Timshel - A cautionary tale of seacocks
We have just left Mackay and are heading north through the Whitsundays at a very leisurely pace, unfortunately the rest of the fleet is already far ahead.See the picture for the reason we had to stay in Mackay for so long. The seacock just broke off in my hand!They had all been replaced in 2014 so we got hauled out to get them all checked and ended up getting 5 of them replaced, also a few more jobs that Mark the shipwright thought of like getting the prop and p bracket done with a special coating "propspeed", also the generator fixed and the autopilot.It is lovely to be on the move again, I would say sailing but there has been no wind.We have seen whales and 2 different kinds of Dolphins.image1. read more...
Timshel - Mackay and Australia
The Marina is lovely, hot showers and a really good launderette.Only problem it is a 25 min bus ride to the shops, mostly the buses are exclusively occupied by WARC folk.At the mall we were surprised to find ourselves doing food shopping in Woolworths which went bust in the UK some years ago.Such a lot of stuff available, but the fruits and veg seemed almost too perfect, we are used to more natural looking produce.There was a trip to view wallabies feeding on the beach at dawn, later the prize giving and the dinner.A really good function, just a shame that the results for the leg had not been worked out correctly, motoring hours not applied in some cases so that prizes went to the wrong boats, and I think this has also happened on previous legs.A new version was issued next morning but. read more...
Timshel - Vanuatu to Australia Day 8 The Finish
We worked hard today, several big squalls, especially one just as Steve was on the 9am radio net, sails reefed sails out again when it went calm and repeat, hand steering to get maximum speed. Ain't Fancy and Cesarina were fairly close behind as Cesarina had gallantly waited to escort Ain't Fancy who had a problem with their engine (and also therefore electricity generation). They talked a lot on the VHF in German; we assumed if they needed us they would call in English. As we approached the line near the entrance to the Hydrographers Passage the tide was against us, not much we could do about it, we arrived when we arrived, but with 4 knots against us we were down to 2 over the ground and it took ages to cross at 17.49, then there was the bit with the overfalls marked. read more...
Timshel - Vanuatu to Australia Day 7
More ships going past.Just because there is a shipping lane marked on the charts doesn't mean the ships are in it!Contrary winds today (Chris says it is because of high pressure) and died away mid-morning so ended up motoring for a couple of hours.Luckily it came back and able to set sail again particularly trying for us as electronic autopilot doesn't work.Tried to set up old Autohelm 1000 tiller pilot to drive Hydrovane, but a critical piece came detached (a failure of the bonding) and fell into the ocean so that was that.Cloudy day , but cleared by evening, wonderful stars and a moon again (waxing crescent) at least for the first few hours.Some of the boats have already finished, we are still plodding on.After the finish line theres still the Hydrographers passage through the reef to. read more...
Timshel - Vanuatu to Australia Day 6
Hand steered most of the day as awkward angle for Hydravane.Towards late afternoon wind got up - or rather the gusts became continuous so we carreered along for a bit as Steve was having a sleep, then reefed down.Now possible to set up Hydra to steer - easier with a lot more wind and reefed sails? - or is her less of a cross swell?Muchbetter anyway.Closeish encounter with Xin Ning Bo 919 ft, at least they answered their VHF and did manage to miss us.Now less than 200 nm to go to Australia (the Barrier Reef anyway).Australia - the promised land!Where there will be shops, supermarkets, chandleries, boat yards, launderettes - and kangaroos, wallabies, Koala bears, Duck-billed Platypus - also the Dunni spider (poisonous), Box jellyfish, saltwater crocodiles - according to Steve's trivia. read more...