Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Back in Tweed after Christmas

Time to catch up I think and there's a lot to catch up on!

Shaggers was awesome but I'll let Terry give you the run down when she gets around to her next update.
The exhaust riser has been fixed!  I got the riser welded temporarily in Mackay and we continued to head south looking to leave the boat in Tweed Heads while we headed back to Adelaide for Christmas.

Nice sunsets at Mackay!

I had a heart stopping moment on the way south from Wide Bay down to double island point!  The most scary thing that's ever happened to me I think.

As we left Wide Bay, I caught the end of some chatter on the VHF about something called "Shark Rock" but I didn't really think much of it at the time. I'd set a waypoint off double island point and we were tracking to it.  Tracking works well on our nav unit (Raymarine) as it puts a dotted line on the chart showing the forward track (route).  My normal routine is to set the waypoint and start the go-to and then zoom in on the route and follow it on the chart all the way to the waypoint to make sure there was nothing in the way. This time, I was not so careful.  I did have a look along the track on the plot but didn't zoom right in.  

So, I'm queueing music on the media centre and looking up every now from behind the wheel but not moving around much.  Terry had crashed after the early start through the Wide Bay bar and it was a gorgeous morning with only a small swell and not quite enough wind to turn the engine off.  

Suddenly, I looked up and noticed a small patch of white water about 200 meters ahead and a couple of degrees off our port bow.  I took it out of auto and made a course change to starboard while I worked out what the hell it was.  It turned out to be Shark Rock (also known as Wolf Rock I think)!  

It was awash with only about a meter of black jagged rock showing.  The depth sounder was showing 30 meters of water under the keel and the coast was about 3 miles off the starboard beam!  I passed it very slowly about 50 meters away and it looked very sharp and extremely hard.  The depth never changed and remained about 30 meters the whole time! 

One thing I do know about sailing is to stay away from the hard bits but to find this nasty, tooth of really hard stuff just poking right up out of the sea bed in the middle of a nice clear patch of ocean freaked me right out.  It's the stuff of nightmares believe me and I shudder every time I think about it which is still (4 months later) a couple of times a week!

When I looked on the plot to find out what it was, there's this little tiny cross with a label (awash) that only shows when you zoom in!

Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of it as I had to go below to change my pants.

It's here.  Don't hit it.

Two lessons I got from this.  The first is to zoom right in along your projected track and look carefully for little tiny crosses.  The other is more basic.  When you are on watch, you have to move around.  Sitting in one spot with the mast right in front of you is a really bad idea.  I know both of these things and I'm normally very careful, but the nice day, pleasant sail and good music just conspired to nearly cause a disaster.  Wolf rock, I've since found out, is a great place to dive if you want to see grey nurse sharks!

Tweed is really nice!  We've got some friends here (Hi Dennis and Vaila!) who were happy to look after the boat for us and the marina is great and a good price so it's just about perfect.  Shops are only a short bike ride away and the pub at the marina sells local ale!

Back to the exhaust..  I sent the old one (with the temporary weld) back to WM Marine and asked them to use it as a template for a complete new part using stainless pipe with the correct wall thickness.

They miss-understood my email though and built a brand new one but also fixed the old one so I now have two identical risers and it cost about 3/4 of a boat unit..  The old one was apparently fixed with me paying just for the parts (about 10" of 1 1/2" stainless pipe) and them absorbing the labour so I couldn't argue about the price really.  So bottom line is I've got a complete spare riser to stow somewhere.

Anyway we ended up leaving the boat at Tweed Heads and headed back to Adelaide for Christmas.  We were there for nearly 3 months in the end.  I worked for two of them (kitty building) which was very handy.  Terry also arranged for some tests to be done to see if she could donate her kidney to her sister Barbara (Hi Barb!).

I got back to the boat at the end of February but Terry has had to hang back for the last of the tests.Time to catch up with some work on the boat. There's a list I'm keeping but it never seems to get shorter.

The big job is the cap rails which are peeling so that all has to be scraped off back to bare wood and then re-varnished. I was tempted to just oil the wood to save future work but we agreed we should put in the extra work to keep the old girl looking top notch.  But the weather is against me, too much humidity and some showers so I started on the interior instead.

The floor was getting quite dull and scratched so I'm working on that right now.  I'm also polishing some of the brass while the varnish dries :-)

I'm using Cabots CFP Floor in a satin finish.  It's apparently a really hard wearing polyurethane and we chose satin because it hides minor scratches better than gloss.  The current finish is either a satin or semi gloss.  We do have high gloss finishes on the top surfaces of the tables and cabinets and they still look good so we'll probably leave them for next time.

Choosing the right product is not an easy job.  Everyone has a different story when you do the research and the different types are rather mind boggling.  It's more of an art than a science that's for sure.  Anyway, Cabots have a good rep and there were not many options at Bunnings :-)

I've worked out that I've done about 48km on the treadly since I've been back at the boat.  Finding gaps in the rain is the hard part, the cycling is actually quite pleasant apart from the up bits.  The down bits are a breeze though.  Some enterprising fella will one day invent a way to cycle that's all downhill and make a fortune!

Cabin sole storage locker lids

Main cabin sole hatch above diesel tank


Really shiny :-)

Phew, done for now.

Location: Tweed Heads NSW 2485, Australia
GoogleMaps | GooglePlus Local