Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jessica Watson - A homecoming video.....

Our day on Sydney Harbour turned into a lot of fun for all on board Lucey Blue.

For additional background on Jessica's adventure you can't go past the following: http://video.au.msn.com/watch/video/jessicas-excellent-adventure/xl4hlid
(Nick only says this because Lucey Blue appears in the first 60 seconds of the video ;-).

Sunday, May 16, 2010

More pics of Jessica Watson's homecoming...

Sydney Harbour waiting for Jessica's arrival...

Swell and surf at Sydney Heads...

Our Skippers on Lucey Blue...

Jessica Watson and Ella's Pink Lady crossing the finish line at Sydney Harbour Heads on 15th May 2010...


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Our awesome day out with Jessica Watson...

...This is gonna be short and sweet. We've been out on Sydney Harbour since about 8:00 am this morning, and it is now 8:30 pm and we are about to go to bed...stuffed!

We went out to help welcome Jessica Watson home...and by the look of it, so did most of the rest of Sydney!

I've chosen two of my favourite photos to show you now. We have lots more (and video)...but I'll need to sit down and go through them more slowly for the best shots. I had my 300 mm zoom and managed to get some nice shots as she came through the Heads of Sydney Harbour.

It was quite scary out there in the Heads. With swells of about 4 m and dozens and dozens and DOZENS of boats milling about (at speed)...I am absolutely AMAZED we came out of it without a scratch. At one point, one small craft almost went between our hulls and there were upwards of four helicopters buzzing about overhead for added effect. Nick was steering...I would NOT have been able to do that!

It was an absolutely amazing feeling being out there with Jessica as she returned home today. I am just in AWE of her positive vibe, spirit and skill. I will be the first to admit that I was pretty dubious about the whole trip after the initial incident with the container ship...but she has shown me that she is made of some seriously stern stuff! Hats of to you Jesse...and thanks for sharing your day with us.

Hope you managed to catch a glimpse of her on TV. It was a wonderful day!


Saturday, May 8, 2010

A day (or two) in the life of a cabin boy...

Nick is kinda enjoying the whole iMovie concept...and is now stitching together all sorts of bits and pieces in an effort to create more material for our viewing pleasure...

Have a great weekend!

A Lucey Blue video...or two!

Nick and I patched together these little videos this morning using iMovie and YouTube.

A short motor sail out Sydney Harbour Heads aboard Lucey Blue.

A view of Lucey Blue from up the mast.

I like Apple iMovie a lot. It is pretty intuitive to use and does some groovy stuff. I am sure there is lots more for us to discover too.

Thanks for visiting!


Monday, May 3, 2010

Steering 101

Well, after the awesome sail-setting tips you got in the last post, I'll bet that you are on tenterhooks about what pearls will be imparted in this one! Welcome to 'Steering 101'.

Nick was checking out the steering one day (as you do)...when he discovered that the steering idler was in need of replacing. The base plate was rusting out (I could almost write 'the base plate had rusted out'), and we decided that we didn't need it coming adrift at some inconvenient moment (are there many moments where it would be convenient for the steering idler base plate to come adrift Sam?).

The steering idler is essentially two brass pulley wheels mounted together on a base plate and sitting beneath the steering wheel, under the cockpit floor. It runs the steering cables from the steering wheel to the rudders...to steer the boat (doh!). In the photo above you can also see that the steering cables have been chaffing at the edge of one of the pulleys and wearing it down.

There are more of the pulleys under the cockpit floor (Note: That wire is no longer leaning up against that pulley either)...

...guiding the steering cables back to the quadrants on the rudder shafts (more about carbon fiber rudder shafts in another post)...

Nick thought that he would have to find someone to custom make a base plate for the idler and we started seeing the $$$$ signs flashing. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the part was an Edson one, and now...18 years later, they still make the same part (it is almost an exact match, only now it is made of aluminium, not brass). One of the advantages of having a production boat (which was built in the US) and made using high quality components...you can still source the parts years and years later!

We were able to order the whole unit through Harken Australia and got it a few weeks later. It cost about AUD380.00....which was no picnic of a price, but we felt that we were better off than if we'd had to get it custom-made.

The idler is accessed through a hole in the saloon wall, behind the sliding door.

When Nick installed the new one, he made a wedge of wood to mount underneath the pulley and make the cables align better with the wheels (and hopefully reduced the chaffing):

So now the steering is working nicely, and I have a newfound understanding of what is going on every time I turn the steering wheel! However, as I alluded to before...we still have some issues to address with one of the carbon fiber rudder shafts. Sigh!

On a lighter note, I recently made a sun catcher with some beautiful glass lampwork beads that I bought on Etsy (here). It is now hanging in the saloon and casting groovy rainbow spots around when the sun hits it:

Thanks for dropping by!