22 Nov 2006: 22 November 2006 - Oops tripped over and ended up at Nara again.
Having been in the marina for too many days, been able to harness the wind obligates you to head to the islands. Once again, Nara is easy, and the anchorage just inside to the right has almost become my property.
From the comfort of this spot, log onto the Internet with Next G, sort out a web site or two, take a few phone calls and then be ever so pleased to see friends come through the heads.
Next thing Ben and Greta are over for lunch, and no! Ben you can't go get your smokes ... have some champagne instead. I made the mistake of going out with them the other night with the ensuing shots, pool, beer, more shots, dancing was only capped off by the kiss on the cheek from a German tourist (male) - I didn't even think he liked me! Ha!
29 Nov 2006: 29 November 2006 - Brisbane Comedy Bar, Dockside
With a couple of hectic days put together for Brisbane it is important to find some time to enjoy. What better way to take advantage of being in town then to roll about the place laughing at the Brisbane Comedy Bar, at Kangaroo Point, with some good company and gourmet pizza for dinner.
With 5 acts through the night and the quality MC work from that local radio bloke, it just kept better and better. Best for mine was the fresh work from the guy from Ghana, or was it Girana... with spot comedy from armed hold up training and then his fight with the CAPS and Ins key while using MSN.
What a great night out and highly recommended.
01 Dec 2006: 1 December 2006 - Thank you Telstra
I was recently contacted by Telstra and invited to put my story on one of their web sites where people talk about their success with Next G techology. There is little doubt that my story is definitely a success story for them and me. Using their Internet connection and phone, I am currently at Cid Harbour sending this blog entry.... and in recent days, I have even been webcaming from the boat back to friends on land.... with the camera pointed forward through a cabin window.... so they can see the view! WOW! If I can just work out how to commercialise it, I will set up Sail TV!
02 Dec 2006: 2 December 2006 - Macona Inlet
The end of the Sailing Club calendar each year includes a group cruise to Macona Inlet, for a BBQ dinner. With little else to do on the beach there, the assembled crowd of 50+ set about getting very very drunk. Beware of the unseasoned first timers to get way to much on, or step about the place in high heal shoes. This must be OK for the Sydney north shore :-)
Anyway, a happy night was had by all - so its all good.
Highlight for the night was Bob on the guitar. This very accomplished fella, grey beard an all sat on a rock and knocked out classic after classic to the cheers of the somewhat debauched crew.
03 Dec 2006: 3 December 2006 - Who's got my cricket set?
With the recent return of Charlie and Betty from the Lousiades, I have had the opportunity to enjoy stories from this wonderful island group at the South Western tip of Papua New Guinea. Amongst the tales of happy people living a simple life of fishing and fun that is completely devoid of reality TV, advertising, crowds and conflict.
Amongst the photos, they took great glee by enquiring if I had missed the cricket set that I purchased a couple of months ago and left laying their home.... Turns out, my friends had put the cricket set into their bag of goodies for gifts and barter items for use in the islands... and my cricket set was handed to the a bunch of islands kids who took up the game with great enthusiasm based upon 10 minutes of expert coaching from Charlie and fellow cruisey, Frank.
What a worthy home and what a great afternoon they had.
It seems that I am destined to join Charlie and Betty (and 5 other boats) for a Lousiades adventure September 2007. Now that is a trip worth looking forward to!!
04 Dec 2006: 4 December 2006 - What another dear motor!
Having been out at Mandalay Point for a day of boat work, epoxy and sanding, I was having a short motor back to the harbour when one of my Yammies started to sound very crook. After some extended diagnosis - well past my 10 minute rule for engines (if I can fix it in the 10 minutes, replace it)... I ended up purchasing a BRAND NEW motor. At $4k a throw, its a bit of a nuisance, but far cheaper than replacing a diesel.
So much sooner than you can say, here's my Mastercard, Dot Com found herself high and dry on Cannonvale beach and motors being changed. Being careful in the planning, I had gone up a hour after the biggest tide of the month, to ensure that I would float the next day. The overnight tide was much smaller and as a result, the water only lapped at the back of the boat. With the new motor in place (thanks Terry and Harry), the next mornings tide saw Dot Com slip easily off the beach and back to the comfort of Abel Point marina.
06 Dec 2006: 6 December 2006 - Storkeys.com
Teaming up with local real estate agents of long experience and integrity, www.storkeys.com came to fruition for Mike and Lesley Storkey. Storkeys Team now provides prestige real estate services long overdue for Airlie Beach, Hamilton Island and the entire Whitsundays.
Already up and running are some very nice units on Hamilton Island, and more to come in a site that features a lot of the best features that I have to offer and soon more!
If you have time, check it out!
17 Dec 2006: 17 December 2006 - Tourism Christmas Party
Having little opportunity for festive celebration, E Central (me) subscribed to integrating the E Central party into the TW Christmas party. Having a theme of "Something Christmassy", the imagination soon came up with Three Wise Men. True to form and the popular joke, I was only able to find one other wise man... local fella Terry Stevens. The difference between him and me - he really is a WISE man.
So soon enough, draped in old sheets, towels and cheap table runners for sashes we made a grand entrance at the event accompanied by other accomplice, looking similarly troublesome in his "fallen angel" garb.
The rest is a blur, but included too much white wine, eating pavlova inappropriately, and spawning the joke when asked about the 3rd wise man. "The third wise man is rotting in a Bali jail, having been caught trafficking Myrhh.
In the end, we took away a $500 prize for the wise men, and $250 to Andy .... as there was no one else even close!
Finally, the bell was rung about 2am after the mistake of dumping Tequila into an already intoxicated body... It goes without mention that the next day was marked as a rest day with the Cumberland Christmas party that night.... and the theme "Something Christmassy". But that night is another story.
25 Dec 2006: Knock knock - Who's there?
With Christmas festivities out of the way, a drive in the convertible, a buzz in the dinghy, and being generally grateful for everything that I have, there was one thing left to do - Go for a sail.
With mate Joey onboard, the twilight watched Dot Com slip from Abel Point Marina and head across the Whitsunday passage. With little cloud, the billion stars of the Milky Way sparkled overhead.
With no particular destination in mind, we tracked with the wind and tide to arrive at Cid Harbour, anchoring half eleven.
The morning showed incredibly calm conditions with little noise apart from the neighbourhood turtles stopping by cup of sea-grass. Boxing day had begun.
26 Dec 2006: Boxing Sailing
Ham and cheese toasties out of the way, and the Whitsunday Peak climb aborted due cloud cover, there was little else to do but go the beach. Yes, the great Australia Boxing day ritual of avoiding the sales and heading the beach was in play on Dot Com (in lieu of there being any shops at Cid Harbour)
In shore at waist depth there was bearly time to scrub one water line before realising that there was a Sydney Hobart start to watch. There was a made scurry (at approximate walking pace) to motor to television reception, find a suitable place for the aerial and settle in for a tube in front of the tube.
Mate Joey is pretty handy with internet stuff, so the next couple of hours were spent trying to get Dot Com's position to appear in Google earth... after seeing the Syd Hob shown on same.... (Google Earth if you have not seen it, is an amazing view of the earth that is open to all sorts of opportunities. )
Anyway, despite the techno-skills, we could get the globe to spin and zoom to Cid, but no dot for Dot Com - Booo!
