Monday, December 20, 2010

Anima Ready for Anything

Things were quite hectic as we prepared Anima for the cyclone season. As we are flying home to spend Christmas with friends and family, we needed to get the boat ready for anything. This meant all of the sails came inside, all of the awnings were put inside and anything loose was either securely tied down or put inside. Inside became very cramped which was made more so by my brother and his girlfriend visiting too! 

Rene spent an entire day tying over a dozen ropes from us to the surrounding marina. We look a little like a big boat spider sitting in a web of ropes. 

Taking down the jib.
Just some of the ropes we are tied down with!
Dinghy lashed on deck.
Me amongst the mess!

Tracing the official details onto the hull.
Centre-punching the numbers = PAIN!

Another milestone was that we are almost totally official in the eyes of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. I got busy in the engine room again (groan!) by firstly tracing the new official number and official length and then painstakingly marking these letters and numbers in what seems to be an out-dated method. The requirements for a steel vessel are that the official details are to be permanently fixed to the hull through centre-punching or using a cold chisel. Rene and I both took turns banging out the numbers with a centre punch which was a devil of a job. Rene figures that if the boat is stolen, the pirates would be too lazy to mark the ship in such a time-consuming way and so, the ship would still be identifiable. I just think it's yet another hoop that I seem to have to jump through in this world of rules and regulations. 

Merry Christmas everyone! May the new year bring more travel, friends and fun!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stormy Sailing and Visiting Family

Arthur Bay ~ Magnetic Island
 My brother and his girlfriend visited us over the weekend here in Townsville. They loved our air-conditioning as it's getting super hot here now. We hung out, played games, ate ice-cream, tried the local beer and went sailing among many other things. 
Tika & Aran take us ashore on 'Maggie'.
The highlight was our sail across to Magnetic Island (or Maggie as the locals call her). We anchored in Arthur Bay and took a picnic to shore. The sun blasted down at us and we all looked longingly at the cool water but were too cautious to swim in 'stinger season'. Some backpackers were swimming - totally covered in their stinger protection suits. Just last weekend a man was stung by an irukandji jellyfish in the Whitsundays and had to be airlifted to hospital. I wore long socks to take the dinghy in and still freaked out that I'd been stung! Turns out I had a graze from climbing the rocks that I didn't notice until the salt water started stinging it! 
Sitting in the shade of a boulder above the bay listening to summer sounds of crickets in the bush and the water lapping at the shore = bliss! 

Heading home into the storm.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Finally saw a jellyfish

My first jellyfish sighting in northern QLD
Many thanks to Nell from next door who showed me this beautiful jellyfish here in the marina. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Our request to change Anhinga's name to Ani was refused because it sounds like an existing Australian registered ship, Annie. So I put out the call to my Facebook friends and out of all of the wonderful suggestions, Beppe suggested Anima. We liked this name a lot and I just received an email back from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to say that it is available! Anima means soul or vital force in Latin and Italian. It also has a rather complicated meaning that the psychologist, Jung, described in his theory of the collective unconscious, referring to femininity and masculinity. I like the stuff about it meaning soul!

Now I have to mark the ship. The requirements are pretty strict about font size, style and placement. I need to use a cold chisel or centre punch to permanently inscribe the number into the hull. This will involve hours squished into the engine room again (great!). Then the hull outside has to have the name, official number and home port painted on all sides. Once this is all done, we will receive the Australian registration and be allowed to sail overseas without getting in trouble with the authorities. 

Rene working on the mast.
Rene spent more hours perched atop the mast this last weekend as he worked on attaching the replacement masthead plate for the Spinnaker halyard. It isn't as pretty as it was before but it didn't cost us any more than the materials which is far less than the cost of removing the mast to have it done professionally!!! He still needs to sand off the edges so it isn't as sharp in case the spinnaker sail ever billows upwards while in use. 
Portside view of the new masthead plate.

New masthead plate.
As we bring in more things from on deck in preparation for leaving our boat over Christmas in a cyclone-prone area, the boat inside is becoming more crowded. Things reached boiling point on Sunday when the vice fell on Rene's toe and it cut open rather dramatically (lots of blood). So we set aside a few hours to sort through the over-flowing tool cupboard (again!) and this time managed to cull a few things (shock!). In fact, we are getting a little better at getting rid of belongings that we don't really need. I say 'a little better' because I'm sure we could improve further with our tendency to hoard things. 

I've made up patterns and diagrams for the portholes, cockpit floor and kitchen sink. While in Brissy, I plan to have plastic cut to size for the porthole mosquito screen edging. I wasn't happy with the poor standards I encountered (both in terms of customer service and materials here in Townsville at the local plastic fabrication place). I also hope that while visiting my parents, Dad can help me to build a wooden floor for the cockpit and a new chopping board for the galley. 

So, as usual, things have been pretty busy. My brother and his girlfriend arrive this weekend to visit. After they've gone we need to remove EVERYTHING from on deck to store inside in case a cyclone comes while we are in Brisbane. It's getting warmer and warmer here in the tropics. We are waking early and heading to the beautiful park just 5 minutes from the marina. Rene practices his Wing Chun and I do my Ashtanga Yoga. I've recently had another injury (groan!) which I think probably resulted from me being over-zealous with my yoga practice - pushing myself too far too soon. I'm slowly mending again and learning to not expect too much too quickly! 

Yoga in the pagoda.
Wing Chun practice.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"Baching it"

Rene had to fly down to Brisbane for work, leaving me on the boat "baching it". I actually didn't mind too much - there's so much for me to do on the boat and the locals here on 'E' finger in the marina are very welcoming and friendly so the time went by super fast and I managed not to become too lonely. 

Mosquito screens finally finished! (close up detail)
While he was away I managed to knock a few things off the daunting 'To Do' list. 
The mosquito screens for all of the large hatches are finally finished. My grand plans of harnessing the power of magnets didn't work. I ended up having to glue velcro to the area surrounding each of the hatches and then sew the other side of the velcro to the mosquito mesh. I'm pretty happy with the result and now just have to do all of the portholes - these are much trickier though! 

Galley is now more secure for sailing.
The galley is now more sailing-friendly with the new fruit hanger and barrier that I've installed. It could still do with some tweaking, but I'm really happy with how it's working so far. On a yacht, all space is integral and this area was not being utilised well.. until now! The photo makes it look so easy and simple but let me tell you that this job took HOURS! So many awkward angles to drill/screw and so much figuring out exactly what I wanted. 

I also went out sailing on Water Frontier, one of the yachts here in the marina. A fellow bachelor (Les) came along too and we all had a fantastic day out on the water. This boat is so much faster than what I'm accustomed to! It was hard not to get too jealous of the great features that Water Frontier held. I fell in love with self tailing winches and found that the boat sailed so well that I didn't feel scared at all! We were all there to test out their new MPS (multi purpose spinnaker) that they'd just had made. It looked amazing when up... pulling it all down again was interesting though! I'm feeling quite daunted of one of my jobs which is to sew a 'sock & bucket' devise for hauling our MPS down. Oh dear! I'm in for so many big jobs! 
Water Frontier's new MPS

Leanne & me - note how relaxed I look!
Winch envy.

Les & John tacking 'Water Frontier'.

Rene is back now, working hard at his laptop again. I'm happy he's back as it was a little lonely here without him.