|October 2001||KatieKat 2001 Cruise Chapter Nine|
|6 November 2001|| Bundaberg Melbourne Cup Day||Family|
|8 November 2001|| Nav. Aids and Winch Handle Holders||Yachties|
|12 November 2001|| E-Mail Commentary||Mixed|
|13 November 2001|| Mooloolaba||Family|
|16 November 2001|| Mooloolaba to Manly||Mixed|
|Year's End 2001||KatieKat 2001 Cruise Chapter Eleven|
Note change in chronological order from that shown on earlier cruise pages: now, earliest is on top, so you read down continuously instead of going up for the successive date. Latest entry is at the bottom instead of the top. Please let me know if this is preferable (or not).
This is the tenth webpage of our cruise covering the year 2001. The purpose of the cruise webpages is to let family and friends know what is going on in our lives. The "Interest" column identifies the target audience, and is intended to spare you baby-picture slide-show agony. This is one long continuous page, and clicking on any of the underlined dates above should jump your screen to the appropriate section on this page (or you can use the scrollbar on the right to navigate up and down this page). Joe Siudzinski
Click on the small photos to see larger-scale images,
then hit your browser BACK button to return to the small photo.
Tuesday, November 6, was the day of the famous Melbourne Cup horserace - the entire country stops dead to watch the race, and there are parties everywhere. The Baltimore Cafe in Port Bundaberg Marina sponsored the cruisers' party, with fun and merriment had by all.
Party time in the large tent setup in the Port Bundaberg Marina.
Everyone gathered around the TV to root for their favorite horse. Ethereal won.
After the real thing, we participated in a three-legged race - although we did well, we were eliminated in one of the heats. I had actually dressed up and put on long pants for this event - first time in ages that I wasn't wearing shorts.
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Thought I'd show off a few minor boat-related items. The first one deals with determining exactly which way the boat is pointing while seated in the main saloon - a simple task, one would think, but time and again we find ourselves off course when sailing by eyeball. The surest way to see where the boat is pointing is to clamber out to either hull and sight straight down its centerline. Being basically lazy, I added a reference marker under the port window which, when aligned with the jib furler fairlead on the seagull striker, allows us to "aim" the boat perfectly.
The first photo is a closeup of the jib furler fairlead on the seagull striker wire (the red line is the spinnaker sheet). The second photo is a panoramic view forward from the main saloon. The third photo is a cropped version of that same photo, showing off how nicely the boat can be aimed by simply lining up the arrow on the blue tape with the fairlead.
The portside setee in the main saloon has become the navigator's seat. The huge table makes a great chart working surface, and still provides room for radar, GPS, and autopilot hand controller. As I missed continuously viewing the information on the instrument panel (even though it is accessible on the handheld autopilot controller), I freed the panel from its base, added a good long service loop to the wiring, added some velcro to the panel bottom, and now can rotate the instrument panel 90deg to face the navigator. Putting the instrument panel on a lazy susan would be true decadence!
The first photo shows the instrument panel in its normal position, whereas the second shows it rotated 90 degrees. It takes only a few seconds for the transformation.
I don't think I've shown off a picture of my large light-airs spinnaker, a gift from Craig Riley (I agree, Craig, it IS ugly - but very useful). This chute is very tall but narrow so that each corner can be easily sheeted to each bow when running square. This photo shows one of the rare times that I've sheeted it to one side. I just recently devised a scheme for winching the sock down over the chute, as manually pulling it down is nearly impossible in winds over 15 knots. Neither the bicycles on deck nor the tv antenna interfere with its operation.
After a year-and-a-half of deliberation, I finally drilled some holes and installed the winch handle holders (the factory puts them down by the engine housing but I had asked them not to install the things there). As you can see, they're up against the aft face of the main saloon hardtop. This location is not original, as Nick Rettinghouse had placed them there on his Seawind "Cool Cat" back in California.
In the first photo, in addition to showing off that portside winch handle holder, you can see the technique I've evolved for stowing the preventer when it's not being used. A neater solution than simply dropping it into a basket, it also makes the preventer instantly accessible. The starboardside photo of the winch handle holder also shows how unobtrusive the bicycle is.
