This blog is about planning and preparation for a circumnavigation of the world in a 39-foot sail boat followed, hopefully, by a diary of the actual circumnavigation. You can track the progress of Pachuca by visiting http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=VNW5980
Sunday, June 29, 2008
We cast off lines from Pen C29 of the Cruising Yacht Club of SA at 9.30 AM on Saturday 28 June. We hoisted the full main and headed South with a 15 kn wind from the North. Soon after departure we logged our sail with American River VMR, located on Kangaroo Island. The weather prediction at the 5.05 PM transmission was significantly worse than that of the previous day: 45-knot winds on Tuesday and Wednesday. After the weather transmission I reported in to the VMR station a short discussion convinced Arnold and I to play it safe and seek refuge at American River, the only safe anchorage on the north side of Kangaroo Island. By then the wind was at 25 kn and we prepared for the night by dropping the mainsail and rolling out the jib. In the dark I lugged the 45-lb plow anchor to the bow and set it on the roller ready to drop if required. We studied the chart, which showed a narrow channel surrounded by shallow water but took comfort in the operator's assurance that he would talk us into the river.
We were closing in on American River very fast but it seemed that no matter how much sail we reduced the jib we would not drop below 5.5 knots in speed. At the entrance we had to put the engine into reverse to drop below 3 knots. We carefully navigated the channel with the chart plotter and were told by radio that we were doing OK, but unfortunately we were not. Arnold reported a depth of 1.5 meters and we hit the ground. Arnold put the gear into neutral. Running aground with a strong following wind can be a prescription for disaster. I reported this to the VMR station and the operator's wife told me that we must be on the “lump” at the beginning of the channel. Soon Pachuca had bounced its way over the lump and we engaged the engine and made our way to the jetty with assistance via the VMR radio.
The landing on the jetty was difficult. Fortunately there were three or four people who had been thoughtful enough to leave the comfort of their homes to help us tie up. Then we met the VMR operator, Alan, who led the reception party and has turned out to be a very experienced sailor (and bushman and boat builder and fisherman and ...)
This morning we got a visit from Alan who gave us all sorts advice on sailing and has offered his home for Internet access, water for our tanks, etc. Arnold and I then did a short walk around the area and got an impression of simple holiday homes and plenty of wild life. Shortly after we got back to the boat Arnold noticed that the wind charger was not putting out any amps. This was bad news because with so little sun we need that charger to keep our electrical systems supplied with power. Using the multimeter he confirmed that the wind charger was not delivering any current to the regulator. The likely cause was a bad cable join. Unfortunately the cable joins were OK. We took the charger down, took off its blades, brought it inside, and I went off for a shower grumbling about how the unit must have been damaged during our earlier problems with it and I'd have to buy another one. However, we had agreed that we had nothing to lose so we would open the unit up to see if we could find the problem. When I returned from the shower Arnold had the charger on the table with some of the innards exposed. We removed four screws on a small black box on the side of the unit and withdrew what turned out to be the brushes. One brush had spring out but the other was still retracted, stuck and therefore probably not been pressed against the armature.. We freed up the brush lightly sanded the ends of both brushes, cleaned off the armature, put it back together, and in the dark with a rising wind made the cable joins and mounted the unit. I am pleased to say that the charger is now humming along delivering between 2 and 5 amps in the variable wind.
Regarding the boat leaks the report is all negative:
The deck hatches did not leak
The access hatch to the anchor well did not leak
The toilet ceiling did not leak
The toilet did not overflow
There was no water down the mast nor the chain plates
As far as we know, no water came into the boat from above the water line. This is a really big deal to us: no damp bedding, spare clothes all dry, no drippy windows while we are trying to sleep, no more bilge water over the floor boards. However, we pumped out a total of approximately three buckets of water during our 12-hour sail, so some water is still coming into the boat, probably from the anchor well. Whatever the source, we'll find it sooner or later. We'll check every possibility inch by inch even if it takes months.
At this point we expect to depart American River on Wednesday and make for Portland, about 250 miles away If when we arrive at Portland the weather is still good and we are in reasonable condition then we will probably push on past Portland to get through Bass Strait while we can.
30 June 2008
We are at the home of Alan and Carol, the couple who run the American River VMR. We've been enjoying the best residential view on the island and have been given access to their internet facility and 20 liters of water. The weather advice that he is giving us is invaluable. At this point it looks like we'll depart on Wednesday morning, riding a High pressure system hopefully past Wilson't Promotory.
