Anthem Adrift

06 February 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
03 February 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
21 January 2018 | Ao Chalong, Phuket
15 January 2018 | Telaga Harbour
08 January 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina
05 January 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina
15 December 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
15 December 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
15 December 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
04 December 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
28 November 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
31 October 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
14 October 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
06 October 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
30 September 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
27 September 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
20 September 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
07 September 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
18 August 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
15 August 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina

Inclination Injection

06 February 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
Wednesday 7 February 2018

Brain stepped out for a pint of milk Sunday, so didn't send last effort until Tuesday. This not due age as attention span and memory have actually improved over last decade from that of two-year old to three. OK fine, early three.

Kubota engine on Panda generator recalcitrance was due, apparently, to bad injector plug. This due, probably, to light loading of motor while charging batteries. This due, obviously, to not operating air conditioning (the only heavy load available) while genset is running. This due, regrettably, to a tincture of Calvinist asceticism inculcated by mum who grew up during Great Depression. When in doubt, blame all moral failures on someone or something else. Still hold her responsible for inability to leave food on a plate even when full to gills and close to exploding. By the way, she has no means to defend herself having departed in 2009 after a very long and full life. Awaiting word on completion of injector rebuild to nominal specs at which point unit will, no doubt, purr like a kitten. Inspection and service of Yanmar propulsion engine, which currently purrs as referenced, will follow. If it ain't broke???

Visit to dental torturist yesterday afternoon was, except for the bill, a very pleasant experience, itself a very unusual experience, because removal of tartar buildup (minimal even after particularly lengthy gap since last cleaning) was completely painless. This was not due to drugs or fear-induced catalepsy, but rather to new technique of firing calcium carbonate onto enamel. Sand blasting is way better than the tuning fork from hell. Consult your least sadistic dentist for details.

Medium fast start last week to boat renovation has stuttered to a more leisurely pace. Consider it blamed on biblical downpours and an uncommon cold (see above reference to moral failures). Having begun to feel better after off-loading virus to Jan however, expect to utilized Newton's first law of motion to overcome current inertia. Nascent search for appropriate force will, of course, be dependent upon significant improvement in attitude and weather. You see the problem, right?

Jack

De-Fun-Did

03 February 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
Sunday 28 January 2018

Great send off party for Jan & me last night at the marina. A few skeptics suggested it was a wedding party for the son of the owner, a retired Thai admiral, and a promotion for the Thailand rally. As if. Had a wonderful time and guzzled as much free food and wine as possible. Navy band and several fine singers provided entertainment. A huge video screen showed scenes from the wedding plus crews and boats in the harbour, but not us. Don't know why.

Especially happy to have had chance to visit Langkawi and Thailand again. Wanted to sail our own chariot back up, but would have cost a year with too many other things to do, places to go, people to see.

Now on the way to Singapore for ten hour layover before standby flight home on Jetstar, only one of two flights a week. Apparently few sane people want to go to Darwin. Can't rationalize a good excuse to blame them. Forecast shows 25 to 35 knot winds and near 100% chance of rain for the next several days. Home sweet home until July.

Friday

Underestimated crappiness of weather in Darwin - ferocious thunderstorms, trees down, canvas torn, flooding, over 510 mm (20 inches) of rain the last week. At least clouds keep temperatures at only sweltering instead of suffocating. In addition to that good news, missed dockage fee before trip, so caught up with two month's worth as visa card company stock spikes up from the business.

Nevertheless and despite customary torpidity (real word), have gotten a few things done: As current insurer for Pacific, SE Asia and Australia does not cover Indian Ocean (annual renewal due this month ballooned premium almost 22.5% and agent (for five years) neglected to notice (or remember) our recently reiterated location and itinerary, covering boat for only US and Canada - it's the personal touches that make all the difference), found reasonable insurance out of Opua, NZ underwritten by Lloyds. Bonus: no survey. Treated old, stagnant diesel with magic additive that will dissolve all tank sludge (ad says so). Ordered two new Fitbit straps from Hong Kong for 12.50 AUD including shipping after discovery that local store wanted $119 each (blink, blink, huh?). Confirmed that Kubota generator motor is buggered beyond my level of incompetence. Determined necessary method and parts to wire DC socket in forward bunk. Removed mainsail early today (first non-inclement morning) in order to access furling motor, which has taken a powder, and to reapply telltales. Plus numerous other achievements too inconsequential to notice.

