When you live on a boat like Anui for the long term, you experience both joys and woes, and these all come in waves. The boat can be your liberator or your jailer!
You get periods of bliss when your lifestyle decisions are vindicated and you can’t believe how lucky you are to have this ship, these incredible adventures, this magical way to spend your days. But you also live through the flip side: times of frustration often linked to gear or weather issues, the challenge of looking after your health through an itinerant life and the sadness of being separated from the people you care for. Everything is more intense in a way when you live aboard. The highs are really high and the lows are… well, really miserable.
There is no prize for guessing was sort of wave we have been riding off late! This has been the longest period we have been stuck in one place with gear and medical issues to deal with since starting our full time cruising life. It is just as well we have a good ‘memory bank’, because we need that to ride these less than satisfying times. We had a few wins on the gear front, but sadly not on the medical front and will be staying at Yarra’s Edge for about another month!
One of the main reasons for coming to Melbourne was for us to see our respective specialists and go through the all important health checks. We had hoped we could get away with on-going supervision, but this is not the case unfortunately, at least not for Wade. Chris’s results were not ideal but acceptable. Type I diabetes never gets better and thus insulin doses keep increasing. You manage through declining energy and fitness. It is a mental as well as a physical game.
Wade’s biopsy shows his prostate cancer has developed and it is now time to take action. He will undergo Brachytherapy which involves small radioactive seeds being implanted into the prostate. It is disappointing but not unexpected and we both feel it is best to deal with this immediately. Wade now jokingly announces he will soon be known as “Chernobyl Dick”. You gotta see the funny side of things!
It is with great relief that we can at last tell you about our wins on the boat maintenance front. It has been a roller coaster and the problems took a long time to get diagnosed and resolved.
Our NKE system is finally working thanks to Steve Cody’s perseverance at Melbourne Marine Electronics and liaison with NKE in France. Where we thought that the issue was the compatibility of the old and new NKE gear, that was never the case. In the end we had two individual problems: one was our gyro compass which was out by 20 degrees, got adjusted and everything worked well for a few hours! Then for reasons best known to a bloke called Murphy, the auto pilot computer shorted out. The fault in the black box was repairable, but would have required shipment to France. Steve was able to locate a secondhand unused NKE gyro pilot in Australia, and given the age of our faulty pilot we opted to purchase that unit. Sometimes you grin and bear it, spend the money and move on. On Monday evening, we went out for our last and successful sea trial. The gear was fitted, calibrated, tested. It worked properly and we came back to Yarra’s Edge happy.
And we have purchased two new folding propellers and their adapter, not just one prop to replace the one we lost. These will be installed next time the boat is hauled out for maintenance. After 18 years of service the advice from prop specialist Terry Graham at Sea Hawk is that we should replace them. Most folding props don’t last that long according to him. It was good to get his observations and recommendation. Even though we suspect the one that fell off had not been fitted properly, both props are due to be changed. Getting into a fight with the mechanics is therefore pointless. Another case of grin and bear it.
Staying at Yarra’s Edge
Our time at Yarra’s Edge has been very social and enjoyable until now, with lots of visitors coming to see us. It has been great fun catching up with friends and family. It has also been a delight for night photography. It is a very rare treat to be able to experiment with shooting long exposures from Anui’s deck or cockpit – something reserved for totally still nights!
There will be more opportunities for night and long exposure photography now that we are staying at the Marina longer. We have left the public jetty and are now inside locked gates. We have obtained a berth, which will give us a little more security, and more protection from the wakes of passing boats. Here is a shot kindly taken by Tam & Dee, catamaran sailers who live in one of the towers overlooking the Docklands. You can see Anui in the Yarra River and the berth we have now moved to (the triangular one in the bottom left corner of the image).