Friday, June 27, 2008
'full wind ahead', Pachuca leaves Adelaide !!
Everyone has their fingers crossed, hoping that all the repairs will hold out.
Today's sms is;
NOON 28 JUNE CST. DEPARTED ADELAIDE 0930. SAILING 5-6 KN WITH GOOD WIND AND CLEAR SKY.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
John from ICS visited the boat this afternoon and installed the new Autohelm display and the repaired Autohelm computer (it had a "dry joint"). We motored out into the calm gulf waters and he swung the compass and put the system through its paces to his (and our!) satisfaction. So it looks like we now have a working Autohelm self steering that for the first time has been integrated to the chart plotter which means that, for example, we can tell the autohelm to steer to a chart plotter cursor position, waypoint, or along a route. John also gave me some valuable opinions on noise in my HF reception that is resulting in very poor weather fax results. (He detected some noise from the GPS antennas, which means that we may shut them down temporarily during weather fax reception, and he adivsed that the Tx frequency should be set to the same as the Rx frequency for each weather fax frequency.)
Given that three days ago Luke from Adelaide Sail Loft returned the two repaired jibs it looks like we are clear to depart Adelaide. The boat is almost provisioned (I'll pick up meat, fruit, and veggies on the way back to the boat.), our water tanks are full, and our laptops and portable tools are charged up. We have also paid for our pen through today.
Pending a final check of the weather we plan to depart for Eden (via possibly Portland) tomorrow morning, Saturday.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Yesterday Arnold and I put in a big effort and installed the new marine toilet and pressure pump. This included a journey into Port Adelaide to get some hosing and clamps. While I worked on the toilet Arnold worked on the pressure pump. Everything went very well with the toilet installation because the replacement unit fit perfectly over the four bolts holding the old toilet. The new installation is an improvement over the old. The water inlet hose now loops 30 cm higher than before, and all hoses now have double clamps. I then helped Arnold with the pressure pump installation and by 4.30PM both jobs were completed. We then examined the faulty pump. Its only fault was that it would not stop pumping. We took apart the pressure sensor unit and saw that the diaphragm was intact. There was a small adjustment screw and I can't help thinking that a small tweak of that screw may have restored normal function. In any event we gained some insight in how the pressure regulation works. Soon after we completed the installations Reg and Colleen arrived and the four of us went to a barbecue at the club.
Today Arnold and I spend about 90 minutes installing the new reefing lines. We took the opportunity to make improvements on the routing of lines from the mast to the cockpit. During this operation I noticed that the nut holding the goose neck bolt (i.e. where the boom meets the mast) was loose and had no cotter pin through it. The top of this bolt forms the hooks for the forward reefing points. Had this nut dropped off we would have noticed nothing until we tried to put in a reef at which time it is possible that the bolt could have been pulled out and the boom dropped off from the mast! Dealing with a dropped boom in high winds with the mainsail up would not have been a pleasant experience. I put a cotter pin through the nut and reminded myself to always check the work of others.
At this point Arnold and I think that we have completed almost all of the remedial work that we had planned. The only remaining thing that we can think of is to extend the loop of that shower drain pump hose which is a simple job that we plan to do tomorrow.
Our constraints now are (1) getting the repaired jibs back from the sail maker and (2) completion of repairs to the self steering. I will make inquiries about these items tomorrow. In the meantime Arnold and I will begin to provision and prepare the boat for the next leg of the journey (to Eden). This will mean lots of groceries, gas cylinders refilled, laundry, etc – not to mention a badly needed hair cut for myself.
23 June 2008
After discussions among ourselves Arnold, Brenda, and I agreed to bypass Sydney altogether. We will spend extra time in Eden then sail from Eden directly to New Zealand, making landfall at Opua in the north island, which is a port of entry. We would like to have sailed in Sydney Harbour, but it is all about tradeoffs. We want to reach Seattle by Christmas and we'd rather have the extra time in French Polynesia which we are unlikely to ever visit again.
24 June 2008
I got no phone call from the sail maker who had promised to complete the repairs yesterday; nor did I hear from the electronics person who had promised to phone me in the afternoon regarding the result of his thorough investigation of the Autohelm computer. I am not too concerned about the sails because we have a few days up our sleeve. However, the Autohelm issue was a disappointment because I hoped to give the OK to order any required parts yesterday.
