04/15/2012, NW coast of Tasmania
We have been sitting in Eden since last week waiting for wind that will let us sail north to Sydney. It looks like the wind is going to cooperate this afternoon so I figured it was a good time for a blog update before we get under way.
Eden is certainly not a terrible place to be pinned down. Its a lovely little town on a hill side overlooking twofold bay. There are a couple of grocery stores, a camping equipment store that stocks a great selection of beer making supplies, a surprisingly good chandlery for such a small town, and a boat at the fishing dock that sells the famous Eden mussels for a very reasonable price of $8 a kilo. We have had them twice since we have been here.
There are two wharfs here and one is available for yachts to side tie. Its a bit rustic and took a lot of fenders to keep from grinding the hull against the barnacle encrusted pilings but its only $5 a night and includes power and water. The power alone was worth the price because I would have spent $5 in fuel each day to keep our batteries charged out on the hook with no wind to drive our wind generator.
Last night Gabor and and Isolde from Kestrel came over and we fixed the mussels using a Madhur Jaffrey Indian recipe that I had been wanting to try for years. It is mussels in the Goan style. We all thought it was a great recipe.
This morning I got an email from Jens, our Viking friend, with tons of good details about destinations in the Northern territories of Australia and across the Indian Ocean. The email is full of good suggestions of places to go and things to do that we might have missed without his information. The Vikings are now in the west indies and pushing toward home in Denmark as they need to get their older son Jurgen back in school next year if he is to have the necessary credentials for college.
While we have been in Eden we have been able to get a lot done to put the boat back in order after our rough passage from Hobart.
I replaced the impeller on the engine that had been the cause of our engine cooling problem on the passage. That is always a job I hate. Access to the waterpump is very difficult and requires standing on my head in a storage area under the pilot berth.
I spent an afternoon hand sewing the sun cover on the genoa to try to hold it together until we get to Sydney and can turn it over to a properly equipped canvas worker to restitch. I think I got all the paces that are most likely to have failed. We shall see. We are not expecting any heavy weather on the way to Sydney so we should be OK.
It is a day and a half passage to Sydney and the forecast says we should have fair winds for the passage if we dont mess around about it. Late Wednesday the wind turns to the NE but we should be there by then.
04/11/2012, Two Fold Bay
Our friend Tony Purkiss forwarded the attached links to descriptions of the experiences of several boats that sailed into the weather we were running from off the coast of Tasmania. They were part of the 3 peaks race where the boats sail to certain anchorages and then two members of the cruise complete a run to the top of a nearby peak and return to the boat before the boat can continue in the race.
The race had been delayed when the boats got to Flinders Island because of weather so the 60+ knt winds we had seen were over but they still got beat up pretty bad.
The screen shot at the top of this blog entry shows our route on the east side of Flinders Island as we made our way north. Our course is shown in red. The race started at the mid point along the top of Tasmania with the first stop at Flinders Island at the left of our course just past the NE corner of Tasmania.
04/11/2012, East Boyd Bay, New South Wales
We went to bed by 7:30 last night. I was thinking that maybe we should rename the boat the "SS Leisure World". But we were both really tired following the passage from Hobart.
Shawn had downloaded a couple of recent episodes of South Park and we were both falling asleep during those.
We slept through to 7 this morning when the VRM guys in Eden got on the radio and announced that they were open for business for the day. I had forgotten to turn off the radio last night.
The first order of business today was resolving the engine cooling problem as we would need the engine if we had any problems with our anchor dragging and we always try to be ready for that.
We emptied the lazarette of all the stuff we have stowed down there. I was surprised to see how wet it was in the lazarette and I think most of it was condensation caused by the cold water we had just sailed through.
My initial theory was that the problems with the cooling system was some sort of obstruction in the water inlet line but I disassembled all of that and did not find any problems.
That left only the rubber impeller on the raw water pump on the engine and that did turn out to be the problem.
The water pump on our engine is very difficult to get at. We have to remove all the stuff we have stored under our pilot berth and I have to just about stand on my head to see through a narrow opening the builder provided so I can get to the pump and remove the cover plate. The impeller is a rubber paddle wheel that spins around inside the pump an moves sea water through the heat exchange on the engine. The heat exchanger functions very much like the radiator on a car and transfers engine heat from the fresh water circulating in the engine block to the sea water that is brought in by the raw water pump.
Anyway, the impeller was obviously the culprit as it was totally devoid of the rubber vanes that move the water.
I had a spare on board and managed to get it installed and reassembled the pump.
All was well. It's hard to describe the joy that one can associate with something that sounds as mundane as water coming out with the exhaust when the engine is running, but that is what we felt.
After the engine problem was resolved we kept at our other tasks to put the boat back in order after our rough passage.
Our reward tonight is chicken wings for supper. Shawn makes great coleslaw which provide the vegetables for a totally balanced meal. All it takes is a couple of my home brews to raise the carbohydrates to the nutritionally acceptable ratios.
Tomorrow we will move over to the anchorage at Eden so we will have access to the services in town.