Friday, August 17, 2012

Airlie to May's Bay and back to Airlie

Friday - 10/08/2012

We left Macona Inlet early and had to motor across to May's Bay as the water will be calmer for working on the boat. People think that we just cruise around enjoying life, well we do sometimes, but the general run is that we carry out repairs to the boat in exotic places.
('Alana Rose' anchored at Macona Inlet)
('Ise Pearl' this vessel was built in 1956 in Brisbane a Norman Wright design and was used Japanese pearlers for 38 years, it was found in disrepair by the current owner and refitted and is used for private charters, we passed her as we left Macona just after first light.)

Well the four small head (toilet) hatches appear to be a success, now to tackle the big hatch. This is my first time of repairing hatches so I am learning as I go. The first thing was to remove the hatch and I know that the pins can be knocked out of the hinges on this hatch which is different to the smaller hatches I have just repaired. Once the hatch was out and in the cockpit it was a matter of separating the glass from the alloy frame. I used a thin metal scraper and run it along the topside of the frame on the outer part of the seal separating the seal from the frame then turning the hatch upside down run the metal scraper between the glass and the bottom seal  separating the seal on the underside the glass then popped out with little force.
(Starboard Cabin hatch, which is a Lewmar hatch)
(To remove the hatch when openning the hatch you can see the pins in the hinge use a screwdriver to lever the pins through the holes provided and push the pins outwards and remove the screws from the support arms)
(When the pins are pushed out as shown in previous photo, you are able to grab the pins as they protrude from this hole, support the hatch with one hand and remove the pins using pliers or vice grip)

The next part is the dirty part removing all the old seal from both frame and glass, I used a knife, a scraper and emery paper and then cleaned the surface with alcohol (not the type you drink, well I hope you don't).
(On the left cleaning the old sealant off the glass and right, cleaning the hatch frame)

Once all cleaned I placed sealant on the mating face of the alloy frame then put the glass in position pressing it down firmly then I run a bead of sealant in the spaces left between the glass and frame and then used a plastic scraper to level the sealant. I then left it well alone for a day.
(I ran sealant inside the frame before installing the glass then ran sealant around the groove and levelled it off with a plastic scraper).

The bloke I bought the sealant from does this for a living and he told me that it is a delicate job and the first time is not always successful, I hope he was wrong in this case.

It took me all day just about after arriving here to do this job the longest part was the cleaning the surfaces to ensure they were clean for the new sealant. I know I deserved the beers that I had.

Saturday - 11/08/2012

Today was washing day so I grabbed our small washing machine that weighs 12kgs, up to the aft deck and set it up for washing. Nancy always wanted a washing machine for the boat she had researched them and said that we could store it in the stbd aft head that we changed into a storeroom. My thoughts on the matter was water usage, electricity etc. So I avoided it for 5 years, quite well done I thought. Then last year sailing south I had to go in a hardware store in Yamba to buy a small tin of white paint and what should be sitting in the store a small washing machine, a little twin tub, wash and spin dry, takes a 2kg load. I was sunk and  to be honest it was a good buy. However, at that time I did not realise the what would happen in its future.

Due to water usage and electricity I found it easier to carry 4 x 20ltr water containers for the purpose of using the washing machine this way we are drawing very little from the batteries running the boats water pump and we can manage the water usage very well as we are not drawing much water from our main tanks. This brings to a mathematical equation, 20ltr water = 20kgs, Nancy = bad back answer John does the washing. Whilst I do the washing Nancy cleans the inside of the boat such as the heads and showers as we have three of them and the cabins. She also hangs out the washing as I complete a load so we work as a good team. We have probably already paid for the washing machine from the money we have saved at laundromats.
(The old washing day)

Some of the best conserves of water and electricity are sailors on yachts I might add, there are some in the motor boat world but not the high powered types like Riviera's , vessels like that that use $25,000 worth of fuel between Melbourne and Whitsunday's you could not class as conservationists.

Anyway I did the washing it was clothes today and when we top the water containers up in a couple of days it will be sheets and towels. Boy I love this life.

When all else was done it was time to refit the hatch and that all done it was time for sundowners, the beer tasted good after a day's work.

Sunday - 12/08/2012

We were up at first light as usual and we weighed anchor straight away and sailed for Airlie. I have run out of drugs. I need my Bee Gee tablets, (Staying Alive), you know the usual blood pressure tablets, Lipitor for the cholesterol and the old aspirin for blood thinning. We had a great sail across not real strong winds but enough to sit around 5.5 to 7.5 knots depending on landform getting in the way of the wind.

We got to Airlie got changed lowered the dinghy and went ashore in time to catch the bus into Centro Shopping Centre where I needed to see Telstra to pay some money but not the amount they billed me because of a stuff up. Then got the tablets and then had breakfast at a cafe. Well it should have been breakfast and it looked like breakfast as it was poached eggs, bacon, mushrooms and tomato on toast, but by the time we got there after the running around the shops it was 1150 hours so we will settle for brunch I guess.

We caught the bus back and returned on board unpacked what we had bought then we went into town to by more medicine, red wine, white wine and beer. I often get some smiles from people walking by when I have my fold-up two wheel trolley loaded with 2 cartons of beer, a box of red and a box of white. Many offer to help me drink it but no one offers to cart it for me.