However, we got a ride to Semaphore from Tim the works manager at the club. He dropped us off in front of the laundromat. From there we walked two blocks to the barber shop and then another kilometer for the train. After getting off at the Osborne station Arnold went on to the marina taking all of the laundry. I dropped into the grocery store and went slightly mad with the shopping and wound up lugging $189 worth of groceries more than 1 km to the marina. These things may not sound like much but they saved us more than half a day of sail preparation time.
Arnold and I will go into Port Adelaide this morning for a booked Internet session at the library and afterwards we will visit John to discuss things with him personally. While there we will look at the Raymarine chart catalogue and order the next chart cartridge which I was told in Fremantle covers the Pacific ocean all of the way to the NW coast of the USA.
Today we will pay for the pen for another full week through to Friday. Arnold and I hope to be ready to sail by Friday morning. We checked out the weather on the HF radio last night and learned that there are 40 and 45 knot winds predicted for today for the area in which we plan to sail. This prompted an investigation of havens between here and Wilson's Promontory. We have identified three useful ones:
Port Fairy (38S23, 142E15)
Warrnambool (38S24, 142E29)
Portland (38S21, 141E37)
We see Portland as the preferable one by far. We think that the reliable 3-day forecasts should see us to Portland OK.
We had a very pleasant evening with Bob & Shirley and their good friends John & Cathy last night over splendid food and good wines. They plan to visit the boat on Thursday with John armed with a video camera.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
18 June 2008
Today was our seventh day at the Cruising Yacht Club of SA marina. On the first night of our arrival we met Trevor Kipling, an officer of the cruising section of the club. Trevor has turned out to be a terrific friend to us. Yesterday he accompanied Arnold on the kilometer walk to a semiprivate laundromat South of here. He then invited us to the regular Tuesday evening barbecue held by some of the cruising people and we had a pleasant evening last night sharing good food, drink, and conversation with the group.
Our stay here has been greatly assisted by the good public transport facilities of the Adelaide area. The Osborne train station is about a kilometer from the marina. For $1.20 we can get to Port Adelaide very easily for shopping and Internet visits to the library. Today the same $1.20 took us from Osborne into Adelaide then up to Tea Tree Plaza where we were met by and old friend Bob Gray for an enjoyable afternoon and evening with him and his wife Shirley.
This socializing has been against a background of febrile activity to get the boat ready for the next leg. Where do I begin? With Reg and Colleen's help we got the damaged heavy jib to a sail maker on Friday the 13th. On the following Monday we dropped the light jib and took it to the sail maker for repair of some minor tearing. We were going to take a cab but two fellow yachties overheard my conversation at the desk and took us to the sail maker then on to “Fitch the Rubber Man”.
That turned out to be rubber heaven – the most remarkable store of rubber stripping that I've ever seen. We walked in with the front hatch cover and walked out with hollow square section rubber sealing strips. That night Arnold and I cut out the old stripping and fitted the new one using contact glue. The next day we fitted the cover. We then had a look at the boot around the mast where it goes through the deck and used silicone sealant between the vinyl and the mast.
This morning we did some testing with a water hose and were pleased to note that there were no leaks from the hatch where we had sealed it or through the mast boot. However, the front hatch did leak badly between the plexi glass and the metal rim. This should be an easy fix with silicone sealant.
I am particularly hopeful about the mast leak fix. The water that was trickling down the mast into the cabin was not doing much damage, but I hope that this was also the source of persistent water leaks down the chain plates on either side of the mast. It is possible that the water was going down the mast then traveling inside the ceiling and trickling down the chain plates. If this was the case then another irritating leak down the chain plates will have been eliminated.
We used the hose to check the main hatch and found leaks too trivial to worry about.
On Monday we got a visit from and marine electronics person. John saw for himself the Autohelm go berzerk. He took away the computer and the display. He says that the flux gate compass is in a terrible place – too far from the centre of the boat, too near the water tank, too near electrical cabling. Arnold and I plan to move it tomorrow an will inspect it to report to John any evidence of water contamination.
This morning I picked up the new jib made by Tasker Sails in WA. The package weighed 24 kg. I spoke with Steve Hartley to let him know that I had received the sail. He said that the front part of the sail is 6.6 oz and the back of the sail is 8.4 oz. So in heavy airs we'll roll the sail in and the heavier fabric will deal with it.
