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Showing posts from July, 2017

Emails

There is a current problem with my email blog feed. To protect both you and me I am turning it off until resolved.

Hearing Voices

Being alone on a sailboat one does not expect to hear voices. And it is weird. There are three sources:1. Your head. As I learned on my solo crossing of the Atlantic.2. Other boats. Sound carries over the water much better than on land. People sitting on a boat quite a distance away can be heard clearly.3. The radios. Most of us leave our radios on all the time as a safety measure. "Hey it looks like you're dragging anchor!" During the day there is a lot of traffic as the radio also is the telephone and the text messaging service. At night they are very quiet. When you are asleep and hear talking your (my) tired brain does not put together it is the radio. I think someone is on the boat. Funny. Fair winds and following seas :)Debut, Indonesia 24 July 2017

In line fuses

I have been having trouble with my cockpit multifunction display. Sometimes it works (when I don't need it.) Sometimes it doesn't (when I am coming into port.) I finally tracked the problem down to erratic supply voltage. The culprit? The in line "marine grade" fuse holder. I learned two lessons:1. "Marine Grade" corrodes like everything else. Maybe slower.2. Never install a fuse behind six anti-theft screws that requires a special tool stored at the bottom of everything to remove.Fair winds and following seas :)Debut, Indonesia 24 July 2017

Australia

A long post...  I arrived in Bundaberg, Australia from Fiji in November 2016. I then headed down to Brisbane and finally Sydney where I sat out the hurricane season. A good thing as Hurricane Debbie did a number on the Northeast coast. Finally I left Sydney and headed up the coast to Horn and Thursday Islands by way of Cairns, Gladstone, Airlie Beach, Lizard, Mt Adolphus, etc. I departed to Debut, Indonesia on July 18, 2017. The good:1. The people are wonderful. They are outgoing and friendly.2. I got a chance to enjoy some great culture in Brisbane and Sydney.3. After a year in the Pacific it was nice to have great Internet, semi-decent marine stores, and good public transportation. 4. I enjoyed a class reunion with people I had not seen in forty years. 5. I got to join a sailboat race in Sydney Harbor. Quite the treat!The not so good: 1. I have been sailing for 60 years. I have been sailing around the world for eight. I have never encountered such consistency difficult conditions. W…

Torres Straight

Sailing through the Torres Straight. This is the water between New Guinea and Australia. Reboot is on a 500 nautical mile leg. It is ugly. The water is very shallow. Usually about 45 feet deep. The winds have been strong ranging from 20 to 25 knots with gusts to 35. The result is 6 - 10 foot seas. This would be less of a problem if they were coming from anywhere else. But they are dead on the beam. Reboot is rolling like the proverbialkklp washing machine.  In addition we have all sorts of other challenges. First, the currents. When they are adverse (twice a day) they slow Reboot way down. And cause very large tide rips. Watching the vane steer I am glad I am not hand steering. Apparently another rally boat lost both its vane and electric autopilot. They are hand steering with a tiller. It is so exhausting that they heave to 12 hours a day to rest. Second we have the fishing fleets. That don't have AIS. So they don't show up on the chart plotter. At least they are brightly lit…

Fearless Bird

Late this afternoon as I was working my way through a fishing fleet a bird decided to land on my solar panels. I chased him away for two reasons: birds tend to relieve themselves making quite an unpleasant mess to clean up and my concern that XO might go overboard chasing him.  One of the real downsides of solo sailing is trading sleep and keeping a good watch. In the open ocean encounters are rare. We saw maybe 5 boats in the 37 days it took to cross from Panama to Hiva Oa. Almost everyone has an AIS transponder. They show up on the multifunction display long before you can see them visually. Here in the Torres straight there are lots of fishing boats with no AIS and quite a large number of uncharted buoys. So about every 15 minutes (24/7) one needs to stick one's head up and look around. On one such trip I needed to adjust to adjust the sails. After 8 years I normally do this in the dark. It keeps my night vision intact. (When the moon is up it feels like daylight once your vis…

Pacific Crossing Complete!

