This blog is about my wife and I sailing our 13m sailing catamaran around Australia during 2012 2013 and 2014. We will sail from Brisbane at the end of April 2012 and slowly head north anticipating that we will arrive in Darwin for the cyclone season and head west when safe to do so and complete the circumnavigation.
The last couple of days has been quite good on the social
scene and catching up with people. Friday afternoon we went ashore for
sundowners at Foxy's Bar at the happy hour which starts at 1630 hours to 1730 hours.
When we arrived and got the first drink we noticed Jonathan's dinghy anchored
of the beach and the surging tide was causing it to crash into the coral beach,
I went down to pull it further ashore and notice the anchor was slowly being
dragged. I secured the anchor and hauled the dinghy as far as I could up the
steep slope of coral beach, the dinghy was quite heavy and I could not drag it
up all the way. I returned to my drink and kept an eye on it. Soon after this
Jonathan and Joey arrived and joined us for a drink, well a couple of drinks
whilst happy hour was on.
(Foxy's Bar on Fitzroy Island)
(Happy Hour at Foxy's, as you can see I am happy)
We returned aboard just at last light and had dinner and a
quiet night, Saturday 'Backchat' arrived with Jenny and Irvin so we had
afternoon tea with them, Jenny knows I like muffins so she baked a fresh batch
for us. Irvin offered to check my outboard motor for me so I took him up on the
In the afternoon 'Muscat 7' anchored nearby with Brian and
Annette, Brian had his sons family aboard and called over for a chat and a
Sunday, Irvin and Jenny came over and we had morning tea and
Irvin and I had a look at the outboard motor, the problem had got worse, it has
been out of the water on the stand and it has seized completely since it has
been sitting there, so it looks as though it has to go to the Yamaha dealers.
(Our floating home, 'Alana Rose' at anchor at Fitzroy Island)
(Trawler anchored nearby in the calm waters)
(Day visitors come from Cairns for water sports and relaxation)
(The yellow submarines that operate at Fitzroy Island)
(One of the four ferries that come to the island daily)
Then this afternoon 'Walk on Water' arrived and Martin and
Raewyn came over for sundowners they are sailing south tomorrow under the
lighter ESE winds.
Monday - 17/09/2012
Today we went ashore for a walk and went over to Nudey Beach
and on the way we bumped into Jenny and Irvin off 'Backchat' who were talking
to a New Zealand couple Jim and Gina off 'Tiare Taporo III'. Jenny said they
had been down to Nudey Beach and there were no nudes she stripped off and went
for a swim.
Nudey Beach is more coral than sand the southern end has
more sand than the main area on the northern side. We walked the whole area and
when crossing the rocky area I was confronted by two white pointers, a young
lady sun baking and I must say very pleasing to the optic nerve. We walked on a
little further to see six young ladies flaunting their breast taking photos of
each other and running around giggling. The views are very nice on this island
I thought to myself.
(Nancy on the walking track to the Nudey Beach)
(Looking towards the mainland from Nudey Beach)
Fitzroy Island is a very nice island not just for these
pleasant sights but for the walks and the resort itself. There are quite a
number of day visitors that come over on the ferry each day and there is plenty
of water sports to entertain, many just come over and relax on the beach or
snorkel around the coral. They have kayaks, jet skies and two yellow
submarines. They also have glass bottom boat tours over the coral areas.
After the walk we returned on board and later went ashore
for sundowners at Foxy's Bar, they have happy hour from 1630 to 1730 hours, a
schooner of beer is $4 and a jug (4 schooners) for $11, they also have wines,
cocktails and spirits. After a couple of drinks we returned on board for
(Sunset from Foxy's Bar)
Tuesday - 18/09/2012
We said farewell to 'Backchat' this morning Jenny and Irvin
headed off to check out some of the bays on the mainland around Cape Grafton as
the wind was favourable to anchor over there. We stayed as today I wanted to
dive on the props and make sure they were clean. I did this when the sun had
warmed up. I was pleased with the props they were clean, it is the first time I
have checked them since going back in the water when we hauled out at Mackay in
June. I coat the props with lanoline grease and this stop barnacles from
attaching themselves to them. I have a cotton gardening glove that I cover in
the lanoline and when I dive on the props I wipe fresh grease over the props.
This is probably the last chance I can do this other than Lizard Island as else
where there is the danger of the crocs.
After I had finished the props I then went around the hulls
wiping the areas around the waterline as we had algae come in on some north
winds the other day and this clings to the hulls waterline.
(The algae that floated in with the north winds also known as plankton)
Jim and Gina sent us
a text message saying that they would be going to Foxy's Bar for sundowners so
we joined them, Jonathon and Joey also joined us so we had a good chat.
Wednesday - 19/09/2012
Jonathan and Joey on 'Peggy Jane' left this morning they were
heading over to Cairns anchoring at Trinity Inlet, they are not sure whether
they will venture further north or start heading south. A little later Peter
and Tania on 'Cassini' headed out, Peter had a rash on his arm and it was
getting worse so they are off to see a doctor.
We had a quiet day I did a few maintenance chores, it was a
very warm day, we ended the day with our last sundowners at Foxy's Bar with Jim
and Gina as we will both be heading off tomorrow for Half Moon Bay Marina at
Thursday - 20/09/2012
Jim and Gina headed out about 0630 hours this morning but
there was no wind I thought we might wait a short time to see if the wind
kicked in once the sun was up in the sky, by 0730 hours I could see some
ripples on the sea away from the island and Jim's yacht in the distance had a
sail up so we headed out. Unfortunately the winds were very light and all we
were able to do was motor sail.