This morning I fitted a new line to the Proful furler (30 meters of 10mm rope) to replace the nearly new one damaged by the jam cleat. (I'm beginning to hate jam cleats and will rely on an ordinary cleat that I had the foresight to fit for the job while still in Fremantle.) So tomorrow if the wind is light enough we'll raise the new jib and hopefully leave it up until we reach the tropics at which time we may or may not switch to the light jib. Also today I put a barrier of cord between the mast steps and the lower shroud to eliminate the problem of the mainsail refusing to drop because part of it is wrapped behind a mast step.
In the next two days I hope to fit the new 10mm reefing lines. From discussion with others I think that I have expected too much from these lines and will try going easier on them with the winch. We also plan to seal the hatch leading to the anchor well with either rubber stripping that we got from Fitch the Rubber Man or silicone sealant. Also we will add that extension that we mentioned weeks ago to the shower drain pump outlet hose to give us a better loop
Then there is the PAR marine toilet. The local boat shop could not identify the refurbishment kit for it. Today I telephoned Trevor at Yacht Grot and he will post me a kit after I've told him tomorrow if the toilet has a gray handle or a black on. (It is black.) I am hoping that replacement of the joker valve will help solve this recent problem of water flooding in through the toilet even with the ballcock in the “shut” position. During this operation we will remove the hose at the ball cock to see for ourselves if it is in fact leaking.
Last Friday I brought from Port Adelaide a fan heater that we have used to great effect to dry out various sections of the boat. This coupled with two days of bright sunshine have resulted in the driest this boat has been since Fremantle. We also took the opportunity to further dry out our para anchor and its 100 meters of nylon line.
So there are still a few things to be done with the boat and we do not expect to be able to begin a weather watch for a sailing opportunity before the beginning of next week.
19 June 08
I had several conversations with John of ICS regarding the Autohelm. He thinks that the Seatalk component of the computer is faulty. After discussions with him and Peter Turner in Fremantle we've decided to go for the S2 computer, without the “gimbal” option that costs another $1000. Arnold and I spent several difficult hours moving the Autohelm's flux gate compass to a more central position on the aft inside leg of the cabin table. This puts it in a more stable part of the boat and far from electric cables.
Arnold and I decided that rather than spending $100 on a refurbishment kit for the PAR marine toilet we'll spend $269 for a new Jabsco toilet. The “footprint” is identical to that of the PAR and it will be much easier to replace the toilet rather than spending hours replacing the seals and gaskets of the existing toilet, which is long in the tooth and presents some difficulty in sourcing parts.
We also set up the new jib on the forestay: head and tack shackled, sheets put on, and the bolt rope started on the slide. However, we had a side wind that was too high for my liking so we will wait for a more propitious time.
We also sealed the top of the forward hatch with silicone.
Reg Kelly is back in town and we will meet him at the Port Adelaide library tomorrow at noon.
20 June 2008
Last night we took advantage of a light wind and near-full moon to raise the new jib. Everything went well, particularly with the fit. Before dark we sealed the top of the forward hatch and we tested the work this morning with a hose and got NO LEAKS!!! (YAY!!!!).
This morning we removed the rubber seal from the plastic hatch leading to the anchor well and fitted on that we had brought back from Fitch the Rubber Man. The new rubber has a higher profile so we are hopeful that the nuisance dampness emanating from the hatch will cease.
Attached are two photographs of our drying activities at the marina. One shows Pachuca in her pen draped with clothes, bedding, etc. Note the cushions drying on the solar panels. The other photo is of the para-anchor hanging out to dry, with one of the sails on the lawn.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Bob and Arnold are well into the repair regime for Pachuca. It is unfortunate that so much gear has needed repairing, and so many leaks have needed plugging. At this stage it really is a working holiday for Arnold who is providing great assistance to Bob. The Adelaide yacht club has been very helpful to Bob and Arnold, for instance giving them a lift into town on occasion.
Brenda leaves Perth tomorrow for Canberra then New Zealand and will catch up with the crew at some stage soon. Bob's personal mobile got wet and was ruined. His old number no longer works. He has given permission for me to post it on this blog. The new mobile number for Bob is; 0434909566 This is not a satellite phone, its a standard GSM personal mobile phone which will work when he is in port in Australia.
