Wednesday 12 Dec.
Jude's photo has made a front cover. Her albatross picture taken while adrift in the Great Australian Bight now graces "The Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels" website
Tuesday 11 Dec. ~ Life on the Hard
Serious cruisers will know the shaky start of day descending a steep ladder to race for the loos that is normal for life on the hard.
Surround by a forest of masts, Banyandah stands forlorn like a worn object of art precariously balanced on her long keel, her mass kept from toppling by what appear two flimsy vertical arms, one of which doubling as the means of entry into our abode. She feels dead, or dying with occasional tremors and shakes so unlike her lively antics when afloat and this has us tiptoeing about praying she recovers.
Instead of commanding her to even greater adventures, Jack and Jude consult her list of aliments to plan a recovery. It is a long list as she only get’s looked at every two years. There are spots of cancer needing cutting out, nothing serious, but a stitched in time.... Her sacrificial bits have been eaten down to gnarly bones. They must be renewed. There are nuisance leaks around some of her portals that need plugging. And to extend its life, her anchor rode should be turned about, her bobstay too. That’s work enough for a veteran couple, but alas, that’s just the start. Our lady’s protective skin needs rejuvenating, top to bottom. The five years of bashing around Australia’s hostile climate has left her beautiful blue coat threadbare and worn patches show hints of her white undercoat. Her skin facing the myriad of undersea creatures seeking a home needs copious amount of poison to ward them away. We normally double these coatings to give us two years of fast cruising. You can do that with ferro.
Thursday 6 Dec.
I just got off the phone with Martin at Somerset Sails in New York. What a helpful fellow he is. Somerset Sails have made our new mainsail, which will be shipped tomorrow. Woohoo, can't wait. If the quality of his sail matches his service then it will be a wonderful new piece of gear on Banyandah.
One of the nice things I have enjoyed has been placing a skype call to him, he has a free phone number +18003239464, and be able to discuss every detail of our order. We want the sail quickly during peak holiday time and Martin made sure it all went smoothly. Watch this space for comments on the quality.
Other news, it has been windy, very cold, and rainy most of this last week, snow has fallen on the Tasmanian mountains! These terrible conditions have slowed our progress a bit. But between showers, we've been outside sanding the hull, grinding out cancerous bits ( there have been a few trouble spots for years that we have to redo every 4 or 5 years), plus I end for ended the bobstay a task taking most of a day, and end for ended our anchor chain and replace the main anchor shackle with a new one, tested of course. Getting off the signage, our name, numbers, etc. was tricky. Using an electric heater soften them, but they broke into little bits, and a fine scraper helped. Our new paint job will give Banyandah a wonderful new facelift. She'll probably be a similar colour, Admiralty Blue, is running hot favorite at the moment.
Saturday 1 Dec.
Shaking us awake before dawn, Saturday brought a series of fronts, their wind blasts sending the thermometer down, bringing relief from yesterday’s 33 degree heat. We tried to work outside after breakfast, but slugged by the wind’s physical impact proved too great a burden when added to the cacophony of trees blown wild and screeching masts and rigging. So we took a walk. What seemed a good idea to work in Jack’s new boots proved scary once on the cricket pitch where we got nearly knocked flat by blasts rushing down the mountains. The expanse of white water we saw brought thoughts of our friend Ronnie Morrison bringing his 80 foot mega-yacht down from Sydney at that very moment. We were sure the storm’s arrival meant he’d be battling.
Successive fronts sent yachts tugging mooring and rigs a whistling
After a jaunt to the corner shop and finding it closed, we thought we’d march out to the ferry terminal to Bruny Island. There are a few shops in that complex that might have something for a Saturday night meal, and to cover all contingencies we first side track via the pub to check out their menu. Surprise! While having a cleansing ale, we spotted Maatsukyer taking up a long run of the visitors dock. Ronnie must have slid in while we were walkabout, so off we went to welcome him in.
Maatsuyker, a Warwick 80, is a lovely vessel loaded with great timber features and powerful gear. All the hard work is handled by a comprehensive hydraulic system that raises and lowers all sails, and sheets them in and out, all with push button ease. Her accoutrements are first class. From a massive fawn bimini that acts like a greenhouse keeping her crew nice n warm, away from the chilling southern ocean wind, where they can relax in very social corner nooks upon cushions of deep ocean blue.
Ronnie seem surprised at our concern.
“Had to motor last night,” he replied to our questions. “Then we had a heck of a headwind crossing Storm Bay,” he said in his laconic way like the big kid he is.
From Arlie Beach where he wintered Maatsukyer, they sailed out to Lord Howe Island for a week’s visit, climbing Mount Gower and snorkeling for shells. Then a two-day voyage took them into Sydney Harbour to re-provision victuals before heading down the NSW coast, direct to Kettering, a voyage lasting 72 hours. That’s not that quick just a leisurely sail with occasionally squirts of adrenalin like when their boom dragged the sea. He’d sailed to Sydney in 68 hours, against the prevailing current.
Friday 30 Nov.
Boy! Almost fried today in the 33 degree heat here at Kettering, just 30 minutes south of Hobart. Fortunately it wasn't as bad as the 44 C we had in Adelaide two years ago, when living in a cement boat out the water was like being baked in an earthenware jug. Today it wasn’t that bad. Unpleasant for sure, especially with my arms ulcerating, so we only worked outside for a few hours before lunch, then we had another stint in the afternoon.
Our tired old waterline ~ oils and algae have discolored it, shells have eaten into it, lifting the paint. She's a mess soon to be renewed.
Our bobstay, heavy chain inside as PE tube, hanging loose and being inspected. Jack's going to end for end it to spread the corrosion.
Where the bobstay connects to the boat at waterline. Imagine all the boiling seas this drives into! The hole drains our chain locker.
About five, after a much needed shower to wash off the black bits of old antifouling that had been sent flying by my power wire brush, we took a walk to the local servo that doubles as a convenience store. Everyday so far, Jude and I have had a stint on a park bench overlooking our vessel with the sound opening to Bruny Island and there we cool off and babble about our day. Behind the bench, across the cricket pitch lays the convenience store, where we arrived just as the Indian proprietor was stepping into his car after locking up. A friendly fellow, with a wave dismissing our objections, he let us and we bought a few needed supplies. Of course, with the door open a new customer walked in. I’d already heard that ‘Paul’ had closed to go watch his daughter play cricket, so I rolled my eyes, but Paul merely shook his heads to dismiss my concerns.
From there we strolled the lanes up the hillside and over to the local that is perch above the marina, where with a couple of coldies, we sauntered outside to a table in the shade and began chatting to a young couple with twin sons who we learned were just three and right out of nappies. Reminded us of our sons, the running about playing chasey, so competitive, and as if part of their family we were soon urging Geordy and Ollie to race. Cute as, one dropped his daks and began widdle-ing on the lawn, a sea of masts behind him, and half of Kettering looking down from the pub. Uproarious! Mum sang out, and I said to her, its nothing, let him be. But the lad seemed to have gotten his mother’s drift and began crying with his trousers at half mast, his budding manhood hanging. Poor dear. Mum went to the rescue, soothed the boy and brought him back, and that’s when we found he was crying because he’d stepped in some dog poo while doing his business. More laughter. Cleaning the lad, Dad calmly explained that it was ok to widdle on the ground at home, but here they used the toilet. Suddenly both twins needed to go. Righto, in a blaze of chatter, off they went. Off on an adventure to the men’s room! Life’s grand. See ya.
End of work Friday ~ Enjoying a cold one at the Kettering Pub
Banyandah is off screen left
Kettering Slipway ~ Always something of interest