Monday, May 29, 2017

Nothing is simple

Before we left Sydney I tightened the fan belt on the advice of the mechanic. On our trip across Morton Bay this morning of course it snapped. Fortunately there was no wind and waves so I replaced the belt with no drama. I love cruising.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Playing Cards

Can I put my butt in the middle of the card table?

Reboot at Anchor

27 12.788 S
153 22.019 E

Morton Island
All OK.

Off Morton Island

Log Entry 242152ZMAY2017


"It has been a very rough trip so far. The weather was pretty when we departed Sydney. Sunny, nice South winds. The wind shifted to the North* directly on our heading. It was so light we could not point worth a darn. Cléia was seasick most of the time. And the battery voltage was low. We kept all the electronics off except the radio and AIS off. Several days of overcast skies and rain, plus we are at the short days and long nights part of the year. The first night we had thunderstorms on my watch as we were making about 1.5 knots. We were almost hit by the C/S Tokyo. We were both running AIS. Why he chose to miss me by 100 feet is beyond me. We tried to tack but the wind was so light and the current so strong. We made almost no headway. Finally out of frustration I decided to motor North to make some progress until the wind changed. We did, which had the effect of charging the batteries. It also burned a lot of fuel for a SOG of about 2 knots. It was very frustrating  but I kept my council. The wind finally changed. We were entertained by a 8 hour lightning show that had us on edge.  Fortunately we were watching and the storm never quite made it to Reboot.  The front passage complete the weather calmed down and the wind shifted to the Southwest. For the first time we had no drama and some decent sleep. Clélia and Camille are great crew and have soldiered through what has been so far a pretty rough trip.".

Fair winds and following seas :).

* See Captain Roger's Rules.

** Yes Nigel, you were right. The solar panel controller set points were wrong. We were not getting a full charge. Since fixed.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

22 May 2017 20:16Z


33 20.89 S
152 39.02 E
Course 005 True
Speed 2 knots

Winds SE variable below 10 knots
Seas SE 1.5 meters
Sky 80%
Bar 1023 steady

A long night. First sail with Clélia and Camille. We made it out of Sydney Harbor under sail and then slowly turned North as the wind shifted. We were doing OK until about 10 pm local. At that point there was a thunderstorm ahead of us. We turned East for the rest of the night. We are now well East of our track and have made very little progress North. The good news is we avoided the thunderstorm. Sunrise was welcomed as I had been cold all night.

Battery voltage is a concern. After overcast skies for a couple of days the batteries were not topped off when we left. Since we sailed rather than motored we did not generate electricity from the engine. As a result we ran a one hour charge from the engine in the middle of the night.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Saturday, May 20, 2017


Cast off, heading out of Sydney. North (but not to Alaska!)

Roger / Reboot / W2ZDB / WDB8435

Friday, May 19, 2017

New Crew

Ah. New crew. New things to cover in fur!

Fair winds and following seas :)

State of the Nation

As I travel around the world I am often asked about US politics. These questions have intensified since the election of President Trump. I choose to keep my blog politically neutral. However when one adds BRIXIT, the recent French election and the daily tweetstorm about President Trump I found this article enlightening and distressing. So, nope, not about dirty hulls or great anchorages. 100% political.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


In the spirit of sharing I will take one for the team. Those who follow my blog know that we have been having propulsion problems. First step was to dive on the boat and make sure the prop was not fouled. It was cold, I am old, so a crew member checked it out. Nothing obvious. Next high drama with the engine. Filters, air cleaner, bleeding, etc. Multiple expensive Uber trips for parts. Lots of smell. No joy. Next excellent mechanic (Ian Hume at Hume Marine Sydney (+61 4488 14087) Nope, engine and transmission are fine. Professional diver (Barry at Harbour Dive Sydney +61 (0) 424 638 677.) Shaft and cutless bearing look fine. Folding prop folding fine. "Oh, by the way, lots on marine growth on the prop. Should we clean it?" "Please." Clean prop. Problem solved. Duh!!!!!!

Special kudos to the Australian Department of Biosecurity who offered to work out a way to get Reboot hauled with XO on board. Fortunately it did not come to that.

Occam's Razor........

Fair winds and following seas :)

Ready to Rally

It looks like our problems are resolved. Plan to depart for Cairns next weather window.

