"Egret" N4674 - Scott and Mary Flanders
Ed. note: On February 10, 2011, Scott and Mary Flanders, on board their Nordhavn 46, Egret, arrived in the Canary Islands. In doing so, Egret became the eighth Nordhavn to circumnavigate the globe. It had been four years, five months since the couple departed Gran Canaria, intent on seeing as much of the earth as possible, although not necessarily with an end goal to circle the globe. Voyage of Egret documents the Flanders’ entire trip, an endless adventure that has put them in touch with the most fabulous places and interesting people. Much route planning and forecasting was required in order to get to some of their ports of call. But the days of detailed planning are over…for now. “Egret” is now back in Fort Lauderdale, the place the couple called home for so many years, and, ironically, the starting point of their world wide cruising escapade that began with the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. They currently travel hither and yon, sometimes by boat, sometimes not. Here, the latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised.
April 23, 2010
Position: S32 04.19 E115 44.89 Visitors Dock, Fremantle Sailing Club, Fremantle, Western Australia
G' day mis amigos, the Egret crew is in a bit of a bind and could use some help. It is a long story but in a nutshell Mary and I need to be a member, associate member, social member or honorary member of a yacht club somewhere in the world in order to stay in a 'pen' (slip) here in Fremantle. We have arranged to lease a private pen for the duration of our stay but do need to be associated with a yacht club by the end of this month (April). So if any VofE readers can help with this please scan and e-mail, on yacht club stationary, the fact that Scott and Mary Flanders of m/y Egret are _________ members of ________ Yacht Club. Please e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org and copy email@example.com Thank you for your timely help.
Back to VofE.
We received an e-mail from boating friends asking about retrofitting paravanes on their larger non N. trawler. We'll pass along our thoughts on our friend's retrofit as well as N. retrofits with paravanes as we see it as an addition to either Trac or Naiad hydraulic stabilizers. Before we get started please understand we are not experts on paravane stabilization in day to day use but just overall observations based on our personal experience and what we observed on the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally. I will say because of a recent paravane sea trial nearing Hobart, Tasmania, Egret's paravanes work at 70% or less of her electronic Naiad's (Multi Sea II).
So lets start at the 2004 NAR and work to today. The two paravane only boats on the NAR had ZERO mechanical stabilization problems crossing the Atlantic. The majority of the Naiad stabilized boats and 1/3 of the Trac equipped boats HAD problems on the rally. ALL were fixed by the end of the rally by the respective stabilizer companies at minimal or no cost to the participants. Both stabilizer companies learned a LOT from the rally. Naiad's biggest problem was on the upgraded electronic controls (vs gyro control) units. There was an electrical gizzy (gizzy means I can't remember what it was) that had some plastic parts in the piece that allowed variance in some electrical control setting. Not long after the rally this problem was fixed. One older Naiad boat didn't have a gear driven hydraulic pressure pump but had a belt driven pump mounted on a pedestal and that system failed. Trac had an undersized fitting of some sort that was upgraded on the NAR and later to all Trac units. In the six years since the rally both manufacturer's have come a long way and are producing quality units. Since Egret's Naiad upgrade in Argentina four years ago to Multi Sea II electronic controls we have had ZERO problems and much better stabilization then before.
Now lets look at older N's or other trawlers like Egret who originally came with Naiad gyro controls vs electronic controls. If they are working for what you are doing that is good enough. If you are thinking about super long distance and specifically if you will be in areas of following seas, such as the typical trade wind routes, an upgrade to electronic controls is well worth the expense. The difference in head seas is minimal because the stabilizers are barely working but in large following seas the difference is AMAZING!! A second big advantage is in the electronics themselves. Here's the deal. When you have a gyro system and have a fin or mechanical failure* on one side of any type, (*like having an actuator piston break like Egret on the NAR) it requires you pull the two 1/2" hoses off the unit at the actuator piston and put 1/2" flare plugs into the hoses and 1/2" flare caps over the now unused flare fittings on the piston. As you disconnect the hoses, what happens is you will DUMP ALL THE HOT OIL (about 245 degrees F.) from the cooling tower into whichever side went bad (head pressure won't allow you to plug the hose until the reservoir is nearly empty). Yes, as Egret did. Then you turn upsea and pin the fin. THEN you refill the tower in the HOT engine room (of course it WILL be at night and it will be ROUGH). After, you can resume course (the system will self bleed) and you will run at about 75% stabilization as did Egret. With electronic controls you simply pull the electrical plug on that side and pin the fin. Plus with electronic controls with a single fin working you will have more stabilization than if you had one gyro fin working and likely more than paravanes alone. Egret ran 5 of 6 days to Bermuda on one fin so we have a bit of experience.
