Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Turtle Bay

We awoke this morning at 5:30 to the crystal clear waters of Turtle Bay. Even in 10 metres of water, we could still easily see the bottom. But this was not a morning we were going to get to enjoy it. We had plans. Our early waking hour had been planned so that we could get several big jobs done before the sun was blazing. Going up the mast is hard work for both of us and the heat makes it that much worse so we were keen to get it done early. We had several jobs on the list while I was up there:
  • Retrieve the Jib halyard and Furler upper bearing assembly. These were stuck up there from when we lost our jib on our overnight trip down from Magnetic Island to Bowen. 
  • Change the lightbulb of our tricolor masthead light. 
  • Put up the collapsible steps. The steps up to the second set of spreaders are fixed however the last set to the top are collapsible and need to be pulled out on the way up and put away on the way down. The last person who went up the mast was a rigger and he forgot to put them away. I would use them anyway but needed to remember to put them away.
  • Lastly, was not originally on our list but once I was up there Bryce remembered. Our steaming light has never worked. The steaming light is a white light on the forward part of the mast that is on when we are motoring at night. We have constantly been trying to figure out why it won’t work, to no avail, but figured I would have a look at it anyway. 
We got all the jobs done easily and magically, the steaming light just worked. Turns out it must have been a wiring problem inside the boat that was fixed when we did our rewire last May. Props to the skilled electrician who did that job! 
The view from the top was amazing. From the boat we could see the bottom around the boat but from the top of the mast, I could see the bottom of the entire bay! There was nothing in it though. No coral, no fish, nothing. Thanks to my reconnisance though, I would happily have swam in that water knowing there were no big fish nearby! I don’t like having regrets but one big regret we have right now is not picking up some Stinger Suits! Summer is jellyfish season in Australia so you have to suit up even for a swim. 
Once I had retreived the jib halyard, we were able to put our newly mended jib back up. Most of the stitching on the sacrificial sun cover had worn off, which is how the webbing holding the sail up had detached. All of the stitching had been sewn over and some patches had been put on. Good as new! We so missed having it and are glad to have it back! 

Now we sail!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hi - Remember me?!

Those who follow us on Facebook know that I am a tiny bit better about keeping our page over there updated than I am with updating the blog. Though realistically I’ve been quite lax with both! Those of you who are blog-only followers… Sorry! Unfortunately last year didn’t actually involve a large amount of sailing for us but we are trying to make up for it now! So let me give you a bit of an update…. starting about oh… a year ago!

So, last year we spent the summer on the boat docked at the marina on Magnetic Island. We had an air conditioner that we borrowed from friends which took a small amount of the heat out but overall it was just H-O-T! We were made some wonderful, lifelong friends on the island and their friendship was integral to us being able to be “locals” while we were there.  In March, my mum and Grandma came to visit for a week and we had a lovely time exploring the Island with them. We then flew down to Adelaide with my Mum where the rest of my family met us! We were down there for a couple of weeks for an amazing family wedding that included a few nights stay on a houseboat (quite the upgrade for us!). Bryce and I then scored a relocation deal on a camper van and drove from Adelaide to Brisbane with a couple of night visiting friends in Coolamon, NSW and a few other stops a long the way. We got to experience a lot of beautiful (and similar) Australian countryside and saw lots of Kangaroos. We stayed in Brisbane visiting family for a couple weeks and then headed back to the boat on Maggie!

Once back at the boat in April, we undertook a complete rewire of our boat with the assistance of our friend and electrician, Damon (of Cruising with Cid). Towards the end of May, I took off again to the US (supposedly) for three weeks. Bryce stuck around working on the boat. Shortly thereafter Bryce was offered and accepted a job in Papua New Guinea, so I decided to extend my trip to three months and had an AMAZING (North American) summer in the midwest. Fast forward three months to September, Bryce and I met back at Batty for two weeks, hauled her out, got a new hydraulic steering pump and then we headed back to PNG together. PNG was, as always, interesting! Beginning of December, we came back to Australia and we’ve been living aboard and sailing ever since!

Phew! And that my friends, is how we spent the last year in about 300 words! Stay tuned as we will be updating more frequently now that we are back on the boat and going places!