Later, arranged to have both diesels scrutinized (no Cal, that's not naughty) and adjusted to run at peak efficiency (or at all), bought large fire extinguisher for lazarette and fire blanket for galley (to prevent otherwise fallacious declarations on insurance application), bought wire for above mentioned DC outlet and otherwise pissed away the afternoon to avoid any more actual work.

World ARC (originated as the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers from Las Palmas to the Caribbean that has expanded scope over the years to 11 additional mobilizations) departs St. Lucia each January on a 26,000 NM circumnavigation, returning to St. Lucia fifteen months later. We'll likely have opportunity to wave at the 2018 version as it hoons by in Mauritius middle October. Participants can't blink without missing nearly everything worth seeing along the way and all for only £44,100 (78,560 AUD). For those who have too much money and too little time or confidence it's a way to get 'er done, but crikey! You might not have to pay that much for a boat to do it in.

Sunday

In Cruising Outpost magazine Bob Bitchin will occasionally have the caption "Why we cruise" over a picture of surpassing beauty, perhaps showing an idyllic anchorage with happy, smiling, probably inebriated cruisers. "Why we procrastinate" could accompany a picture of saloon and forward cabin in disarray yesterday as every upper cabinet between galley and forepeak was emptied to run wire to a DC outlet that had been installed a couple of years ago. Hylas apparently took great pains to make this nearly impossible even with a fish tape, no doubt to keep roaches from crawling from one locker to another. This has given Jan (She's CDO - that's OCD except in alphabetical order as she explains it should be) the chore of reorganizing approximately a quarter of the interior and throwing away a vast amount of extraneous crap that has been hidden, unused for years. It appears this will take all day and she is particularly pleased with me for the rare opportunity. Downside is that rest of crew, unable to operate inside and thus ousted from the comfort of air conditioning, is obliged to begin necessary work on deck in the midday heat. Of the two scenarios, Bob's is better.

Jack

Muking About

21 January 2018 | Ao Chalong, Phuket
Thursday 18 January 2018

Here we are back in the land of longtails, hongs and wonderful food. No data sim until at least tomorrow in Ko Lanta, but probably not until Phuket Monday or Tuesday. Aim is a couple days in Ko Muk (Mook Island) before continuing north. This place embodies what half of dirt-dwellers think of as the essence of cruising (It's either sundowners in the cockpit with mates or battling 60 knot winds and 10 meters seas - in fact vast majority of time is spent doing neither) and one reason we love it. We have a palm tree lined sandy beach fringing a calm, cove anchorage with vertical limestone cliffs to the north. There's a small rustic resort and several bars and restaurants including one on the hillside that we enjoyed last time through - inexpensive (cruisers tend to be cheap except for boat stuff).

Beautiful 49 NM sail up from Ko Tarutao yesterday. Jan got to see sun peak over the horizon once again. Two within a week should discharge all her sunrise requirement for the year.

Friday

Had so much fun yesterday with swim, mast climb to clean sail track, drinks then dinner ashore decided to remain one more - Lanta Saturday. Original plan to swim through Emerald Cave to the hong inside at inexcusably early hour this morning before heading north after high alcohol evening may have impacted that decision as well. Should do so this afternoon with sleep-in tomorrow - no sunrise abuse.

Except for adult beverage our hosts practice something called moderation. This apparently requires self-discipline. As a general rule we avoid that. Not all bad though as despite best effort some miniscule lardage seems thus to have dissipated. After return to Darwin may have to practice something else called abstinence until livers recover.

Saturday

Another late night of carousing at the same excellent restaurant ashore with several mates also heading toward Phuket after an accomplishment-free day resulted in dragging our torpid butts out of bed mid-morning and being the last to leave anchorage.

