Friday, December 14, 2012

Darwin - Marina bound

(Birds in flight as a storm passes Darwin city)

The wet season is still coming we have had some storms with some great electrical displays but the wet is not in full swing as yet and comments have been made in the media that it will be late this year, or should I say it may happen in January.
(Reflections in the marina as sun sets)

We are using the time to carry out some work on the boat and helping friends with their boat. My main project at the moment is gel coat repairs, no not the scratches I put on Alana Rose when coming into the very narrow lock that will be done in time. I am practicing on areas that are hard to see first. I have dabbled before with doing this type of repair but I must say not with great success. However, I came up with the idea of researching and found some great sites on the net with Youtube  showing how it should be done and so far I am pleased with my efforts.

The areas that I am repairing at this stage is the area around where the trampolines are secured this area has taken a beating from people and the seas giving pressure on the tramps and this has caused hairline cracks in the gelcoat. I have had to grind the cracks and refill with new coatings.

Doing this work in the wet season build up is not fun with temperatures around 36 -36⁰C and high humidity and no breeze I have to have a few more drinks so I have something to sweat out.
(Working out of the dinghy repairing the gelcoat)

I have been helping Rob with his yacht removing the old keel and preparing to install the new keel, Rob is a keen racer and is getting the yacht in better condition for that purpose, plus the old keel was not working well, it is hydraulic operated so it can slide up and down but it was not performing well with this action. It is interesting in doing this type of work and it is always good to help other yachties as many helped us in the past. That's what it is all about with life on the water is helping each other. I made the comment way back in the other blog about our friend Leigh who helped us when we blew the mainsail out three days out of Galapagos, as soon as we were in the next port he was over with his sewing machine and restitched the whole sail, when I asked him what I owed him his reply was, "I have broken 6 needles and use a fair amount of thread $20 should replace that". I asked what about the time you have put into to this. He replied, "It's mates rates, a lot of people helped me along the way and this is how I pay them back, it is now up to you to do the same, you help other along the way". We have tried to do this and it is a great way to do business. The other thing is that you learn more about boats and you make some great friends.

We have purchased a second hand tinnie with outboard motor for the Kimberly's, something light and will be able to withstand the oysters on the rocks where our inflatable might not. We got that through a website 'Gumleaf' not a bad site if you are looking for something or you want to sell something.

Other items that we have had fixed was our Autopilot control head screen was bleeding (going black so you could not see the numbers), so that has been fitted with a new screen, not cheap $660. So George the autopilot has had a facelift. Whilst dealing with the Raymarine agent I decided to get a new transducer for our log (the thing that monitors boat speed), it has not worked for a few years now, we have just relied on the GPS to give our speed across the ground,  but we thought it may be handy when we start going into the fast running tides. Obviously when this was a charter boat it had been replaced before, but they did not want to run the wires all the way back to the control panel so they did a cut and rejoin job, you have to see the photo to believe what they did. See below.
(Now that is how you do not do repairs, you can see one wire that has broken out and the sea air blackened it)

We have also had some good socialising with people around and about we have joined the Dinah Beach Sailing Association Club, this also gives us the benefits of using the clubs facilities which will include beaching our catamaran there before we leave to clean the bottom touch up antifouling  paint  and cleaning props. It is a great club nothing flash in fact it is a taste of the old Darwin, cold beer and good not expensive food.

So that's all the news.

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