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Published: April 28th 2014
Back on Easter Monday my thoughts turned to the resurrection as I am sure it does for all of us on this hallowed day. And so from this, the blog for SV Luna Ray has returned!
I considered making an entry to fill in some gaps from when I signed off in January but didn’t get around to it - we had packing and a boat to get ready and the younger Fees (Andrew, Amy, Jordy & Lucia) became our new housemates, making things a little hectic. I thought I would make an entry as soon as our new trip started but I am only making this draft now on our third evening out at Great Keppel Island.
Since then I have been on a 6 week trip around the world visiting friends & family, and doing some snowboarding along the way. On my travels I discovered that the blog was not very interesting to some friends. Suggestions of pirate attacks and limbs lost to sharks to liven it up were made but I have no plans for making fiction. I have noticed the harder critics tend to be in the younger age group and
it would be an easy comeback for me to blame their immaturity for their dour opinions, or perhaps I am just a boring old fart. Fact is, I am telling the story of our travels which perhaps is akin to the classic tedium of a slideshow of someone’s holiday photos. So I might try and brake away from this mold and into the 21st century. One solution is to turn to the media of video which can be so much more digestible and I’ve enjoyed making home movies for a long time. Once I get my head around the new version of iMovie I shall start to put some up through YouTube. Of course the blog is of more interest to those who have a passion for cruising or the coastline we are following. So I will start to create some videos occasionally for the skimmers when the internet connection can handle the bigger file sizes and still write more frequently for those who care more for the stories or maybe just want to see where we are…. and perhaps the stuff of interest to the true cruising nerds I shall write in italics so that normal people can skip
Within only a couple of days before leaving we still had an engine problem and a seized furling gib to deal with but they were solved. We did plan to leave thursday to beat the long weekend rush over to the Keppel Islands but we weren’t ready so left just after noon friday 25th April - ANZAC Day.
Took the boat for a trial run the day before but as we exited the marina entrance I told Naomi to turn back as smoke started coming from the engine! Thankfully my suspicion was correct that as I had liberally sprayed WD40 over the engine the day before it was just burning off on the exhaust pipes. So we did a U-turn and headed out again and things seem to be fine.
Now here come some italics... you have been warned! The pulley wheel for the raw water pump that came loose and foiled the trip to Yellow Patch in January had been a long time concern. After extracting out the sheared off bolt that we had used as an improvement on the grub screw, further bolts
also kept coming loose but the problem was eventually solved using strong Loctite. We had whittled our list of 70 something jobs down to about 20 of the less essential ones. We bought some big new items to be installed: Compass Barometer Watermaker (Katadyn 40E) 4 man Zodiac liferaft Sat Phone Tohatsu outboard (the Parsun was replaced, but with another used one that also wasn’t working well !…so we then got our money back) Other jobs included: adding a new fan to the saloon; correcting the wiring to - the nag lights, - bedroom fan, - anchor indicator light - inverter (turned out it was a faulty fuse but was still putting some current through so old inverter probably never needed replacing - doh!) new bilge system contained around the now leaky lifting keel ram; trying new ram grease; USB power socket on steering pedestal to charge the iPad; a less fine filter for shower drain; Naomi made - curtains for saloon/galley/bathroom - rain/shade covers for 3 hatches - fender covers - fuel tank cover - outboard engine cover; - mossie net cover for main hatch; washing saloon cushions; poppers for bimini; check batteries; new dinghy wheel springs; reseal in sinks assessing the Ham radio Luna Ray logo on one side of boat Engine- usual maintenance - fuel filters/oil change - loose raw water pump pulley wheel - hose arrangement for cooling system - removing fuel lift pump as leaking, taking apart and then buying new one from UK as still leaked
As you can see from the list Naomi made a lot of stuff using her new skills learnt from working at her brother’s (Andrew) sail making workshop - “CQ Sails”. After 4 months settled at Naomi’s parents house in Yeppoon we were waved off from the dock by the younger Fees. The older Fees (Naomi’s parents) sadly were absent as they are on a cruise ship somewhere near Hawaii. It was certainly a smaller crowd than our previous send off’s but this suited Naomi, and me too I guess… perhaps making less
of a fuss will ensure more success this time.
So this was the start of our big sailing trip - again
. Same plan as before, get around to Darwin and sail across to Indonesia and along to Thailand by Xmas.
It was a fine day as we motored out of the marina and headed into the light chop. Motorsailed toward the resort beach on GKI but veered left when it became obvious it would be uncomfortable there. Came through the narrow rocky gap between GKI and Middle Island, and joined the other 10 boats at Svendsen’s Beach.
Its been a little rolly but we have had a pleasant couple of days visiting the beaches, exploring the creek, trying out the new outboard, organising the boat and generally settling into the cruising lifestyle. I spent some of the afternoon cleaning the grime off the waterline formed from the boat being locked up for so long. I had been a little nervous as had just seen the film The Reef - about a group of people eaten by a shark on a sailing trip up these same Queensland waters. As I dried
off back on deck I looked down to see a shark swim by! but it was only a metre long at most.
From what I remember, phone/internet and TV coverage is very poor for the next leg of our journey so I might not write again for a while. We will head north to Freshwater Bay, then Pearl Bay, into Island Head estuary and then onto the islands off the coast of Mackay until we come to the bottom of the Whitsunday’s in 1-2 weeks time.
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