25 July 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
17 July 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
11 July 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
10 July 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
08 July 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
06 July 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
02 July 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
01 July 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
30 June 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
27 June 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
26 June 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
25 June 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
24 June 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
23 June 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
22 June 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
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

Day 16, a couple of jobs to keep us busy

07 June 2021 | 04 20.016'S:106 33.433'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
7th June

04 20.016 S

106 33.433 W

Weather; warm and sunny, wind 5-15 knots, waves 1 - 1.5 metres

Once I had sent off yesterday's blog Gerry decided to get busy, no one had told him that Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest. The job that was so urgent? Changing out the water maker membrane. As I may or may not have told you every time we fire up the water maker we test the water it produces for Total Dissolved Solids (that's salt content amongst other stuff) and the acceptable readout level, for us, is below 500 TDS. I say for us as the World Health standard level is 500 for drinking water but it is still acceptable up to 750 with an increased risk of dehydration at higher levels. So in our monitoring the water we produce has be slowly climbing in TDS and was just under 500. The slow increase is due to the membrane allowing more particles of salt to pass through it and enlarging the miniscule pores which then allow even larger particles to pass through next time around. The membrane was supposed to last for 2 to 3 years, depending on how much use it is getting, our memb
rane has been in and operational for just a year and a half and it hasn't been flogged to death by overuse however we did have a bit of an issue a while back with the operating pressure which is meant to be at 800psi but ours was running at 950psi for a while and the absolute operating pressure isn't supposed to exceed 900 psi, so it's possible that we had strained the equipment until we got the psi sorted out. Anyway irrespective of the ifs and maybes it was time to change out the membrane. A variety of tools came out along with the box containing the new membrane. Gerry delved into the lazarette and removed the membrane housing then spent the next few minutes prising the end caps off, not an easy job and accompanied by more than a few sailor speak words of encouragement. Eventually both ends were off and the membrane was slid out from inside. The new membrane was shucked from its packaging and inserted into the housing Ð that was the easy part. There were 3 new o rings to
replace the old ones on each of the end caps, getting the old ones off was easy, the new ones were smeared with silicone grease and some time was spent getting them to slot into the appropriate groves but eventually both end caps were ready to be replaced. To say it was a tight fit is a slight understatement, Gerry resorted to using a mallet to bang the caps into place and was lucky that the screw holes all lined up in the correct places once they were in situ. All that was left was to tighten the screws back in place, replace the housing in the lazarette and reattach the hoses to each end then fire it up to make sure it worked without any leaks. Once everything was in place and the water maker was running it was time for the moment of truth Ð testing the water that was being produced, the TDS was down to 230 and there were no leaks to be seen, winning! The water maker got run for the next couple of hours to top up our tanks. Another successful job completed. Was it time t
o sit back and enjoy the view? Of course not, he was on a roll and next on his list was putting the spinnaker pole out whilst the weather was calm and the waves weren't rocking and rolling the boat around. The reasoning for putting the pole out now was that the winds were beginning to turn to our stern and there is every possibility that in the foreseeable future we are going to be goose winging the sails to keep us sailing and to do that successfully we need to be able to pole the jib out on the opposite side to the main and keep it on that side without it flopping back to the same side as the main. Putting the spinnaker pole out is a deck job so complete with harness Gerry set out for the foredeck and I manned the various sheets and lines as and when instructed (read shouted at) to do so. Of course it didn't go smoothly, why would it. Things got tangled, things got stuck, lines dragged in the water, the pole went up, the pole came down, the pole went in between the lifelin
es, the pole went forward then backwards, curses were thrown about all over the place but eventually it was in the right place and secure. Time to sit and stare at the water now? not a chance, whilst we are at it we might as well put the jockey pole out on the other side to change the angle that the preventer is to the centre line of the boat and thus preventing the boom from being able to crash across to the other side if there is a sudden wind shift Ð which is what happened when we had the incident on the way into Colombia, breaking the traveller and the stanchion etc. So now our boat looks like a muddle of lines and poles sticking out all over the place, but we are ready for almost anything. Finally it was time to sit back and watch the water. The wind died away and we moved along slowly for most of the day at about 4.5 knots. The fishing stick got it's Sunday rest day and stayed in the rod holder all day, we had done enough without having to wrestle any giant fish on bo
ard! Gerry had his afternoon nap and then it was time for me to start on dinner prep, as it was a fairly calm sort of day I had decided to do a roast and we had a piece of tomahawk beef that we were itching to try, the veggies needed sorting out and I spent the best part of an hour getting dinner sorted, coming back out into the cockpit in time to(not) see the sun set Ð the clouds had gathered to the extent that everything was botted out and the sky just went from being grey to being darker, no pretty colours tonight! Dinner followed and then the night watches began. I had a terrible couple of hours of not being able to get to sleep and gave up before Gerry went down at about 11 pm only to reappear about half an hour later as the wind had shifted and the boom was flapping and crashing, the stay sail and jib were flapping uselessly, plus we had a new noise that needed sorting out Ð a block that has never before banged was hitting the deck and making a terrible noise. First
we needed to deal with the boom and altered course slightly to put the wind back just behind the beam rather than at our stern. Next came the staysail, that went away and our flopping around was better but still not good enough to sleep so the jib was going away for now and therein began our next problem. Gerry tried to furl the jib whilst I slackened the jib sheet but it just wouldn't furl, the furling line was as tight as a drum. By now it was pitch black and the only way to see anything was to go out on deck with a torch, which is exactly what Gerry did. Returning he didn't have good news, there was no obvious cause he could see. A brief discussion followed as to what we would need to do, this involved taking the sail down to check the top of the furler and after making sure it was all rotating as it should, putting the sail back up again and then trying to furl it away. There was no way I was going out on deck to try such a thing in the pitch black of night so I vetoed t
he idea until daylight, luckily Gerry agreed so in the meantime we just stuck with our somewhat altered course heading and left the jib up. The wind had by now settled into a more or less steady direction, if not the direction we wanted at least it wasn't flitting all over the place as before. The block had stopped banging of its own accord so we didn't have to sort that out and Gerry went back to bed. After 2 more shift changes dawn happened and Gerry came up from his sleep turn ready to "fix" the jib. We briefly discussed what was going to happen and Gerry went out to let the sail down whilst I manned the lines and helm. The top of the furler was sprayed with fairy dust and Gerry made sure that it was rotating freely. The halyard for the Jib had worn through and was going to be at breaking point sometime in the not too distant future so Gerry cut the frayed bit off and retied the halyard so there were no wear spots. Now it was time for both of us to be out on deck and for
the jib to be hoisted once again. We started off with Gerry feeding the sail through the slot and me winching it up, I have difficulty doing the winching so asked to change positions, putting myself balanced precariously in the pulpit to feed the sail into the track and Gerry back at the mast winching the sail up into position. Anyone would think we had done this before, it went without a hitch and soon we had the sail back out in position, a quick dash back to the cockpit to tighten up the loose flapping sheets and it was time to give the furling another try. It went a short way before it became tight and immovable once again, Gerry cursed and went back to sprinkle some fairy dust on the bottom half of the furler, this time it worked and we furled away most of the sail. Whilst It seems to be OK for now I'm sure that it will be on our list of things to have another look at once we get to that exotic place. The sun came out and the wind is now sitting just aft of the beam
at about 9 knots, we are moving along at a respectable 6 knots. Our 24 hour total was 125NM and no engine hours. We are now over the halfway point and getting closer all the time.
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
14 Photos
Created 17 July 2021
65 Photos
Created 11 July 2021
41 Photos
Created 10 July 2021
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