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Full eclipse of the moon tonight - fascinating! Lasted for two hours from 7.30pm.

Tuesday 28thAug07

Good news today was that I managed finally to mend water leak from connection below cold water tap in galley - access wasn't too easy & I was worried I wouldn't cope, so I'd been putting it off for some time. Turned out the fitting was cracked but I didn't discover that until I'd undone it & tried to re-make it .. ending up with a broken off fitting, part inside a metal piece & the other fixed firmly on the pipe... I borrowed a ginormous screwdriver from a boater nearby & hammered it inside the broken-off bit which then wasn't too difficult to remove (using vice(?) grips - marvelous invention!!) & then, fortunately, I had a replacement fitting, so after a bit of fret-saw use to remove remaining old bit from pipe and hot air heater to warm pipe end to persuade it to fit over end of new fitting - all ended up fine.... well almost... had to undo & do it all again with loads more PTFE tape because it leaked slightly on first putting together - but all good now... phew!!
Waited around all day for new steering cable to be fixed - nada!! After slightly(!) irate phonecall to firm which removed old one last Friday, have been promised 8am tomorrow... In meantime have cleaned chain and other bits ready for major greasing when new cable fixed in place. Sheave that caused problem is having a new bushing in hope it will stop movement - would be nice if new steering cable lasted longer than last one (Oct05-July07 isn't very long!).
Did some shopping after seeing Customs about Clearance for Friday. Will pick up Indonesian visa and see Customs again Friday morning, then fresh-food provisioning and then I'll go & fill up with duty-free diesel at midday. I'm hoping to do a visit to Kakadu on Thursday before leaving... if I can spare the time!
Cleaned boat during heat of afternoon - was lovely playing with water with the temp well over 30C (sorry to mention that to all those of you suffering bad weather in UK!!) - cockpit was filthy & drains quickly became blocked with gunge so that was an important pre-passage job to have done.
Replaced masthead lights (tricolour & anchor)the other day with LED bulbs - should help cut down power consumption. Was quite funny - I went up, fixed tricolour bulb in place & cursed because I thought red/green/white were facing wrong way... replaced old bulb, started back down mast... & then realized that, of course, I was facing stern of boat when climbing mast steps, not forward,.... so back up, to undo fitting and put in new LED bulb yet again... at least I'd only got part way down!
Lots of little jobs have been done here in Darwin and still some to be done.
Went to Fannie Bay for sunset another day - a very nice anchorage and sailing club venue and felt much more like a cruiser's place, unlike Cullen Bay Marina which is pleasant but very full of holiday-makers & tourists and fishing/tripper boats... not cruisers!
Darwin is clean & pleasant ... and has a few lovely public buildings and park areas but hardly feels historic!
More anon....
Photo shows broken steering cable (now replaced) discovered at anchor on Mt Adolphus Island, nr Cape York, before passage on to Darwin.

Written by : Mike

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