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Showing posts from December, 2016

Happy New Year

A quiet couple of days. I didn't make it to Sydney as planned. Ended up celebrating on the Brisbane River. Since it was a weekend I expected to see a lot of boats but it was surprisingly quiet. That is good because every boat that goes past wakes Reboot. An uncomfortable PITA.Fair winds and following seas :)

The ultimate golden shellback

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PRECISE NAVIGATION!The passenger steamer SS Warrimoo was quietly knifing its way through the waters of the mid-Pacific on its way from Vancouver to Australia. The navigator had just finished working out a star fix and brought the Master, Captain John Phillips, the result.The ships position was LAT 0 S 31' N and LON 179 S 30' W. The date was 31 December 1899 “Know what this means?” First Mate Payton broke in, “We are only a few miles from the intersection of the Equator and the International Date Line.”Captain Phillips was prankish enough to take full advantage of the opportunity for achieving the navigational freak of a lifetime. He called his navigators to the bridge to check and double check the ships position. He changed course slightly so as to bear directly on his mark. Then he adjusted the engine speed. The calm weather and clear night worked in his favor.At midnight the Master ensured that the Warrimoo lay still on the equator at exactly the point where it crossed the I…

New solar controller install. Old one bit the dust yesterday. Fair winds and following seas :)

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Edson Steering Base Plate

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I was surprised when the Edson tech told me that they never had problems with the base plate since mine had failed twice. He must be a noob.I did get help and got the plate swapped out today. The rudder is attached to the wheel again. Yea!Fair winds and following seas :)

Help wanted

I am currently anchored in the Brisbane River near Mowbray Park Citi-Cat station. I need to repair the steering. This requires someone to hold bolts in the cockpit while I work in the engine room. I do not need, nor do I want to pay for a marine mechanic. The only requirement is to be able to hold a wrench. I am looking for a way to get in touch with someone who can help me out.Thanks.

Unleash the Kraken

One of my only disappointments with my Amazon Fire is that one can not purchase apps from the Google Store. Of course someone (actually many someones) has a hack. The one I used was: http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com/2016/07/02/how-to-install-google-play-on-fire-tablets-the-super-easy-way-no-pc-or-root/I was then able to install Uber and took my first Uber ride to the boat store. All good.Fair winds and following seas :)

Cruising Budget - How Much Does it Cost?

(In all the years I have been posting this series has been the most popular. In case you missed it...)There has always been a great interest in knowing how much to budget for the cruising life. The answer is always "it depends." I too was frustrated by the "it depends." In an effort to shed some light on the subject here is my take on the parameters of "it depends." I own a 42' sailboat and have done some cruising in North and Central American, Portugal, Spain and the Canaries, and in the Caribbean. My personal take is that one can cruise and tour comfortably in a 40 to 45 foot boat for about $2,500 to $3,000 per month. One can "live aboard" for much less. I am assuming that you are on a sailboat to see the world, not stay in a relatively small area.The Big IssuesThere are four factors that have an overall influence on both initial and operating costs. They are:What risks you are willing to take,
How much comfort you desire,
What you consider …

The Wall Street Journal - Asia

When I first worked on Wall Street in the early 70's the Wall Street Journal was the financial newspaper and little else. The New York Times was actually a respected source of information. Their motto was "All the news that's fit to print." I spent many a Sunday reading the Times. Over the years the Times has become a joke. Their new motto seems to be "All the news that fits our point of view." I find it painful to read. On the other hand the Wall Street Journal has become a true international newspaper. This (finally) brings me to my point. Since I read the Journal online and since it is published in several editions I find myself reading papers with different emphasis as I travel around the world. Since I am in Brisbane my web browser opens the Asia edition but gives me access to all the editions. It has an interesting shift of focus compared to the U.S. edition. You might enjoy an afternoon browsing the different editions. Fair winds and following seas…

Customs, again

I got a call from Fedex. It seems that since my repair parts from Edson exceed $1,000 they need to go through a customs broker. Just another expense.Fair winds and following seas :)

Aussie Hospitality (2)