On a personal note, I have found phone calls to be getting more and more expensive. Hopefully I can now ring the team's satellite phone at a cheaper rate using VOIP which I have set up. VOIP uses the internet to make ordinary phone calls for a cheaper price.
Friday, June 13, 2008
The sail of 165 nautical miles from Port Lincoln to Adelaide took 32 hours. The first half of the sail, down Spencer Gulf, was difficult with fair but high winds. The sail up the Gulf of St Vincent was very good.
We departed from the pen at Port Lincoln at 0930 on 10 June motoring across a strong Northerly wind, then sailing SE in winds reaching 30 kn. Our new 10mm “spectra” reefing line parted on its second use and once again we had to make some hasty improvisations. Just past Wedge Island near the south of Spencer Gulf we got hit by a squall the made life in the dark very interesting for a while. The mainsail got wrapped behind one of the mast steps and I was force to climb up half way to the first cross tree to free it – not very pleasant or safe in a violently rolling boat. We plan to extend our step anti-wrapping measure from the from the lower cross tree down to the deck,.
We rounded Althorpe Island with just the light jib at 10.30 PM and began our leg up the Gulf of St Vincent. This gulf turned out to be much more calm that Spencer gulf and mercifully the wind speed started to drop and back to the SW. By dawn the wind speed was down to 6 kn but because of the calm waters the rigging did not thrash and we were still making 3.5 kn. At about 10 AM the wind had veered to the W we raised the main and began a splendid reach directly for Adelaide. We wanted to get into the marina before dark so we sailed the boat hard with full main and most of the jib against on a reach with a 25 kn NW. Pachuca with her tumble home hull and large lead keel can carry a lot of sail and the gunwale never got down to the water level, and we were able to maintain our 7 kn speed.
Our sail was covered by “Squeak” and Port Lincoln VMR on channel 81 and in the morning we were covered by Middle Beach VMR on channel 80. We could sense the dedication and responsibility of these terrific people doing volunteer work. In the morning I raised Middle Beach VMR asking for the station name and channel of the marina here a North Haven and before long I had a radio call from a representative of The Cruising Yacht Club of SA and we were assigned pen C22 [Note: Yesterday we moved to C29] with instructions for finding it.
As I said above, the second half of the sail was very, very good. At one point I was sailing in the bright sun, escorted by what seemed to be dozens of leaping and frolicking dolphins, sucking on a cold Heineken beer and thinking that this sailing life isn't so bad after all. As we approached the marina I was forced to wake Arnold up to get the AIS numbers on a large ship that was converging on us fast. I needed to know if and to where I should take evasive action. While Arnold was checking the AIS the ship started what turned out to be a 360 degree turn that ended with her being on her previous course but astern of us. I assume that rather than being intimidated by us it was a case of extremely gracious seamanship. Anyway, the splendid afternoon sail ended perfectly with the wind falling just as we approached the marina. We motored in and entered the pen with no dramas (for once!) at 5.15 PM just as the sun was setting.
We expect to be in Adelaide at least one and probably two weeks. The first order of business is to replace my mobile telephone which wound up on the cabin sole having a salt water bath from the bilge. But there are other things.
When I telephoned Steve Hartley on a holiday Monday of Tasker's about my head sail problems he returned my call almost immediately. The next day Reg, Arnold and I took down the damaged jib, carefully measured it, and took various measurements that Steve had requested. I phoned Steve and discussed the measurements which were remarkably close to what he had calculated from his records. He gave me some options and I decided to go for the best that he could provided; a laminated sail that is lighter at the luff (front) and heavier at the leech (back) so that as you roll in the jib in heavy winds there is only heavy material to take the load. This saves weight because there would be too much weight in making the entire jib out of the same heavy material. Steve would order the material that day, expect it on the Friday or Monday, and he would begin fabricating the sail on the Monday, one week after my distress call. In fact the work did begin on the Monday, and the sail would be made in 18 hours using their automated equipment. The sail should be ready for shipment by now and I will phone Steve tomorrow regarding shipment. All going well I, should have the sail sometime next week.
