Wednesday 19 Dec. ~ What Price Perfection
The view from our home
You know youíve been working hard when your eyes refuse to open to the new day. Gummed up, brain running in molasses, what day is it, you wonder?
Weeks two and three of Life on the Hard
sure got a lot harder. Itís those damn topsides. Why is it, the closer to perfection, the harder it gets? Dimples never seen suddenly appear and tinny-winy blemishes yell out Iím here!
Those who know Banyandah
are probably rolling on the floor laughing right now. Our lady is more working class than showgirl, but pride, or is it ego, has Jude and I up and down ladders, priming and sanding
for hours and hours. If that wasnít enough for legs past their prime, we also sanded Little Red, getting her ready for a new coat as well.
Midweek, for a break from the coalface, we borrowed the marinaís courtesy van and went shopping
for three months of victuals. OuchÖ Right in the midst of the Christmas
rush, babies wailing, Jude pushing one cart, me pushing another, nearly a grand spent in just a few hours. To celebrate, in a madcap last stop we bought ourselves a Christmas
present. A new Opulence mattress. The old one looks like two elephants had made it their bed
and my back has been complaining for nigh on too long.
Part of our three months provisions. Jude scored a new shirt, I got a camping matÖ
How many have read in Where Wild Winds Blow
how we acquired our mainsail
from Egyptian fishermen who had salvaged it off a French yacht that had disastrously misjudged the first coral
reef in the Red Sea? This sailís story is a saga of patiently waiting some 20 odd years before it felt the breeze once again. Well, that main, which could never have been called first class, has now powered Banyandah
more than twenty thousand miles including three Bight crossings. So itís a wee bit worn out. Therefore, we have splurged and bought a brand new one. Whoopee! But more than that, a mainsail
with full length battens.
Our track system, installed back in í73, comprises four SS sections that accommodates plastic slides that work remarkably well unless one jambs at a joint. With Jude and I closer to seventy than sixty, we often tuck a reef in at sundown just so we donít have deck
work in the middle of the night. You never know when sailing the Southern Ocean. And since we donít like getting wet before going to bed
, I often pull the reef in while trucking down the wave fronts. Donít think thatíll be possible with full-length battens, so we flashed even more cash, opting for a new sail track system. Weíve sailed lots of miles in dirty conditions. The Red Sea for instances ground our winches to a standstill, blocks exploded, and an Egyptian garden hose taken to the masthead poured grime out the bottom for what seemed hours. Well, the top end of Aussie is kinda like that with sand in the air being blown into all those bearings. So we donít like those tiny balls they put in the big name sail cars. Beaut for Sydney
Harbour, but could be trouble up north.
one-piece Tides Marine
machined UHMW track
We researched a different system made by TIDES in America. A one-piece machined UHMW track that slips into existing grooves, or in our case they machined one to fit our ancient Ronstan SS track. Slippery as a wet babyís bottom, it uses solid stainless cars. On the sample they sent, sliding the car back and forth seemed like greased lightening. Jude called her toy. I called it heaven.
New mainsail ready to fly free
The new mainsail arrived midweek and of course straightaway I wanted to fly it. Nothing soothes the mind than seeing a new sail actually fits. Without the proper track, I was going to fly it free just to see how it fit, and I wanted it dead quiet. But, Tasmania has freaky weather
. One moment sunny and quiet, the next the Roaring Forties shout out. After a difficult night, daybreak saw me unpacking our super crisp sail and attaching clew and tack. Hooking on the halyard
, as I pulled up the first few metres, the son of Poseidon let out an almighty shout. The trees shook, leaves fluttered and our new mainsail went wild. Sharp metal corners abound on slipway bogies and my mindís eye imagined one of them slashing a huge jagged gash. Oh my god! Get it down! Cuddled like a child, fortunately no harm came to our new baby.
Hours later, after those mountains of stiff cloth had blocked our access all day, we experienced a calm and let the thing fly. You Beauty! Sheís a ripper. Might have liked a wee bit more roach seeing her full-length battens will support its shape, but love the Bainbridge Ocean 1055 cloth thatíll drive Banyandah
to even greater adventures. The track arrived in a coil today, and get this, they assure us itíll slide all way up our 13 m track. More on that later.
next Saturday and Sunday means weíll be hard at it laying on new polyurethane
topside coatings. After that, tools down, weíre going up to Barryís in Hobart to unwind and celebrate Christmas. His sonís a chief and with thoughts of last yearís fare making our mouths water
, we have plenty to be thankful for this season. So, I plan to find a quiet place under a gum tree in the shade of Mount Wellington and utter my thanks.
This Christmas spare a thought for Mother Earth. Sheís doing it tough, mostly by our own doing.
Long life and good health
Merry Christmas from Jack and Jude
Deny Kingís ship
The historic Melaleuca.
that sailed many times under Tasmania