Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rain

Got up this morning. Forecast rain showers. Nice day. Sunny. Realised I needed to pick up my laundry. Took bus. Got laundry. Heavens opened. Got back to Reboot. Rain stopped. Sunny. Great fun.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Giraffe Update

Apparently the Giraffe is now safety in Australia. Murphy being Murphy they had a thunderstorm in the middle of trying to unload the giraffe from the ship. That must have been fun.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Noises

One of the things I could never understand about people I would bring on as crew was their indifference to noises. To me noise is everything. Something rolling around? Go find it and re-secure it. Why? Not only is the noise "Chinese water torture" to me, but it frequently means something is wrong or has broken loose.

That brings me to tonight. We have had several rain showers tonight. I can hear water sloshing around. I know its not the bilge. It turns out that with Reboot's current trim we are slightly bow down. The water is (was) trapped in the channel around the companion-way. When I went up into the cockpit I disturbed the trim enough so it drained. Yes, on me!

Fair winds and following seas :)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down

Actually its Saturday. Last night it started to rain and has continued since. The forecast is for several more days of rain as a slow moving front passes. Not much fun. Going on shore just means spending money to sit in a restaurant. Wind has been up and down. When up, not terribly comfortable on Reboot. I will make a trip in tomorrow to do some shopping if there is a break in the rain.

XO has been very needy. Lots of pacing and vocalizations unless I lay down in the bunk. Then he cuddles and falls asleep. I have been putting gel in his eyes to clear a minor infection. It must be helping. He just quietly lays on his back and lets me do it.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Giraffe

Yesterday we got our biweekly visit from Australian Biosecurity to check on XO. It was quite rushed. Matt told me that they were dealing with a giraffe. It seems one was being imported and the paperwork was not right. So they were trying to sort it out. I wonder how the giraffe feels.

Crazy stuff.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tools

TOOLS EXPLAINED

DRILL PRESS : A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

WIRE WHEEL : Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, 'Oh sh*t'

SKILL SAW : A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

PLIERS : Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

BELT SANDER : An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

HACKSAW : One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle... It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

VISE-GRIPS : Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH : Used almost entirely for lighting on fire various flammable objects in your shop. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race..

TABLE SAW : A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK : Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

BAND SAW : A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST : A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER : Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER : A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.

PRY BAR : A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

HOSE CUTTER : A tool used to make hoses too short.

HAMMER : Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit.

UTILITY KNIFE : Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.

Son of a bitch TOOL : Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling 'Son of a b*tch' at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Gloomy

Looking at three days of wind and rain. Not fun.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Soda Prices

I was in the IGA today. I thought to buy a 10 pack of Coke. Then I noticed the price: $ 10.30. Why can you buy a 30 pack on sale for $12.00 and they want $10.30 for a ten pack. It makes no sense.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Joy of Mooring Balls

One phenomenon that I did not anticipate in Australia (at least on the east coast) is very strong wind events. The wind will rise to 35 knots for a period of time and then drop back down. Since the wind events seem to correspond to dramatic wind direction shifts the anchor is very likely to drag for a bit before resetting. I had this problem in the Brisbane River. There it was caused not only by wind events but the daily reversals of the current. As a result Reboot "walked" slowly from the original point where I would drop.

In Brisbane this was a real problem as Reboot "walked" slowly out into the river channel. When I arrived in Brisbane the normal wheel and wire steering was not working. I would wait until slack wind and tide to use the autopilot system to get anchored back out of the channel. I had to wait as the response of the autopilot was quite slow for close maneuvers. The delay in resetting did not endear me to the Citi-Cat captains. (The steering was repaired as noted in my blog previously.)

It is nice being on a mooring. The peace of mind is quite rewarding.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sydney Racing (2)

A little more on Friday night. The starting line was off the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. There was no committee boat. Rather the powers that be observed from the comfort of the club. I assume from the bar.....

As a consequence the area around the start was very constrained compared to my other experiences in yacht racing. Not only were we maneuvering around the other contestants but also had to deal with the shoreline. It made for quite a lot of near misses.

This particular series uses a staggered start. Rather than all the boats maneuvering to cross the line at the same time each boat has an individual starting time. The idea (which I think is cool) is that they arrive at the finish more bunched together. As part of the handicapping winning boats are assessed start delays. Since we were undefeated in our division we were assessed 2 additional minutes of delay. We crossed the line smartly and without incident. For the first part of the race we were in a pack of 6 or 7 boats all within 100 meters. Exciting.

Although the course was a traditional upwind downwind it doesn't work that way. The harbor is filled with bays and kinks so the upwind leg actually has a few bends. We made for the first mark which we passed on the port side. We rounded the second mark clockwise. Off on the downwind leg. About half way back we were briefly becalmed. This was followed by a major wind shift and the new wind filled with a vengeance. Finally at the finish I was surprised that there was no gate. We just had to cross an imaginary line between the clubhouse and the opposite shore.

I was on a Dufour 31. Quite the change from Reboot. I was mostly rail meat. It was great fun.

Most interesting was that we were never more than 500 meters from at least one other boat. Truly close quarters racing.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sydney Harbor Racing

My friend Malcolm took me sailboat racing in Sydney Harbor. What a treat. Winds from 5 to 25 knots. And from every direction. I have never raced with so many other boats close by. Plus, the Friday night race courses of about 5 yacht clubs all converge and or cross. Thrown in the ferries for fun. What a head trip.

Not to mention we provisionally came in first!

Fair winds and following seas :)

Roger sv Reboot +61 (0)476 768 335

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Sydney

At log last. Missed the fireworks. Ha! Getting sorted. More to follow.

The two fly problem

For some reason Reboot always has two and only two flies buzzing around. Never three..kill one, another shows up. Weird Fair winds and follo...