Sunday

Yet another night of above referenced jollity starting at lunch with libation ashore. Lanta is one of our favorite places, but to quote Buffett, we "can't run at this pace very long". Excellent wind this morning for the few hour sail to Phiphi (Peepee) where we expect not to go ashore (suffers from wall to wall tourists, longtails and jet skis) before final run into Ao Chalong to clear in, do laundry and prepare for scheduled lunch Tuesday.

Closest sim card six klicks up beach so no internet until tomorrow in Phuket. In addition to constant pickling of brain cells, lack of inspiration has made this rather pedantic, but lacking ability to send, will just keep stuttering along until Phuket.

Monday

If we can buy tickets back to Darwin from Krabi without incapacitating the cruising kitty should be there a week from today. With excess time available last year, engineering and maintenance crew on Anthem were deplorably slack. Much to our chagrin this will necessarily change upon return. With Jan feeling well expect trips to Auckland, Hawaii and Vietnam in the breaks so must spend all home time at toil. Conscientiousness will henceforth be our mantra. Bike early every morning, work for balance of day, then pursue abstinence and moderation in the evening. Man! You couldn't pay me enough to be me.

Jack

Rally Dally

15 January 2018 | Telaga Harbour
Wednesday 10 January 2018

Sun just peaking over horizon as Air Asia flight 541 to Bali taxis away from gate. Crew appreciation, particularly of distaff members, for opportunity to view this event was muted as we began 13 hour expedition to Langkawi. Although patronizing Air Asia all the way, retrieval of checked bags will be required in Kuala Lumpur (KL) because Indonesian and Malaysian branches evidently don't communicate. Lack of electronic entertainment system was ameliorated by live musician - pretty good too. If ever given a choice between Air Asia and Jetstar, AA doesn't suck nearly as much.

Sunday

Apparently Air Asia Indonesia doesn't even communicate with itself as bags went walkabout, probably in Bali. Located and sent on next day, but no delivery as we had to prove they were ours - separate PNRs. Always carry a kit and spare skivvies for just such eventuality.

Commendable abstinence has been defenestrated (is English a great language or what?) as sailing friends force us (force I say) to partake in typical cruiser debauchery and first-rate socializing. Great to see so many old (long-time) friends and find out what mischief they've gotten into and plan to.

Have been enlightened from person or persons, who shall remain nameless, that Comments section of Sailblogs is not properly operating, so have added dedicated email account to allow contact should anyone be so inclined: disgraceful.twaddle@gmail.com. Have usually replied directly instead of using Comments anyway so you may not be aware that a dialog has taken place. If you, for some recondite reason, wish to have one of those, I will always reply. If nothing forthcoming I have messed up. Give it another shot.

Tuesday

Will use actual location, for this occasion because it's cruising, even though Anthem is still ensconced in the bosom of Darwin.

Cleared out of Malaysia yesterday and now anchored in Telaga Harbour after motoring over from Rebak Island Marina (just south of here if you're looking) to get fuel and make last minute wine run. Expect little wind going to Phuket and duty free Langkawi is the cheapest place to acquire adult beverage anywhere within 1000 kilometers. Plus Jonathan & Dot will continue on to Andamans where one would almost certainly become sober without onboard supply. This, of course, would be highly inappropriate and is just not done.

Jack

Generating Fun

08 January 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Sunday 7 January 2018

Despite an inveterate lazy streak, lollygagging does tend to get boring after a bit, so yesterday, much to everyone's surprise, Panda got cleaned and put back together. No antifreeze, so had to wait until today to finish.. maybe. Not there yet.

Should have biked yesterday morning as rain mostly held off until last night, continuing all today - hard. Would have gone to pool for laps, but that pervasive sloth thing was an insurmountable obstacle and anyway we might have gotten wet. Managed, however, to sortie for coolant, material for a quilt project and, of course, coffee. Will suspend writing at this point to fill and bleed cooling system. There's undoubtedly a logic in the preceding and a posse will be sent out to search in due course.