Other items on the works agenda are:
- Locate a boat window specialist to either repair or replace both of my hatches
- Locate and electronics person to get my Autohelm self steering running again
- Locate a sail maker to repair the heavy jib
- Replace the fresh water pressure pump
- Discuss my reefing line problems with someone with some expertise – perhaps I am putting too much strain on the line, or perhaps I'm not using suitable lines
- Refurbish the marine toilet and check out the the near-new through-hull stainless steel ball cock fitting to see why it is not doing its job.
- Replace the deck-level boot on the mast to stop the water trickle into the cabin
- Spare deck light and investigate intermittent failure of one of the compass lights
- Increase the loop on the shower drain hose
- Remove the chain from the anchor well and carefully inspect it for possible sources of leaks
- Integrate the “Lifetag” man-overboard system to the chart plotter
- Remove moisture-prone Trimble GPS repeater from the binnacle (to be replaced by a Raymarine repeater later)
- Purchase 406 MHZ EPIRB
Having said that, there is some good news to report. On our last day at Port Lincoln Arnold, Reg and I resealed the 5 of the 6 boat windows that had not been resealed. We also removed two vents and replaced them with screw-on caps coated with silicone sealant. Sealed plastic Dorade-type of vent over the galley with plastic sheeting. We also embedded the plastic cap covering the opening for the solar-powered fan over the head (toilet) with silicone sealant. Reg noticed some holes around the area of the solar-powered vent so we sealed them with silicone sealant.
The result of this was a relatively dry passage to Albany. No longer was there water dripping over the starboard bunk or the stove. The head was remarkably dry. Arnold noticed that some of the silicone that we had forced into the holes above the head appeared inside the boat as a stalactite of silicone, which means that two of the holes totally penetrated the cabin top. No wonder the head was always damp and the shelving frequently flooded with water. We still had to pump out the boat, but it seemed to be about 12 strokes every 2 hours.
Attached is a photo of the chart plotter's display of our track from Port Lincoln on the left, around Cape Yorke, to Adelaide on the right.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
We left the pen at the Port Lincoln marina at 8AM of Wed 4 June and motored to the fuel jetty. Fortunately Graham, who had given us a bag full of sardines the day before, was there and told us to raft beside him so that when he was finished fueling he could pass the hose to us. With his help I was able to use my Visa card to get the pump started and we took on 50 liters of fuel, including the 16 liters that went into our containers. We motored out at 8.45 AM and set sail against a 20 kn SE wind. We sailed West all day and wound up at the East side of Spencer Gulf, then tacked to the SSW. We put in one reef due to the increasing wind before sunset and a second reef at 8.30 PM. Just before sunset we rolled in the light jib (the heavy one is in the sail locker torn) and put up the stay sail (on the inner forestay) At 12.30 AM we hove to against a 25 kn wind and high seas. By 9 AM when we resumed sailing we had lost 15 nm to he SW.
We had a brisk but reasonable sail to the SW trying to get south of the Yorke peninsula. The forecast that we received that day was dismal: strengthening SE wind that night then moderating slightly the next day (today). We hove to before sunset expecting to drift SW and be in position to take advantage of any southerly shift in the wind. We had a hair-raising drift between N and S Neptune islands (5 miles apart) and kept on drifting in a SW direction. The wind speed was 30 knots.
This morning (Fri 6th) at 7AM we got another dismal report: more SE winds, going E NE tomorrow. We had a war council. Cape Spencer at the Yorke Peninsula was 65 nm to the East. We would face a very hard beat against a 25-30 knot wind and would probably wind up to far North. The next day we would face the E NE winds, right on the nose for getting into Adelaide. We decided to return to Port Lincoln, about 70 sea miles away, while we had the chance because one more night of drifting and even Port Lincoln would be beyond reach. We are now sailing on a starboard beam reach, double reefed with stay sail, past N Neptune Island. We expect to time our sail to arrive after dawn.
It has been a hard and fruitless sail. We were advised by Malcolm in Port Lincoln that a SE wind would be OK for the sail to Adelaide. Sailing SE into a SE wind did not make a lot of sense to me but because the predicted wind speeds were in the order of 15-20 kn and because of the relatively short sailing distance I agreed to go. Arnold had I have learned a lesson the hard way that we must depart only when the conditions are right. Forcing a sail to meet a schedule puts the crew and boat to needless hardship and risk and as in this case will not get you anything. We've revised our approach to the rest of this cruise. Instead of hurrying along to meet a schedule we will enjoy each place we go to and depart only when conditions are optimal, no matter how long we have to wait. This will of course blow my carefully planned schedule to pieces but I suppose that was inevitable.
