We can’t pretend everything is normal while Australia is on fire. Our hearts go out to those who have lost their home, their livelihood or their loved ones. Thank you to the firefighters for their selfless efforts. Climate change is real and many politicians are in denial. We can only hope for more enlightened leadership in the future, because if this inferno does not bring about change, nothing will.
With the smoke from the fires choking our cities, we breathe toxic air that affects our lungs and eyes and gives us headaches at times. But there are also sights from our cockpit that never fail to amaze us even if they are born from catastrophe: blood red sun in the hazy sky early in the morning, ghosting yachts in eerie Hobsons Bay, copper sunsets and tormented clouds reflected in the distant buildings… So for now, let us have a look at some images that appeal to us and reflect the current moods of Williamstown. Some days are reasonably clear, others are smothered by a blanket of thick smoke. Slide left to see the slide show.
What have we been up to?
These last two weeks have been a bit frustrating but we are making the most of our stay in Melbourne to get ourselves and the boat sorted.
Remember our lost propeller? Well the replacement did arrive promptly, but we also needed an adapter to fit the prop to the shaft (our sail drives are not standard)! We have been hunting for one for the past two weeks and finally we have had success in locating what we need from Seahawk Marine in Bayswater.
The installation of the folding prop and adapter requires Anui to be hauled out. It can’t be done in the water. The trouble is there is nowhere in Melbourne that will take our wide cat out and therefore this will have to wait till we return to the Boat Works in November. So as mentioned in a previous post, not only have we had to buy a new folding prop and adapter, but we have also purchased a fixed prop which Wade was able to mount underwater to get us moving again. All in all a very expensive exercise. As some of you would know, props don’t just fall off – if they do they have not been fitted properly. So more on the subject of recourse in a next post.
Another thing which has put a halt to our cruising is the NKE Navigation System. We ordered a multi graphic display and WIFI module to complement our existing equipment, but our supplier in Melbourne – Steve Cody from Melbourne Marine Electronics – has had great difficulty getting the old and new devices to work together and to calibrate the lot. After several days of work on board and a couple of sea trials, we are still stuck. We haven’t given up yet and are now talking directly with the French company NKE on Skype – lucky I can speak the lingo! Let’s hope our next post has some positive news on that front!
And then there is still the medical matters for both Wade and I, which will be attended to between late January and early February.
For the remainder of this month, with gear and bodies to sort out, doing little sails around Port Phillip Bay has little appeal and on top of this, we are scardy-cats when it comes to manoeuvring Anui in and out of its pen at the Anchorage Marina… moving a big boat in a tight spot and strong gusts gives us the heebie jeebies. So other than the sea trials, we are staying put in Williamstown. Plus who wants to sail in low visibility and hazardous air! Even the containerships and pilot boats are sounding their fog horns!
But it is a good opportunity to catch up with our Melbourne friends, do land activities and chill out.