Friday, 28 October 2011

Our October

Tomorrow marks 4 weeks since we left work and started the REALwork of getting Bass Voyager and ourselves ready to leave. What can I say... Michael is my hero - he has worked so hard over the last month with unending energy and (mostly!) unwavering good humour! Ive been a less valuable, less amicable side-kick, but even so I have worked harder physically in the last month than I ever have - and I have the bruises, scratches, broken fingernails and paint stains to prove it!
Here is a bit of a recap and some photos to catch up on where we are, and more importantly - what's next?!!!

We've achieved a lot in four weeks. Much of it is hidden, but there are big cosmetic changes too.

We have:
- welded extensions to the bench seats in the cockpit
- cut and welded a new deck plate for the anchor windlass
- ordered replacement cushions (due today, but wont be ready till Tuesday)
- repainted the cockpit (final coat on the back section tomorrow)
- hauled the boat out of the water
- scraped, sanded, primed and antifouled the hull (with help from friends!)
- replaced the bowroller
- replaced the anchor chain
- cut and epoxied racks for our scuba tanks (I jig-sawed them out all by myself!! :o)
- replaced the propeller shaft  coupling and packing seal (and I actually know what that means now!!)
- installed various electronics including Radar, GPS and fans
- replaced the old, worn and leaking canopy with a purdy new dark blue one
- installed a new ceiling in the cockpit
- sorted thru all the lockers and planned out the storage

There are many other tasks that Ive forgotten... probably on purpose. Traumatic!!

... Oh, and I even baked bread!!! And dropped a 10mm steel plate on my left middle-finger. Ouch...

We also bought some new charts to get us from here to Tasmania. Actually we have bought so many things over the last four weeks it scares me to think how much money we've spent. Im pretty sure we're single-handedly keeping the North Haven Marine shop in business.

So what's next??? Well, we are seaworthy. We could potentially leave right away, but we still have a short list of "must-do's" and a long list of "like-to-do's" before we go. I have a feeling the "like-to-do's" may end up being "things to do on the way"!

On the must-do list this week:
- make some changes to our bedroom cabin to make it safe and comfortable for the voyage
- go see our doctor to help put together a medical kit for the trip
- permanently secure various items such as the freezer, the dingy
- service the engine
- install sea-rails on the stove
- check all our safety gear
- buy a rode for our para-anchor
- replace countless pieces of wooden trim and varnish new wood panels
- buy all our provisions and store them!

The plan is that at the end of next week we will head off on a short "shakedown trip" over to Kangaroo Island and potentially Wedge Island to test all the new equipment, practice some safety drills, and generally make sure BV-  and we - are ready to go. Then we'll hop back to Rapid Bay where friends and family that want to can come and see us off!

OK, enough text - here is the pictorial account of the last month.

This was the state of the bench seats when we bought BV. Flakey paint and lots of surface rust...

After I scraped back all the paint...

Michael then welded in the 20cm extensions to make the seats much wider - they are now wide enough to sleep on, upgrading BV from a 4-berth to a 6-berth boat. Clever boy.

After rust treatment and two coats of paint.

Crazy Ben climbing the mast WITHOUT a harness. Yup - crazy. Well he did just get back from climbing in South America, so I guess that must make it ok... 8-/

Ben and Michael welding in the deckplate for the windlass - no more rust!

Shiny new boat bling - ahem bow-roller. Check out the cute shark design on the side. Who needs a naked mermaid!? ;o)

Newly welded deck plate and installed windlass.

Dragging out the new anchor chain to measure and paint...
Now I know these photos make it look like Michael does all the hard work, but its only because he doesn't take photos!! Who am I kidding? - he does do all the hard work....

Now here's proof that I did do some of the work...! Painted markings on the anchor chain every 20 metres.

Heading up the slip and onto "the hard"...

You would think that after 4 days climbing up this ladder 10 times a day I would have dropped a few kilos. But sadly, no! ;o)

The first day Michael, Ben and I scraped all the old flaking paint off the hull. Hell of a job.

Ben with his mates Paulo and Val - one day after they arrived in Adelaide we put them to work sanding and then painting primer on the hull! Backpackers.... slave labour of the Western world... ;o)
Seriously though, we are SOOO very grateful for everyone's help - particularly Ben who worked like a trooper for two full days. They saved us at least 1 full day on the hard, which is very expensive.

Thanks so much to our new yachtie friend Patrick who suggested we weld on a wire between the hull and the rudder to act as a deflector should (god forbid!) we run over some fishing nets or line - it will stop it getting wrapped around the prop.

Day three Michael and I finished the job by rollering on two coats of antifoul paint. Here we are rewarding our efforts with a beer...

Back in the water... Michael installing the new radar...

And finally, first pictures of our new canvass, complete with mosquito netting...

I'll check in next week from the road. I mean - ocean!

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