Anthem Adrift

20 July 2018 | Timor Sea Day 3
18 July 2018 | Timor Sea Day 2
18 July 2018 | Tipperary aters Marina, Darwin
17 July 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
09 July 2018 | Fanny Bay, Darwin
09 July 2018 | Fanny Bay, Darwin
08 July 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
03 July 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
01 July 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
29 June 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
25 June 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
24 June 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
15 June 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
13 June 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
10 June 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
03 June 2018 | Singapore
02 June 2018 | Phnom Penh, Cambodia
01 June 2018 | Phnom Penh, Cambodia
30 May 2018 | Siem Reap, Cambodia
29 May 2018 | Hanoi, Vietnam

Running Hot or Not

20 July 2018 | Timor Sea Day 3
Friday 20 July 2018

Two closest Sailmail stations are at 1300 and 1800 NM in Brunei and New South Wales. Next station near Johannesburg is 5600 NM. Winlink no better with nearest stations in the Philippines then Africa. May have difficulty maintaining contact this passage. Cheering at this point would be unseemly and beneath you.

After chasing fuel flow from tank to injector pump as we flopped along at 1.5 kts for a couple of hours last evening when engine quit and wouldn't restart, it ran smoothly overnight and continues after extrinsic (real word) lift pump was turned off this morning. Thusly, all systems are operating nominally and will continue to do so from now on, he declared with consummate aplomb.

Light wind directly on the stern with quartering sea has us motoring along, hot with little apparent, rolling over like a one trick dog. We have fuel for about half the distance to Cocos. Despite strong winds over the previous three weeks, albeit from the east, wind god is apparently enjoying some personal time. Obviously didn't get the memo from Hard Rock Cafe, leaving us to destroy the planet, burning dead dinosaurs, for awhile longer.

Jack

Breaking Free

18 July 2018 | Timor Sea Day 2
Thursday 19 July 2018

We enjoy passages, but normal practice is to go AFAP. Don't like storms, squalls or big seas and longer out greater risk. However, giving a rethink this time. Bad weather highly unlikely, no big wind in forecast (in fact lower than normal) and would be abaft the beam anyway. We've plodded along at occasionally less than 3 kts., however given easy sea, it's quite comfortable with no irritating diesel explosions. Sure, we're starting late season with less time to enjoy destinations, but this doesn't suck. May just take a day or two longer, produce less CO2 and save the planet. Feeling huggably self-righteous.

Adding to all the other delights, fridge is having a moment. Could be moisture freezing in the capillary (recoverable) or low gas (not, but not likely). May have to choke down all the fresh stuff: veggies, fruit and three dozen eggs more quickly than optimal. No worries, with all the convenient breakdowns to make voyage more interesting, may need extra energy.

Has anyone noticed that most produce now have a more expensive segment labeled "organic"? Organic means organs. Word is that these are mostly buzzard gizzards. Don't tell anyone, as widespread dissemination could create panic in the health food advertising industry. Of course, if, as some gullibles believe, this means no pesticides were used in production, then the extra bug protein could actually be healthy.

Strangely, we both slept well first night out. Without Borg technology, assimilation normally takes a day or two or three. It's like daily international flying over a fortnight. You start out topped off, get to maybe a third less after a couple days, then level off. Pretty soon 70% feels like 100% and you're good to go. Concerned overseas travelers may be comforted that studies showed little adverse effect on motivated performance for sleep deprived medical interns. Have another shot of hooch before boarding and you'll be fine.

Normally wouldn't prattle on this long (hey, no snickering back there in the peanut gallery) with work to do as the boat disintegrates around us, but Jan has apparently decided to sleep until noon. Good for her. Well rested, perhaps she can take one of my two watches tonight... not. She's had several, stressful, end-of-treatment checks and tests plus final prep for the passage, so guessing the last week or so has worn her out. She is, however, in perfect health, mentally and physically, so all good (of course, being a guy, how would I know?). In the words of Mark Knoffler and Emmylou Harris, we be "Rolling On".

Thursday Afternoon

At noon today, just after Jan got up (lazy bugger), a Border Force airplane (visualize the over-testosteroned, pot-bellied mob drinking their XXXX (because they can't spell BEER) in a smoky conference room while renaming customs and immigration) buzzed us requesting information. They're probably as happy to be shed of us as we are of them and wanted to make sure we weren't coming back. No worries, mate. We'll miss the wallabies.