Not to worry, a N E seabreeze had filled providing a leisurely sail back to Airlie Beach, just in time for a couple more odd jobs and prepare to go out skippering for 3 nights on a vessel very similar to Dot Com...
29 Dec 2006: Girls, girls, girls
With little to in the Xmas - New year period, its always relieving to have a skipper job come along.... This is the second year in a row that such work has fallen in my lap. It would seem that for some reason there is a shortage of skilled people about Christmas time and I have quite fathom it.
Anyway 3 nights on the water on a sailing cat similar to Dot Com provided opportunity for new friendship and sharing my passion for the Whitsundays, with the downside being that the 7 pax, likely meant 3 doubles + 1....
Imagine my surprise to find that the 7 crew were all Aussie girls under the age of 22! Soon enough, we were anchoring in Nara, snorkelling Cateran, racing and whooping in my go fast dinghy and watching 6! Hours of "Sex in the City" episodes.
The final highlight was some good weather and survivor type experience of a 4 hour walk up Whitsunday Peak and back. Shame about the zero vis... and on the way back we all ended up quite fed up with climbing over slippery boulders to make John's "speciality" shortcut to the beach, which took forever.
Another happy trip in the Whitsundays. There is always room for more.
31 Dec 2006: Happy New Year
The past few new years, only being "nearly theres" was reason enough to try a bit harder in the end of 2006. Starting early seemed to be the key.
Bacon and egg breaky, followed by a massage, meant there was just enough time for a little work, shopping and snooze before heading into the heart of Jubilee pocket to Chuck and G's.
Several games (cricket, PS 2 and Roulette) later, the assembled group proceeded procession style down the block behind the VW convertible towing the esky making racket and commotion was we went.
After fun at a mystery party it was time for town, where Capers beaconed as one of the few quality places in town not cover-charging. Mate Joey and I tried unsuccessfully to drown ourselves in Champs, finding that bottle at the door was only a prop for Verve.
Soon enough, dancing, Tequila and stupidity dissipated into streamers, balloons and horns on the foreshore of Airlie Beach proper, was fireworks let go.
2007 is billed as a big one as this black sheep enters his 40 year within weeks. That will leave a whole year to plan my 40th!
02 Jan 2007: E Central Beach
After eyeing the beach just inside Nara, right side for a while now, it was finally time to put it to work as a landing site for Dot Com. Soon enough after high tide, it was time to nudge and hold Dot Com against the grainy sanding slope of the newly named "E Central Beach", where Dot Com could now regularly be found.
With Dot Com high and dry, there was time to check the hull, scrub the waterline and try out the range of tents that came with the boat. The boom tents are excellent, covering the entire cockpit and provide essential shade from the mid summer hot.
From this great spot, Internet and phone still worked, so it was ideal for busting out a few web changes. It also proved pretty handy for watching over the coming and going charter and bare boats.
03 Jan 2007: Home the long way
With another big tide appearing on this morning, Dot Com was soon afloat and drifting off the beach. With little reason to rush back to civilisation, with the peg was reset in 4 odd metres of water and enjoy E Central Beach front just a little off shore. The best thing about being on the beach or just off was the extra protection from wind and wave.
In shallows, the colour of the water over sand and coral is beautiful.
With this beauty absorbed, the sails were set for a reach down the Whitsunday Passage from Nara, rounding the south side of South Molle. In the distance was something large in Shute Harbour. It could only be one thing... The new "cruise ship" for Fantasea. Not that big, this vessel has been bought in from Italy, to provide extended luxury cruises around the Whitsundays. A wonderful idea for the travel set that don't want to drink cask wine with backpackers on retired maxi yachts. I am sure the price will be a little higher though...
Sailing back out of Shute harbour, the outgoing tide carried us easily to Pioneer Point and back into Airlie.
04 Jan 2007: 3 days, 2 nights Cruise
For some time now, the local charter industry has semantically glossed their charter products by announcing them as 3 days and 2 nights, even though they manage to cram it inside 48 hours - I am still trying to work out the maths behind that one.... and I am pretty clever!
Regardless of the way you hold your tongue, 2 or 3 nights on the water in the Whitsundays gets you to some very nice places with the minimum of pressure having to hump clothes and food onto Dot Com.
This time out your cruising companions include Birgit, Chuck, Gee and pommie mariner, Jordie (not his real name apparently). Over-catered, but seemingly short on meat, the first anchorage will be Stonehaven. Its a nice sail from Airlie in the regular South-East breeze. Upon reaching the destination, there will be some circles and the opt for Baird Point, which is very protected and offers reasonable holding just off the bommie line.
Perfect for sunsets too and watch the rich people at Hayman from afar. "There goes Hayman" is the call as the boat drifts back and forth at anchor.
Drinks and nibbles are soon being enjoyed on the cabin top. The peace and solitude ideallic.... until the arrival of one backpacker boat, then another, then two more, then another and finally another. Somehow, Dot Com and crew were now part what would appear to be a Thursday night backpacker boat rally point... Booo...
They will soon be sorry. Little do they know that Dot Com is armed with one of the best anchorage clearing devices known to man - Karoke. Yep, Chuck has "Singstar 80's" of his PS2, which is soon enough plugged into the tele, which is now propped for full view in the cockpit.
Soon enough the drinks lubricated the situation suitably to have very bad renditions of Material Girl, Simple Minds and Karma Cameleon radiating out across the bay.
The fun continued to well after lights out on the boats around.
05 Jan 2007: Day 2 - God bless her and all who sail in her
With the tide flooding, its an ideal time to head south in the Whitsundays. The tidal run assisting at the rate of 1 to 2 knots (2-4km/h) with your destination at higher lats. Unfortunately, your cruising cat has not really learned to sail to Windward yet, so a long reaching sail across the passage to "Bang" North Molle Island and back again, snugs you in behind Whitsunday Island just as the tide turns. The destination: Cid Harbour. Tacking in the calm waters behind the huge island of Whitsunday is very pretty. Punching further south Cid will soon be found and makes for an ideal stopover adjacent Sawmill Beach. Unexpectingly, there is soon the call to move again. March flies are ravenous at this location ... Close to the beach is not always ideal.
Moving to a location with plenty of breeze, but still in the wonderful Cid, we are soon joined by friends Pam and Simon, who refer to Cid as corporate headquarters.
After a casual afternoon of friendship and a couple of drinks, Pam and Simon clear out just before Singstar makes a repeat appearance. The competition has increased with challenges being thrown down left and centre for head to head singing - where the scores mount as do the busted high notes.
Jordie, perhaps the shy one, is even using the full range of his northern English reserve to raise his evaluation by the PS2 as "Awful" to "Beginner". Tough crowd, Jordie.
The fun proceeds until everything bar the liquer Tequila has disappeared... The skipper somewhat impressed with the resilience of the crew drinking the famed "Fruit Lexia" - Yike.
06 Jan 2007: 6 Jan 2007 - Return to Airlie
With water running out, and other engagements pressing, it was time to head back to Airlie - but no hurry. Coming from Cid Harbour breakfast is served close to the beach North Molle. Over on the beach some hapless holiday makers had pulled up in the rental boat, with a lee shore and waves breaking. Trouble was obviously brewing. Within 5 minutes, the accidental North Molle tourists had become castaways, with the dinghy swamped and life jackets floating away at the mercy of the ever pressing sea.
