Thursday, May 31, 2012

Toketie leaving Australia!

Cleared customs and anchored in HorseShoe Bay on Magnetic Island.  Looking at the weather for a pre-dawn departure through the Great Barrier Reef!!  Will post positions to Yotreps!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

listing to port....

....where would I be without the lists?  But...they are getting shorter...down to one page now....started the paperwork with customs today and they will visit Toketie Friday morning for final clearance out of is looking good this weekend to get through the Great Barrier Reef and out into open ocean....hoping it is not too sloppy after the low pressure system out of PNG goes by....and that it didn't suck the wind out of the area....but to quote the walrus..."the time has come"....plan to post position reports on Yotreps and report in to either Tony's net or Pacific Seafarer's....but anyone who wants to follow our progress can look us up on the Yotreps Position Reporting site...if not by boat name then by my HAM call sign...VA7DXF....

Sunday, May 27, 2012

time flies like an arrow....

....but fruit flies like a banana!

Sorry for not having provided more updates....when my fans start nagging I know it's time....crew arrived along with 4-5 days of cold and rainy weather...but we have made the most of it....rented a car, put in masses of provisions, propane, diesel jerry cans, water, gas for outboard, along with a multitude of chores on board...bending on the sails, a shelf for the lazarette where the autopilot now occupies the bottom half....stowing, stowing, stowing....wanted to do sea trials today but woke to rain and wind so hopefully tomorrow...have tested the new Pactor modem (loaner thanx SilverGirl) three times now and connected flawlessly so big relief on the communications front...the lists are growing shorter....looking at the weather window with help from our wx router on Orcas Island...large low pressure system  coming out of PNG....take a pass on that one but would be very convenient to ride the back of it going chart and changed the waypoints through the Great Barrier Reef...a little local knowledge about bommies in one of the passes so staying with the shipping lane through Palm Passage....Toketie is close to ready and we are not far behind.....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

one giant step.....

There must be something masochistic about this cruising life!

A month on the hard, and I know now why they call it 'the hard', climbing a rickety aluminum ladder 20 times a day, dirt and dust from the city, noise from the workers...nothing is ever clean…as the saying goes…"cleanliness is next to impossible"….so many chores…the day starts at first light and carries on as long as I can stand it…problems to solve, issues to deal with….eating in pubs or the rare treat in the yacht club….no head so you pee in a bottle…no way this old guy is climbing that ladder at night….but as all things…this too shall pass…and now…

I sit at the yacht club dock…rocking gently, the gentle scream of the wind generator telling of things to come….soft music and wine to study 'the list'….the never ending list, you take one thing off and add two more….but it is planned chaos and the universe is unfolding as it should….today very dear friends from our experience on the river in Bundaberg came by, on their way to Darwin for the Indonesian rally, oh that we could be joining them…but as Brutus said

"There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures"

So onwards….may the autopilot steer true, the gps report as required and the communications systems function to keep those far away enjoined in the voyage!

Crew arrives Thursday….provisioning, stowing, bending on of sails, sea trials….and customs clearance to find our way through the Great Barrier Reef, to dodge many other lumps en route to the Solomon Islands….it's a great life if you don't weaken !!

and some pics to prove it.....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

bottom job!

Must be getting close to 'splash' time when the bottom gets painted!  I know, it's really boring...guess you had to be there!  Hopefully have some shots of the crane lifting Toketie back in on Monday....

On another front...had a bit of rain this morning so the ground was wet when I tested the problem with the Pactor hoping getting back in the water will resolve the issue!  Maybe just a lesson in 'remaining grounded'....

Have waypoints to Honiara in the Solomons, then Majuro Atoll in the Marshals.... then a big leg back to Vancouver Island!

You know how sometimes things just seem to fall all over themselves to happen?  Well this seems to be one of those times....something is inexorably leading me on to some destiny....hopefully a crowd of happy people in the Inner Harbour of Victoria at the end of August....but that's a lot of water under the keel so I try not to guess what tomorrow will bring!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Autopilot installed!

Well, I've been back in Aus for almost a month now!  It has been a busy real damage to report but the systems have taken a bit of 'waking up' after hibernating in the tropics for six months!  So to amuse myself and perhaps aid in the journey back home, I have installed an Autopilot with a hydraulic linear drive that pushes the quadrant to maintain a course.  The mounting of the drive unit was the greatest they call them 'engineers' but I would say they are skilled metal fabricators....either way the young fellow I found to help mount the drive was quite willing to take on the challenge and it was a challenge!  Mounting it in the aft compartment of a double-ender, with very little space to work in was challenging enough but mounting it at an angle to match the plane of the rudder post made it even more interesting.  Anyway, after a lot of to and froing, we got it done and then I proceeded to install the electronics to drive it.  Still a bit of an issue sending Raymarine Heading data to it but think I have found a solution.  Sea trials have to await the imminent launch date on May 21st....which is to be followed by crew arrival, provisioning and a long day to get through the Great Barrier Reef to open sea!

The Pactor modem is acting up so hopefully I can settle it down and report our position along the way, not to mention downloading weather data!

The plan is to aim for Honiara in the Solomon Islands and after a brief stop to take on whatever is needed continue on a 1000 mile leg to the Marshalls where a second crew member will join us for the long leg back to Vancouver Island.  The plan, however, like all cruising plans is firmly written in the sand at low tide, subject to the vagaries of the powers of the sea!

Here are some pics of the autopilot install...wish I could as easily photograph the emails and phone calls to get it working.....:)

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


...third crew member has arrived but needs to be 'installed'.....take a bit of 'engineering'....need to name him/her...'Otto' seems so boring....there is 'Hydra' for the many headed beast but that has connotations....maybe just 'push the button and go'...bit long....oh well, get it in and see what it wants to be called....