- Later

Generator is tanned, rested and ready. It is, however, suffering from an unwillingness to start. May have to bring in competent help. Probably needs servicing anyway - valve adjustment, compression check and such. Onboard knowledge of diesel engines is somewhat sketchy although if the thing is getting fuel, air and compression it should at least give the odd pop. Pandas are a bit notorious for being temperamental, bad sensors for example that could preempt application of fuel.

Exclusive barber, Jan, performed removal of three month's (or longer) growth. Avoiding trauma for a week or two after such events is attempted by not looking in a mirror so to avoid observing the gorgeous, dapper Adonis who stares back. This is a look anathema to any cruiser and can cause great psychic damage to a proper self-image. She's quite proud of her artistic prestidigitation and is appalled by comb-overs (OK on that score for now), pony tails (how can one be a proper sailor without one?) and general shagginess (she seldom gets the trifecta).

Monday

Horses are great. They're smart(ish), handsome and big. There are three locations along bike paths here where one may observe them. Spots are not close together, so two per ride is usually max. Best locale is a large park at East Point also frequented by gaggles of geese, cacophonies of cockatoos and welters of wallabies (animal associations should always alliterate with the possible exception of a waddle of penguins). While distaff crew practiced yoga, rest of complement, no doubt feeling guilt for previous and impending lethargy, made this a three horse day (may rethink any similar urges in future). No riding again until February as medical appointment is early tomorrow and then we're gone sailing. Hasta Luego.

Jack

Let The Fun Begin

05 January 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Monday, New Year's Day 2018

Minds are strong and healthy due culling of sick and feeble in brain cell herd. Rapid reduction of cytochrome levels will occur as abstinence into the foreseeable future proceeds. Lissome physiques will soon materialize from beneath newly acquired BMI inflators. No new year's resolutions will be necessary as boat is equipped with mirrors. An unfond farewell was given the old year as eyes gazed with rheumy blear at $7 million dollars of taxpayer funded entertainment on telly in Sydney Harbour and into the promise of 2018 just prior to everyone collapsing into a conscientiously earned stupor.

After a light breakfast with Champagne Charlies we now proceed with five bottles of newly purchased wine, which will go into the cellar for extended aging, four and a half hours north to Coff's Harbour, midway between Hunter and Brisbane, for the night.

Tuesday

Almost back to Brisbane for short night and O dark hundred get-up for flight to Darwin. Crikey! The last two weeks went quickly. Too much fun, but always good to get back home. Goal is to get Anthem back in offshore condition by end of January, but we've been invited to crew from Langkawi to Phuket and Krabi with Bali Hais, which will soak up bulk of month. Disappointment at inability to get hot and sweaty with boat work will be assuaged by seeing mates in Southeast Asia and getting back on the ocean. The sacrifices one makes.

Thursday

New entertainment: tweeting with Don and Kim. Mainstream and social media ricocheting off the ceiling in fear and loathing remind me of people who have no sense of humor thinking a joke is crude because they don't get it. Stop work on the bomb shelter, take a breath, buy a puppy.

Arising at 0600 to bike around Darwin revived suppressed memories of breathing stifling, saturated air while hazarding heat prostration. Didn't even stop for usual coffee to return quickly to boat with still operative air conditioning. Better than a puppy.

New exhaust manifold, having arrived in six days from UK, was held for retrieval. Oddly enough Border Force(Customs) didn't detain, DHL, following our request, didn't send back and it's the correct part - must be living right. Old corroded chunk has been removed, photos taken and new unit ready for installation once now accessible grime is cleaned off. This could happen at any moment.. or week.

Saturday

Eschewing bike ride this morning due potential rain and pervasive sloth we slept in. As lying about slowly becomes boring we will drive to Parap (that, for some obscure reason, is the name of a suburb) Saturday market because some of crew enjoy markets and some enjoy local cafe where above referenced moment may be contemplated over a flat white (this is not a racial slur).

