20 June 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
19 June 2021 | 08 45.420'S:137 17.565'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
18 June 2021 | 08 25.251'S:134 33.143'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
17 June 2021 | 08 04.645'S:132 02.891'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
16 June 2021 | 07 47.405'S:129 37.340'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
15 June 2021 | 07 28.231'S:127 29.795'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
14 June 2021 | 07 07.255'S:125 27.880'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
13 June 2021 | 06 35.497'S:123 01.496'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
12 June 2021 | 06 10.013'S:122 20.620'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
11 June 2021 | 05 46.278'S:117 38.692'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
10 June 2021 | 05 18.830'S:114 55.667'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
09 June 2021 | 04 53.353'S:111 51.748'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
08 June 2021 | 04 37.682'S:109 05.337'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
07 June 2021 | 04 20.016'S:106 33.433'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
06 June 2021 | 03 49.728'S:104 21.936'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
05 June 2021 | 03 12.953'S:102 05.669'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
04 June 2021 | 02 38.543'S:99 39.600'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
03 June 2021 | 01 41.208'S:97 38.443'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
02 June 2021 | 00 46.495'S:95 51.030'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
01 June 2021 | 00 03.779'N:94 05.962'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva

Installing a new auto pilot pump

21 April 2021 | 09 22.025'N:79 56.642'W, Shelter Bay Marina, Cristobel, Panama
21st April

09 22. 025 N
79 56.642 W

Weather; hot and humid, wind n/a, waves n/a


Up early and Gerry was straining at the bit to go to the office and find out what was happening with the delivery of our auto pilot pump - I'm sure it gave him a restless night and he was banging on the office door as soon as they were open. I have no idea what transpired but he came back to the boat a bit happier and apparently the pump would probably be with us today.
I had a hateful job ahead of me for the day, it sounds simple when I say it but don't be fooled, I was going to have to transfer funds from our Australian bank to our agent's account to cover the cost of the transit through the Panama Canal. This was a job that Gerry had passed over to me as he is doesn't do international transfers himself (I have done a few) and I had warned him that it was going to be a headache and a half and we would probably end up having to phone the bank in Australia to get it done, yes I was crystal ball gazing at the time! I started off by going to internet banking as I had done international transfers before in this manner, I didn't get very far as the list of countries that you can transfer to didn't include Panama. Our Agent has obviously had this issue before and had included a choice of 2 interim banks to send money to and then it would be directed onwards to his bank in Panama. I'm not sure how this works as the interim account is in the USA and there is nowhere on our banking end to include a forwarding account outside of the USA and I wasn't prepared to part with the US3619.00 without the reassurance of it ending up in the agent's account and us having a receipt for the Transit. Guess what happened next - we phoned the bank in Australia on an overseas call number and waited on hold for 40 mins to get some help. The man that answered the call was very pleasant and as helpful as he could be, BUT he wasn't able to help us as we needed to speak with an international assistant who would be able to manually transfer the money and they were only at work during regular business hours from Monday to Friday, you have to remember that we are on a different planet, whoops I mean time to Australia so we now need to call back again during Australian EST business hours!. I hate being right all the time and I am so looking forward to the repeat call later on tonight.
We did have the option of paying the account by credit card but this attracts a fee at 1.5% - and I would rather have that in my pocket than the agent's so that is never going to happen. In case you are interested the breakdown of the Canal Transit cost is as follows

Transit toll $1600.00
TVI Inspection charge $ 54.00
Security charge $ 130.00
Agent fee Including, lines and fenders $ 350.00
Guarantee (refundable deposit after transit) $ 900.00
3 line handlers $ 360.00
Cruising permit $ 185.00
Agent's Bank charge $ 40.00

Total cost to transit through Panama Canal $3619.00
It's not cheap but it's better than the alternative!
After the stress of the bank phone call we settled in to doing not a lot and sure enough there was a knock on the side of the boat and a delivery person standing there with our package in hand. Gerry had to pay the duty directly to him the grand amount of US $148 on a $1100 pump including freight and in return received a Matryoshka box. The excitement was palpable! So opening the first box and discovering the next one was a job only Gerry could undertake, eventually unmasking the brand new pump - crunch time! It wasn't exactly the same as the old pump - why would it be, at least a decade has passed since that one was installed and things have moved on in that time, at least it did bear a resemblance to the old pump. A side by side comparison was done - see the photo in the gallery, it was with baited breath he tried the connections and thank goodness they were all the same size as the old pump. It was time to install the new pump. I followed Gerry out into the cockpit as I was certain I would need to be on hand to pass stuff to him and or fetch things from other places. To cut the boring installation story in half he did boat yoga and squashed himself into the lazarette where the auto pilot is housed and proceeded to fit the new pump in place with just one small hiccough - the plate to hold it in place had holes which were too small for the bolts that he had so he had to drill out the holes a little to make them fit. With the pump in place it was time to top it up with new oil, pressurize it to get the oil into the pump and to remove the air from the system, cross our fingers and give it a try. Yes, I let him get out of the lazarette but not before I took a couple of incriminating photos - as you can see in the gallery it is a very tight squeeze! The instruments went on and he began trying to get the auto pilot to turn in each direction to recalibrate it. There were a couple of hiccoughs or teething troubles but it seems to have settled as far as we can tell whilst we are stationary in the slip. Whilst all the lights are doing what they are supposed to do on the panels and the auto pilot seems to move the rudder to each side when we input a 10 degree course change it is a bit difficult to say for certain that it is a done deal until we can do a sea trial. Gerry is second guessing himself and has even resorted to checking the online manual to make sure that he has done everything possible to make sure it is going to work properly, only time and a sea trial will tell. For the moment everything is packed away and we are crossing our fingers that it is all going to be OK.
It's Pizza night at the marina tonight so we are going to indulge and I need to get moving and put some halfway decent clothes on - a sarong just doesn't cut it!
Will be back again soon with more exciting happenings or more of nothing!
Vessel Name: Opal of Queensland
Vessel Make/Model: Tayana 52AC
Hailing Port: Bundaberg
Crew: Nicky, Gerry and Priss
About: Motley mostly, especially the cat
Opal of Queensland's Photos - Main
33 Photos
Created 13 May 2021
49 Photos
Created 3 May 2021
59 Photos
Created 9 April 2021
34 Photos
Created 5 April 2021
9 Photos
Created 5 April 2021
68 Photos
Created 4 April 2021
21 Photos
Created 12 March 2021
26 Photos
Created 27 February 2021
plenty of broken bits and things to fix in Colombia
44 Photos
Created 25 February 2021
25 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
27 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
29 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
36 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
20 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
13 Photos
Created 5 December 2020
Wind indicator replacement
12 Photos
Created 24 November 2020
15 Photos
Created 3 November 2020
leaving Port Louis marina, travelling to Spice Island Marine yard and hauling out to do the anti fouling
60 Photos
Created 3 November 2020
10 Photos
Created 29 July 2020
20 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 5 July 2020
28 Photos
Created 26 June 2020
62 Photos
Created 20 June 2020
10 Photos
Created 4 June 2020
155 Photos
Created 4 December 2019
104 Photos
Created 4 December 2019
55 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 1 November 2019
The life and antics of Miss Priss aboard Opal
27 Photos
Created 1 November 2019

Who: Nicky, Gerry and Priss
Port: Bundaberg