Navy seals launched, a perfect beach landing was made as Chuck and Jordie rolled from the vessel, while skipper powered onto the beach. As the third leaped from the rubber duck, we dodged the machine fire and tossed the dinghy above the tide line. With the snipers quelled with a round of return fire and grenades, we could now safely rescue the sun lovers.
Debris clear, the swamped dinghy was skull dragged into the water and the bucket brigade removed 100's of litres of water from the stricken vessel, while the apparently Dutch husband expressed his embarrassment. With bearly a tear from the small child, hubby, preggy wife and child were slung into the rescued vessel and they sent on their way.
The triumphant team cleaned the beach of remaining debris and ammo, relaunched the duck in style and returned to Dot.Com in time for an early lunch.
After such an exhausting effort, there was a final stop at Poineer Point for photos, debrief and cocktails.
15 Jan 2007: 15 Jan 2007 - Forestay drama
Back in the beach after a highly charged and adventure filled visit to Brisbane, there was no time to be lost but to get back on the water. Stocked, outward bound and headsail unfurled, tracks were being made to the islands.
A bang from the foredeck brought attention to the furler and forestay. (the roll up thing for the front sail and the wire that holds the mast up from the front) - There was immediately apparent that something was wrong upon inspection. Made of approx 15 strands of stainless wire, the forestay had lost the outer set - so most of them - this meant that the forestay (holding the mast remember) was down to about 30% of its strength!
A hasty turn down wind and headsail furl unloaded the rig, motors started and sailing plans curtailed in favour of shelter in Funnel Bay. Safely at anchor, it was apparent that the scheduled replacement of furler, and head sail upgrade was now on the front burner - along with the replacement of the weakened forestay. (A forestay collapse typically comes at the wrong time and usually costs a mast, sails boom, lines, etc ... ie, all the things that you rely upon to sail... damage to vessel and pride - its not something you ever ask for. It was a similar failure that afflicted "Maximus", one of the leading contenders in the 2006 Sydney to Hobart on the first night that ended their race and injured 4 crew)
16 Jan 2007: 16 Jan 2007 - Bob the builder
Not to waste the available time, the safe anchorage was used to continue work on Dot.Com's appearance. Genset firing and sander sanding, the "join" work where the new cabin top was made fast to the hull continue to take on aesthetic improvement. Epoxy being the material of preference, safety gear is essential to ensure a long life despite working with nasty materials.
17 Jan 2007: 17 Jan 2007 - Bob the builder 2
Sanding complete, its time to once again find rough spots and fill them with Epoxy, Q Cell mix. A lovely (nasty) conconction of 2 pot glue and white stuff that floats off on the breeze it not contained well.
Hopefully, this work is nearing completion, so the new roof can be painted and made completely as one with the rest of Dot.Com.
Not to worry, there is plenty of other works to complete and that Forestay still to replace.
18 Jan 2007: 18 Jan 2007 - Telstra Calling
During recent water based escapades, the marketing team at Telstra had been taking an interest in my success with using their Next G internet and phone stuff to make my life fun and flexible. There are not too many people I know enjoying the freedom of location, while enjoying the surroundings, doing a spot of renovation, working and having friends over for days at a time. With no one else left, I have can only envy myself :- )
Anyway, with Telstra keen on the testimonial value of my enjoyment of their gear, they organised a team to come and interview me! In a reality TV type effort, they intend using my mug and chatter in some corporate presentations. At double time, the team arrived from Sydney and before a beer was drunk, had me pretending to coil some ropes on the foredeck as the sun went down... in front of cameras. Luckily, Dot.Com's recent works made her a bit more presentable...
19 Jan 2007: 19 Jan 2007 - Say it again with more feeling!
Uncompromising in their efforts, the film crew were back at Dot.Com at 6am as promised. Friend Andy, had become dinghy driver, adviser and stand in fruit delivery guy. He's so handy, Andy. The crew were only in paradise for 24 hours and looking for as much footage to make up to 2 minutes of John Nayler exposure. At a rapid clip, I was enjoying the paper and coffee on the foredeck, taking delivery of fruit (from delivery boy Andy) and making tracks for the islands.
Chased by a second vessel, I was all but handstanding on the front deck, while making video calls and checking the rigging, Master and Commander style.
Once again at anchor, I was happy and able to honestly tell of my success in using Next G to make my life better while the camera rolled. Video conferenced, keyboards tapped, mouses moved with a "Matrix style" 3 screen surround, it all looked pretty high tech in a island bay surrounding.
Let's hope that it was all worthwhile, with not a dollar changing hands, I happily expect that the compensation will come in other ways. Lucrative Internet consulting contracts in foreign capitals, free stuff from Telstra to test in the rigours of a water based office environment ... and a public speaking tour, talking to business large and small about the real opportunities for work / life balance using Next G enabled phone and computer. Ha ha - John Nayler - the face of Telstra's small business solutions.
21 Jan 2007: 21 Jan 2007 Plumbing day
Sunday, the day of rest for some is just like any other day on Dot.Com. With hundreds of hours still required to make Dot.Com a show pony, today's improvement is taking the water fill from the galley step to a deck fill.
Required: 3 m of water pipe, deck fitting and handy mate.
Today's handy mate is Colin. Mistakenly approaching me in the carpark after I returned with the other materials, Colin's suggestion of coffee is soon focused toward an on board cuppa. Caffeine loaded and topped with chocolate Colin is soon peering over my shoulder and advising on the advancing water pipe installation. In true Huck Finn style, enthusiasm for the project is soon converted into a drill wielding Colin, eager to cut the hole in the deck, with his now "assisting" boat owner undertaking works below deck.
Shortly after, the mission has become a complete success with the hose soon shoved in for the "inaugural fill". God bless her, and all who shower in her - Water can now be easily added to Dot.Com without concern about hoses indoors.
02 Feb 2007: 2 Feb 2007 - Rain Rain, its here to stay
Spending some time away for a birthday may bring more fortune than imagined.
News from home is that its raining, raining, raining. Having supposed to be back in Sydney for a civilised dinner, mate Charlie was out at Proserpine airport to be amongst the 100+ people that were told that their plane was not coming.
Charlie, having being around the Sundays for a number of years knew that the excess rain would mean double trouble for the local roads. With 280 mm falling that night, it would be a challenge for most roads come to think of it.
Not prepared to wait around for news about the flight, Charlie took flight, not the aeronautical kind. Shortly he found himself confronted with long stretches of flood waters over the roads. With his trusty Jackaroo in 4x4, he and co-pilot pressed on to the point where it seemed that the water was getting deeper. Heartened by a Landcruiser coming in the other direction, they shortly returned to the state of "concerned" as the waters threatened to carry them off. Not a good thing.
In the end they popped out the other side and made it to back to Airlie.
Left behind was the other 200 people, who spent the night.
So let me set the picture. Proserpine airport, despite a very nice refurb, is essentially a block building with a tin roof, planes on one side, people and cars on the other. You can see it on Google Earth, but its blurry. Because opposition airlines don't talk to each other, the currently stupid situation has both the Virgin Blue and Jetstar flights arriving at the same time, which makes it creak at the seems with 600 odd passengers + friends try to make good with their arrival or departure plans.
Catering to the dining and snack needs of the travellers is a friendly cafeteria with nice sanga's, a pie, a limited number of ales and spirits, and my personal favourite, a moderately stocked tub of ice creams.
Not seeing the impending situation clearly, the cafe made record sales during to the afternoon, only to find that by sun down, they were sharing the last of the chewies.