As cracked rib from rather less than graceful bike dismount a few weeks ago (second of three that day - would explain sequence, but you really needed to be there) gets better, Jan's treatment symptoms rapidly disappear and with almost a week into this year, all things considered and looking forward with hope and giddy anticipation, so far (circumspect enough for you?) 2018 doesn't suck. Yay!

Jack

Next!

15 December 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Sunday 31 December 2017

When Australians, sensing from the accent that we're aliens and ask from where, Jan always answers Canada without divulging that only some of us are so sprung. I usually don't clarify as Canadians are universally liked and this allows Aussies to develop any potential antipathy to me without the help of a preconceived notion. This regrettably has the effect of besmirching Canada's reputation as few are aware that their citizens can be that loud and rude, but hey, that's not my problem.

Won't belabor the details, but this vacation has been a wonderful celebration of finishing the hard yakka of chemo and radiation. Two weeks to fit in Brisbane, Tweed Valley, Port Macquarie, Yamba, Port Stephens, the Hunter Valley and Coff's Harbour and seeing all our mates has been far too short. We'll continue to go places, see people and do things during breaks between shots and boat preparation while we count down to the end-of-the-tunnel July departure for Cocos Keeling and points west.

One aspect of the last two weeks should be noted in the massive ingestion of food and drink. Production of enzyme cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1), which multiplies to metabolize alcohol as consumption increases, is at an all-time high along with blubber. We will contemplate reclamation concepts as we waddle blearily through airports on our way back to Darwin. Remediation will, needless to say, not begin tonight as we ring in the new, and undoubtedly better, year with buddies Shayne & Lisa in the Hunter Valley wine region with the requisite immoderation.

Jan & I wish everyone a prosperous and paradisical new year.

Jack

Winding Down and Pumping Up

15 December 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Saturday 16 December 2017

As this year grinds to a welcome conclusion let us pause for a moment to reflect on its primeness. We will not enjoy another prime number year until 2027. There were 6 ordinary ones since the last and we'll only have to wait 2 after the next. 2017 is both a Friedlander-Iwaniec and a Heath-Brown prime. If you understand what that means or scored a perfect 800 on your math SATs you're weird and should not be allowed in public. Otherwise ignore all above. On a completely practical level, however, if you are having a party for 2017 people you can cut the cake to serve each person exactly one piece with exactly 63 straight cuts.

After a few months of guitar lessons I am able to not play several of Jimmy Buffett's most popular songs. Heretofore this inability was merely an untested supposition. As lessons continue and music for additional tunes is acquired this number will no doubt increase apace. It would help to cover the miserable playing by singing along except that would entail multi-tasking (I'm a boy) and anyway few of Jimmy's better tunes are enhanced by the sound of a squawking cockatoo. Meantime Jan is getting excellent use from her noise-cancelling headset.

Except for Monday and Friday, when yoga girl has us going later for her 0900 group, and Sunday, which provides an excellent rationale for torpidity - that "day of rest" thing (as an aside, we also observe "fish Friday" just in case we decide to become Catholic, the church reinstates its meat prohibition and makes it retroactive.. this would be more meaningful if we didn't love fish), we drag our saggy butts out of bed each morning at 0600 to bike 20 to 35 km around Darwin. This is a remarkable concession by Jan who does not do sunrise. The theory is that if you can't see it during setting, you don't need it. Anyway, temps are marginally cooler then and until we can get back out on the ocean the exercise reduces entropy and keeps us from turning into the gelatinous blobs of goo to which our bodies so desperately aspire.

Jack

Christmas Spirits

15 December 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Friday 15 December 2017

One might suppose from the previous installment of this drivel that we don't like the time of year associated with Saturn, the nascent return of Sol (northern hemisphere) and the birth of that Jewish fellow some considerable time ago. Au contraire. The holidays are terrific - favorite time of year. Music is festive and overt jollity is wonderfully uplifting. People seem to be friendlier, drinking to excess is considered appropriate and, contrary to popular opinion, suicide is less prevalent (look it up). Oh sure, there's that little tiff with Santa ever since he forgot to bring us the Hylas 54 back in 2013 (can't believe how nice I was for literally days at a time), but have since acclimated to the 46. After all, it's plenty big enough, costs less to maintain and, using the sour grapes rationalization, the old scoundrel would probably have given us a junker painted orange that didn't included good cruising gear or spare parts.

