Adventures on Yarramundi

27 October 2012
22 August 2012 | Trinity Inlet, Cairns
17 August 2012 | Cairns Harbour
16 August 2012 | 14 56.8653'S:148 11.3993'E, The Coral Sea
15 August 2012 | 14 14.19156'S:149 5465'E, The Coral Sea
14 August 2012 | 13 12.0330'S:150 26.6810'E, Still in PNG Waters, Coral Sea
14 August 2012 | 70 miles north east of Australian Waters, Coral Sea
13 August 2012 | N N'N:E E'E, The Coral Sea
13 August 2012 | N N'N:E E'E, Solomon Sea
12 August 2012 | N 'N:E 'E, Solomon Sea
11 August 2012 | 'N: 'E, Solomon Sea
10 August 2012 | N N'N:E E'E, Solomon Sea - South of Deep Planet
09 August 2012 | 'N: 'E, Solomon Sea
09 August 2012 | Blanche Bay 4 miles from Rabaul
08 August 2012 | Rabaul Yacht Club
07 August 2012 | Rabaul Yacht Club
06 August 2012 | Rabaul Yacht Club
05 August 2012 | Rabaul Yacht Club

A near change in plans

13 May 2012 | Still over Marianas Trench
Don't put off until tomorrow what can be done today

Or is it?

Quit while you are ahead

We have been running the engine almost non-stop for 40 hours. So at daybreak when I came on shift and it was coolest we stopped the boat to check the oil and replace what I thought was a faulty bilge pump.

We had burnt some oil since Saipan so I topped it up with about 150ml. I found the bilge pump had only blown a fuse as it had been bumped and left on so that was easy to fix. While I had the engine covers off I thought it might be a good idea to tighten the alternator and water pump belts. They were not that loose but half the work is in stopping the boat, getting the covers off and getting dirty so may as well. I tightened them both then went to turn on the engine. It would not start.

This is the most isolated place we have been so far and now we do not have a working engine and also no wind. Bloody hell! Things started racing through my mind. I had experienced not being able to start an engine on Darshaun's boat in Hawaii. That had a problematic but safe ending. But that was also in the US. It was also due to a burnt out starter motor - something I don't have a spare of out here nor will I be able to get in Truk.

Ok, We can sail but with little wind it will take us ages to get anywhere. We definately will not be able to navigate the narrow atoll channels of all the beautiful islands we came to see without an engine so that means we will have to sail past them after all this effort to get here. Without an engine and no wind to turn the wind generator our batteries will be dead after a couple of days. And how are we going to navigate safely or get someone to tow us into Truk? I turned off all our electronics to save battery power, jumped overboard for a quick dip to cool down, made some coffee then then got out the useless Yanmar engine manual to do some problem solving.

We could not start the engine because the electric ignition would not start. I looked and noticed I have left the battery switch on. Oh. I assumed then that when I was working on tightening the alternator belt I may have created a short circuit with a metal spanner touching things it should not.

Andrew and Hirose San can contest to how useless both the Japanese and English versions of the manual are. In Ogasawara when we could not prime the engine it felt like we were reading the jokers version of monopoly. The problem solving tree was something like: Engine wonft start - Go to page 37. Engine wonft prime ? go to page 44. But why did page 44 have a diagram of how to change the oil? This morning was no different. There were several electric diagrams for different engines. The engines were labelled Type A, Type B etc. But Yarramundifs engine is a 3GM. On the 3GM page there is nothing about a Type A or Type B. Blood type of the mechanic? What is a type A engine in a 2GM and 3GM engine manual?

I noticed some consistencies with the diagrams and that they all had a 30amp fuse in front of the starter motor. I delved in and there was a nice little fuse holder, taped securely ? actually hidden well would be a better description - just where the diagram said it would be. I untaped it hoping to see a burnt out fuse and sure enough it had blown. And thanks to Mr. Yanmar there was another 30amp fuse taped inside the holder. I thought I would keep it as a spare and see if one of my 20amp fuses would work so we replaced it and anxiously turned on the ignition. Yes ? the first time I have enjoyed that ear piercing high pitch engine alarm. The motor started, I had a another swim to wash off all the engine grime and we were off.