Suffice, the women and children got an uncomfortable place to sleep, the rest got really uncomfortable places to sleep. By morning, the flavour had absolutely left every chewie making the morning rescuers very welcome.
09 Feb 2007: 9 Feb 2007 - Ready to sail again
Having "dropped" $4k on a new highly recommended Profurl furler C42, the pointy end of the boat (does that apply to cats) is now looking fab-o with a collection of shiny metal things.
A headsail furler for the uninitiated, is a system that allows the head sail or front sail to be rolled up onto the front wire of a yacht or cat. This allows easier gather and release of the headsail and to some extent reduce the amount of sail being used. Key to the furling system is the drum, which has a coil of rope on it while the sail is out, which you pull off and unwind, to wind up the sail.
The trap for young players in this area is that not all furlers are born with the same "track" for the sail to mount on ... and someone I know did not check that the old headsail "boltrope" would fit the new track... Thus some embarrasing moments and an $80 bill from my sail maker to change it.
Anyway, today marked the returned of the sail to the track - thus making Dot.Com ready to tackle the trials and tides of lolling around in paradise.
To mark the event, a magic sunset was delivered by the big guy and settled over the ranges at the NW of Airlie for a great opportunity to sit with a quiet ale on the foredeck as the perfect cool of evening descended on the marina.
15 Feb 2007: 15 Feb 2007 Induction Cruise
With reasonable weather and a couple of chores racked up it was time to take to the water again. Aided now by new inductee, Joey and a bit of food, we headed out into the passage to try and head south on the Easterly breeze.
With the breeze shifting in the new steering configuration at issue, we soon found ourselves at anchor in the Dent Passage oppo the island resort of Hamo.
This anchorage is most popular during busy periods in the Whitsundays as an alternative spot to through out the peg and watch the bustle of Hamo from a distance.
Joey meanwhile was hard at the grind, taking position at the 2nd notebook on board and punching into a new project. Joey is very handy and I had consented to him approaching the new project with his favoured and dear to heart open systems language of PHP. Unfortunately, a number of problems appeared and my inability to assist saw the decision to move the project to my preferred and deeply experienced Active Server Pages. This way I could educate Joey on the E Central way and assist - Good move!
To celebrate progress in the project - there was only one thing to do - Head to the Hamo Yacht Club for a couple of drinks.
Being a Wednesday night it was soon clear that island did not have the opinion that it was a party night. The bloke on the door soon cleared the air - Tuesday and Friday's are big, with the numbers swelled with the staff (Tuesday must be pay day)
With the new information in hand, it was time to high speed dinghy back to DOT.COM across the tidally moving Dent Passage.... Its only about 2 minutes tops at 20 knots!
16 Feb 2007: 16 Feb 2007 Burning Point expidition
With time to spare and no need to back at Hamo until Friday, it made sense to move on to some other place. The weather was clearish, and sailing from Dent to the East of Hamo the setting sun supplied a splash / dash of golden colour.... Turning South, the assisting flood tide shot us down to Burning Point, Shaw Island in double time.
The steering adjustments had continued and now too twitchy, the rudders and helm caught in a cabin belonging to 3 bears... The auto pilot stuck with the uneasy job of Red Riding Hood in a too much, too little scenario that was quite disconcerting...
Joey continued his punching the keyboard, with the new site coming forward at a rapid clip, while I maintained some other sites.
With some Mexican washed with Red wine feeding the night, the perfect night demanded some laying about outside to ensure the universe was in order.
17 Feb 2007: 17 Feb 2007 Buring point and return to Hamo
With a big tide coming in till 10am, and a perfect day above, the waking sound of anchors up bought Joey on deck. With boards up, Dot.Com needs only 600mm of water - making it perfect for beach approaches when able.
Soon enough the anchor was set in about a metre of water and the stern tied to a tree. With a hull check scheduled.... we peered over the side at the teaming numbers of stingrays, which we observed from a safe distance.
At some point our flat friends moved on to something else than basking in the shallows and we ventured into the water to find quite a large amount of growth on the hull of Dot.Com. Joey displayed more all round skills, having cleaned quite a number of boats in his time - so we took a hull each and got busy.
With a mid afternoon commitment to photographing happy Hamo staff starting 2pm, there was barely time to chuck a donut to capture some video footage of Burning Point for YouTube and Cumberland Charter Yachts' web site. Video on the net is the next big thing... and you can catch my handwork using YouTube to promote the Whitsundays at here
Done as past Club Med Lindeman, we were soon at Hamo, just in time for a clearing squall and fd (fast dinghy) to Hamo. The next hour was buggy riding and photos - happy staff everywhere, along with bumping into some old contacts which would make something for later that night.
Back at the boat, Joey was now fast become an ASP guru, with the gathered photos growing the resources to make the art work of the new site.
After some dinner and bit of kip, a late jump to the islands' night life was prepended with a number of Tequila shots which I would later regret.
On island, Joey and I met up with my old acquiants and a couple of drinks later wondered what was going to come of the thumping base of the nightclub, that we had somehow found ourselves transported into.
Dumb faced and slightly tipsy, I threw on my favourite nightclub decoy, shaking it harder than John Trav morphed with MC Hammer. Joey meanwhile, had attracted the attention of a very nice lass stopping over for a couple of days from Scotland.
Before you say "What do you mean last song?" we were on the harbour front street with 200 other patrons. With little option it was back in FD for some slow flying back to Dot.Com.
18 Feb 2007: 18 Feb 2007 Heavy head and sail home
With a slightly heavy head, it became obvious that I had too much fun last evening.
During this day there was much laying about, consumption of water, fish and chips ... just in time for Uncle Nev to turn up on the Hamo ferry for the sail home.
With swelling crew numbers we dashed across the passage through a squall, turning up in a slightly disorienting position down near Pine island.... not to worry, we were just taking the scenic route. Ha
While rockmelon was consumed and the islands observed, Unc Nev was getting some basic computer training at computer position 1. With Joey at workstation 2, seemingly ready to eat his own arm rather than convert completely to the temple of Microsoft as some of the inadequacies of active server pages showed themselves....
Soon enough we were back in Abel Point Marina, just in time for some tea.
28 Feb 2007: 28 Feb 2007 Fame - but where is the fortune?
At the recent Telstra share holder meeting, I had my first outing for my new career as the face of Telstra small business. Part of a 3 minute presentation, my "mug" signed off the introduction to the benefits of the new Next G network. Only joking about the title, its one that I have bestowed upon myself.
While it doesn't pay, it is fun and exposure can't be valued. Is it not better to me a millionaire of fun and happiness anyway?
Below, I have loaded "my bit" onto YouTube - conversion has buggered the lip sync - but you get the idea :-)
Now, double click the play button in the centre of the picture below:
Mate Derek, has suggested that this text would be better for my advertisement.
"My business is E-thanol which is an alleged internet consultancy. I live in the Whitsundays where even Centrelink are convinced I have a job, the ocean is my toilet. Before Next G I had to return to the harbour to restock the bar fridge, now I can just stay out on the ocean pissed and order more grog via the internet. I’ve tested a range of alcohol extensively over the years but it’s only with Jack Daniels I find the freedom from stress that I want. It’s so good I can’t even remember what I am supposed to be saying. I can’t remember who my clients are either but they seem to enjoy the big porn files I send them.
Next G technology allows me to drink whatever I want, wherever I want and whenever I want which is all the time."