Living in the great outdoors, particularly where UV is most vicious, engenders unusually high sun damage. Fortunately Imiquimod and Fluorouracil creams have been developed that murder abnormal cells allowing normal skin to regrow. Unfortunately, skin thus treated gains an appearance between a bad case of mange and a worse case of leprosy. Face feels like it's being attacked by a swarm of ravenous red ants. Even more unfortunately, after three or four weeks of use, effects get worse before getting better over the course of a couple of months. It has, however, dramatically ameliorated the nuisance of strangers coming over to chat me up. It's such a relief not to be pestered by gorgeous women who might, quite understandably, mistake me for Brad Pitt.

Jan, who perhaps hasn't sussed my true identity and continues to fraternize, received her last radiation treatment today. All that's left are third weekly, no symptom (except for the potential, closely monitored heart damage thing) Herceptin injections until July and inducing hair to grow faster. The Sinead O'Connor look actually works for her pretty well (what with her having a head shape far more pleasing than the lumpy spheroid, gratefully hidden by hair, atop rest of crew), but there are still the issues of sunburn, wind chill and sun reflection blinding so she's decided to reprise the original look. Shouldn't take more than a couple of years and for awhile the head scarf emotes a much coveted pirate look. All she needs now is an eye patch, a tricorne hat and, what should be the sine qua non of any good buccaneer, a parrot squawking words that put him on Santa's naughty list.

Jack

Ho Ho My Heinie

04 December 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Monday 4 December 2017

Three weeks until Santa brings the loot. We all look forward to this, but it's not the unadulterated boon one might suppose. First, the old guy checks his list to see who's been naughty or nice. Depending upon which side of the ledger one falls determines whether he gets switches and a lump of coal or cool crap from Toys R Us or Brookstone. This isn't an issue for Jan of course, she's Canadian, but for many of the rest of us it's a source of some angst. Just how nice and for how long? Is cleaning up your act a week ahead OK? How about just after Thanksgiving? Surely an entire year isn't necessary. What about that chimney thing? What if you don't have one? Can the porky rascal use a dorade box if all the hatches are dogged? How about when reindeer poop on porous 20 year old gelcoat? You think Santa's going to send elves back to scrub those stains out or that they could even if he did? What if he forgets to bring the right toy or it breaks? He's well over a hundred, no doubt sclerotic, and elves are not known for their engineering expertise. Does the old fart have a return policy or offer warranties? We live on a boat and don't have room for useless clutter. Well, gosh darn (or spicier words to that effect) we're not getting sucked into that happy horse manure hype this year. This year we're erecting a sign on the mast that says, "Beat it grandpa. We don't need your moral judgments or your crappy junk. We'll buy the stuff we need at big discounts in after-Christmas sales on Amazon and be just as naughty as we please."

Jack
Vessel Name: Anthem
Vessel Make/Model: 1997 Hylas 46
Hailing Port: Weeki Wachee, FL
Crew: Jack Warren, Janice Holmes disgraceful.twaddle@gmail.com
About:
Jack: Formerly productive member of the community as a Northwest Airlines Captain who retired to become a drain on, and embarrassment to, polite society. [...]
Extra:
While I will be delighted if anyone else enjoys these excursions into semi-intelligible foolishness, the primary purpose is personal amusement. This is not travelogue, cruising guide or philosophical exploration of anything in particular, merely random musing of a slightly twisted mind. Despite [...]
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/anthem
Anthem's Photos - Main
5 Photos
Created 2 January 2017
Waterfall, etc.
5 Photos
Created 19 May 2009

S/V Anthem

Who: Jack Warren, Janice Holmes disgraceful.twaddle@gmail.com
Port: Weeki Wachee, FL
See full profile for information on why this mess is being foisted upon an innocent world and for information on contact. Don't be a stranger.
website counter