Reboot is now in the Arafura Sea. This is bordered by New Guinea, Indonesia, and Australia. I feel like my Pacific transit that started on Valentine's Day 2016 is complete. In addition to the Pacific Ocean I have been in the Coral Sea and the Tasman Sea. But they just felt like more Pacific Ocean. I am now far enough through the Torres Straight to feel like the Pacific is done. At least for a while. Yahoo! Fair winds and following seas :)

Adios Australia

Hello Indonesia. Underway from Horn/TI to Debut, Indonesia. ETA 7 days. The adventure continues. Fair winds and following seas:)

Another look at Marine Insurance

Horn and Thursday Islands

We are in the anchorage at Horn Island. This anchorage is better protected from the wind so the boats don't move around quite as much. On the other side of the channel is Thursday Island. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thursday_Island). Its anchorage is exposed to the trade winds. With the wind peaking at over 30 knots it is not a great place to set anchor. Daisy, Steve and I took the ferry over to TI yesterday. It is a small community. We had a great Aussie breckie and then explored the main area of town. Two major reactions: although there are many different stores the selection in each is very limited and prices are at least 25% higher for everything. We did have a beer in the northern most bar in Australia. Which was OK. Then continued our tour. We finally stopped at Customs and Border Protection to see about checking out later in the week. Fair winds and following seas :)

Horn Island Anchorage

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This morning the Sail to Indonesia fleet at Horn Island (across from Thursday Island.) Only a couple of more days...

Cats and Possession!

I realized this post could go several ways. But no, XO is not devil spawn. Nor to my knowledge does he have the heritage of a temple cat. But he is both a very cuddly and possessive cat. He likes to cuddle next to me when I am sleeping. He tucks himself in against my chest. What I find interesting is he always has at least one paw on top of me. It I change and put my hand on top he immediately restores his paw on top!
Fair winds and following seas :)

Years later...

I have owned Reboot for at least a decade. I raced her. I have been cruising the world for 8 years. I have always been dismayed that it is difficult to sail dead down wind. I have taken to gybing downwind. I have looked at cruising spinnakers, in particular the Parasail™ but the price has always been out of reach. In fact when solo sailing it is difficult to use the whisker pole and my light air asymmetric is beyond my ability to use alone. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that putting the main sail out made Reboot get much closer to dead down. Allow me to explain. Reboot prefers to be pulled downwind by the jib. The Monitor™ wind steering prefers it too. And from a safety perspective it is much easier for me to reef the jib from the cockpit then go out on deck to reef the main. (Yes, a furling main would be great if I had the money.) Downwind if I put up the main it blankets the jib. So it is one sail or the other. It turns out that the 4th reef on the main (which is actually th…

Broken Boats

Mechanical things break. Cruising boats, being mechanical things, break. Since I am alone most of the time I quickly assume it is only me. That is not good for my attitude. Since joining the Sail 2 Indonesia rally I am not only in the company of other boats but we all talk to each other. I discovered that I am not the only one who has problems. I feel better. I am not sure if this is good or bad. Fair winds and following seas:)

Internet Arrogance

As I write this I am anchored in Margaret Bay on the east coast of Australia about 100 miles south of the Torres Straight. This is aboriginal country. There is no technology and thus no Internet. While sailing last night I picked up a stray WiFi signal. Just enough to download an email from my bank. I needed to call them. In an effort to further "protect" me the bank introduced "two factor authentication." When you call they want to send a text or email to you with a one time code. Of course there is no cell or Wifi coverage here or for that matter in many of the places I visit. The agent did not know how to deal with someone who did not have text messaging and instant email. So she could not help me because I could not authenticate. Great. Nor was the recording to visit their website amusing.It may come as a great surprise to the "head sheds" in the developed world to discover that cell service and WiFi do not blanket the known universe.BTW cost of usel…

It's not cold anymore!

We have worked our way up to 14 1/2 degrees South it is definitely no longer cold. As I write this just after sunset its 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Quite the change from Sydney. Fair winds and following seas :)

Wind noise - Lizard Island

It was a long and tiring trip from Cairns to Lizard Island. The wind was stronger than forecast gusting to 30 knots. But what made the trip particularly uncomfortable was the 6 to 10 foot waves on the beam. We rolled back and forth the entire way. Lizard Island is reputed to be a great anchorage. And it pretty much is. The "fetch" is short so the waves are low. But the wind has been howling non-stop through the rigging my entire stay. It is blowing 20 to 25 knots across the deck. Being outside is not comfortable. (Consider what the people launching aircraft on a carrier put up with all the time.) The strange thing is that other than its normal sailing around the anchor chain Reboot is just sitting quietly. Well, not quietly when you consider the wind noise. But stable. Very weird. Of course the other downside is that I single hand. Motoring thru an anchorage of 25 other boats to find the perfect spot is just not prudent. So the best spots usually go to others. Fair winds and…

Seagulls and cats

A seagull tried to land on Reboot. XO took offense. Fair wind and following seas :)

MOVREP 020222ZJUL2017

Arrival, Sailboat Reboot
14 39.531 S
145 26.884 E
Lizard Island, QLD, AustraliaAt anchor.
One POB and one cat.Plan two day stayCaptain Roger sends

Departure

Departed Cairns 010000ZJUL2017. Heading up the Great Barrier Reef.