The one big bright side of our sail is that the repairs we did to the wind generator were successful and the unit has been providing an average of 3 amps hour after hour, satisfying our power requirements. Also, the deck light is working against (blown globe).
Saturday 7 June
We had a remarkably good sail back to Port Lincoln yesterday. The sea was very rough at first and we took on what would qualify as our first “greenie”. I was below when a wave hit is on the starboard quarter and we took on water through the port quarter berth window that had been left open and a splash of water on the VHF radio and the electric switch panel. There was no serious damage other than a lot of wet bedding, but it did teach us to button down the ship when in rough seas, and this includes closing the main hatch. As we approached Port Lincoln the sailing got easier and easier until Pachuca was gliding smoothly through a following sea. We arrived at the shipping channel in the dark and made the four-hour approach to the marina with heavy use of the chart plotter. At ten minutes past midnight we were back at pen 21 of the marina.
Sunday 8 June
The weather prediction looks good for Monday and Tuesday. We plan to depart very early tomorrow (Monday) morning with a NE wind that will back to the N and NW and gain strength to 20-25 kn on Tuesday. Later on Tuesday we can expect a SW change which will still be a fair wind. An experienced sailor visited our boat today and is confident that we will make Adelaide on Tuesday before dark. (His record is Port Lincoln to Adelaide in 21 hours.)
Friday, June 6, 2008
Here is the sms;
NOON 6 JUNE CST. 35S16 135E52. WE ARE RETURNING TO PORT LINCOLN BECAUSE OF ADVERSE WIND AND WILL WAIT FOR GOOD WIND.
Recently I found this poem floating in a bottle;
A to Z of a certain Sailing Venture
Anchors away; AIS shows us ships
Battens stiffen our mainsail, sea air cracks our lips
Currents are good if they help us along
But dangers are many and comforts are gone
Everything easy is now rendered hard.
Fair winds and fine sails will make us go best
A sail that is flapping means time for a rest
Generation of power can be done in three ways
But how many breakdowns how many delays
Our intrepid sailors can not keep the score.
The jib pulls us along, a pity it tore
That’s one of the problems there are plenty more
The keel knifes through water but is stalled by nets
Leaks fill the bilge: is this bad as it gets?
As mountainous seas toss us madly about.
A nautical life is not for the sane
There’s oceans of water but here comes the rain
The pump's working overtime, the plug found a new home
Quite snug in the toilet where damage was done.
Romance is the word that I heard you speak
Reality bites with a vengeance – just where is that leak?
Scaling the mast, hauling the sail, scrapping the schedule
Leaving Time for what matters: a beer, or v. pool.
Useless to fight just go with the flow
Our vessel and we are (sort of) eager to go
Though night watches are long when the seas come from behind
And each day there’s a worry what worse will we find.
X-itement. X-acting, X-cruciating....fun?
Y do we do this – just so we can say
Zip up the stack pack, our voyage is done!!
Brenda Newbey June 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
recently there has been limited updates to this blog as Pachuca hasn't actually left Port Lincoln yet!
Poor wind has so far been responsible for the holdup and hopefully they will leave today (if the wind improves). The wind generator has been fixed and a new jib ordered.
The video below shows the inside of Pachuca's cabin in 2007. There have been many changes since then. Originally, the video was made for Arnold to 'give a glimse' of what to expect. This is Part one.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
We had planned to leave Port Lincoln in the early afternoon today and spend two nights at sea, but the winds today are pretty dismal and we may have to wait a day or two in Port Lincoln (if Maclcolm can extend our stay at the pen) until we get better winds. An extended stay in Port Lincoln will not be a burden, believe me.
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- Photos from American River
- Adelaide to American River
- A Little Windy...............
- R & R (Respite and Repairs) completed......
- Leaving Adelaide
- Adelaide Stay (2)
- Adelaide Stay
- A Working Holiday......
- In Adelaide
- Pachuca - the 'flying fish'
- Second Try.....
- Photos from Port Lincoln
- Photo of Circular Track
- Back to Port Lincoln
- Life wasn't meant to be Breezy.................
- A Slow Pace.
- Departed Port Lincoln.......
- The Obstacle Course
- Wind Charger and Wind
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