It was a great morning as far as the weather but no wind, as
we passed Cape Grafton 'Backchat' that had been anchored in the bay also
weighed anchor and was heading in the same direction of Yorkeys Knob. It was
18NMS from the island to Yorkeys Knob, we checked with the marina to see if we
still had the same berth they had allocated to us, it was we are on the end of
'A' finger the same as last year.
(Entering Half Moon Bay Marina at Yorkeys Know north of Cairns)
As we entered the marina Jim and Gina was at the fuel dock
they are going up to the next marina up the creek, Blue Water Marina,
apparently they have had a fall out with this marina. 'Backchat is also going
to Blue Water Marina as they are leaving the boat for a short time and it is
cheaper rent up there and it is cyclone proof, if we were staying for the
cyclone season we would have gone there to. The only drawback with that marina
is that there aren't any shops close by although I believe they do have a courtesy
car available that you can book for 3 hour periods.
My first job once we had booked in was to source an outboard
motor mechanic to have a look at our seized outboard motor. I saw Don at the
local chandlery and he gave me a contact but unfortunately this bloke is very
good and like all people that are good at their work they are also very busy.
However, after talking to this guy he gave me a few things I could check and he
said if it is the engine itself the parts are hard to get and expensive it is cheaper
to buy another motor. We really live in a throw away world.
I went back aboard and took the starting mechanism off and I
could not turn the engine by hand, I put a spanner on the shaft nut and was
able to turn the engine although it was a little stiff, I then drained the
gearbox oil and that was clean and then I unbolted the gearbox and lowered it
about 100mm and all this rubbish fell out which included salt and one small
piece of alloy. However, as soon as I cleaned it out the engine turned freely.
I could not get the gearbox completely off without force so I thought I would
put it all back together. I did this and the motor turned freely still so I put
it back on the dinghy and it started first go and ran well so I thought I will
leave it as is until we get to Darwin when I have more time.
Friday - 21/09/2012
The first job I did this morning was load all fuel
containers in the dinghy and went over to the fuel dock to fill up with diesel
and ULP, the outboard ran well so I was quite pleased although my concern about
this small piece of alloy.
After getting the fuel I started the shitty job of the day,
the port aft head was leaking dirty water. I knew what the problem would be as
I had the same problem some time ago with the starboard forward head. The
toilets are the TMC brand which is a good toilet one of the cheaper ones and I
have found that the flange where the macerating pump screws on to the toilet
bowl is where it leaks and the reason for this is that the pump has a metal
flange and the toilet is a plastic flange and the sealing face is very thin
between each hole and is sealed with a rubber gasket. Over a period of time the
flange with the operation of the pump flexes and creates a leak in the seal
face at the top and bottom of the flange and it erodes the metal face. I have
found the easy fix is to clean the flanges thoroughly and then use Permatex
form-a-gasket. I still use the rubber gasket as it is in good condition and use
the form-a-gasket on all mating surfaces. I did this with the other toilet over
12 months ago and it has not caused any other problems. After doing those
repairs I had to refit the toilet and hoses. By the time all that was done and
everything cleaned up it was time for a cold beer. The weather is nice now and
temperature around the 30⁰C which after the cool or cold winter we have had we need
to get used to the climate again.
(One of those shitty jobs, this is the macerating pump, the eroded flange)
(A good thing to have on board, if you break an 'O' ring or need a gasket this will do the job)
Both Nancy and I had a busy day doing things and it was good
to sit and relax have a good meal and crack a bottle or was that bottles of
wine, yes I think it was bottles, it was good anyway.
Saturday - 22/09/2012
Had a nice surprise this morning a friend on the FB site
that we have tried to meet on a few occasions when they have been sailing or we
have been in Cairns and it has never happened was on line this morning so I
sent a message to say hello and let her know where we were. Friend Kelly
answered and asked if we wanted to go into the markets in town, I said that
would be great and she picked us up within the hour and off we went. It was
good meeting Kelly after all this time, Kelly run a number of marine colleges,
one here another in Gladstone and she looking at another place now.
Kelly took us to the bloke who is a farmer that grows the
produce he sells really great bloke we had a good chat with him the vegetables
were nice and fresh. Then Kelly took us to a butcher that has very good meat so
we are pretty well stocked up with vegies and meat. She then took us home for
coffee and we met her father who is also a good old sailor from Victoria.
Kelly took us back to our boat and came aboard for a while
and we had a good chat.
The rest of the day was a bit of a lazy day which may have
had something to do with the night before.
Sunday - 23/09/2012
Nancy cooked me a very nice breakfast this morning and after
that I did the last fuel run getting all the containers filled. I then had to
rearrange storage so I could place the fuel in the forward hold area so that I
do not have to bend over on the transom step waving my backside at crocs.
After lunch a friend Vic came to visit, we first met Vic and
his wife Yvonne in Brisbane when he was getting his Leopard 47 catamaran ready
to go to Tonga in the charter fleet, he also has a Leopard 46 in Airlie charter
fleet. Yvonne was working so she was unable to visit. It was good catching up
with Vic once again, he is bringing his cat back from Tonga next year that
would be a good trip. We had a good afternoon chatting about boats and sharing
information. It would be great to do the Pacific run again.