Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Big Mistake

Well. Things have taken a turn for the worse here at the slipway. We've been working around the clock trying to get this all done so we can go back in the water. It's quite expensive to stay here ($78 per day) and we have many other things that we need to organise prior to leaving. So we've been working and working and working, not getting enough sleep and kind of stressing out. Yesterday my brother and his mate came and helped out majorly by grinding back the rest of the bad paint layers with Rene. 

So... the mistake... ALL of the paint that we've painstakingly spent about 20 hours applying to the freshly sanded back hull WAS WRONG. For some inexplicable reason we mixed the Jotun paint Penguard Part A with Jotamastic Part B. You are not meant to mix them like this ever. Penguard part A and B go together while Jotamastic part A and B go together. We've totally fucked up. I'm totally devastated. We were up until 2am this morning painting the wrong paint on the boat! We've been working our arses off doing the wrong bloody thing. 

It's looking like our plan of leaving on May 16th is fast becoming a dream - not a reality. We may have to stay here at the slipway for yet another week. We now have to scrape off all of the paint by hand and reapply a fresh coat tomorrow when Jotun delivers the correct paint to us. I'm off to wash down the decks which are black with thick poisonous dust that came off the hull over the last week of Rene angle-grinding the old anti-fouling. This whole experience is really testing us - me in particular. It's difficult to remain positive in this kind of situation. Really really difficult.....

Below are some pics of the work we've been doing:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 5 - a quick update

Just a quick update tonight - still insanely busy trying to grind back the older layers of paint to create a good surface before painting the anti-fouling. We're aiming to be back in the water by Friday (hopefully!). 
Today Rene probably spent 12 hours with the angle grinder (he's still out there now at 9pm). I have been cleaning up (so much dirty washing to do!) and doing jobs inside. I also tore off all of the damaged U.V strip from the leech (longest edge) of the Jib in preparation for taking it to the sailmakers this week. 
One of my cousins (Nicholas, who lives in Germany) suggested I add some information about the boat on the blog. For those who are interested, the info is now located just below the photo of Anhinga on the left column. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Days 3 & 4 at the slipway

This is taking much much longer than we had ever anticipated. There's no chance that we'll be finished here by Tuesday which was our original plan.  
The problem is that we have to grind down many layers of previous antifouling paint (on the hull) to create a good surface for the new coats we'll be applying. Normally we would have just been able to scrape off the barnacles, give a quick sand and then paint. Instead, Rene is taking off about 5 or so prior layers of paint because one of the layers seems to be absorbing moisture causing other layers to flake off. And quite a few spots of bare steel have been showing which is bad news for steel!! It's very slow, dirty and tiresome work. 

Rene has been grinding away at the hull pretty constantly while I've been doing some painting, preparing all the food, cleaning and organising.

 It's been a challenging week so far in many ways. I'm finding it difficult to see the light at the end of this. It's very toxic and I'm not coping so well with the poisonous dust - it's everywhere and we can't escape it! Lucky we're not trying to conceive!! This is a picture of me feeling happy that I actually achieved something - the jobs are sooo big that it's very difficult to experience any sense of success or completion. 
I'm hoping things will get easier soon....

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 2 at the slipway

Day 2 involved a plenty more money hemorrhaging. 
We had to pay for a Marine Surveyor to inspect the boat so that we can apply for 3rd party insurance (many places don't let you moor unless you have some form of insurance these days!). 
Some paint experts from Jotun (paint supplier) came by to ascertain why the last anti fouling was flaking off so much and their advice was to buy MORE of their paint! 
I took the Jib (front sail) to Rene's parents place and measured out the job of resewing the UV strip = HUGE!!! So I rang around to a bunch of sailmakers until I found a decent price. The third picture is of me shocked at how big the sail really is. I still have to remove the old UV strip by hand. The first two images show Rene hard at work, scraping back the flaking paint in preparation for painting the new coats on. Our trusty car, Boxy, stars in the 2nd photo. 
All up, today cost over 1K! OMG :o (Starting to think that we'll definitely need to work as we travel up the coast - bugger!)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 1 at the slipway

Pictures tell many words - right? 
Anhinga was hauled out today at Rivergate. It was quite scary watching her winched up up up into the sky! 
Rene had so much fun blasting the slime/barnacles off the hull that he totally messed up the bathroom (funny that it's still called this as there is definitely NO bath - or even a shower!!!) with black slimy stuff. I spent an hour cleaning it off every surface! 
Some amazingly generous and knowledgeable men helped out with fixing up our rudder which hasn't been working properly - Rog, Nick and, the man who originally made this boat, Max!
There is lots more work to do - the pretty blue image is actually pretty bad in boating terms - it shows that the antifouling paint isn't sticking to the previous layer. 
Right now we're devouring a massive kangaroo spaghetti bog that I've cooked up + enjoying a beer or two!
Another big day ahead of us tomorrow....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


In the last week, we've really started to see some progress on the "to do" list. 
- We've replaced the old, wrong sized chain with new, correct size. 
- We've got the fridge to work!!! (lots of thanks to Ewan for helping out with this in a big way)
- Some storage lockers have been sorted out and filled with food/supplies
- We celebrated stopping work with a party and had a jolly time :D 
- Plus many other small jobs that don't need to be listed here. 

Tomorrow we get hauled out at Rivergate Marina Slipway. While there, the rudder needs to be fixed, antifouling done, I need to re-sew the sacrificial strip on the jib and a few other things that you'll find out about in the next post! 

Monday, April 12, 2010

An Update On Preparations

Today felt important because I normally would have gone to work as the Easter break is over. Instead I stayed home and worked on getting organised. Our First Aid kit is now huge! The inventory goes for 4 pages and the kit itself only just fits into a 20 Litre esky bag. I'm also working through my DVD collection, making up a list and figuring out which few I can take with us. Most of our usual day-to-day living stuff has to be put into storage (thank you so much to friends and family who will be looking after various boxes and bits) so that we can fit all the food and boat things onboard. 

The fridge is STILL not working despite Rene and Ewan working on it for hours and hours. We tried to retrofit it so that the old eutectic system would work with the new air compression system. It hasn't worked. I'm really looking forward to having our fridge back! (soon I hope!).

Better get back to the organisation! So much to do!! 

Monday, April 5, 2010

A few words about my sister - Jez

My sister (Jezaya) and her girlfriend (Tamsin) are currently riding their mountain bikes around Japan. They set out a few weeks ago and plan to explore Japan by bicycle for 3 months (after having lived in Japan for about 3 years).

I've been thinking about them a lot lately as I prepare more intensively for our sailing journey. I'm so excited for them and their unconventional travel is inspirational.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Finishing Work + how we can afford to!

A momentous event is that Rene and I have now both finished up at our workplaces. It was pretty surreal packing up my desk and saying goodbye to all of my colleagues and students. Some people have found it personally challenging that we have chosen not to work for the rest of the year (and possibly beyond). Some of my students assumed that I must be super rich to be able to do this (I wish!!). Which got me thinking that others might also assume this so I thought I'd better dispel that myth. We can afford to take the rest of the year off because (once we're set up) cruising is a VERY affordable method of traveling! The only expenses we'll have are diesel, food supplies, wireless internet/mobile phone and boat maintenance/repair. No car rego, fuel, fashion, cafes, take-out, rent, rates, movies etc. etc. 
Our relatively meagre savings will (hopefully) suffice for much longer than if we were to travel by plane and have to pay for accommodation - we're taking our home with us and sailing is free!
Live simply and simply live :)
Of course, any donations would be greatly appreciated!! hahaha ;D