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E-mail has proven to be a wonderful communications medium. Having the cellphone onboard and being able to link it to the computer no longer has us relying upon Internet cafes or phonelines for the bulk of our correspondence. If in cellphonerange I normally pick up my e-mails every day after 7pm (reduced rate) and kick out my responses before 7am the next morning while downloading anything that came in overnight. My normal e-mail traffic is maybe ten e-mails a day. There are a number of specific constraints or areas which you could help me with -
Incoming Filesize. Having been burned ($$) a few times by attachments to e-mails, I now inhibit anything coming in that's greater than 15K and merely let it sit on my server until such time as I can connect using a landphoneline and then do the download. In the past, e-mail etiquette was such that before sending any sizeable attachments (e.g. photographs) one would clear it first with the recipient. I have had a number of instances where I was far from the coast yet had cellphone connectivity (because, e.g., an island resort might have been nearby) and my e-mail server was very close to being saturated by the huge e-mail attachments - not having access to a landphoneline meant that I couldn't download and free up my server! Not good when I rely so much on e-mail communications.
Outgoing Filesize. For some unknown reason, my outgoing e-mail filesize is limited to less than 8K. Neither the Australian ISP (Optus) nor cellphone provider (either Optus or Telstra) can explain why this is the case (if any of you know, please tell me). If I have a longer outgoing message then I either break it up into more than one e-mail or else I wait until I can hookup to a landphoneline (which I need to do to upload this website, anyway).
My e-mail address, first issue. I only have one e-mail address that I would like everyone to use. It is the one that shows up when you click on the "please click here" on the KatieKat Homepage. It is a binary-encoded address which spam-bots will hopefully not pick up, but which will properly show up in your e-mail program. Just in case you have a problem, the address is siudzinskiATtelis.org (just replace the AT with the usual symbol) - I've purposely avoided the symbol here because of spam-bots.
My e-mail address, second issue. I use my Australian ISP for sending e-mails, but I have coded my "Reply-To" address as being my normal one (above). You should not be able to see myAustralian e-mail address. The two are different, and I think that some spam-protection tools can be configured to reject e-mails which have different originating vs. reply-to addresses, so if you sent me an e-mail and didn't receive my response, that might be the reason.
Acknowledgement. In addition to our normal correspondence with friends and relatives, I have many enquiries from people who visit this website and are interested in various aspects of our boat or lifestyle. I make it a point to answer EVERY SINGLE enquiry (some answers quite lengthy as I tend to jabber a lot). What I find distressing is when I receive no acknowledgement of my e-mails - a one-liner letting me know you received it is sufficient. This is happening so often that I am concerned that some of my e-mails may not be getting through. For example, perhaps the situation I identified above is the problem. In any case, if you write me and don't hear from me within a week, then please let me know.
HTML. E-mail is a very efficient way of transmitting information. Composing e-mail messages using html simply increases file size thus slowing down the transmission process and using up more disk space, while adding nothing to the message content. Some messages I receive have 1/2" high letters while I need a magnifying glass for others! Why? Some people I asked that question didn't even realize it was happening, so it's a good idea to check your computer's outgoing message formatting. For example, in Outlook Express I stop html by going to Preferences, then in the Compose screen I select Plain Text as my outgoing mail format. For reading e-mails, I use a monospaced font such as Courier (sized to match my screen and eyes) which is both quite readable and allows columns to line up.
Spam I continue to resist putting filters on my incoming mail, but really would like to strangle some of the junk-mail perpetrators. I don't mind a clear-cut very short (one or two K) e-mail which tells me what it's about in the subject line and contains a few lines of information and perhaps a link to a website. What I object to are either huge files or else the ones that automatically take over my machine and try to jump to a website. Seems to be getting worse lately.
Internet-based E-Mail. After evaluating a number of Internet-based e-mail services, I settled on Yahoo! as they seem to inhibit spam quite well. I have linked the Yahoo! account to my normal e-mail address, and configured it to check my e-mail without erasing the messages off my server so that I can still access them with my own computer. Now that I have cellphone connectivity, about all I use Yahoo! for is to quickly check my incoming e-mails when I'm in town or travelling. It's also handy to have as a backup in case something should happen to my computer(s).
