|Sept-Oct 2002||GoTo KatieKat 2002 Cruise Chapter Seven|
|5 November 2002|| Southport||Family|
|11November 2002|| Offshore Preparations||Yachties|
|Nov-Dec 2002||GoTo KatieKat 2002 Cruise Chapter Nine|
This is the eighth webpage of our cruise covering the year 2002. 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
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It's fun to be back in wacky Southport on Queensland's Gold Coast - Australia's answer to Miami Beach. Camera-toting tourists are offered rides on every conveyance imaginable - as I look out the window there's an antique red biplane, modern seaplanes and helicopters, amphibian buses, a floating wedding chapel, and boats of all sizes and shapes ranging from powerful cigarette boats and huge catamaran ferries all the way down to kayaks and a cutsie gondola.
This wedding party is about to make a dramatic entrance to the crowd assembled at the yacht club. Unfortunately, a few minutes later a weather front moved through and doused the event. From the sound of it, it was still a great party!
We grin and wave to the tourists every time one of these amphibian buses waddles past us - they've multiplied since we were here last.
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OK, it's time to get serious. The passage to New Zealand is not to be taken lightly, and for the past few weeks we've been preparing the boat and ourselves for this voyage. After all, we're now taking a coastal cruiser offshore again. Among the many things we've done are both upgrades and routine maintenance items -
I've lowered the sailcover for this photo, which clearly shows the newly-added triple turning-block for the reefing lines as well as the new pin-stopped outhaul car. I feel the block is necessary to avoid chafing the aft end of the sailbag - my previous double-block worked out very well. The loop in the topping lift is used to hold up the sailbag. Also visible is the external boom-mounted turning block for Reef#1.
Our new and improved instrument setup, sans some of the wiring. For this photo, I arranged them in the following order, starting from the left: radar, the HF with the PactorIIe modem and speaker behind it, the VHF, table light, GPS, autopilot remote controller, and iBook (with charts, SailMail, and display of all the NMEA/SeaTalk onboard instruments if I want). Not shown (but usually residing) on the table are the barometer and about five kitchen timers. The timers are used to remind us of radio schedules (weatherfax, voice broadcasts, radio nets), hourly logbook recording, and the usual ten-minute interval for a full look-around (especially at night). Until I build a nice instrument panel, underneath the windows are some of my temporary power systems monitors - battery voltage, I/O battery current, windgen current and output voltage level LED display (nice at night). Under the table is the orange float for the para-anchor retrieval line, and the big yellow bag is the primary abandon-ship bag.
A simple little bungie slipped over a knob keeps all the instruments interlocked. Together with the nonskid-rubber bonded bases, this method should immobilize the instruments. Will let you know how it performed after the passage. Having standardized the size of the instrument bases (mounting plates), I can mix and match them in any order
Navigator's eye view of the instruments, showing the boat instrument pod rotated 90-degrees. The first one shows the compass and autopilot settings and response, the second is windspeed and wind direction (true or apparent), and the third shows water depth, boatspeed, log, and - this is decadent - water temperature. These instruments can also be programmed for a bunch of other functions which I rarely use. The SeaTalk/NMEA/RS232 converter sits behind this pod and is interconnected to the tabletop instruments so both the radar and computer can display this information. In actuality, unless they are being actively used, the radar, HF, and computer are normally turned off to conserve power.
Rather difficult to see, but the lazy jack lines on the starboard side are a cascade of 2:1 pulleys (going through small rings and not blocks), the idea being to distribute the lazy jack load evenly across the length of the boom/sailbag (increasing the mechanical advantage the further aft along the boom the connection is made - does this make sense?). The portside is left factory-stock except that the primary holdup line is now brought down alongside the mast.
The stanchion-mounted backup HF antenna is now located forward of the shroud. The primary HF antenna (the black whip) can be seen in the background. Still need a better scheme for routing the wire back into the boat. The new shroud-mounted jackline cleats are visible in this photo.
The rearranged running rigging, starboard side. Starting from the left, we have Reef#2, Reef#4, Spinnaker Halyard, Jibsheet, and the green Spinnaker Sheet. That black wire snaking around the stopper is the new HF antenna wire (temporary) leading down into the starboard aft cabin and the receiver there used for weatherfaxes. The Clamcleat is unused on the starboard side, but on the port side I use it for the externally-mounted (on the side of the boom) Reef#1 line which is rarely used.
Nothing to do with passage preparation, but I thought I'd show off this trash lid ... uh, tidy bin lid, picker-upper which automatically lifts the lid when the door is opened using a simple piece of string. Rube Goldberg would be proud! I stole this idea from Tom Piotrowski who built it into his Lagoon much more elegantly. This enables one-handed wastebasket operation and automatic lid and door closure.
Ok, that's it for now. Need to focus on the weather, and I'll try to do a last-minute update before we leave, which may be anytime from three days to three weeks from now. Bye. JoeS.
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