14 February 2011 | Langkawi Malaysia
12 April 2010 | Guess
12 February 2010
19 November 2009 | Now Malaysia
11 October 2009 | Off the coast of Borneo Indonesia.
03 September 2009 | Labuan Bajo, Flores Indonesia.
22 July 2009 | Saumlaki Indonesia.
05 June 2009 | Gove
26 April 2009 | Magnetic Island
14 December 2008 | Townsville
31 October 2008 | Townsville
23 September 2008 | Port Clinton
19 August 2008 | Pancake Creek
24 May 2008 | Sydney
27 April 2008 | Hobart
02 April 2008 | Hobart
16 March 2008 | Cygnet

Hurricane in Hobart

02 April 2008 | Hobart
As I sit here writing this update I feel thankful that we are tucked away comfortably back in the marina at the Royal Tasmanian Yacht Club, as last night the winds in SE Australia and Tasmania reached hurricane force with the strongest being 177km/hr at Maatsuyker Island, this is where we sailed a few of weeks ago. Listening to the news from around Tasmania there is currently snow in one area, hail in others, extreme fire danger elsewhere and roads blocked with debris. Melbourne is almost at a standstill with rail lines blocked and many boats on Port Phillip Bay have been damaged. That reminds me I must drop a mail to friends who were in Westernport and could not get a marina berth, hope they were in a good anchorage.

Since the last update we have moved back to marina life which is more like city living with the availability of coffee shops, cinemas and meals out etc. It also gives us access to good marina services, we are able to buy a new propeller for the outboard for instance, fill our gas bottles and top up with water and diesel.

Over the past few months of sailing we are getting to know the boat very well and are happy with most of the systems. However if we are to go to New Zealand some aspects of the boat need to be upgraded for safety reasons. The reefing (reducing sail) of the mainsail is not as simple as it should be and when the wind starts to increase it is essential that this task can be performed quickly and easily, being in Hobart I have access to shipwrights and riggers who can help me with modifications that will make life easier and safer.

As we are going to be in Hobart for a little while, I decide to retrieve the bits of our bikes that are stowed in various parts of the boat and reassemble them to give us some form of transport. Bringing the bikes has been a bonus even though the stowage of them is a pain in the rear. We have been able to get things done much more quickly and with all the hills around Hobart our fitness is definitely improving. Even so, I would rather not travel 20km by bike on a cold showery day to buy some oil filters for the engine to find out when I get back that they are the wrong type. I suppose I should have checked more carefully what the dealer had given me.

Since leaving Melbourne we have been using cash from the sale of my much loved BMW motorcycle. Unfortunately nothing lasts forever and I realised I needed to use an ATM. Clearly I should make a note of the pin numbers as I was having great difficulty coming up with the correct combination. My worry of early onset of Alzheimer's was unfounded when I discovered the new, unused, card and pin that I had been issued before we left Melbourne.

Hobart and Tasmania in general is one of the friendliest places I have ever been. On a regular basis locals will offer help, we have been offered lifts back to the boat from the supermarket after doing our shopping, or other boat owners at the marina will offer the use of their car if we need it, shopkeepers actually take the time to chat, it's a genuine old fashioned friendliness that seems to have disappeared in other places we have been.

One of the highlights of living aboard is that we get to meet people who have been living this lifestyle for years, they can be great sources of information. A yacht flying a Swedish flag arrived in the marina and moored a few spaces from us. We invited them for coffee one afternoon and we were amazed at the things they have done and places they have visited. I would class them as modern day adventurers. They have been living and working from their boat since 1977. Rolf and Deborah arrived in Hobart after a non-stop 65 day passage from South Georgia (near the Falklands) after spending a year circumnavigating Antarctica!!! They have also spent a full year in Antarctic with their boat frozen in the ice during the winter, filming their way of life and the natural beauty for TV documentaries and writing books of the experience!!!

We have yet to determine when we will be setting off to NZ but after speaking with people like Rolf and Deborah anything is possible. (No I am not planning a trip to Antarctica. Yet!!!!)

Hope you are all well and last nights storms didn't cause you any problems.

Best wishes.

Dave and Jean
Vessel Name: Whistle Down the Wind
Vessel Make/Model: Adams 40
Hailing Port: Melbourne