Fair winds and following seas :)

The fourth picture.

After great demand (one reader.) Hope I finally got it right. The fourth picture.

Hyacinthe Gabrielle Roland, a French actress (and possible prostitute) who like "the Polastron," escaped the Revolution.  She married Richard Wellesley the first Marquis Wellesley, after they lived together for quite a while and had a few children.  One of same, to wit Anne Wellesley, is in Queen Elizabeth's (and therefore Prince Chuck's and Duke William's and Prince George's line, via her mother the Queen Mother's mother's.
Princess Frederica (or Fredericke) is in a private collection.

The Duchesse de Polignac is at the Museum of Versailles and the Trianon

The self-portrait is at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas

Hyacinthe Roland, the Queen's ancestor, is the Legion of Honor building of the San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts
Fair winds and following seas :)


Back to sailing...

And [Job] said, (...): the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD".

Had we not had engine problems we would be in the Whitsundays where the forecast is for gale force winds and torrential (but not biblical) rains.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Fwd: Vigée Portraits in Your Blog

I call my brother "the font of all wisdom." And he is. And I love him. So the attached. Re the missing portrait: for some reason it would not download. Sad because she was by far the most beautiful and scandalous.
PS Next he will tell me where they are hung so you can see them in person.


You've got them labeled wrong, Roger.

In your post, the first on the left (big hair, off the shoulder dress) is Hyacinthe Roland, the Queen's ancestor.
The second (white blouse, red ribbon) is the artist, Elizabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun.
The third (dressed in "Shepherdess Chic") is the Duchess of Polignac.

You're missing Frederick the Great's niece, Princess Frederica.

All of these portraits, seen live, are quite stunning.  Vigée ravishes her viewers with painterly reality.  They are alive on the canvass.  Frederica and Polignac are particularly captivating.

English Queens

This is a very politically incorrect post. Do not read on if easily offended. In the spirit of humor.

We (the "Royal we") are aware that the current Duchess of Cambridge is quite attractive. So was Lady Diana. So the question is: Was Queen Hillary's failed coronation an consequence of losing out in the looks contest to Melania Trump? For comparison lets look at some historical English Queens in the photos attached.

Now as for quality looks, let me offer up these three women, all painted by Elizabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

#1:  Princess Frederika Louisa Dorothea Phillippine von Hohenzollern, a niece of Frederick the Great, later Princess Radziwill by marriage.

#2:  Yolande Martine Gabrielle de Polastron, later Duchesse de Polignac by marriage, a great favorite of Marie Antoinette.

#3:  The artist in an early self-portrait.

Batteries die in darkness*

Since Reboot spends months away from shore power I am always very cognizant of the battery voltage. I have noticed recently that they don't seem to be getting quite the charge they have been getting in the past. Since I recently replaced both the batteries and the solar controllers this has been a bit of concern.

This morning I had a epiphany. It's fall. We are only getting 10 1/2 hours of sunlight (here down under.) The charge cycles are shorter, the discharge cycles longer. The battery voltage reflects that. Not really a big deal. We are talking about a 0.1 volt difference. But I do notice it.

Where it does really show up is in cruising. When the electric autopilot, the multifunction display, the VHF, the AIS and the tricolor are running all night there is quite a noticeable difference. (Yes, I use the Monitor wind steering, keep the multifunction display at minimum intensity, and have LED bulbs.)

Fair winds and following seas :)

* Warning - this part gets political. Stop reading if you are only interested in sailing stuff.

The subject is a takeoff on WaPo's new tag line "Democracy Dies in Darkness." Of course the United States isn't a democracy , it's a republic. But no need for WaPo to be accurate. Their anonymous sources assure me that the United States is actually a democracy. Plus, I am protected by their (and the NYT's) paywalls. Who pays to read such crud? Certainly not me.

Frankly my mind is exploding. Each day I am assaulted with more rumors and innuendo. I would stop reading Facebook and Twitter but they have become the de facto communication community for cruising boats. So I burn endless pay by the gigabyte dollars wading through.

Although an anonymous source (I know who it is, I just don't think it appropriate to publish a name without permission) compares this to the fall of the Weinmar Republic, I think this environment is what it must have been like leading up to the Civil War. At least then the issues were semi-clear. I guess the failed coronation of Queen Hillary has created a new War of the Roses. Not reassuring.

