Monday, July 18, 2011

Boat Progress In Darwin

It's not all fun and relaxation here in Darwin. We've been working really hard on improving Anima and preparing her for the coming voyage. 

After years of lugging around odd pieces of wood, bits of pipe and all sorts of curious spares we'll probably never need, we decided it was time to get rid of it all. A fellow yachtie had told Rene that if we wanted Anima to sail better, we could try reducing the weight in the forepeak. We've done this so well that her waterline sits well above the water now at the bow. The forepeak is so clean that Chihiro could sleep there and our crew member, Penny will do the same in Indonesia. Previously, the forward berth was so covered in crap that you wouldn't have even known there was a bed there at all!

I sorted through the chaos of paper charts we were given, into the districts we plan to visit in Indonesia. It was quite a time-consuming task, but well worth it as doing this reaffirmed our decision to take the Saumlaki route through Indo rather than heading to Kupang with most of the other boats in the rally. More on this later. 
Indonesia consists of 17 508 islands separated into general areas / districts.  
Rene installed the wind instrument we were given after rescuing Artemis from the reef in the Wessels. The wiring turned out to be quite epic as he had to remove all the ceiling boards and drill holes through the steel. The display is a little temperamental but we're happy. It has already changed out perception on wind strength. 10 knots of wind is much stronger than I'd ever realised and our wind generator works in lower winds than we'd thought. 
Rene adjusting the wiring for our new wind instrument!
I set myself the task of renovating our floor while here in Darwin. The blue carpet Ani has had for the past 29 years was really past its use-by date (and was giving me hayfever from the impregnated dust that our 12 volt vacuum can't suck up). Boats we've visited which I admired all have wooden floors. I decided to do my best to create a wood-look with our limited funds and time – so I opted for lino. At Bunnings, I was lucky enough to score the end of the roll (3.5 metres) for the price of 1 metre of lino. The difficulty was managing the big thing!! It's quite challenging to cut pieces exactly to size on a boat where there are limited flat surfaces. Each floor board (in our case, floor boards are all manner of shapes and sizes to fit the storage areas which lie underneath) needed to be measured and cut exactly to size before I glued the lino down with contact adhesive. After a few stuff-ups, I managed to get it all stuck down with (mostly) success and we think it's a vast improvement! The light colour of the wood really picks up the light and makes the cabin much airier or something... I'm looking forward to doing yoga on my new floor asap! 
The floor renovation in progress. Goodbye horrible blue carpet that reminds me of Primary School. 

Rene ordered a bunch of new equipment online from WestMarine (marine store in America which sells boaty stuff cheaper than Australia) and when it arrived, he had the task of installing it all. The first hurdle was the bus – the driver wouldn't let Rene on with the long VHF aerial he'd collected from the Post Office. He had to walk home (about an hour) while I caught the bus (which funnily enough, became a travelling amateur opera as some of the local characters sang to a young baby in loud, out of tune falsetto Portugese/East Timorese!). Rene spent days rewiring Anima so that our AIS (Automatic Identification System) is set up and working. We get a buzz to see our boat name there amongst all of the other boats in our chart plotter (synchronized with the AIS). We're slowly but surely making Anima into the boat we want her to be. There's so much more we could do to improve her but we'll have to wait for $$.
Speaking of money, we had to refuel before leaving. I won't go into the boring details of refuelling because it bores me to remember that day of waiting around while everyone else got fuel but us. In the end, we have a total of 320 litres of diesel. With past Sail Indonesia Rally participants telling us that it should in fact be called 'Motor Indonesia', we will no doubt use this and more in the next few months. If only it was more affordable. 
Today I finished sewing a waterproof bag to house our generator so it can be stored out on deck rather than inside (where it takes up too much room and stinks of petrol). So many more jobs on our 'To Do' list before we leave in just 4 days!

Jobs jobs jobs, work work work. But it's all so worth it! Not long till we set sail now!!!

1 comment:

  1. The floor is looking good:) It will brighten up your boat and will go well with other wooden parts of the boat definitely! x