09 Mar 2007: Next Stop - The Nation's Press
Fresh from driving local friends crazy with spot in the Telstra presentation, the request has come through to use me in a nationwide print campaign. Having caught the imagination of Telstra marketing execs with the quality of my lifestyle, I will shortly appear in newspapers and magazines. Who knows where this could end? To make the most of it, more photos were required. By picking and film and photo mates from Hamo recently.
Selecting a spot on the northern tip of Dent Island, the palm tree background, blue sky and clear water were a perfect backdrop for some hamming it up, phone and notebook in hand while Gee snapped away.
The resulting photos narrowed to just a few that should start appearing during March 2007.
10 Mar 2007: Real Estate done right
The culmination of recent hard work is baring fruit for my Real Estate agent clients, Storkeys' Team. The site, logo and function that I have designed for them now enjoys over 30 properties, a significant number of which being prestige properties on Hamilton Island. While my ongoing consultancy brings constant improvement to their site, the really nice part is being backed up by Chuck www.spotonvideos.com and Gee Sanhueza www.photographybyg.com. This dynamic pair are capturing impressions of top of market properties and presenting them online as masterpieces. Gee's photos are great and Chuck's rock video approach to property presentation makes everyone feeling like buying property. A great example of this is the Yacht Harbour Towers 2 property on Hamilton Island. Contained in an entire floor of a centrally located high rise, this property has a whopping 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, making it an ideal hang for groups, couples and families. Wow. Take a look at Yacht Harbour Towers 2, remembering to register to take a look at the video.
13 Mar 2007: Late night stock trading
I love sleep. Anyone that has spent any amount of time with me, knows that I love sleep.... as I have probably nodded off in their company.
So if I am staying up, then it had better be a good reason. Enter the lair of the stock market training group at Stock Course - Noosa. Cameraman Chuck in tow, we flew to Brisbane, drove to Noosa just in time to be late to start rolling on for advertising and testimonial value.... The reward, some great new knowledge and training on trading the Q's. This imaginary beast is a thing that you get to bet on with Puts and Calls.
This knowledge in hand and cold hearted logic overriding emotion, one is supposed to make 7% per night... After 4 hours of training, a dinner break, and an opportunity to meet some of the students, the market opened. !!
We expect the market to TANK further, with bear activity.... but we pushed through 1.30am watching a green and red graph oscillating like a gentle ripple on a pond. Lyn is behind me right now insisting that lunch is coming and that could yield some activity.... I am not convinced and happy to call it a night.... Good night.
17 Mar 2007: 19 March 2007 - On the double
Taking advantage of the YouTube opportunity, we are creating video experiences for each of the vessels in the Cumberland Charters fleet.
Here is a rough of the first one.
Its a tough life for some
22 Mar 2007: 22 March 2007 - Channel Whitsunday makes the paper
Local rag and read by all has given coverage to www.channelwhitsundays.com, the new adventure for Chuck and I. Slated at the international coverage angle, WT has quoted champion of the cause, Rogin saying he was not sure about what YouTube was, but none the less happy with the exposure for the issue. Chuck is a bit out of sorts that it quotes only my name, but I intend to make it up to him :-)
04 Apr 2007: 4 April 2007 Hello Belgium
Long time friend from Belgium, Fem has recently become "between jobs". We would not want say that she is unemployed, desperate, or just wandering the world at the moment, she IS committed to a job back in the home land, with another one waiting! With a long career in market research ( the kind where you dim the lights and sit in bean bags - weird eh?), 30+ countries and 5 languages she has skills that few have.
Having met her in NZ 2 years ago and travelling with her was fun. We criss-crossed the South island in her $2000 yellow Nissan Coupe.
This time, she dropped into the "Sundays" for a bit of relaxation and some sailing...
Pity the weather was not better. Consistent high winds and occasional rain throughout the time meant for a dreary time at Hamilton (only spiced up by our Whitsunday Sailing Club group being tossed out of the Marina tavern) and a couple of cancelled attempts to get to Whitehaven. Highlights instead included the Tsunami warning for the Queensland coast - which I found a bit comical as have that thing at there... what was it called.... the Great _____ Reef.... That's right "Barrier!". Yep, long after global warning has killed the reef, bleaching all its colourful inhabitants, it will remain as a semi-submerged wall between de ocean and the majority of the Queensland coast line.
The other great place that we found was just around the corner from Stonehaven, opposite Hayman island. There is a little pad of sand, and sandy beach that makes a great spot to "park up" in Dot Com, keels and motors up sitting on the sand at low tide beautiful. I cleaned the hull, we had some lunch, grabbed some photos and then headed back to Airlie.
12 Apr 2007: 8 April 2007 - Brisbane or bust
With commitments in Brisbane for Easter and a 50th birthday party, a road trip was in order. Just how much can you cram into easter. We find out.
Shoot story for channelwhitsundays.com
Drive out of town with Belgium friend, Fem.
Open air motor through the night and the Marlborough stretch, full moon over head
Arrive Rocky hotel
Kill "in room" Cochroach before turning in
Drive to parents place at Howard
Drop Fem to Hervey Bay
Catch up with family
Drive to Cleveland, Brisbane just in time to board 43 foot French built cat
Chase Brisbane to Gladstone start
Get some photos
Arrive Mooloolaba 7pm
Find some late night street front dining
Bus / Train back to Brisbane
Have lunch with friend
Visit another friend
Race to buy birthday present
Arrive for shower and dress 1/2 hour before the arrival of maxi taxi
Drink, dance and have fun
Wake to 8am phone call to be somewhere for coffee
8.15 have coffee
Drive noosa for client visit
Drive parents for more catch up
Drive Airlie for Tuesday interview and photoshop for magazine coverage of channelwhitsundays.com
14 Apr 2007: 14 April 2007 Airlie Beach Markets
On the hustle for channelwhitsundays.com has been fun. Already, Chuck and I have made a splash at the TW networking functions, spoken to pollies, and put ourselves in front of some community organisations and event coordinators.
But it came to time to put ourselves in front of a large number of locals.... and the best way to do that is the Airlie Beach Markets. Conducted every Saturday morning by the local Lions club, these markets have a good array of local products, friendly characters in a beach side location. Wonderful.
During the morning we showed off the site, talked to a lot of people and gave out a mountain of business cards. To also got the camera rolling to do a spot on the markets.... and the best one... sucked in some people with our screen test. We asked a few people to read out a couple of cards to see if they could cut it behind our newsdesk. The first page was easy, the second page .... well you can see what happened at channelwhitsundays.com
With focus on fun and the community, there is sure to be more of this kind of behaviour.
Despite the early days of online broadcasting being upon us, the word was getting out. Through some connections, we found ourselves talking to the Mackay based City Life magazine which is a high quality, glossy coffee shop special, distributed throughout Mackay and the Whitsundays. Must have been a month short of quality stories, as they were soon confirmed a story and decision to that we were "cover worthy".
Shortly after, clothed in the best garb from Beachworx, Airlie Beach (THANK YOU!), Chuck's wife, Gee was snapping up a memory card full of ..... memories. For us, dressing up made for returning to childhood games. Why stop playing?
The interview occurred via phone, with a 1 hour long conf call that left us short for jokes by the end...