Monday, May 15, 2017


Elevator we got the shaft. It turns out that the problem does not seem to be the engine or transmission but rather the drive shaft is binding. You know, the one I paid $3,000 to have replaced 8 months ago!

Fair winds and following seas:)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Uber (revisited)

Today I asked my Uber driver how long he had been driving for Uber. "15 months." He has a perfect 5 .0 rating. He didn't know. Amazing!

Fair winds and following seas :)

Stuck in Sydney

Still no joy on debugging the diesel engine. Mechanic to arrive this morning at 8:30. At 9:30 still no mechanic. Text. At 10:30 get reply. Will come tomorrow. Wonderful.

Fair winds and following seas:)

Saturday, May 13, 2017


Uber is a great service for world cruisers. Not only is it cheaper than cabs but the drivers have a lot of local knowledge. When public transit doesn't go where I want or takes too much time I Uber.

I was surprised to find out from my driver the other day that they don't know the destination when they accept the ride. It is not disclosed until you are in the car. So no turning down rides that they don't want. Interesting.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Filter wrench

Bought a new filter wrench yesterday. We now have four (4) on Reboot. No clue where I stored the other three! Fair winds and following seas :)

Indefinite Delay

Reboot is still in (Sydney) Hunters Bay. We have clogged fuel filters and are waiting for spares. Fair winds and following seas :)


A "marine" digital voltmeter costs 220 USD. A digital ammeter the same. This cost me $1.98 from Hong Kong. With a bit of drilling and filing Manuel and I got it mounted where it can be seen from anywhere in the salon.

Fair winds and following seas :)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Departure (delayed)

(Thunderstorms in forecast. Delaying until risk passes.)

Leaving Sydney today. Heading north. May stop to see Aimee in Bundaberg. ETA Bundaberg 8 days. 3 pob + 1 cat. Daily position report via sat phone to WINLINK. Fair winds and following seas. :)

Roger Jones/Sailboat Reboot
US Doc 1046300/Sail # USA 60493
Radio WDB8435/W2ZDB

Sydney departure

Leaving Sydney today. Heading north. May stop to see Aimee (biosecurity) in Bundaberg. ETA Bundaberg 8 days. 3 pob + 1 cat. Daily position report via sat phone to WINLINK. Fair winds and following seas. :)

Roger Jones/Sailboat Reboot
US Doc 1046300/Sail # USA 60493
Radio WDB8435/W2ZDB
+61 (0) 476 768 335


Reboot finally has a working radar again. When arriving in Brisbane the radar failed. In addition the mast bracket came loose. I shipped the unit off to Garmin™. They replaced it promptly with a refurbished unit with a one year warranty. I love this company. They have treated me exceptionally well. The problem was how as a solo sailor I was going to get the new unit up on the mast.

Enter Manuel, my new crew for the trip to Cairns. Together we could do this. And we* did. But it took 6 hours on the mast. First we had to find new fasteners. That took four stores and several hours. Although Australia has decent stores they don't carry the diversity of stock found in the U.S. We finally found a specialty fastener store that carried the right size. Then we discovered that the old fasteners for the bracket did not want to come out. After several failed strategies we borrowed a hacksaw from the marina and cut them out. (Yes, Reboot has a hacksaw somewhere, in some locker ...) Next was getting the new pop-rivets to " pop. " We didn't have the hand strength with our tool. After several more ideas back to the hacksaw. Finally we got the radar mounted and new wires run.

We turned it on. Nothing. Oh cr$%p. Out comes the voltmeter. Hum. 4.1 volts. Not good. Opened up the inline fuse holder. Not shiny. Bad. Pencil eraser on the fuse and contacts. 12.4 volts. Power up. Voila! Radar!

With special thanks to Sydney Port Transit Services for announcing a "no wake, no wash" zone while we were up on the mast. And a special place in hell for the cigarette boat idiots who came through the mooring field at full throttle. Twice!

To nephew Bill bemoaning his trips to Home Depot ™ to fix his dryer. You have no idea how well of you are.

Fair winds and following seas :)

* In all fairness Manuel was the "we." I tended the safety line and provided sage advice. Haha.