Heading Down Under

fullsizeoutput_858

I’m headed back to Roxia today after two months away. Roxia has been in the care of Brett Hensler and staff at Bundaberg Marina. By the time I get there, she will have new bottom paint, PropSpeed, a new PSS shaft seal and main cutlass bearing.  I have a number of projects to complete before the arrival of Nordhavn salesman extraordinaire Devin Zwick in a week. Devin and I will take Roxia south to Brisbane to load onto Yacht Express. Here’s the project I kept busy with while away:

Roxia Sign Boards- Because Roxia is named the same as my grandparents 40′ Wheeler, I wanted to try to tie the two eras together.  My son-in-law Bobby matched the gold leaf typestyle on  the transom of the original Roxia by hand drawing. Then my son Will digitized the letters so I could print them the 4″ size I wanted. Overall size turned out 6″ by 28″. My goal was to make the signboard look hand carved so not too perfect and a little old fashioned. Someday I may write all the details how to achieve this result. In a nutshell I have about 40 hours in it from milling rough sawn teak to the dimensions, hand carving the letters, creating “crinkle” finish gold and finally 10 coats of varnish (6 on the back). For now the pictures here will have to do. Suffice it to say it would never make sense to pay someone to make these because it ended up about $16 per square inch! I wanted to be able to remove the signs to refinish so I used Weld-Mount ¼”-20 female standoffs and silicone bronze flathead bolts.

 

The Decision is Made

After a lot of soul-searching we made the decision to ship Roxia to Ensenada instead of taking a year or so to cruise home.  Why then did we buy a boat in Australia and not come back through the South Pacific?  We were planning to do just that.  As it turns out Roxia was not used much in the past number of years.  It was used more as a condo than a ocean crosser.  It is still totally capable of the trip but there are so many of the “comfort” type systems that I want to test and repair that it just didn’t make sense to do that from afar.  I can complete so many of these tasks while it is nearby our home in Seattle.  There will be time to cross an ocean in our future.

We chose DYT Yacht Transport for delivery from Brisbane to Ensenada. Here is a video of the process. Yacht Express

I will miss the islands of the South Pacific but believe this is the right decision.  We should arrive in Ensenada around the first week of March…give or take.

Back in the USA

We finished our five week “working” adventure in Australia and have returned to the chilly Northwest.  We spent the first week getting Roxia set up then went on a three week shakedown cruise finishing with one more week in Sydney. Roxia is safe on the hard in Bundaberg Port Marina under the watchful eye of Brett Hensler and Donna Pressler. Roxia survived the first 100kph wind with no issues.  All the boats on the hard are kept in steel cradles and then the boat is strapped down.IMG_3615

We did have a few issues that we had to repair on the fly.  The worst of them was the hydraulic cooling pump connection failed and we didn’t have a spare.  We were three days from nowhere and needed the pump to be able to use the stabilizers.

 

These pictures show the sheared off teeth of the connection between hydraulic motor and water pump as well as the three versions of my solution. First, using cut up pieces of hose, zip ties (V1), then hose clamps (V2) and finally hose with hose clamps and a zip tie to take up some of the torsional force (V3). V1 lasted 20 minutes, V2 lasted 3 hours and finally V3 lasted more than two weeks. I need to come up with a better long term solution. If I can build a bracket to keep the motor and pump aligned the old style may work. The other problem is the pump has slotted head screws instead of hex head. That is the worst invention ever. It is impossible to hold a screwdriver in 115 degree heat in rough seas to change the impeller. At least that is a simple solution.

All in all this was a great trip. We did some cruising of the Whitsundays and the Curtis Coast (down to Bundaberg). Lady Musgrave is a reef about 35 nm off the coast. There is an opening in the reef deep enough to drive through. We cruised there for our last night before Bundy and we are glad we did.  After nervously motoring inside avoiding bommies, we anchored and took the dinghy to the tiny little island which is the part of the reef above water. We walked through mangroves with hundreds of nesting birds. The sound was amazing with all the songs and probably yelling at us to get out…  Back on the beach we snorkeled in the reef. A tortoise swam with us and we watched a Blue Spotted Ray rest under a rock.

Blue Spotted Ray

Here are some pictures from our cruising.

 

As we were cruising I was amazed at some of the patches of algae that we saw. I’m not sure if this is from the warm water or if it is normal for this area but the patches were vast.  Here is a picture when we were many miles offshore.

IMG_3486

Large amounts of what appeared to be algae

Coal is a huge export from Australia. The controversy is starting to heat up regarding the use, mining and export of coal but these two pictures show the number of coal freighters we saw in both Mackay and Gladstone.

IMG_3451

AIS and Radar split screen.

