Wed 18th April 2012
I'm about to haul out for the 2nd time!.... Prop shaft leak is quite bad so rubber seal needs replacing - will be done tomorrow (Thurs19Apr) along with a check on the coupling item close by and a shaft brake will also be put in place - that will be useful on my RTW attempt coming up in October.
Good news of last week was finding the skeg problem was non-existent...The rudder had a couple of small problems - movement at lower bearing - but a new bearing was machined and it turned into straightforward fix - and slight surface crack - easily ground out and repaired. Hydrovane rudder was fixed in place (holes needed a bit of a clean out) and some other small jobs were done..
I was amused on the Thursday evening, after an enjoyable Q&A session with members of the CYCT at the Mariner's Cottage here in Sandy Bay, Hobart, when my hosts, Annik and Dave, went to return me to my boat on the hard at Clean Lift, in Goodwood, but we couldn't get in through the gate! Result was being driven out for a very pleasant overnight stay at their place high above Kettering and Oyster Cove, with a lovely view over the River Derwent, well below Hobart, with pademelons (like a small wallaby, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Thylogale_billardierii.jpg) and dusky moorhens on their lawn at dawn...
John G. was about to come to the yard to help with boat jobs that day, and happened to live close by, so was able to take me back to 'Nereida' where a good job on the rudder repair was finished by Royce in time for me to launch late Friday afternoon. One important job John G. saw to that day was sealing a bad leak from a cockpit drain down into the engine compartment below and we also went shopping for bits & pieces I needed. He's been really helpful - thanks a lot, John!
I motored down the Derwent River to the East Shore - to Lindisfarne Bay to refuel - quickly, I thought, before returning to the RYCT in Sandy Bay..... NO!! The pump was unbelievably slow... took nearly three hours to load 440l of diesel! It was dark well before I finished, so I stayed the night. The good news was meeting Rod and other friendly people, who knew my cruiser friends Don & Priscilla on 'Chautauqua'. from their lengthy stay nearby. He recognised me and made me welcome when I came up to order fish and chips and a beer later. The next morning... I found myself well and truly stuck in the mud when I went to leave. There was a very LOW high water - and it took several guys rocking & pushing the boat, together with me powering up in astern, to get us away.... I was nearly stuck for 12 hrs when the next decent HW would have occurred!
Later that Saturday morning, Sithu and Deborah came by to take me to Salamanca Market, full of a vast variety of stalls - everything from carved wood to hats to cheeses to paintings - most of Hobart seemed to be there, on a lovely sunny day, along with Scottish bagpipes and Highland dancers, and I bought lots of local dried blueberries and tasty, juicy local apples for my forthcoming passage plus a CD of nice guitar music and a tiny bottle of a nice Tasmanian whisky (looking ahead to being at sea over Xmas/New Year!) Very enjoyable!
Saw Greg on 'Alcidae' safely into port Mon morning and then guided him up Derwent River over to Lindisfarne Bay to do repairs - his boat's in a bad way!
On Sunday I was amazed to meet up with Geoff West in Hobart. (He'd flown in from Cowes for the Three Peaks Race.) It was his 'First Love' (a Beneteau First) that was our first boat taken out without an instructor on board for a way-too-eventful return Channel crossing - engine overheated after sucking up a black plastic bag on approach to Cherbourg harbour entrance and we sailed her back to Cowes without an engine available.. encountering a F10 off the Isle of Wight on the return, as the big Cherbourg ferry bore down on us, without any battery power for radio contact... some memories never fade !!
But work has been calling since then. Spent a time today greasing the Furlex, after partly-dismantling it, prior to hoisting the repaired genoa. Fridge specialist came down to look at fridge - not cooling sufficiently. Royce came by to look at propshaft problem and bring some chain to act as a weight for end of series drogue.
There's no real weather window in sight just now for leaving for the SW Cape of NZ (on Stewart Island) - I'd been hoping for a weekend departure or soon after) ... a good thing, since still lots to do! Everything is taking longer to do than expected (surprise, surprise!) and other jobs keep appearing to add to top of list...
At least the weather is reasonable - very little rain so far, although temperature is on the cool side (heater on over most evenings!) Hopefully, jobs will be completed soon, ready for a weather window for heading for the SW Cape...
Sunrise view from my berth at the Royal Y.C. of Tasmania in Sandy Bay:
Hobart 'Mercury' printed a front-page report on my arrival here on 2nd April.