The lesson here was donft work on critical things like the engine until Ifve had my coffee. And also pack some 30amp fuses. I have tightened the alternator belt and done other engine work in the past and have always turned off the battery switch leading to the engine. Well now I know why that is a good idea. Whilst it was also a useful learning execrise on my engine it was a bit of a lucky escape.

I donft want to mention it now but since starting to write this blog the wind has picked up and we are doing a nice little 5 knots without the engine.

At current speed we will arrive in Woleai late Tuesday afternoon. That is a little after high tide which is critical for entering the atolls main entrance. Rather than put down the throttle and waste fuel we will take it easy and time around arrival for the next high tide early Wednesday morning. We only have to average 3.9 knots to arrive then so hopefully we wonft have to use the engine for a while.

Vessel Name: Yarramundi
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau Espace 990 33 feet
Hailing Port: Sydney
Crew: David Devlin
Extra: Yarramundi now lies in Mooloolaba and is occasionally sailed with my son. I do plan to evenutally get her to Sydney.
Yarramundi's Photos - Main
Andrew and I don’t think he is human – probably some Viking god who has came back to earth for a visit. He setup a vodka distribution business in 22 countries and sold it to Diageo retiring at the age of 32. He spent the following 2 years designing and building his 56 foot $6 million boat and has been sailing it for the last 6 years. He sails alone and has been everywhere – including Antarctica. Neither of us have seen anything like the boat – The interior is like an upmarket modern Scandinavian apartment, it has every convenience imaginable (both domestic and maritime), and the outside with it’s teak and stainless steel looks like it just came out of a show room. We certainly did not see Bart cleaning it so are convinced it has been blessed. Or he has some little helpers stowed away somewhere and they come out at night and clean it. In fact we did not see Bart do anything else accept hang around and be cool until he left. He does not use a motor. Despite being in the corner of the harbour he untied his huge floating bachelor pad himself and used only the wind to turn the corner and sail out. We motored out to wave him off and even at full throttle could not keep up. He is off to Kyushu and then Hokkaido where he plans to stay for about a year skiing and photographing the wildlife. He had a coffee table book on board. It was of his boat and it’s Antarctic adventures. Of course he would. Very cool guy - we were privileged to meet him in Chichijima, have dinner with him a couple of times and tour his boat. David
7 Photos
Created 6 April 2012
42 Photos
Created 5 April 2012
37 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
Yarramundi is now provisioned with 400 litres of water, 350 litres of diesel, 60kgs of rice and pasta, hundreds of cans of soup, spam, sauces etc to make up more than 800 meals. She is leaning a bit to port side so we will have to do some rearrangement of the contents before taking off on Sunday March 25.
1 Photo
Created 21 March 2012
Weather permitting Yarramundi will depart Shimoda, Japan on March 25 for Saipan on her first leg to Sydney. Following that we will sail to Chuuk (Truk) via Guam, then Honiara, Cairns and onto Sydney visiting many of the remote atolls of the Caroline and Solomon Islands.
1 Photo
Created 5 March 2012
10 Photos
Created 5 March 2012
I've been lucky to have my sister Maria and cousins Holly, Adam, Liam and his wife Zoe visit Japan and sail on Yarramundi
6 Photos
Created 24 February 2012
5 Photos
Created 24 February 2012
1 Photo
Created 22 February 2012
Why is it that every winter I've seem have had to dive below the boat to fix or retrieve something?
4 Photos
Created 22 February 2012
Yarramundi has been taken to Seabornia Marina on the west side of the Muira Penninsula for some major work. We made it in record time within one day thanks to the 30knot wind from the north but little thanks to George who fell asleep at the helm.
5 Photos
Created 22 February 2012
A few friends visited Yarramundi on Seijin no Hi (coming of age day) while she was in Tokyo Bay. A brief sail was followed by a turkey lunch.
10 Photos
Created 20 January 2012
People who have helped fit-out and maintain Yarramundi
7 Photos
Created 26 December 2011
From Shimoda to Wakayama and Mie Prefectures - a 12 day trip with 3 other yachts from TSPS.
24 Photos
Created 2 December 2011