IMG_3450

Visual approach to anchorage.

It was fun spending time in Sydney. The ferry service is awesome. With the Opal card you can take the public ferry, bus and train routes. There is a discount with the card and a 15.40 max per day use so once you hit that amount everything is free.  On Sundays the max is under $2!

 

Now the question is: Do we ship Roxia home or drive her home? The big question is if she is ready to make the voyage or can we get her ready before the required (by ATO) April 20 departure date.

Stay tuned.

A week in the Whitsundays

We had a great trip learning Roxia and systems.  We are starting to feel comfortable with systems and where to put things.  We are back in Mackay to provision for our trip south to Bundaberg to haul Roxia out for the Typhoon season.

We did some snorkeling complete with Stinger suits. Had a first chance to look at the hull of Roxia while snorkeling.  It is time for bottom paint but all looks well underneath.  We need kayaks or SUP’s for more water fun. We are starting a list of things we want now, not just things we need.

Here is an Item we came across which is one step to improving our use of plastic.  I would like to see this at more if not all marinas.

IMG_3390

Pictures from Hamilton

FCDEB80A-4B36-448A-9E51-A7EC615BC12058CE0FF7-26D6-45B3-9692-BE244D1164BE7BCCCDC6-82E0-4580-81E6-B454F332372D

Hamilton Island

We left Mackay, QLD on October 15 and headed to Scawfell Island.  We had SE winds 10-15k with wind waves on the starboard beam of 2-3 feet. Roxia handled the seas comfortably.  We had one issue with the generator running but not producing power. I checked all the manuals on the boat for the generator and all we had were the Northern Lights books for the engine. I had enough information to rebuild the engine but could I find a wiring diagram for the actual generator…not so lucky.  I grabbed the multimeter and headed to the engine room.  I was getting power at the generator so I knew it had to be between the genset and the panel.  After looking in the N62 manual I found there was a double pole breaker somewhere.  Back to the engine room and yes I found the box mounted on the bulkhead behind the gen and there was a tripped breaker. Boom, done, drop mic.  First issue at sea solved. We decided to continue the trip. Scawfell was really pretty so we put the dink “On the Rox” in the water to check things out. Yikes, gas gauge flashing empty and no paddle.  We circled Roxia and snapped some pictures then back on deck for the Dink.

October 16 found us at Goldsmith Island and a nice little sheltered cove on the North side. Two sail boats were already anchored but we were all separated and cozy.  I forgot to leave the inReach on so it looks like we transported there but we actually cruise there. It rained hard but it was warm so Roxia just got a nice wash down.  Anchoring is quite nice with the use of Flopper Stoppers to keep the rocking to a minimum. A 300# anchor and 1/2″ chain makes you sleep easy.  An item we never had on any other boat is the hydraulic automatic anchor wash down. Water sprays the chain at 180 gpm so as we haul it up it gets clean. It is so strong I thought it might blow off the galvanizing…maybe not.

October 17 we decided to head to the snazzy marina of Hamilton Island Marina.  A little pricy but very nice.  We did make the mistake of calling in for our slip assignment and proceeding in. Oops, here you wait for the concierge dinghy to come greet you and lead you to your slip. I had to back into a slip for the first time and managed to keep all 70 tons from crushing dock or human.  This marina was hit in March with a Category 5 Typhoon. The island, marina and resort were blasted.  People in the marina (150) all huddled in conference center to wait out the storm.  260-280kph winds remained for nearly 6 hours. The people were pinned in the building for two days. Food was running out then the steel doors caved in.  Everyone tried to stay in the large restrooms. We rode the free shuttle around the island and our driver was in that group.  There is a driving range where you hit balls into a pond.  The wind blew all the water out and sent 10,000 golf balls onto the runway.  Airplanes couldn’t take off or land until it was clear.  Resort staff walked the entire runway and cleaned it off so people could be evacuated. The owners of the resort hired 500-600 tradesmen to rebuild the resort. They are still working on projects seven months later but the resort and Island was only closed for 7 days!! No WiFi here! What?

Pictures will have to wait.

New Roxia Page

Check out the new Roxia Page

IMG_2752

Everyone dies, but not everyone really l

Everyone dies, but not everyone really lives. Let the adventures begin.

Lone pilot 2

Listing Price

M/V Shibumi $500,000 usd.

IMG_4879

Shibumi is For Sale

Wheelhouse

With our sights on new adventures and a growing family we are looking at a different boat. Shibumi is at a perfect stage to sell.  For the person looking to differ some costs by keeping her in charter she has a consistent history of bookings. It is always good to buy a boat from a boat nerd who is a little OCD. Check out the tab and look at the PDF and let me know what you think.