The result, well you can see for yourself. Check out the excellent magazine site, which includes a "turn the page" motif done "way cool" in Flash. www.CityLifeMagazine.com.au
Taking advantage of some great weather here in the Whitsundays the recent Friday saw Dot Com free of her berth and heading out on a video mission. I am currently upgrading the Cumberland Charter Yachts with video circuits of the anchorages, with voice over about the anchorage. We are already getting great reviews, even more so the boat videos I am doing to enable people to see the holiday in action or even just walk through each boat.
With the ready availability of fast Internet and the advent of YouTube and other such sites, the Internet will change gears and become chock a block full of video content. The words and pictures won't go away, by the most popular part will be the videos, where we will go from one to the next.
Anyway, off the soap box!
The first night was May's Bay - with the amazing weather and star filled sky something to be in awe of!
The next morning with the weather perfect, I set off on an attempted circuit of Whitsunday island, stopping at each anchorage to take a full stills and then chuck a 360, much to the intrigue of watchful boaties.
The week prior, I had worked my way across the northern end of Whitsunday island and have already uploaded the videos to www.ccy.com.au
While enjoying this amazing day, Whitsunday island on one side, Hamo on another, I had a surprise phone call. Gee (Chuck's wife) had been planning to start a photo shoot on Fantasea Ammari (a-mar-ee) starting the next day. One fella had dropped out and she need someone else to take his place ... being photo'd on this new lux cruise ship. After some protest about the suitability of my appearance, we I was confirmed to be the one..... Dot Com was turned tail and pointed toward Airlie Beach for a early Saturday arrival and shortly thereafter transfer to board Ammari. O MY GOD!
04 May 2007: 04 May 2007 Fantastic Fantasea Ammari
Armed with fist full of coat hangers carrying loaned clothes and some select items from my robe, I joined the assembly of 8 people in the group for the shoot.
Gee photographing, Chuck assisting, Jenny and Tony playing the older couple, myself, Jacqueline and young Cedar playing the newly weds or family, and finally Jody, our Fantasea marketing leader.
Dressed to cruise ship class we started shortly there after, photographed getting on the tender, transferring to the ship, listening to the briefing, etc. The vessel is amazing, the staff terrific and the clients accommodating! The continuing perfect weather from the last few days made for immediate plans for the vessel to head straight out to Fantasea's outer reef, "Reefworld" platform for the first night.
The next shoot was sunset, and a change of clothes later, we were on the upper deck once again posing. Working quickly in the perfect sunset, the happy couples / family paraded for Gee and the film crew. The next surprise was the request from the video cameraman for myself and Jacqueline to kiss. Being completely professional :-) ... HA! ... we were soon lip to lip in front of one of the most perfect sunsets on record.
The days that followed were similar. Sunrise photos, relax, lunchtime photos, relax, action photos, relax, dinner photos. It was actually pretty easy. The rest of the time was our own as guests of this 5 star moving resort as it went to the reef, Whitehaven, Langford reef / Stonehaven, and then back to Hamo.
The final night was probably the highlight. After dressing up for another sunset - this time for a mock wedding, skipper, bouquet and all... the friendships with staff and guests made for the opportunity to carry on the theme of the evening till the end... Let the mock wedding continue! Dared to do that song from "Ghost", I was soon singing rather badly while my limelight loving mock wife showed off her belly dancing prowess.
Dinner was more of the same. Dared to get up and do a speech, I took the mike from the guitarist and thanked various people, acknowledged the beauty of my mock wife and thanked Uncle Don and Aunty Karen (paying guests of Ammari) for coming all the way from Lake Taho for the event. Uncle Andy (another paying guest) then got up and said a few things as well, did the telegrams, and took on the role quite nicely.
The crew then supplied more entertainment as we moved the party back to the bar with Karoke, dancing and a few too many drinks on a magic boat, in magnificent Stonehaven under a perfect full moon night sky.
What a great theme party to have, a pretend wedding ... and a great way to re-experience married life with out halving the bank account!! :-)
06 May 2007: 6 May 2007 Wintemoon weekend.
Reputed in the local area is the Wintermoon Festival, now in its 11th year. For some months, friends Terry Kemp and family have suggested that I come along with them and sample the folk flavours ... with them going the xtra mile and purchasing a ticket for me on hearsay.
Lucky me. Wintermoon rocks (in a folksie way).... and luckily, we organised the cameras to be there for channelwhitsundays.com. With a short phone call, Chuck and assistant were on the FOC list and when they turned up Sat night, were able to take themselves by car to the main stage - lucky them.
My efforts had started some hours before, finding friend, fun and flavour from early in the day. There were plenty of people that I knew and the Kemps very welcoming. There was even other "stars" from the cruise ship modelling that were camped a surprising 20 metres away.
With 3 stages going simil, there was always something going on. There was fun for the kids, with maypole, waterslide, hoola hoops, etc.... (Did I just say they were for the kids?)
As it turned out, I stayed over for the two nights, with the dance party being the best part for mine. Rocking to the up-beat positive vibe went till ONLY a reasonable hour.
In the fun stakes, this was only closely tagged by the stream that runs along the site. Every day there were people taking a dip in the slightly cool running waters.... I went to the next level, borrowing a very dodgy 2 man inflatable and riding the (timid) rapids !
It was great fun all round.
Don't believe it....? See it all unfold, log onto www.channelwhitsundays.com and see for yourself in some of Chuck's best video work to date!
19 May 2007: 19 May 2007 - Donna, Karen, Zoe and Eliose
With so much good weather around it is a pleasure to see the arrival of more friends from Brisbane - yet more excuse to spend some more time on the the water and go to some special places.
25 May 2007: 25 May 2007 Sanctuary Cove Boat Show
Back in the grind again, I had put the hand up to volunteer at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show 2007 for Cumberland Charter Yachts. Its a mean task, standing all day, talking to nice people about the best holiday in the world, hanging about in the sun, looking at brand new boats.... Day dreaming about sailing adventures around the world. Ho - Hum, poor poor me....
And crap.... I picked up more work.... to do a site for the new Spirited 380. Bugger!! :-) ... and then there was the secret mission for CCY. If we pull it off, it will be a great opportunity for CCY to do something good.
In the final hours of the show, Terry, Tina and I knocked out this little comedy skit with "Marvin the Martian", using the blow up green man from Fusion Electronics..
Time up for grabs after the "Sankie" cove boat show opened up the opportunity to zip over to Perth for some quality time and adventures with Lee. Lee spent some time in Airlie during an attempted migration in 2006. Even though he had looked settled and had purchased half of Pronto the wonder cat, it did work out and so now he is back in the West closer to friends and family.
Such a situation is a boon for this intra-continential travel. Lee is a wonderful host and b4 the bags a barely unpacked and its off sight see Perth from a couple of great angles, including a lovely lunch from the Southern shore of the Swan River looking back to Perth's CBD.
There is also the trip down to "Free-o" (Freemantle) another day. Famous fish and chip lunches, the city walk and a tour of the coastline back to Lee's northern abode at Joondalup.
The long weekend beacons and we book into the 5 star Abbey Beach resort. The sky is perfect, the waters calm. Its seems that the foreshore is protected as public space.... behind the beach and in the dunes is a broad walk that seems to stretch to the entire coastline... which makes for a lovely stroll.
In the evening its down to visit Jason and Denise. Jason is another Airlie beach part time, who loves his guitaring, more than he likes work... or MOST other things. The evening includes live music (at the house), the rounds of the Dunborough night spots including the very hip "Attitude" bar, "The Wine Bar" and the "rubba-dub-dub" = 3 Bears pub.
