Year 5 Day 73 Dance Card
13 April 2012 | Bundaberg Port Marina
Dave/Mostly Sunny, Windy
You can tell that the boat projects are behind us and we have time and energy for socializing again. We have celebrated with guests, cards and sundowner drinks twice recently and will be doing more of that tomorrow and the next day. Our dance card is filling up and the ball (i.e., cruising) hasn’t even started this year!
Tomorrow, Cheryl and John will be coming over for drinks, cards and dinner tomorrow afternoon. They have just returned from spending 9 days driving around the state of Queensland. They had a great time and saw some cruising friends in Brisbane who have since buried the anchor. Mary Margaret spent part of the day making a yummy chili from scratch so we will have that with Cheryl and John.
The following day Lori and Ken will be returning to play some more Hand and Foot. Maybe Ken and I will be a bit luckier than the last time we played.
Since the boat projects are basically done, I had time to spend on cleaning parts of the boat that I have ignored. The plastic windows of our bimini enclosure have suffered through the summer here without being cleaned. They were filthy but now you can at least see through them. Tomorrow I hope to polish them.
Meanwhile, Mary Margaret armed herself with stainless steel polish and gave the galley a good going over. The stainless steel counter now sparkles! She also finished the gruesome task of emptying out all of our food storage areas, cleaning them, putting the food back and then inventorying them. By doing this, she now knows what additional provisions we need and how much space she has to store them. Plus, we have the benefit of a list of food items and where we can find them. This comes in really handy when we need to find something.
Techno-Tip Of The Week: Tap and Die Sets
When you go cruising, you many times find yourselves in exotic places that do not have any support facilities. In fact, you will find that you actually seek such places out. After all, you want to anchor in a quiet, secluded bay, with the white sand beach in front of you and the clear electric-blue water underneath you. However, even in such ideal places, those nasty, never ending boat projects sneak up on you. Sometimes, the little bugger of a project requires that you replace a bolt that pulled out since the sail over to your exotic anchorage was a bit rough. In such cases, you will need to drill out the hole and tap in new treads so that your new bolt can screw in and hold.
Thus, it is important to have a good tap and die set. Taps and dies are cutting tools used to create screw threads, which are called threading. A tap is used to cut the female portion of the mating pair (e.g., a nut). A die is used to cut the male portion of the mating pair (e.g., a screw). The process of cutting threads using a tap is called tapping, whereas the process using a die is called threading. Both tools can be used to clean up a thread, which is called chasing. A good set can usually be bought for under $50.
Along with a tap and die set, you will also need a good set of drill bits that are sized to support your taps. The best way to do this is to Google the phrase “Drill and Tap Chart” to see what size of bits you need for your taps. Then go out and buy the best drill bits you can. I recommend Carbide drill bits since they are the strongest and will allow you to drill through stainless steel without ruining your bit. They are bit more expensive but it will be worth it.