First Day's Log. Whats a log, dad?

Fri 18 Jun 2010 03:24
Noon, Friday, June 19th
Position 23:27S 151:21E: off Gladstone
Just over 24 hours into our voyage, and all well so far: The most gentle of starts, actually, and maybe just as well so that we can both get our sea legs. H refused a sea sick pill until we were in the Bundaberg dredged approach channel where we encountered excellent wind over tide choppy waves!  Out at sea all was calm, and we enjoyed a pleasant afternoon run up the coast managing about 4 kts in a very light breeze, thanks to our newly painted and therefore weed free bottom. Supper was veggie curry for me, and reheated Eagle Boys Pizza for Hannah. Tonight we plan pasta with tomoto sauce and garlic: a refinement of the standard Glebe Barn receipe, only possible out here in space, where no one else can smell your breath!!
Overnight the wind dropped to nothing and we had to motor, this morning a bit of breeze first thing, but now a glassy calm, shoreside mountains just visible on the horizon, and some real Islands up ahead. We did bed and breakfast for a strange seabird last night with a long sharp blue beak, and a bad temper. I tried to shoo him off the pulpit, but he squalked fiecely at me, and I retreated. He was soon fast asleep, and thus refreshed, he flew off at dawn. We have not yet agreed who will wash the droppings off the deck: perhaps wait a day or two for some green water over the decks!
Hannah has been a great companion, and I can say this just now as she is asleep after standing her watch until 00.30 this morning. She has been very helpful in fitting out the boat, and very wise for her years in dealing with my odd behaviours, and little fits of depression. She has been very quick to grasp the elements of GPS navigation, and had a great series of position fixes to show me when I came on watch last night. This morning I was told off for not maintaining her high standard through the night! We are reading Jane Eyre together: H an uncanny resemblance to the emboldened ten year old Jane at the start of the novel.
Plan A was to sail straight to the Percy Islands, anchoring in the irresistably named Blunt Bay. But at this rate we shall have to motor the entire way, so I now plan to anchor off Great Keppel lsland tonight, catch up on some sleep, and hope for more wind for the weekend. We shall at least have the fun of avoiding Hannah Rock during the approach to this Island. As I write the wind is switching to the SE, so maybe we will get another sail this afternoon.
A few small problems with the boat: I replaced the bearings in my wind vane self steering, and these may now be too tight, having of course been too loose before! Not looking forward to dismantling this with the device suspended over the water, and ball bearings etc falling out and down into Davey Jones' locker, so keeping my fingers crossed that it will not sieze up. At least this is a mechanical device that I can unsterstand and service myself. Very frustrated that my brand new electronic chart plotter has blown up completely, and will have to be replaced, as and when I can sort out the warantry. I have paper charts until Darwin, and if the worst comes to the worst, I can buy Indonesion and Malaysian charts there. Meantime my expensive electronic charts are useless. I should have stuck with the old fashioned tried and tested gear, but no one sells simple GPS machines any more. I do have a lovely regalvanised anchor and chain, which looks lovely, but is full of razor sharp burrs of zink which rip your hands. I have also spent a fortune on mundane items such as ships batteries, and some LED light bulbs (ultra low power consumption) so that Hannah can read at night without running them dry!! At least the new inflatable dinghy arrived safley, and h has been rowing it around the Marina. Now installed under my custom sewn cover, on the foredeck.
We wish you all well,
Richard and Hannah