Its a great night out and includes Denise's mum, who insists on another round of shooters before we can leave to go home!! :-)
At the Altitude bar I was lucky enough to find out that a local new born lad had landed the name "Reign", spelt that way. I made a fuss about this important issue. How many children of the word are ending up with hard to spell names, all in the name of the parent's vanity and desire to "appear different". Don't you realise what you are doing!! The kids is going to be cursed through our life, forced to spend many hours in any given year spelling his/her name to call centres on bad phone connections... probably in India! All the misaddressed letters and badgering at school. If you are going to choose a freaky name, please ensure that its spelling is completely obvious!
Sorry, now off the soap box.
The trip continued to be eventful. We did the rounds of the wineries, enjoying the ambience of lunching at one of them. In the evening, it was off to the Settler's Arms at Margi River. The place was heaving. Not long after arriving the concern about misnamed children erupted again when Lee and I met Tina, Chris and Megan. None of whom could spell Reign correctly. Luckily the reggae music soon started to settling the score and filling the night with music.
This pretty much concluded the week "O W " (Over West) .... Breakfast at Bunker Bay Cafe was yum with great views .... we had also been allowed to dine in our complete scruffie-ness despite the well dressed people prior to us being turned away as "breakfast had finished"..... must have been "feed a dero day"
Back in Airlie Beach now, the weather has turned and the next adventure awaits....
30 Jul 2007: Best weather on record.
With the return to the Whitsundays of friends Mary and Megan all the way from New Jersey, it was time to round up some good weather, some provisions, drag my UK mate/ cameraman from his slumber and head for the islands.
First stop, Nara inlet, where we rendezvoused with Darcy and Vicky. Long time friends from Brisbane, they had won 5 days on a yacht in the Whitsundays. The new little Beneteau 323 was great for the couple... and long time sailor and know it all, Darcy was impressed with the boat... to my amazement. He is a very tough judge! :-)
With a couple of drinks down'd, dinner became a united effort and the parma ham wrapped chicken was sliced and served alongside a yummy chicken and vege dish that Vicky had arrived with...
Next day, we planned to meet up at Cataran Bay, Border island for some snorkelling. Its one of the best places for a snorkel, but we arrived at a low tide.... its best a couple of hours after low... I donned the snorkel gear and made my way across to Darcy and Vicky, who were enjoying a swim also. Imagine the laughter and surprise when I turned up to find that they were skinny dipping... with my expensive dive mask allowing perfect review of the various tackle on display... The joke went on for hours.
Next up we made our way to Hill Inlet, where we anchored Dot.Com in a "hole" adjacent to the Hill inlet look out. It's a great spot to pull up while it exists. The continuously moving sands mean that this spot will soon disappear, but in the meantime, low tide means that you are in 2 metres of water .... in a pond - surrounded by sand. WOW.
And that is perfect.... Perfect for some Playstation Singstar! Yeah!! With just a few drinks on board, the challenge was on for the best voice of the night award, under the stars, with no fear of anybody listening in!! Finishing order for mine was Mary, Megan, Duncan, then myself. I guess I will have to wait until my voice breaks.
Next morning, we did the photo opp at Hill inlet, and captured some footage for www.channelwhitsundays.com for a coming feature about Whitehaven beach. With the tide once again receding, we made it out of the inlet and down to Whitehaven beach, where the shallow draft of DOT.COM allowed us to anchor just 15 metres from shore. The girls went about Whitehaven duties (swimming, sunbaking, walking, frisbees) while the lads fiddled with camera's and shot some more channelwhitsundays.com.
Leaving it as late as possible, we enjoyed the day at Whitehaven and headed around to Hamilton harbour. Despite booking and paying ahead, we found that our allocated berth had been taken by a pesky Bertrum 25... Not to worry, we tied up in a superyacht berth.... Wine and Pizza later, the evening fizzled out from the long day. I managed to assist the tuning of a hifi to a DVD system on a new 35 foot white boat in the next berth. After some further entertainment of the assembled fans, I collected a free bottle of wine and returned to Dot.Com.
The morning came with a knock on the hull. The very apologetic marina lad, informed me that a high ranking employee of the island owned the offending Bertrum and had tied up despite being told not to. He would not reveal the name of the person... Lucky... his name would have appeared in here ________! :-)
Hamo is a great place to spend the morning and a couple of hours were happily spent collecting some baked breakfast and coffee, heading to the One Tree Hill lookout and eating with some of the best weather on record.
After collecting some stuff from Trader Pete's at the marina, and viewing another testimonial appearance in the paper for Telstra, we made for home. Another perfect 3 nights amongst the islands of the Whitsundays. What could possibly be better?
12 Sep 2007: 12 September 2007 - Dot.Com Refit
Having last done some serious work on Dot.Com in May 2006, there has been a lot of unfinished work related to the original replacement of the roof when I purchased the vessel. There has also been a couple of things annoying me about the layout and workings of the boat. Combine this with tired paint and antifoul and its definitely time for a serious haul out.
With the tides high, I enlisted the assist of quality mate Gary to project manage the haulout as we headed up on to Edge's beach - a small clearing in the mangroves in a hidden spot at Edge's boatyard.
Since we beached, we have a two week window of smaller tides to get on the job. The boat is simply parked at a tide level of 3.5m, and the phase of the moon has some of the highest tides heading down to 2.7m. Some days the water won't get to the back of the boat. Gary has been busy coordinating and sanding, while local boatbuilders Rex and Chippie get on with the changes to the wood work and layout.
The saloon settee and table are getting raised about 300mm to give better sight lines while enjoying some lunch, there will also be a vinyl plank flooring going down to really spruce the underfoot. That's the first two things on the list indoors. Out doors, Rex has already chopped in a swim platform, which, with a ladder will make Dot.Com easy to swim off. There are also covers getting made for over the tillers arrangement - previously a work place health and safety concern. (there will be new tillers and rudders too). Rex will also be cutting down the helm station during the next week.
I await the arrival of local stainless guru to start on the a new "Seawind 1000" style seat between the davits... which will make it a great place to sit and watch while sailing.
Lucky for us the September weather is wonderful, warmish days, blue skies and light northerlies. Great sailing weather - but even better boat building / painting weather.
19 Sep 2007: 19 September 2007 - Progress showing.
With the saws and grinders providing a sabre toothed symphony, DOT.COM is showing real signs of change.... Hopefully a butterfly with emerge from the Whitsunday mangroves in the next week or so.
Presently the boat is primed and patched after loosing some soft spots in the exterior finish. The swim platform is well formed up also, making swimming a much more attractive option while aboard. Inside, the new settee gets the once over from Ricky the wonder dog. And we are underway with the new cushions and curtains.
Stainless is another area to splash out. Claude has begun the cockpit seat that will provide great views from high and aft in the boat. A perfect place to watch the world pass by, while the water sparkles underneath.
Now the paint is to be applied, and sanded and applied and sanded. . . and painted.
Recently it I was shocked when it took someone 2 hours to make pancakes.... So I set out to find out - how quickly can you make pancakes?
10 Oct 2007: With the boat back in the water after the majority now being repainted, the real work starts. Re-assembling the vessel is a major time consumer ... and the works not complete yet. The changes are starting to show their true beauty. The higher settee in doors makes it easier to see out while lounging. The paint work looks great and is getting a lot of comment. The nets went back in up the front, re-sewn and tidied up. Access aft is now direct without tripping the steering gear. The aft, over water seat has been refined already, making it wider - and more comfortable.