Looking at inventory list (this is almost up to date and pretty darned organized for me) found "Isotemp heating element and all gaskets". Woohoo! This, however, was not unalloyed good news. It's supposedly located at bottom of forward, under-bed locker in which is half the stored crap on the boat (only slight hyperbole), on the bunk, under the bunk and finally, under that with the AGM batteries. Jan had spent a day organizing and repacking just the upper section. Best part is that "all" may not include the proper replacement gasket. If not, this may be the occasion where Jan decides to murder me in my sleep.

- Later

It did, it works, I get to live another day and have a warm shower. So, to recap, fridge is fridging, water heater is heating and not watering, engine... well... removed inline fuel pump thinking it might be restricting flow - seemed to help some, but still not turning up full RPM. Then changed secondary filter, so next start we'll see. Should happen pretty soon as boat speed is down to 1.8 kts. - SOG 2.3. Pump kept her purring last night, so that remains fallback. Will clean SSB antenna connection after early dinner and try to send this ridiculous tome.

Jack

Off With a Sizzle, a Drizzle and a Fizzle

18 July 2018 | Tipperary aters Marina, Darwin
Wednesday 18 July 2018

No land in sight. Didn't look back as Darwin disappeared below the horizon. Left in a lull - just enough wind on starboard quarter to help the motor and stabilize a bit. Should be this way for at least a day or two. But we're free. Expect to be in Cocos by 1 August. Could be a day or two earlier if wind is kind, a day or two later if not.

Requested to sail north (or east.... fat chance) for awhile to get distance from a warship live firing on another. At least that's what they told us. Wonder if they informed the other crew? Probably a volunteer navy.

Also passed L'Austral, a cruise ship. These are usually BUTT ugly (Big Ugly Tourist Transporters), but this one actually looked like a boat instead of the side of a prison block. Not homely yet hardly winsome.

First day on passage and except for engine noise, very pleasant. Seems like back in the day, pre-Darwin, we liked this sort of thing only a bit quieter. Of course we were much younger then.

Able to connect SSB to a station on lower frequencies, but upper bands don't tune. Flashing SWR message on radio indicates feedback from poor connection with antenna (he said hopefully, not knowing a postulation from a posterior about these things) so something to keep me out of trouble on the second day of passage.

As Jan had just finished taking a shower.. er doing a shower.. having a shower.. ummmm, showering before her off-watch, water heater began pissing out its steaming contents. Seems that the element plate seal, securing lip of which was partially buggered and new one of which couldn't be received in time, blew out. Partially my fault for putting Teflon grease on the thing during assembly. Rigged bypass for cold only until further reconnoitering. Another helpful project for the new day.

As Jan had just lay down.. er laid down.. lied down.. ummmm gone to bed for previous mentioned nap, engine lost power. Routed fuel through parallel Racor filter and it quit. Thought we had resolved the engine problems, but suspicions have been aroused. Changing all filters is the primo recourse, but thought to try an easier fix first. Powered up an inline feed pump and results so far (and I'm feeling wonderfully sanguine about it, not wanting to screw with that tonight) have been good. The upside of all this is - that's right - no spare time to stray into iniquity tomorrow. Man, what a relief.

Jack

All's Well That Ends

17 July 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
Wednesday 11 July 2018

Found several bugs in the ointment on sea trial. Everyone should be bored to tears but us (or including us), but some are: leak in Panda raw water hose, leak in Yanmar fresh water hose, wind instrument direction arbitrarily wanders, boat speed reading extremely low, rudder sensor five degrees off, 3-way head valves frozen, SSB not transmitting (maybe), engine not revving properly and of course the water heater deal. Less than a week to fix all. No worries.

- Later

Back at the ranch, fixed speed reading, arranged for diesel work and Yanmar hose, chased tail futilely scrounging copper tape for SSB then blew it all off for late happy hour until tomorrow morning. So beautiful on anchor. Had forgotten. Marinas suck.

Friday

No mechanic because his wife out of town and we would have to babysit three small foster children while he worked. We don't do kids. Worked it out with verbal help and advice.

Monday

For a short time Saturday thought that in fact earth had become uninhabitable, i.e. we would be here awhile longer. Then discovered that it's only Darwin that's uninhabitable. Starter motor brushes were completely worn and was informed by Yanmar dealer that there are no replacements for them or for the entire motor (for a very common Yanmar engine) in all of Australia. Sent from Singapore it would be $1066 before shipping, taxes and duty and not get here for a week and a half. Diesel mechanic gave me a source in town for $601 all up. Fits good, works good, life again good. Same deal with engine leaks, which, besides in more than one hose, came from end cap on heat exchanger. No O-rings at dealer, but found one on boat. Wind transducer is buggered, but dealer in town had new - promised to someone else. Using best pitiful face got it and he will re-order for other guy. These are just the highlights.