I forgot to mention - when Ryan and I were trying to pick up a mooring buoy in the strong current we lost our boat hook overboard. It apparently drifted to shore and was found by a local gentleman. He found Reboot's web site, sent me an email, and this morning brought it down to the shore next to Reboot. What a nice guy. Fair winds and following seas :)

Aussie Hospitality

It has been a trying week. First, my radar breaking loose from the mast on the way into Scarborough. Then getting hammered in Morton Bay by the thunderstorm. Discovering that almost all my dinghy fuel had sloshed out during the storm. Getting some dinghy fuel and a crew member from the VMR in Scarborough. Heading down to Brisbane only to have the steering fail. Going all the way up the Brisbane River to the Botanical Gardens and finding no place to anchor. Heading back down the river until we found an anchorage about 1 1/2 miles from the dinghy dock. Ryan getting sick and having to drop him off so back to solo sailing. Then finding out that the nearest place to purchase fuel on the water was 3 1/2 miles away. And realizing that I might not have enough fuel in the dinghy to make it.Enter the Aussies. First, the nearby marina agreed to receive my repair parts. (Remember that with XO on board I can't go into a marina.) No worries!As I was standing on deck this morning I noticed a bea…

Steering Woes

When crossing the Atlantic we lost our wheel steering. Investigation showed that the poorly engineered turning blocks had given way. After tightening the cables once again this morning and disassembling the steering pedestal we discovered that the turning block unit had failed again. We need to further disassemble the system to get to the broken part. Edison has apparently reengineered the part (at a cost of $400 US) so hopefully once we get the part and reassemble it it will last more than a couple of years. It is a shame that we did not see this in Vuda Point when we had it all apart. I think it is additional damage from the beating Reboot took in the thunderstorm. Oh well. At least we can steer with the autopilot. Fair winds and following seas :)

Wild night, pretty day.

Went down and anchored of Scarborough to help Steve Johnson. Little did I know that it is a terrible anchorage when the wind is from the North. Lots of rocking and rolling. Last night we had thunderstorms. Wind to 40 knots. Waves to 6 feet. I was on Reboot. In the middle of it all the anchor tensioner let loose. All the chain and rode ran out. Fortunately I had re-tied the bitter end last week so I didn't drag. Not fun. This morning jumped into the dinghy to pick up Ryan, my new crew member. No fuel. It had apparently sloshed out of the air vent during the violent wave action. Next came the rudder. The cables had come off the quadrant. I put them back together. I called Steve and Ryan and explained the situation. The Volunteer Coast Guard came out with dinghy fuel and Ryan. We were off to Brisbane where. A beautiful sail down to the entrance channel and a long motor up to the Botanical Garden. There was no room at the inn. After several unsuccessful attempts to pick up a mooring…

Thunderstorms

I had a very unpleasant evening coping with thunderstorms. I came down to Morton Bay near Brisbane with Chandara. Steve of course went into the marina. I anchored out. It is a terrible anchorage in north trendline winds which are common this time of year. To make matters worse last night we had two thunderstorms pass through with winds to 40 knots. Having made sure Steve is settled and having made truant the store it is time to move on. Fair winds and following seas :)

Bundaberg to Scarborough

This was a very weird passage. After crossing Wide Bay Bar I started to head South. I was becalmed for about 3 hours and the wind picked up and Reboot was sailing nicely. At about 10 pm local I hit the anchorage near the NW Channel Buoy into Brisbane. This required a lot of course changes. I tried to fire up the radar but it chose not to work. At that point the wind died again and I was making about 1 1/2 knots. A fishing boat came up from my stern and almost hit me. He started blowing his horn and cursing. I of course was going nowhere. As he passed me I tried to tack away..I heard a crash and the radar and it's mounting bracket hit the deck. Fortunately it did not go overboard. Then I realized there was a second fishing trawler also very near. So I am not sure if the two fishing boats were getting in each other's way and the one cursing was being pushed into me. I will never know. After trying to avoid them for another 15 minutes without much success I started the engine and…

The ponytail is gone

After three years of not bothering to get a haircut Steve and I were walking through a mall in Scarborough and I decided it was time. My hair is now 1/2 inch long on top.Fair winds and following seas :)