Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Departure Date Set for the 22nd of April Oh Yeah!

We are officially in the Sail Indonesia rally which departs from Darwin in late July. This week I paid the entry fee and filled out the entry form with all the official stuff required. Wooooohoooooo! We also have set a date to leave the marina. From today, there is 24 days left until we're out on the water again. Mostly I'm looking forward to the adventure. I know a lot more than I did when we first set out and I think we'll be OK. I just wish we had a shower on board!

We've continued to be very busy with preparations for our journey. It's pretty much just boat, boat, boat at at the moment.

Rene installed saltwater pump to use in the bathroom sink. This should help us to use even less of our freshwater when we're out cruising. It seems that many yachties that we meet have their own watermakers so they don't need to worry about obtaining water from the land (think about rowing a dinghy with jerry cans full of water back and forth for hours to till the tanks). We can't afford that luxury right now, so instead, we'll use as much sea water as we can (when it's clean). We'll also capture as much rainwater as possible with our cockpit roof.
Saltwater pump tap is on the right.
Rene and I both worked on repairing the cockpit table. It broke almost straight after we bought Ani, and I can't believe that we've not thought to repair it for all of these years! In June, we will have been living aboard for 4 years. Having the cockpit table will make it so much easier to eat, drink and play games. It wasn't until we left last May that I realised just how long we spend in the cockpit while sailing. HOURS! There's too much motion to be inside without feeling queasy, so the cockpit it is! This will help it be a bit more comfortable for those long ocean passages we have ahead of us.

At the repaired cockpit table for coffee!
The battery upgrade is continuing. Ren built the front wooden panel to house the vertical battery. He's still working out how to fit everything in and improve the set-up. This job will continue for some time still - probably even after we've left.

We installed a space-age touch-sensitive LED light above the chart table and have ordered more LED lights for the anchor and deck lighting. It's incredible how little power they require and yet, how bright they are!

I've continued to oil the wood on deck. I'm trying to soak at least two coats in, but am having to wait days in-between applications due to tropical weather (it's either too humid or raining). The wood is looking great though. It's so satisfying watching the dry wood soak up the oil and change colour.

After purchasing new zips from my favourite sewing supply store (so cheap and friendly) I sewed them in to the cockpit awning with great success. The awning makes me smile whenever I look at it! A great improvement from my first attempt which made me cringe whenever I looked at it! Photos will come soon - it doesn't look at good with the big silver tarp up while we're in the marina to keep the sun /rain at bay.

I totally cleaned out the pantry and am on the uppper hand in the moth vs human war. They keep appearing though and I don't know how. What are they eating? I've managed to contain everything they could possibly eat into plastic containers. I vacuumed some of them up and when emptying it, discovered that they'd started nesting inside the vacuum! I think these things would survive an apocolypse!!
Also I found a weet bix box that I'd bought a few months ago full of tiny mite-like creatures. I didn't get to take a photo as the mites started crawling up my hands so I freaked a bit and threw the whole box out up at the big skip bins far away from Ani! Rene might need to eat a different breakfast while we're cruising as all bugs seem to love weet bix.

I'm working on shopping lists for the big food stock up, my priorities have changed a little from when we first set out on this adventure this time last year. Powdered milk is much more economical than UHT and real milk doesn't last. Dried vegetables are far more reliable than frozen ones. Instant meals (like packet soups) are excellent for long days at sea. I need much more dried fruit and nuts than ever before and dried herbs and spices. I filled one trolley at the Woollies yesterday and only managed to cross off a few items from the list. I won't share how much it came to at the checkout. It's too depressing. I wonder if we'll have any money left before we leave?

Rene has grand plans to make power from the propellor while we're sailing using an alternator. Also we need a separate alternator for our engine battery as it's not connected to the house batteries. We went to a wrecker yard to look for some but the people there weren't very helpful. The search continues.
This is an alternator in our engine... for those like me who never knew.
We're trying to order in (buying online) the boat stuff we need so that it has time to arrive. We learnt that buying rope from West Marine looks really cheap until you get to postage (it was going to cost us $1000 in postage for just 2 jib sheets and roller furling rope!!). Postage costs seem to have risen lately.. ?
Rene lanolined the swages too - we need to care for these curious but integral bits of metal some more and Andy has suggested some effective techniques. Rene climbed the mast (people are starting to comment that they only ever see him up there!) and instead of re-wiring the anchor light as he intended, he inspected the rigging. It turns out that one of the tang's has a hairline fracture in it. He removed it, tied up the rigging with rope and now we need to replace it too. So as we cross off jobs from the top of the list, we add more to the bottom.

I've started trying to imagine worst-case scenarios in terms of the boat breaking. This is to try and figure out what tools and spares we would need. I've asked around to try and learn what we could expect to break... the answer is everything and anything! Oh dear! I'm hoping that because so many things broke on the journey to Townsville last year, that not so many things will break on our next journey... fingers crossed!


  1. moths and bugs i also find putting all new bought food that they like in the freezer for a couple of days that will kill any eggs and potential new colonys lurking in flours anf rice, even store bought in sealed packets.
    I have invested in a new alternater after years of going to the wreckers for alternators, and i have in the past always carried a spare.
    Now I have a balmar 70amp alternator, which has an internal regulator or you can invest another load of money for an external regulator, which works well, and regulates all types of batterys, eg lead acid gel agm.
    I was wondering how old is your rig? I have to renew mine, ten years seems the life span for safe, ss, rig.
    Looking forward to hearing from you and your travels

  2. Hi Ginny,
    Thanks for your comments :)
    I've taken on board your freezing idea - though, our freezer doesn't actually freeze.. I'm hoping it will work just the same.
    Our rig is almost 10 years old. It seems fine - we'll replace it in Malaysia where it won't cost so much. Did you end up making it to Brisbane?