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.
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.
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.