Thursday, March 22, 2012

Manly Harbour, Brisbane – 21/03/2011

We are still researching for the circumnavigation around Australia and in the process realise that we are going to hit some cold weather as we get down the west coast and cross the southern coast something we have not dealt with for some years now. I see this voyage as a bigger challenge than the crossing of the Pacific Ocean that we did. We do not own many cold climate clothes.
We are getting information from different people that have already done this trip some have done it in the reverse to what we are doing and sometimes in some areas like the west coast it is better but then crossing the southern coast may be more in our favour.
This year we will be watching the weather patterns on the west and southern coast lines around the months that we may tackle them next year.
Most of our medical issues are sorted, Nancy had an operation on her right wrist yesterday with the damage she had done on the tendon so I am chief cook and bottle washer for a few days. The doctor asked if she worked and she told him only on a boat, so he has given her a sick certificate stating she cannot work for the next seven days. So Nancy gives me the certificate and says there you go skipper. So I crewless but now have one first class passenger. All joking aside she is going well with the operation and tends to feel she is in less pain than before the operation but she has to let the wound heal.
Nancy has to go for follow up checks with the specialist and we have both been to the dentist, I have finished there but Nancy has a couple of more visits. The only other doctor’s visit hopefully before we leave is to get our flu jabs. We want to make sure we are all in good condition to start off with.
The boat itself is almost ready with all the servicing complete, I am going through spare parts and checking we have enough to get by, the big thing is to carry enough fuel filters just in case we get bad fuel although we shouldn’t. I always fuel from jerry cans so I can see what is going in the tanks and they are given additives to prevent the algae build up. The other good thing about the additive is that the engine runs cleaner since I have used it I do not get exhaust stains around the exhaust outlets and on the side of the hulls.
The worst thing one can do with a boat is leave it for long periods with less than full fuel tanks, fuel tanks with air space creates condensation and that water drops into the fuel this creates the fuel algae which is a black slime that when you hit some rough seas this algae stirs and floats around waiting to be picked up through the suction tube to the fuel filter where it blocks the filter off and the engine shuts down. This is when Murphy plays his games, it usually will happen at the worst time you could imagine. Consider it is rough whether usually that stirs it up enough to block the fuel flow and you want to get into harbour out of the storm. There has been many a boat come to grief crossing a bar entering a harbour and lost engines and then crashes into the harbour wall. I have had it happen where we have been in rough seas and lost one engine due to dirty fuel we are fortunate we have two engines and each has its own fuel tank.
It is always advisable to carry at least one fuel container (20L) as a spare tank. If your engine fails through dirty fuel tank with 20L of fuel in a container and the right size plastic hose you can change filters and disconnect the inlet pipe to the fuel filter and fit the plastic line and place the 20L fuel container above the engine bleed the line and it should get you out of trouble. But remember there is also a fuel return line to the tank and if you can get a second pipe to the return line it will last longer, if not you will go through the fuel a lot faster. My engines go through 2.5 litres per hour it probably pushes twice that with the return to the tank so if you do not put a return line to your jerry can you have approximately 30 minutes or a little less, this is plenty of time to get out of trouble. The old story when in doubt stay at sea entering a port with a bar crossing can be more dangerous to tackle than the sea itself.
In our preparation studies show that we will need to carry a couple of planks to use with the fenders to go alongside jetties that only have pylons as the standard fenders is a cylindrical shape the same as the pylon. One has to use two fenders roped to the plank, the fenders stay in contact with the boat and the plank maintains contact with the pylon. The other factor is the high tidal difference up to 8 metres, so the best time to go alongside these pylon jetties is around the top of the tide and be quick to do whatever you have gone alongside for. All this information we have gathered from other yachties that have done the same journey.

(I have made the correction thanks to Simon's comment, thanks Simon).

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