This all done we return on board to stow our goodies and sit down for a while, Mercedes and Garry from 'Forever Dreaming' came over for coffee before going to the Shaggers (SICYC) sundowners at Hoggies, we decided to stay aboard as we had enough running around for one day.

Monday - 13/08/2012

Looking at the weather this morning staying anchored here in Airlie is going to be a little uncomfortable, we have been considering when to do the final shopping before heading north and we were going to stay a few days and do that but with the predicted winds we have decided to head out for a couple of days.

We were up and about before daylight so we weighed anchor at first light and headed into the public dock in the marina complex and fill up with water again after filling tanks and containers we gave the boat a good wash down and found out that the four small hatches I had repaired did not leak water but the large cabin hatch did, a little disappointing to say the least this meant it had to come out again and redo the whole job.
(Nancy on 'Alana Rose' at the public dock in Airlie Beach)
(Sailing out of Airlie, Nancy taking a photo of 'Camira' a tourist catamaran with P7O liner 'Pacific Dawn' in the distance)
(As we sailed out of Airlie Beach 'Pacific Dawn' was anchored off shore and ferrying passengers ashore)

We set sail for May's Bay once again but  the wind had not yet kicked in so we had to motor sail, we had full sail and one engine running which gave us a speed of 7 knots. Just after passing the northern point of North Molle Island I spotted a whale and her calf in the middle of Whitsunday Passage dead ahead of us so I had to slow down as it is illegal to approach whales closer than 300 metres. I backed the engine off and furled the headsail just leaving us with the mainsail as we drifted along. We were hoping that we could get closer to them within the legal distance but the whales dived and we did not know where they went. We slowly headed for our destination keeping our eyes on the water looking to see if they surfaced. Sometime later they surfaced again to the north of us but still a good distance away, we got a couple of photos but not good ones as they were too far away and we had to use the zoom to its full extent.
(A whale and her calf, not a great photo but the whale was quite a distance away and I had the camera on full x26 zoom on a moving boat which is not easy)
(The second sighting of the whales still a good distance away)

We arrived at the anchorage and our usual spot was free as there was only one other yacht anchored a sole sailor that had been there for some time.

The first job on the list now we had more water was to do some more washing, sheets and towels, once all that was done it was time to work on that hatch again. So I removed it and using a thin scraper parted the glass from  the frame then cleaning all the sealant of the surfaces and then putting fresh sealant on the frame put it all back together then left it alone to dry.
(There are quite a few resident turtles in May's Bay and they are very hard to photograph, as soon as you see them you grab the camera and before you can get a photo they dive, I sat with camers and a cold beer near sunset to get thes shots of one turtle)
(Nancy getting the shots of sunset)
(My photo of the sunset with a large motor cruiser)

The wind kicked in during the night around 25 -28 knots from SE, many boats had headed for Cid Harbour for sheltered anchorage and a couple of other boats had anchored near us. I think May's Bay is the better anchorage for these winds. The only disadvantage is there are no walks like you have in Cid Harbour there is only a small beach.

Tuesday - 14/08/2012

The winds are a little stronger this morning there are a few yachts out there enjoying the sailing mainly charter yachts most cruisers are staying in the anchorages as there are many yachts like us waiting for the SICYC bash at Monte's in the weekend after next and have learnt over the years that with these winds although good for sailing can cause an uncomfortable night sleep in the wrong anchorage. Our friend Garry had experienced the bullets of wind in Stonehaven that is considered in most guide books as a good anchorage in such winds which we had experienced in previous years where I had to stay up all night on anchor watch. Garry said never again, he reckoned he gained a few grey hairs from that experience. It is a bit unnerving when your yacht is swung about in the bullets of wind stretching your anchor cable to its limit with the boat swing one way then the other. Most anchorages around the Whitsunday's have bullets of wind due to the high hills and mountains but I have found in these strong southerlies that May's Bay has the least.

We had a quiet relax day playing with the photos that we had taken preparing them for the blog and later in the day I refitted the hatch. Tomorrow we sail back to Airlie to do the big shop before heading north.

Wednesday - 15/08/2012

We set sail just after first light, it is the last day of sailing wind for a couple of days that is why we are heading back today so that we can sail and not motor. The winds around 10 - 13 knots from the SE so it was a good steady sail with little waves. We sailed at speeds between 5.5 and 7.5 knots  and we saw whales again but in the distance they are probably the same ones as the other day. There is little traffic this time in the morning many people are still asleep.

We arrived at Airlie and found an anchorage just off the wall of the marina, as soon as we were settled we went ashore and walked to the Whitsunday Shopping Centre and did the big shop then caught a taxi back to the public dock and loaded all in the dinghy then back aboard.

I then did fuel and gas run topping everything up we will not be near a shop for at approximately three weeks, we then went ashore and went into Airlie Beach to pick up a couple of items on the way back to the boat I topped up our water containers to do another wash of clothes. Just as we got back on board George on yacht 'Wormdrive' called and invited us over for sundowners and a BBQ  so that's what we did after doing the washing. We got back aboard our boat somewhere around 2300 hours after a very good night.


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