The most massive improvement is the steering - not something really noticeable to other to than the trained eye. The boat used to have troubles holding course, the simplicity of the rope system comes with some slack normally that meant rudders doing their own thing a bit... and the way it was originally wired - the ropes got in the way of my 3.1m inflatable dinghy when raising into the davits. Now the Spectra lines from the helm feed through 3 roller bearing Ronstan blocks either side and into the enclosed steering gear. We have also employed Ackimens (spelling?) Principle, so that the rudders are at different positions in turns, the "outside" rudder steering a wider arc. You can see it work - its a dream.
Anyway with some sea trials complete, the results are very positive!
Now if I can just get these trades people to finish some jobs... the new fridge, hot water, etc, etc, the list goes on, as does the work.
19 Oct 2007: 19 October 2007 - Time with Doctor John Demartini
With a couple of days to spare, the morning calendar reminded me of the impending course opportunity in Brisbane with Doctor John Demartini.
While working through the morning coffee and sorting out some more boat improvements, I managed to find my way onto his course, onto a flight (leaving in 2 hours), get accommodation.
All from the comfort of DOT.COM parked up nice and neat in front of the Airlie Beach lagoon.
While seemingly expensive once you total air fares and accomm, the few days away proved very fruitful. Catch up with a friend for dinner on arrival, check on a client and then the next couple of days were flat out in Dr John's program for self improvement.
Having done a number of courses in self development, you find that they offer similar outcomes and use similar ingredients. ie, if you ask a chef to serve up Lamb Roast with Port Wine Sauce, he or she is going to use similar ingredients, relatively similar methods to get a relatively similar outcome. Dr John is a little different. In a matter of fact way, laced with baudy humour he keeps you entertained while he explains that all things are brought to balance, never ending happiness a fanciful illusion and proves his case using Quantum Physics. For the techo type punching out this report, the science behind his message is conclusive.
Along the way, there are plenty of book and product purchase opportunities, which are a little more overt than in flight shopping, convincing anecdotes and processes and means to get to a better place.
Overall, I recommend his course "Breakthrough" for anyone seeking a technical, grounded understanding of our life experience. and a means to get a little more from it. He also has some proven, if not slightly tedious processes to help clear emotional baggage for you and your love ones.
In the end there is no question of his intentions, enthusiasm and commitment to the cause of humanity.
23 Oct 2007: 23rd October 2007 - Better Floors
With some serious design changes in doors on Dot.Com in place, there was now provision for attention to the flooring in the vessel. Having used the Karndean Da Vinci product before, it was a simple step to get to the Van Gogh product. Wider panels, but otherwise the same was going to make this stuff even easier to lay.
In stock at the local specialist was the "Antique" flavour of the product and plenty of black beading. The result, wonderful. You can torture your Van Gogh panels any way you like, cut them through, nick them-fold them-snap them, sand em, belt them with a hammer (which has little outcome, other than the pleasure of beating somethin with a hammer), etc.
To make them more of a feature, I put the black bead around them in the saloon and it looks striking, in the hull floors, they are down on floor board timbers making the surround bead a little more at risk of breaking away via the lifting bending, etc.
An important step to in the hulls was to bridge the panels across joins, to HIDE THE JOINS. The guy who made the floor boards originally lined up the panels with the joins, which made them look like.... errr ... separate floor boards. The result from bridge and slice apart... as you can see ... is much better.
The other thing is glue. Contact cement or "Contact" gel is excellent for contact application, or simply wipe the glue on and walk up down them. I prefer to use less glue. Particularly given the eventuality that water will get in (it is a boat afterall), there are plenty of panels in the floor that are not glued at all, because they have plenty of reason to stay exactly where they are.
Floors done - now where is that stainless railing and table ... "CLAUDE!!" :-)
25 Oct 2007: 25th October 2007 – Saloon coming together
With a fresh instalment of Stainless and allo welded gear from Claude, the wonder worker, the saloon of Dot.Com is starting to look like a ½ serious contender for the comfort cat stakes.
There are still cushions to come, and some stainless wires for the new railing adj my work station, and the ever present wires.... but otherwise its a much nicer place to command the vessel, modify a few web sites and write the odd blog. :-)
And when all that is said and done, the room in the saloon allows for a full size ironing board, so shore power assisted their is the ironing to catch up on.
03 Nov 2007: 3 Nov 2007 - Visiting Royalty.
Today we had an unexpected visit from royalty. None other than the designer, builder and creator of Dot.Com, Barry Williams. On a mercy dash to return a boatie to Cairns, Barry lobbed on the aft step (the equiv of the door step).
Luckily, the surprise visit found the boat in a reasonably show-ee state and a blessing was received for the improvements to the vessel. The work continues.
10 Nov 2007: 11 November 2007 - Gloucester Eco Photo Shoot
Having be recently commissioned to produce a new web site and ChannelWhitsunday.com video ad for Cape Gloucester Eco-Resort, the team was assemble and Dot.Com sailed the 17 short miles around and into the Gloucester Passage and the resort at the Western end.
In tow were Troy and Tamara, a terrific Canadian couple that I met over a game of volleyball. Instant friends they came to hang out and help with some of the chores on the boat. (Thanks guys) It just so happened that the couple were also quite photogenic, so they became obvious camera fodder to the mission at Eco Resort.
You can see the results of their efforts in the various photos we took around the resort at www.CapeGloucester.com. The service we received at the resort was great as well. GM, Peta was ever helpful and stayed on after the work to enjoy the various meals available on the menu and just a couple too many cocktails.
Over the time there, mates Joey and Jacinta drove the 50 minutes from Airlie to join in some of the shenanigans, with an adventure to the bottom of Edgecumbe Bay for coconuts, swimming, fishing, and watching the sunset.
The boat is looking much better ... and working so much better now too. Recent works include:
- New fridge in galley provided by re-orienting one of those esky fridges by teaching it to stand on its side - its now looks like a bar fridge and is very efficient. The unit is a 70 litre unit from "Downunder".
- The displacement of the existing fridge, was not a waste... it has now found its way to cockpit where the lid is now labelled "Beer" to ward off champagne and other girls drinks
- The saloon table is now bolted in place and centre piece of a very tidy area that awaits further painting and the long %&*)&$^ overdue cushions.
- The workstation (where I spend so much time) looks like Never-what-was-it-called in the Matrix... Surrounded by multiple computer screens, radio, navigation, Raymarine remote control, phones, etc, I can work while sailing and keep a "proper look out"
As always there is more to do, and any visitors can expect to be press-ganged into some odd jobs around the boat.... You are welcome.
Next G Coverage
Telstra Next G coverage continues to impress. Using my Tu500 handset,
I have been able to get on the net at high speed at various places.
The latency of the network also seems very low when I get on. Very
all : "Sailing" by Christopher Cross
It's not far down
At least it's not for me
And if the wind is right you can sail away
And find tranquility
The canvas can do miracles
Just you wait and see
It's not far to never never land
No reason to pretend
And if the wind is right you can find the
Of innocence again
The canvas can do miracles
Just you wait and see
Takes me away
To where I've always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free
It gets the best of me
When I'm sailing
All caught up in the reverie
Every word is a symphony
Won't you believe me
It's not far back to sanity
At least it's not for me
And when the wind is right you can sail away
And find serenity
The canvas can do miracles
Just you wait and see