Sunday, 9th August, 2015

Luna Quest
W. Eric Faber
Sun 9 Aug 2015 02:58
Noon Position: 20.37S 149.01E

Daily Run: 34 miles since this morning

Finally, after many days of work being carried out on the boat, we set sail today at 06.15am for Darwin from where the rally continues to Gili Gede, close to Lembar Harbour in Lombok. The distance to Darwin is about 1500 miles and we are therefore likely to stop on the way for fuel. We have in mind Cairns or Port Douglas, some 300 miles up the East coast of Australia from Mackay.

Having sailed across the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Pacific, we have not had much chance to have quality maintenance work carried out by competent workmen. It has been a constant fight to keep things working, especially the electrical side of the equipment as it is so vulnerable to corrosion. We were hauled out in Mackay on Monday 27th July and put down in the boatyard so that maintenance work could begin. Of course, we were not alone and the yard had a huge sudden influx of work from a number of World Arc boats. The list of things to do for Luna Quest was extensive including the fitting of a new Auto pilot from Raymarine and a new wind generator. All of the wiring for transmitting power to the batteries from the solar panels, the wind generator and the aqua generator was replaced and for the first time the wiring for the aqua generator was fitted correctly. For a fortnight we have been kicking our heels (other than last weekend when we flew to Sydney for some culture) never knowing when the men would be working on Luna Quest or where they might be working if not on Luna Quest. The service outfit that the World Arc boats used was called Nauticare, run by Tim O’Brien, a former rigger. The men that he employed were all refreshingly competent, pleasant and hard working, such a change from the attitude and incompetence of ‘maintenance' people we had to use on the way to Australia.

They call the East coast of Australia the sunshine coast and with all justification so far. As soon as it was August the weather changed for the better with full sunshine during the day. Today is no different, but for a lack of wind so that we have been motoring most of this morning. The Great Barrier Reef is to our right and the landmass of Australia to our left; the Pacific swell has been obliterated by the GBR. Early this morning the wind came off the land, backed through the Southwest to the Southeast. We shall have to deal with the fickleness of the wind direction if the SE trade winds do not prove to be strong enough to overcome the land effect.