Thursday, April 29, 2010

Broken Anchor Winch and Setting the Sails...

As I mentioned in my last post, we have been spending most weekends in Sydney aboard Lucey Blue. As Lucey Blue is located approximately 320 km from our front door...this is no mean feat, and we are putting lots of clicks on the car driving back and forth (not to mention the numerous games of I-spy and pit-stops at McDonalds [the novelty there is REALLY wearing off!]).

Last weekend, the ANZAC Day long weekend, we were hoping to get some of the 'to do' things from our list done. Sadly, it wasn't to be. I was washing up in the sink on the Friday, and discovered a new explosive quality to our water. It would run some, then gurgle some, then explode from the tap in every direction seemed to have a preference for squirting directly in my face (nice). Nick changed over the tanks, but the explosive quality persisted. Eventually he discovered a hole in one of the pipes, and that job was fixed. We also picked up a new 6V Trojan battery to replace the dead one, spent a motza at Whitworths on two plastic bags worth of boat 'stuff', and picked up the bimini (it was forecast to rain on Sunday and we'd had enough of that bimini-less fun).

The next day we decided to head out into the Harbour and maybe have a swim (well, the kids and Nick decided to have a swim...with top temps of around 22 degrees celcius (and the water considerably colder than that)...I decided to read my book ;-). We passed HMAS Stuart, just returning from the Middle East, and then wandered on over to Quarantine Beach and anchored.

Nick dragged out his new spare dinghy, a recent eBay purchase, and took it for a spin:

Apart from the slow leak in one of the panels (which he knew about before purchase) it worked well. Apparently it is a 'disposable' dinghy and is for leaving in dodgy places where you are not sure if your dinghy is still going to be there when you get back...HHHHMMMMmmmmmmm. Makes me wonder about this cruising business!

After the spin and a quick swim we decided to have lunch ashore at the Engine Room cafe (which is next door to the Boilerhouse Restaurant at the QStation). We chose a table where we could keep an eye on Lucey Blue (the wind was coming up, and some other yachts were having trouble anchoring in the small bay):

Ryan loved his meal...but then Ryan loves most food - including lemons (notice that he is eating the lemon in PREFERENCE to the big fat chips on his plate...and yes, he ate the salad after the lemon!):

Nick liked this sign...

Unfortunately we didn't see any Little Penguins this weekend, but we have seen them near Fairlight, and I even saw two in Quakers Hat Bay a couple of weeks ago...very cool...but too quick to photograph.

Anyhoo...after lunch we went back to Lucey Blue and Nick went to lay down more anchor chain (as I wanted to spend the night there, and the wind was picking up a fair bit). This was when we discovered a recently aquired 'feature' of the anchor winch. It would go up, but not down. Now, as far as bad timing and things that could go wrong..having the anchor chain down, and then having the winch only work going a GOOD thing. It meant we couldn't stay the night at Quarantine, but at least we could bring in the chain that was out and motor safely back to our mooring...which is what we did.

The next day Nick set to work investigating this new issue. After some contortionist moves on his part:

...then some gnashing of teeth when the bolts would not undo:

...he finally discovered the trouble:

...zee wires are KAPUT-ski (this photo is taken upside down, through a small hole in the side of the box that the winch sits on, above the chain).

So, now we know what the problem'll take another weekend to fix it! COOL....not. Like I said first up...that to-do list is getting longer, not shorter...and this is one of those 'essential' items methinks ;-).

On Monday...sans anchor, we decided to leave the mooring again, and go out the heads for a little sail..with the jib only. It was a lovely day, but there was a surprisingly large swell of about 3 m...which made for some interesting motion (I get seasick and by the time we got back in the heads I was starting to feel just a tad queasy [I have used Scopalomine Patches successfully in the past....but would only use them for longer term I can usually last a couple of hours without actually feeding the fish]).

While we were out there, Nick demonstrated some of the finer points of setting sails for me:

Nick has a fair bit of sailing experience. He raced 12 ft skiffs on Sydney Harbour when he was younger. He also sailed with his parents for three years in the Pacific during the 80s in a 32 ft Eureka Catamaran. More recently he has sailed in a Roberts Spray (a 45ft steel hulled, cutter-rigged ketch) to Antarctica and South America (this is where I put the Scop patches to good use). I am not sure where he has used these particular sail setting techniques before...but he looked like he was having fun hanging there.


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