November 2012 Oct 2012 >>
Friday 30 Nov.
Boy! Almost fried today in the 33 degree heat here at Kettering, just 30 minutes south of Hobart. Fortunately it wasn’t as bad as the 44 C we had in Adelaide two years ago, when living in a cement boat out the water was like being baked in an earthenware jug. Today it wasn’t that bad. Unpleasant for sure, especially with my arms ulcerating, so we only worked outside for a few hours before lunch, then we had another stint in the afternoon.
About five, after a much needed shower to wash off the black bits of old antifouling that had been sent flying by my power wire brush, we took a walk to the local servo that doubles as a convenience store. Everyday so far, Jude and I have had a stint on a park bench overlooking our vessel with the sound opening to Bruny Island and there we cool off and babble about our day. Behind the bench, across the cricket pitch lays the convenience store, where we arrived just as the Indian proprietor was stepping into his car after locking up. A friendly fellow, with a wave dismissing our objections, he let us and we bought a few needed supplies. Of course, with the door open a new customer walked in. I’d already heard that ‘Paul’ had closed to go watch his daughter play cricket, so I rolled my eyes, but Paul merely shook his heads to dismiss my concerns.
From there we strolled the lanes up the hillside and over to the local that is perch above the marina, where with a couple of coldies, we sauntered outside to a table in the shade and began chatting to a young couple with twin sons who we learned were just three and right out of nappies. Reminded us of our sons, the running about playing chasey, so competitive, and as if part of their family we were soon urging Geordy and Ollie to race. Cute as, one dropped his daks and began widdle-ing on the lawn, a sea of masts behind him, and half of Kettering looking down from the pub. Uproarious! Mum sang out, and I said to her, its nothing, let him be. But the lad seemed to have gotten his mother’s drift and began crying with his trousers at half mast, his budding manhood hanging. Poor dear. Mum went to the rescue, soothed the boy and brought him back, and that’s when we found he was crying because he’d stepped in some dog poo while doing his business. More laughter. Cleaning the lad, Dad calmly explained that it was ok to widdle on the ground at home, but here they used the toilet. Suddenly both twins needed to go. Righto, in a blaze of chatter, off they went. Off on an adventure to the men’s room! Life’s grand. See ya.
Second and third day back
Our second day back on board Banyandah resulted in a second party last night, we just can’t stop feeling like we’re on vacation! But, we know better. Often heard around here is, a few days settling in won’t hurt. There’s so much to watch and plenty of others working, which is always good entertainment. Mind you we got serious yesterday afternoon and lowered the Green Machine from off the deck to the ground two stories below, and then ferried it in two loads to a dock with a crank operated dinghy crane. What a perfect setup for launching our hefty kayak. The hand crane didn’t have the character of the one we used on Moth Creek built by Deny King. This one is utilitarian, easy, safe, and in no time this morning around ten, we launched the green thing and set off on a paddle. Navigating out the marina could have proved challenging, except GM goes under low walkway bridges so quite soon we were out into a bay more surrounded by green forest, than the few collections of cottages. Not that far away, beckoning across the furthest distance, Bruny Island blocked the east fetch.
We paddled easily at first, not wanting to strain shoulder muscles, nor any other muscle. And that’s okay in a kayak on a mild sunny day. We could paddle as hard or easy as we liked. And being two, if one took a break the other could carry on, or we both might drift while our eyes followed a trail along the tree and rocky foreshore filled with the sounds of Earth.
Believe it or not, midday was hot! Too hot for sun on forearms blotchy and red from treating the many keratosis. Another few days applying the fluorouracil toxic ointment should be enough. By then all those potential melanomas will be ulcer red and ready to recover.
So we caught up with other stuff until about 3 PM when we were ready for some outdoor work. Jude straightaway set off sanding our white boot-topping that looked in places like cappuccino from the oils and algae we’d collected at the waterline.
Meanwhile, I assembled the wire brush head on my angle grinder then climbed down our vertical ladder to organize AC power. First to taste my whirling bristles spinning at 12000 revs was our three bladed prop, splotchy with remnants of shells and black antifouling. To see it shine again in bronze spurred me on to tackle the great expanse of hull. Swishing the cleaning head in arcs centered on my waist, sometimes shifting it to my shoulders to spread the load, back and forth in uniform sweeps, bits of toxic antifouling sometimes attacked my face if I steered it wrongly. Meanwhile, behind my dust mask I smiled, our work had begun. We are not near the end nor near the middle but had just scratched the surface of a long work period which hopefully will reward our efforts with a clean, powerful, strong adventure machine capable of exploring anywhere there is water.
