Hey Chris and Gordon.
Chris - just saw you going out with balloons all over the boat. Glad to hear all are enjoying their boats. We have enjoyed ours well and seen some amazing places. For those heading to there Pacific, Vanuatu
is fantastic and is very encouraging to cruisers. Its easy day sailing
from Is to Is, with just a few Overnight hops. If you are doing New Cal
can throughly recommend the Rocket Interactive guide. Its fantastic. The Solomons were a whole different story. In Vanuatu we saw other boats everywhere, but in the Sollies didn't see another cruiser for over 6 weeks. When we did we were quite pathetic in our rush to speak english
and socialise with another cruiser.
But regarding boat performance in the long term I will say 60m of chain was nowhere near enough. Is OK for Vanuatu but still 10m anchorages
were common. In the Solomons 12 m was the norm, or nose off a 2m reef with a stern anchor
out in 50m on 100m of rode
, and even that didn't work sometimes. This resulted in a few sleepless nights. And we couldn't managed that sometimes if I hadn't dived the anchor
. But there are some locals that have put in moorings in some very beautiful locations.
Re: power we have 400W of hard panels
across the back (factory fitted), and 480W of the chinese flexible panels on the port side saloon
top. Our top charge rate was 54amps, but more usually about 40amps on a good day. In the tropics we disconnected our cockpit
fridge to reduce power consumption's heat doesn't equate to sunshine up there. We had many days overcast with no wind
, so the genset got a good workout. In 8mths we put on 100hrs (that was filling scuba tanks
Another issue with cruising around above Lat 7deg is the heat. Everything overheats as the water
temp is 30deg, so nothing can cool down. Batt temps above 30deg was everyday. The genset and the inverter
were the main suffers of this. I learned to charge and fill first thing in the morning and get the solar top off batteries during the day. We didn't plug
in to mains at a marina for over 6mths so managing power in the long term was a very interesting experience. I will say I KNOW NOTHING!!! I am not an engineer
of any sort, so relied on experience and CDF.
Other issues were line chaffing etc, chaffing on the genoa
foot against the striker. Regards sailing in the trades 7-9k the average but you guys will have already figured our your boats sailing issues.
Mosquito netting - Sandy bought the strip door screen
you can buy the the $2 shop and hung the over the slide door connecting panels of screen
of the side back window with velcro. We sailed the Solomons with no anti malaria's and had no issues of mosquitos inside.
Sorry rambling now - a habit. But Chris if you have any Q's before heading Nth with are in the Mooloolaba Marina until Thursday 13/11. Would luv to catch up and have a chat.
Forgot to mention we had a Inmarsat Phone
with Optimizer router. very poor performance regards data. We are going to the Redport WiFi
Router as the total cost is the same as Iridium
Go and an external antenna
. Don't know if you have HF but IMHO absolutely essential. Its the Facebook of cruisers so staying in touch. Some don't use it at all but many do and I feel we have lost
contact with many great people we met because we though Satt Data was all we though we needed.