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Old 17-04-2011, 06:40   #16
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Re: Across the Top of Australia

Tony... I forgot it was going to be winter down there. I've changed timezones and hemispheres so much in the last 18 months I've usually little idea where I am any more!
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:33   #17
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Hi Bvimatelot,
I am looking to do the same in january 2012.
Leaving Phuket beginning of January, route between Borneo and Java, if possible only one technical stop in Darwin than finding my slow way to Port Moresby in PNG.
I was in Darwin before. Refueling without Tax is possible and very easy to do also by your self.
I had a great positive experience with all the Customs-immigration-fishery people.
Less positive to find spare parts that has to be shipped from Sydney o Cairns.
I hope it will be possible to follow your progress or read it when you have done it.
All the best
Andrea.
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Old 02-07-2011, 20:59   #18
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Re: Across the Top of Australia

ACROSS THE TOP - UPDATE

For those who helped and for anyone who is/was, interested: Here's where we are at.

Arrived at the boat in Seychelles in early May to find a sad, unloved little craft that had part sunk at the dock (a head hose failure on stbd side.) Not a brilliant start to one's day.

People who had been looking after the boat at the dock for the owner (who lives in Oz) had done as good as they could and had replaced the hoses and the drowned alternators on the stbd engine etc, etc but she was still in a bit of a state.

It took myself and gallant crew a week to sort out and we did managed to get a bit of "tourism" in as well. Seychelles is absolutely gorgeous but goodness me, it aint cheap!!

The intention was to bash straight across to Bali but 3 days out, in not particularly horrible weather (it was a bit lumpy, but bearable) during a perfectly normal controlled gybe - the gooseneck broke!! Since it was 2.00am, I decided to drop the main until daylight and just gill around a bit until I could jury-rig it. Daylight came and just glancing up at the top of the mast, as one does, I noticed that the port cap shroud was "stranding". Getting the binoculars onto it, I could count 7 loose strands out of the 19. Not good, thinks I. Anyway, having rigged the topping lift and 2 spare halliards as temporary stays, I was pretty happy that the mast wasnt going to fall down and, reviewing the situation, decided that I was closer to Maldives than going back to expensive Seychelles. It took about a week to limp up to Male under small sails where I contacted the owner.

Long story short, after discussion with Z spars UK (brilliant support from them by the way), it was decided to ship in some spare shroud wire, Norseman terminals and a gooseneck fitting.

This all eventually arrived and we measured and cut and fitted. Talking about that though: Have you ever tried to cut 10mm 19 strand wire with the bolt croppers that you have onboard? Try it - you will be frightened about actually how difficult it is - just imagine having to cut away rigging in some nasty stuff in a hurry!

Maldives was not a happy place: I'm sure there are beautiful bits but we were anchored off Hulumale (where the airport is) - a ferry ride into Male itself which is the commercial centre and capital - ghastly place! Oh yes - did I mention that being Muslim, it is totally dry? Not good.

Apart from the rig, although I had been told that the fuel tank had been cleaned....it hadnt! (Trust - but verify, as (I think), Ronald Reagan once said). So I had spent many a happy hour in either or both engine rooms trying to coax fuel through. The electrics were a total mess (I'm not sure I have them totaly worked out, even at this stage!) and every hatch leaked. So although it took 2 weeks for the parts to arrive, there was lots to be done on board in terms of repair, refit and general clean-up.

We got out of Maldives and decided that the best thing now, being much further North than originally intended, was to go across to Langkawi then down the Malacca Straits and across to Bali to pick up the programme.

Har, Har, 2 days out of Male, strong smell of propane and all of a sudden, no cooking gas. Well - I do like my bacon-and-eggs for brekkie and the thought of no hot coffee for a week or so was just too much to bear. Being now closer to Sri Lanka than any where else, we decided to divert to fix the gas and all the other various little problems that had, meanwhile, cropped up.

Sri Lanka was, how can I put it, interesting?? But we got done what had to be done then had a lovely fast passage with the SW Monsoon across to Langkawi.

If all goes well here with the few defects that I have left to sort out, after re-provisioning, I should get out of here on Monday night/Tuesday morning.

I am just now trying to sort out in my brain whether its worth going Bali-Darwin and onwards or staying in the South China Sea and dropping down to Oz on the East Coast from somewhere like East Timor......Tony
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Old 02-07-2011, 22:20   #19
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Re: Across the Top of Australia

Tony,
I missed this thread earlier.
I came across from Darwin to Cairns in May/June 2009
I did punch against it from about Morris Island to Melville, then much less around the corner to Cairns. In July, I brought the boat down from Cairns to Bundaberg.

It was all the wrong time, but there are small windows to do it in.

Darwin to Gove, under Croker Island, through to the 'hole in the wall' and on to Gove.

Gove to Siesia. Seisia to Moris Island. Morris to Stanley Anchorage. Stanley to Hope Is. Hope Is. to Cairns.

Darwin seems like the place you will start from.

Keep us posted
David
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Old 02-07-2011, 23:52   #20
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Re: Across the Top of Australia

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Originally Posted by rusky View Post
Tony,
I missed this thread earlier.
I came across from Darwin to Cairns in May/June 2009
I did punch against it from about Morris Island to Melville, then much less around the corner to Cairns. In July, I brought the boat down from Cairns to Bundaberg.

It was all the wrong time, but there are small windows to do it in.

Darwin to Gove, under Croker Island, through to the 'hole in the wall' and on to Gove.

Gove to Siesia. Seisia to Moris Island. Morris to Stanley Anchorage. Stanley to Hope Is. Hope Is. to Cairns.



Darwin seems like the place you will start from.