NEW Mainsail and Sail Track
We have made a BIG investment in buying a new mainsail for Banyandah. Today’s sails are manufactured from highly technical cloths with precise warp and weft laid down to best handle the stresses within a particular shape sail. Our new mainsail is being manufactured from a BainBridge Ocean 1055 10.5 oz sailcloth with triple stitched seams, three reef points for traditional slab reefing, full length battens about 8’ apart. Free footed. That will mean we will need a bronze (metal) slug at the clew. Our 2J logo on sail.
mainsail dimensions – eye to eye to eye
luff > 12.558 m 41.2′
leech > 13.022 m 42.723′
foot > 3.444 m 11.3′
Battens help shape the sail into a lovely airfoil while supporting the extra width along the trailing edge beyond the straight line between head and clew that is called the sail’s roach.We’ve always had short stiff battens supporting a rather narrow roach, but today’s computer generated main sails encourage a wider roach supported by full length battens which extend from the mast right out to the trailing edge and give the sail a better shape. This will mean long, stiff members aloft that will need to be controlled when raising and lowering the sail. And being full length, these battens could jamb against the mast when the sail has wind in it, a further complication. To handle this, we are installing a new sail track system manufactured by TIDES Marine.
Ours is a rather old sail rig, first designed and installed in 1973. Banyandah’s existing sail track is made up from four SS sections, which means there are three gaps or joints where our existing plastic slides do sometimes stick. This new system, which uses metal cars, comes with a one piece HDPE track that has been designed to slip inside our existing track. They sent us a sample complete with one car to test on our existing track. It’s as slick as a baby’s bottom. Can’t wait! But, getting a 42′ long section up our existing track is going to be interesting!
Back to the boat Nov 27
If life could be encapsulated into one day that could be rubber-stamped, we’d copy this day of our metamorphosis from Nanni and Poppi back into Cap’n Jack and Masters-mate Jude.
Almost instantly we were surrounded by interesting, magnificent scenery that challenged our imaginations. In every stride and rotation of heads, our minds saw award-winning photographs. While only 24 hours earlier we were locking up the house after a marathon getting ready race followed by a blastoff dinner party at our son’s that sent us to bed unable to sleep the few short hours till our planned departure that would herald another stint of adventuring.
All details clicked together so smoothly, it was as if an angel orchestrated everything. Jerome’s driving us to the airport in a road hugging Golf primed us, blasting away the lethargy from lack of sleep. Arriving early at check-in, the bags we had packed and repacked umpteen times came well under the weight limit and were cheerily waved through even after declaring the vials of morphine and hypodermic syringes destined for the ship’s medical box. Next hurdle of cabin and personal inspection went swimmingly even with 3 laptops, 4 cell phones and 2 GPS. So different from last time when stony-faced guards had Jack down to bare feet holding his pants up. Even the snack bar lady wanted to perpetrate our roll of good fortune by offering to make fresh grilled cheese sandwiches on wholegrain toast and her extra large espressos sent us onwards to a normal takeoff and flight, except, with continuing good fortune, next to us sat a very interesting lady who shared our love of the Aussie bush.
Invigorating air embraced us once in Hobart where our mate greeted us with bear hugs that started the enjoyment rolling along, picking up necessary supplies like beer, wine, and cider, then fresh veggies, milk, eggs, bread and delicacies. Then we were set to rendezvous with our treasured lady after her long winter sojourn alone, left behind in the Apple Isle.
Wondering how our lady had faired, we scaled the rough vertical ladder, flung our leg over the rail now roof height above hard ground, and proceeded to turn the key with some trepidation. Immediate bliss greeted us. The cabin air smelt sweet, below as we had left her lay our folding kayak and six person life raft surrounded by cabin walls sparkling brightly just as Jude had left them. Checking her vitals gave us further cheer when discovering that our five large batteries had held their charge. In a nutshell, we seemed on the cusp of great adventures filled with Nature’s beauty, so best to continue to watch this space.