02/16/2012, Bundaberg Port Marina, AU
Each day we try to work on a boat project item or 2. Our goal is to have everything ship shape so we can take off the end of February and spend the month of March exploring Australia. It may not sound much to you but working 4 hours or so on Leu Cat in 90 degrees with the sun beating down on you can be quite draining. By the end of each day I am exhausted and sore. Maybe it is just getting older every day but I really look forward to bed....
Today, Mary Margaret worked on replacing and remounting a new world map that we keep up on the wall in the corridor in the guest's hull. Each year we mark the passage we took so we can show our guests when they come where we have traveled. The original map was getting a bit ratty so it was time to replace it.
Outside, I helped a worker repair the portion of the mast tract that had broken on our passage from New Caledonia and we repaired and installed the secondary anchor bow roller. It had bent some when our windlass died in French Polynesia and we had to raise our anchor rode by hand. The bow roller frame bent during a storm when we had to put out 300 feet of chain to prevent dragging.
Mary Margaret and I also rigged up a line at the end of the boom, tied it to the mainsail that was sitting in the dinghy and we raised the sail up and placed it on top of the flying bridge deck. It is one heavy sail!! Once I reinstall the batten cars, it will be ready to be affixed to the mast and then raised. I am anxious to get this behind us as fixing our mainsail and mast track has been our number one priority. I still need to replace a couple of the battens but I have been running down leads on that too.
Techno-Tip Of The Week: Hose Clamps
It is extremely important to periodically inspect and replace when needed the hose clamps you have on your boat. These little puppies prevent the various liquids (i.e., fresh water, salt water, and diesel) that run through your hoses from leaking. Nothing is worse than a fluid leak on your boat. This is especially true if it is diesel that is leaking or it is sea water from a thru-hull!!
When we returned to Leu Cat after spending three months in the US, I decided it was time to again inspect the hose clamps. As it ended up, I was glad that I did because a clamp to the sea water cooling system on our generator had broken and was sitting on the generator housing. Age and tension had worn the clamp out and it had broken while we were gone!!
I recommend that you inspect your hose clamps at least one a year. You will be surprised at the number that vibrate lose some and need tightening a little bit.
Here is an "after" picture. While not of the same hole in the sail as the previous picture, the holes were basically all the same. You can see how nice and neat this repair is and it will actually out last a repair that is stitched since the stitching will rot over time while this repair is like the Ever Ready bunny, it just keeps going and going and going...
This shows the quarter size hole in our mainsail that the broken batten made on our trip over from New Caledonia. I had four of these in our sail. The sail maker here wanted $1200 Au to fix them. Can you believe that????
02/15/2012, Bundaberg Port Marina, AU
We have some really great news to share. Our daughter, Christina and son-in-law, Michael are pregnant! Yea!!!!! The due date is around August 17. This will be our first grandchild so we are so very excited. Both Christina and Michael come from warm, loving families and each family has a long streak of loving adventure, so we know that Baby Boyless has some great genes working for it. We will be in the middle of Indonesia when the birth comes and there just are not any good places there where we can stop and leave Leu Cat for an extended stay. Thus, we will be sailing on the Malaysia and hope to fly to the US to meet the little arrival in November. In the meantime, Christina will have the loving hands of support of Michael's family, who live just a few miles away, and our daughter Heather, who will be flying in from San Francisco to help just before and shortly after the birth.
I have posted Baby Boyless' first picture. Its face is facing you so if you look closely, you can see its nose and eyes. You need to look closely in the dark portion of the head. You can the nose, the bridge of the nose and the two eyes (the dark portions on both sides of the bridge of the nose). The nose certainly looks like a Leu to me, and you know that I am not bias in the least bit. If you ask me, it also has my tummy, but I am told that all little ones look like this at this stage...
Today, we had a great day. I was able to start and finish making the repairs to our main sail. Each of the 4 holes made by the broken battens was less than the size of a quarter and each was easily repaired. I am still amazed that the local sail loft fellow quoted me $1,200 AU to fix the sail. I am thrilled that I was able to do it as I saved all that money, plus my repairs will last longer than if the sail guy did the work. My trick of using 5200 and sail tape will last the life time of the sail, while the thread used by sail lofts will eventually rot due to sun exposure. I will post before and after pictures so you can see what I did.
While I was sweating away in the hot sun repairing the sail, Mary Margaret was sweating away doing more laundry and then cleaning the inside of the boat. As you can see, following your dream and sailing around the world is not all glamour....
One more thing that made this a great day was that the Cuban cigars I ordered from Hong Kong 4 days ago arrived! They passed through Customs without a hitch, which delights me to no end. I was not sure if they would get hung up in the Customs and then they would assess a very steep duty and Value Added Tax to the cigars. These same cigars cost $410 AU in Brisbane but I only paid $117 US and that included shipping. I plan on order a new box each time a shipment arrives until I am stocked up for this cruising year!
02/14/2012, Bundaberg Port Marina, AU
Yesterday, John and I were hoping that the girls would not notice that today was going to be Valentine's Day. Boy, how stupid were we!!!!! I think every female has a built in gene that is called the Valentine's gene. As Valentine's Day gets near, that gene starts to vibrate and soon she is vocalizing the question of what are we guys are going be doing special for her on Valentine's Day. John and I tried to be quick when this subject popped up by saying that he and I had talked about it and that we had decided that we would take them out for dinner that night in Bargara as an early Valentine's Day celebration. However, the girl's saw right through that and our great idea fell flat on its face. As it turned out, we ended up not going out for dinner yesterday anyway so the failure of this great idea was not a big deal.
Instead, the girls insisted on champagne. We were in a liquor warehouse store at the time so John and I ended up getting a couple of nice bottles of champagne for a pretty reasonable price. For my treat from the Mary Margaret, she promised to make a nice Key Lime pie for dessert. It has been years since I have had a good Key Lime pie, so I ended up being very thankful for Valentine's Day!
We hope you all have a great Valentine's Day and remember to be sweet on your sweetie as she (he) deserves it!