Keep us posted
David
Hey, David - Many thanks for that - all good info. I've been sitting here in a freakin' thunderstorm doing my passage planning and I really cant see any other way than down the Straits to Bali then across to Darwin, as you suggest. I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and punch in to it. Luckily, she's a very close-winded cat. T
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:40   #21
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Re: Across the Top of Australia

We had great weather in 09, rotten last year and this year we are off the boat but it looks a crappy season anyway.
Good luck, good trip
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:47   #22
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Re: Across the Top of Australia

Amazing the update! Great lesson for anybody prepping for an extensive passage.

I will be most interested in reading your adventures as you go. PLS try to find time and write up as you go, mate!

All the best, fair winds and happy sailing!

barnakiel
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:33   #23
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Re: Across the Top of Australia

What a story!!
I sure hope it goes better for you as you head south.
Great resourcefulness to keep it going.

Mark
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:48   #24
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Re: Across the Top of Australia

G'Day Mark,

Stories like this remind me why being a delivery skipper isn't as great a job as it sounds! Seems like the majority of offerings are to take ill prepared and maintained boats on long up-wind passages at the wrong time of year... Passages that the sensible owner will not undertake on his own!

These guys usually earn their money IMO!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 03-07-2011, 21:23   #25
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Re: Across the Top of Australia

Thanks guys for your very kind comments!

Its always a toss-up....it costs x dollars to re- locate to where the boat is and then you discover its not quite what you expected....but you've already said you are gonna do it....I haven't dropped one yet but its always in the back of your mind.

Having said that - I'm getting SUPERB support, encouragement, appreciation, etc, etc from this owner - so I'm certainly not about to let him down!!

Far East seems to be as laid back as the Caribbean but the rigger who was requested on Friday has now turned up on Monday morning - with, seemingly, all the right kit (!) so that's one thing to tick off the list and still looking good for a tonight or tomorrow morning departure for Bali.....
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Old 05-07-2011, 06:47   #26
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Re: Across the Top of Australia

Thanks for the update, it is always great to hear how this things pan out. Good luck and fair winds with the next legs and I trust you will be able to enjoy the remote northern coast of Oz.
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Old 05-07-2011, 20:15   #27
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Re: Across the Top of Australia

MINI UPDATE. Still in Langkawi! One of the "minor defects" I mentioned earlier was the bracing wire over the top of the compression strut on the forward cross-beam started to strand in a similar manner to the original problem of the port cap shroud. I found a rigger - Luigi (must be one of the Mario Bros) who has spent a couple of days on what originally appeared to be a relatively simple "repair by replacement". Needless to say, "we need a bigger hammer"!!

Having had 2 fairly important bits of rigging go, the Wise Virgin decides that it might be a good idea to check out the rest......it is! The stbd cap shroud is starting at its lower swage. Luckily, the Owner had flown in 2 cap shrouds when we were in Maldives so that's a pretty easy swap out. Obviously now, I'm gonna have to look at the Forestay....not looking forward to this but at least Luigi, bless him, carries 10mm ss wire! Maybe a couple more days here but its not a bad place to be stuck....cheap beer, pretty girls, exotic culture (if you dig beneath the tourism)...
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:55   #28
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Re: Across the Top of Australia

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cheap beer, pretty girls, exotic culture
Glad to see you are working flat out on the problem!

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Old 25-07-2011, 07:23   #29
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Re: Across the Top of Australia

ANOTHER MINI UPDATE

And so, gentle readers, the saga continues...Where did I leave you last? Oh yes, Langkawi. Well 2 days out, getting into the Malacca straits, lots of things decide to give up on me, including the autopilot. Being now two handed, this makes life a little more stressful. The Port engine is burning sumpfuls of oil per day and the starboard engine alternator is doing nothing to help the batteries and the engine itself has developed yet another fuel leak. So back to Langkawi we go! I'm sure there were other problems but without delving back through the log they were obviously not too life-threatening!

Got a lot of stuff sorted in Langkawi with the assistance of John and Sheila who own the Chandlery at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club - good people! The electrical problems took a few days because lekkies seem to be as rare as hen's teeth there. However, the elusive Mr Sin puts me onto his mate, Mr Han and we find a main 150 amp fuse has blown, which caused the majority of the electrical problems. Now dear Mr Han speaks either Hokkien or Cantonese and I speak English, French and a bit of Spanish. So my important question - "Why did the fuse blow"? Never truly got answered!

And so, off we go again. As you go down the Malacca Straits, they get narrower! This means that the shipping all converges and it makes for a very busy life indeed, until they start the Shipping Separation Lanes which, as long as you keep out of them, makes it much easier. And why did I say easier? Because, once out of the shipping lanes you are now amongst the fishing fleets with their seemingly miles of unlit nets! Hey ho!!

3 days out, after mostly calms or gentle Southerly breezes, the wind picks up somewhat and I put in a precautionary 1st reef. Half an hour later the mainsail splits from luff to leech just on a seam below the 3rd reef. No option but to bring the main down to the 3rd reef which, in light and contrary winds, makes everything exceedingly slow - like - about 3 kts through the water (forget bucking a foul tide!)

Even so, we force on and just South of the Equator (Hooray - at least we're in the correct Hemisphere!) the auto pilot craps out again and, having stopped the Port engine to check its bodily fluids - I cant get the bugger started again!

Long story short - Now in Raffles Marina, Singapore!!! ... Watch this space ... Tony
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Old 25-07-2011, 08:35   #30
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Re: Across the Top of Australia

Mate, you sure know how to have a good time!

Good luck for the rest of the delivery... I think you have earned some!

Cheers,

Jim
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