Tuesday

Jannie's last shot, last conference, last visit to cancer center this morning. She's not too exquisitely happy. Long year and a half, now we're gone, never to return, ever.

After three weeks of playing Whack-a-Mole with interminable, unforeseen complications, boat is probably, mostly ready. Never got around to scrubbing topsides, cleaning deck or polishing stainless, but all important bits are working... for the moment.

One potential exception. Didn't get to SSB radio, sender of emails and this blog. If the thing works this twaddle will continue unabated, whether you like it or not. If not, writing will continue anyway and get mass dumped onto an innocent world when possible - probably Cocos Keeling in two weeks or so. You have been warned.

Jack

Ends Are Mean

09 July 2018 | Fanny Bay, Darwin
Tuesday 10 July 2018

Part for water heater can't arrive in less than a week and a half - Fedex or UPS (FedUp?). DHL is much better and faster for international, but Isotherm doesn't use them. Bah humbug. Of course, even they may not be sufficient for the back of nowhere and once shipments arrive in Australia they seem to disappear for a week no matter what. Mick's Ally Fab is go-to backup to make hot water possible. Should be ready this week. Barring an asteroid making the planet uninhabitable or something more serious, we leave next Wednesday.

With air moving through boat it was actually cool last night. The imperial 'we' are pleased. This year's weather doesn't suck nearly as much as last, especially out on the hook. Enjoying seductive comfort at noon we have yet to leave anchor for systems checks.

In a marina with masts all about, SSB (long-range, HF radio with which we receive email and weather on passage) often has difficulty with reception. Unfortunately, have been unable to make connection in the bay either. Troubleshooting will transpire over next week. As sole means of communication, if efforts not rewarded, we may be out of contact until at least Cocos Keeling which is even closer to the end of the earth than Darwin, but may have internet.

Jack

Ungrounded

09 July 2018 | Fanny Bay, Darwin
Monday 9 July 2018

Locked out of Tipperary and motored around to Fanny Bay for the night. Noticed two things right off: breeze comes through hatches to keep the cabin cooler and the floor moves around a lot. Must have something to do with boats and waves. Seem to remember this from a year and a half ago before we started virtual dirt-dwelling. Perhaps the Indian Ocean will be completely flat for four months and this won't be an problem.

Someone may have inferred that we used the engine rather than sails to get anchored. As sailors we try to avoid this sort of thing, but wind was very light and on the bow for most of the hour ride. Having biked, yoga'd, shopped for boat bits, contracted to have water heater plate/element remediated and finished securing innumerable, accumulated, potential flying objects, decided to bag shakedown efforts until tomorrow. Beginning happy hour early seemed a more appropriate activity for the balance of day into evening. Upon arrival wind picked up to nearly 20kts. This likely contributed to the floor issue.

Jack

Obstacles

08 July 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
Friday 6 July 2018

Leaving Jan at Yoga Space for her hour of lying around (she claims they do all that yoga stuff you hear about or see on telly, but think that's just a story), had record number of people blocking bike paths. Although not entirely today, the typical obstructions are clusters of aboriginal people sitting across the pavement. Not sure why this is better than softer grass on the side, perhaps a habit sustained from wet season when it's soggy. As the average blood alcohol level seems to be above the threshold for physical discomfort, they may not notice. Besides on the sidewalks and paths, you see many at the hospital, frequently for diabetes related illness, and in town harassing restaurant and bar customers. There are over 500 different aboriginal clans in Australia, but the Larrakia predominate in this area. N.T. population is nearly 27% aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders - national percentage is about 3%. If you would like to develop a high opinion of indigenous Australians (they have inhabited Australia for 65,000 years or longer and developed many diverse, fascinating cultures and art (as an aside, ubiquitous dot painting is beautiful, but surprisingly only originated in the early 1970s and the boomerang was not original to Australia)), don't come to Darwin.

Sunday

By disintegrating, pressure water system has just volunteered to be the last minute crisis that is obligatory before every major departure. Giving up all at once, suppose after twenty years plastic is just tired. No less than seven separate leaks at cracked fittings. Enough spares for now, but of course Australia doesn't have required parts - maybe South Africa. Water heater is another kettle of fish with element plate and gasket getting on the bandwagon. Parts on order, expedited from US at twice parts cost, but working on jury rig for backup due standard delivery efficiency in Oz. Cold showers.