My e-mail setup onboard consists of a Nokia 7110 GSM cellphone (either Optus or Telstra Pre-Paid and I can insert either chip into the phone) with infrared capability. The phone talks via infrared to my Macintosh PowerBook G3 running System 9.0.4. For my e-mail program I use Microsoft Outlook Express v5.01. This system has now proven to be very reliable, with the problems I experienced early-on being caused by my outgoing e-mail filesizes being over 7K (I experience a disconnect by the ISP but the cellphoneline stays open racking up the charges!!!). I often use an external passive antenna, and in some marginal reception areas I've even clambered up on top of the boom with my computer and cellphone - and it worked!
So, keep the e-mails coming - we're happy to hear from everybody and it's our pleasant link to our past life.
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We continued roaring down the coast from Bundaberg , stopping at Kingfisher on Fraser Island and going in to Tin Can Bay so I could find a dentist ("sorry, mate, we have nothing available until next week...") - happily, my self-medication was starting to work on that infected abscessed tooth. We won a tacking duel with another cat while going down Wide Bay, with Kathy very effectively singlehanding KatieKat in the 20-knot breeze. The next day we anxiously went out Wide Bay Bar on a full ebb tide (that's a no-no, except that we had zero wind and flat water) with no drama (as they say here). Approaching Mooloolaba in the late afternoon we started getting whapped by thunderstorms, but we're getting rather blase' about it as I reef early and sufficiently to avoid anxiety (it's the lightning I worry about). With no space available at the MYC marina, we simply dropped the hook in the middle of Mooloolaba harbor and sat out the next day's wind and rain in complete comfort - the Seawind pointing into the wind which leaves a completely dry main saloon. In Mooloolaba I have access to a landphoneline at the local Internet cafe, so am able to comfortably do a succession of uploads to this website as well as download the large e-mail files remaining on my server.
From our anchorage in Tin Can Bay we can see the tourists wading in to pet the dolphins which come in every morning (we are no longer in croc territory). If you look closely, you can see two dolphin fins and the snout of one right in front of the crowd.
First time I wore this lightweight rainjacket in months. Would you believe the foul weather gear we brought with us has never been used on KatieKat yet! That white object in front is the seatback of the patio chair which usually sits there in the cockpit - more decadence.
This is what an approaching storm looks like, as viewed from our anchored boat in Mooloolaba.
The clouds burst open and the boat really got washed. Photos don't do justice to falling rain. The photo shows a uniquely square-rigged monohull that we passed the previous day while coming down the coast - a very effective downwind rig. In addition to the squaresail, he also carried a multicolored flat mini-spinnaker between the crosstrees and the masthead.
Aftermath of the salt spray and rain: grease and rust dripping down both sides of KatieKat. Hmmm, maybe there is an argument for alloy wheels and stainless spokes and running gear...
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The last leg of our boat travels this year was the short passage down the coast and Moreton Bay from Mooloolaba to Manly. We left Mooloolaba at around 3:00am and thus enjoyed an incoming tide and gentle breezes all the way to Manly. Presently, we are tidying up the boat and putting everything away, as our plans are to return home for the Christmas holidays and resume our travels in January.
War memorials are present in every community in this country, with numerous commemorations throughout the year. I thought that this memorial in Mooloolaba, dedicated to dogs which assisted the troops in the Vietnam conflict, was rather unique. It is situated right by the popular main pathway along the beach - note the doggie water dish with its own faucet.
Close to us at the dock in Mooloolaba was Ramtha, the catamaran made famous in the Queen's Birthday Storm of 1994 as having survived the horrific conditions despite being abandoned. The boat is in beautiful shape and a number of changes have been made to it, most notably a bright yellow topsides paintjob for visibility.
No special reason to show this photo here except that I like it. It was taken by Ray Roth a few months ago when we were returning to Lizard Island after a day snorkeling at the Cod Hole on the outer Reef. This is my tiny heavy-weather chute that we lazily put up in anticipation of heavier winds which never materialized.
The TV antenna works just fine inside the boat, and when passagemaking we bring the television upstairs into the main saloon for our continued overdose of news. No, Kathy didn't need to hold it up for the duration of our passage down Moreton Bay.
Bikeboat is held to the transom suspended primarily by the outer ends of the lower hull. Well, a few weeks of this and the polypropylene hull had deformed into the shape of a banana! With no load on it, it's slowly regaining its original shape. I've dismantled the SeaCycle and put covers over the hulls and stored all the bits and pieces away in preparation for our going away.
Kathy's orchid is doing quite well, thank you.
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