Cruising on Dot Com

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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.

7 days to go.

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29 Sep 2007: 29/9/2007 Making Pancakes

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.

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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.

Thank you Dr John.

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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!!" :-)

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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.

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26 Oct 2007: With little progress showing elsewhere, I may be obsessing, but I am happy to put away the left over flooring, and stop sniffing contact cement.

With the bead line straight and all the internal floors now covered - I can move onto the million other things there are to do on the boat.

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01 Nov 2007

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.

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10 Nov 2007: 11 November 2007 - Gloucester Eco Photo Shoot
Having be recently commissioned to produce a new web site and 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 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.

Just fantastic.

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30 Dec 2007: Whitsunday Peak
The crew of Dot.Com take on Whitsunday Peak to burn of the post Christmas fat.


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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 nice.

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Says it all : "Sailing" by Christopher Cross
It's not far down to paradise
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
Believe me

It's not far to never never land
No reason to pretend
And if the wind is right you can find the joy
Of innocence again
The canvas can do miracles
Just you wait and see
Believe me

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
Believe me

The Dot Com Story

Read how Dot Com came to be


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Whitsunday Guide
Visit the Cumberland Charter Yachts Site for the most comprehensive online area and anchorage guide. Second only to "100 Magic Miles".

Cats are better
There is no argument. They simply are.

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