent from iPhone

Part II: Fuel diagnostics for Perkins 4236 - Delayed in Scarborough Marina

Delayed 19th - 27th July 2011

Well after a truly lovely first leg we anchored outside the Marina at Scarborough for a nights rest before heading up to Fraser island. Next morning spent on deck doing little jobs and getting used to everything. Wind picked up perfectly but unfortunately the engine didn't. Neil went through everything methodically and I helped by scouring the forums and engine manuals looking for extra clues. We narrowed it down to the fuel injector pump - a mysterious beastie that if broken can not be repaired by mere cruising mortals. It was broken. I blogged the checklist (Part 1) of how we found out it was broken if anyone is interested... So we needed a tow in, and lucky we had signed up to Coast Guard Rescue!

Long story short they towed us in the next day when it was blowing an absolute hooley and we spent the next week immobile whilst the Diesel Injection specialists did their stuff refurbishing the injector pump. We had the 4 injectors overhauled at the same time for good measure and so now they, along with the almost new pump are all set for the next 20+ years. They better be, the dent in our cruising budget was humongous.

Prop is covered in weed from the Manly stay but we've no incentive to swim, sea temperature is 16C. Brrrrrrrrr

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Tiki loves Jaegermeister - cheers Reggie!

Thinking of great friends and raising a toast with what's left from our last session on Paws... Happy Birthday Andy from the Tiki crew!

Location:Fortune St,Scarborough,Australia

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Fuel System diagnostic checks we did on our Perkins 4.236 diesel engine - Part I

When it won't fire up here's the drill.

Check the stop valve (engine cut-off) is in the off position and open the throttle to full.
Check the fuel supply in the tank - like have you got any and is it clean?
Before we go pulling everything apart, check the belt is turning the Fuel Injector Pump (IP).
Use the electric pump to check the input to and output from the primary filter is clean and air-free by disconnecting & reconnecting each point.

Working along the fuel line, switch to manual pump and push through to the secondary filter and again check in and out is clean and air-free.
Now we're at the IP.
Disconnect supply at entrance and check as above to ensure it is not blocked.
Bleed (loosen them open until they drip) IP at the valves  and let them run to ensure clean fuel.  This is the Low Pressure section of the IP.
Crack (same as bleeding, different name..) the injector nuts -fuel should run clean and air free.  This is from the High Pressure area of the IP.
Check the internal "spline" is turning (ie able to create the pressure) by removing the plate cover and watching as you turn the engine over.

Try turn it over again and if still no good then you will need to return at another time for Part II.   Good luck and please keep us posted on the outcome!  As for us, we're stuck at the injector nuts as no fuel is coming through.  Good news is the spline does turn.

Coast Guard are towing us into the Marina where we'll get a professional second opinion and probably end up having the IP bench tested.  We suspect the stop valve mechanism inside the IP has failed somehow.

We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Onion soup and cheese scones

When life throws you expiring onions, make soup!

6 onions peeled and sliced
White wine, a healthy splash
Beef stock cubes

In a soup pan, gently sauté the onions in butter for 30 mins until lovely and golden. I covered the pan, and if they
start to stick too early add a splash of wine. Have some yourself if it's not your watch..
Add 1L of water and equivalent stock cubes as per the dilution on the packet and bring to a gentle simmer for about 1hr.
Serve sprinkled with cheese and crusty bread, or it is also delicious with...

Yoghurt Cheese scones

250g SR flour
Pinch salt
50g butter
150g natural yoghurt
1 egg
75g grated cheese

Herbs / cayenne pepper added are also good!

Preheat oven to 225C
Rub butter into sifted flour and salt, then stir in cheese. Add herbs now if doing so.
Mix egg and yoghurt together and add to flour to make a soft dough.
Roll out to 2.5cm thick and cut into about 5cm rounds.
Pop everything onto a baking tray, especially the offcuts as they make tasty cheesy crunchy things..
Brush with milk or egg and bake at top of oven for 10 mins.