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