Jack

Take It and Stick It

03 July 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
Monday 2 July 2018

Re-supplied this morning with immunizations and medicine for the passage to Brazil (spelled in Portuguese with an "s", but what do Brazilians know - just because it's their country) and stops in between. Wanted to get flu shot, but couldn't because I'm paying. Jan got hers because it's free. Huh? They're short, so only enough to give away. Australia.

Counting doctor, drugs, and boat crap spent over a unit today. Hoping that two weeks at sea will give visa card an opportunity to cool off. Shouldn't need much in Cocos, so next chance to melt it will be in Rodrigues, middle of September.

Tuesday

How is it that no matter how many projects are completed, new ones keep popping up. Took chaps off to sew leather patch where dinghy rubs against Hydrovane to discover all the stitching was rotten. And there's a pantload of it. AB make a great dink then do a tatty job on the the cover. What up? Jan, however, is on it with her Reliable Barracuda industrial strength sewing machine after finishing a beautiful quilt from leftover scraps. Yay Jannie!

Bike riding this morning we saw piles of firework detritus still remaining on roads and trails. Reports are there were several tons of cleanup. With prohibition extending to slightly more than .9994 of the year, during the five hours of release, territorians, not especially known for good sense (they live here, right?), understandably express their pent-up demand to blow stuff up, including themselves. Headline in the newspaper today was "Why I stuck a bunger in my bunghole". Previous year headlines included "Why I stuck a cracker up my clacker". And yes, these reflect exactly what they seem to. This leads us to one of two assumptions, either Topenders are so incorrigibly stupid that they should not be allowed to breath without government help (a notion that has some evidentiary support, but then don't people who are treated like children tend to act like them?) or should be left free to figure it out.

Jack

Tarting Up

01 July 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
Saturday 30 June 2018

After some considerable time at five kilo above former ideal weight, have shed the extra lardage to discover that fighting weight is now at least three kilo less. Former towering 5 feet 11 and 7/8 inches has been reduced to 5 10, squooshing (not a real word) stuff in the middle that has nowhere to go but outward thereby requiring an additional reduction in total mass to maintain sleek, nymphlike physique - very annoying. This may necessitate removing something from the diet: broccoli or pecan tarts. Hmmmmm, what to do, what to do?

Currently taking a break from scraping varnish off port side rub rail using heat gun - about half done. Finally found something that's worse than sanding, which comes next.

Sunday

After completing port rub rail, just for a chuckle, decided to sand a bit of it with 60 grit. Seems that primer/stain applied a few years ago that soaked into the wood is highly resistant to this sort of thing. After five minutes on one spot ascertained that I'm highly resistant to this sort of thing as well. In an epiphany of biblical proportions became aware of just how attractive is unvarnished teak. Will tentatively contemplate additional efforts this week while cleaning deck, polishing stainless and diddling with final preparations - or not.

Jack

Self-Flagellation

29 June 2018 | Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin
Thursday 28 June 2018

In an incredible quirk of fate, finished many of yesterday's projects yesterday - mostly. May get to today's work by weekend or sometime next week or the week after. Meantime have actually begun stripping old varnish from rub rail despite projected likelihood in the vicinity of .05 out of 10. This must be what it's like to dip one's toe into the treacherous waters of workaholism. David Attenborough does this full time, but he actually enjoys it and gets to play with cool animals. We have mosquitoes.

Friday

Finished stripping varnish from starboard rub rail. It must now be taped, rough sanded to remove last bits in cracks and such, cleaned and brightened with chemicals, filled where holes and damage exist (lots), re-sanded with finer grit paper, primed and finally served with a minimum of six coats new varnish in order to be half done. Port side will require turning the boat around. Have now remembered why this project was put off. Giving consideration to letting it go au naturel until maybe Africa... or Trinidad.

It's fish Friday. We're not Catholic and anyway the restriction on eating meat was sort of, kind of lifted (you have to come up with a better penance though... rationalization alert!) except during Lent and especially on Good Friday (and Ash Wednesday) when eating flesh is still a mortal sin (wonder if those doing eternity on a meat rap got a reprieve after the kinda, sorta change?), but this seems like a good excuse to patronize a favorite fish and chips shop overlooking Fanny Bay (not a nude beach) to indulge our inner glutton on crumbed barramundi and fried scallops.

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.
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