Now lets look at retrofitting an N with paravanes. It seems relatively simple at the outset but it isn't. Here's the deal as it happened to us. You order the kit made for your boat. It will be complete and everything will fit perfectly ONCE you know where everything goes, like which direction the stainless steel cables go (which end up). There is NO installation manual. We installed Egret's paravanes ourselves in Turkey where we had inexpensive and very good stainless workers. What saved the day was a newer paravane N46 just 100 yards from Egret we could copy. Without this nearby example it would have been extremely difficult. The position for everything has to be exact. One particularly frustrating part of the installation we could NOT, even after MULTIPLE e-mails, get a bill of materials (diameter and length of the bolts and where each size goes) or BUY the installation bolts from PAE (in Egret's case they were in Taiwan). It seems simple but it isn't because on the inside where the backing plates go are acorn nuts (capped finish nuts) so the bolt lengths need to be exact. Looking at older N's the mounting bolts are not rusty. The Taiwanese factory must be using 316L stainless. If you used standard 304 stainless bolts available everywhere they would rust within months. In the end we gave up sending e-mails for help and had the Turks custom machine, thread (1/2" - 13), passivate and polish each bolt from 316L stainless billet. It cost $1000 U.S. for the bolts. And I wasn't %#%&%*_ happy!! In addition to the usual paravane installation, the boat deck rails have to be modified to allow the arms to swing out. (put a jog outboard in the rails) Electrical wiring for the retrieval winches is necessary and a change of rigging wire lengths for paravane retrieval are called for as well unless you put sailboat winches on the cap rail with turning blocks and other stuff as Egret did. Retrofit would be a nightmare in a nutshell without a boat to copy and good stainless steel workers unless you took your N to a PAE commissioning dock and let them do the retrofit (for an installed price).
Now lets look at what paravanes buy you as a back-up to current or upgraded Naiad's or Tracs. This is based solely on Egret's experience. Lets see, they look cool and gets lots of comments. We have never used paravanes as flopper stoppers but probably will sometime in the future. We have never used paravanes for stabilization since the electronic upgrade. If you want to anchor in peace in a crowded anchorage (if you are there first) drop the poles (only) and you will live alone. Once in Italy we were driving a rental car high above the anchorage and looked down at Egret with her arms (only) down. She was this tiny dot in the middle of a large circle of NO boats. There were boats anchored everywhere on top of each other around the edge.
Bottom line: if we were doing a new build today knowing what we know and where we intend to go in the future, would we order paravanes in addition to electronic stabilizers? Yea probably because I'm that way. Does it make financial sense? Naaaa. Would we upgrade to Naiad Multi Sea II again? In a nano second. Would we retrofit a boat other than a N with paravanes if it had current Naiad or Trac Stabilizers? Nope. Here's why. Paravanes need to be engineered, not best guessed. The first question would be; will the boat deck support mast loading without a compression post? Then go from there examining every detail. To get everything just right the first time would be difficult and super expensive to say the least. Now here's the kicker. For a small percentage of what a non N, or perhaps even an N, retrofit paravanes would cost, you can fly lotsa Naiad or Trac experts to you where ever you are in the world. You would just loose 25% stabilization if a single side failed. 75% still gives you a reasonable ride. If both sides fail and this would be VERY rare, you could TACK back and forth if need be, yup like a sailboater, giving yourself a reasonable ride to the nearest airport. Or you could just deal with it. Here's something else to remember. ALL storms at sea return to reasonable seas after a period of time. Smart sailboaters for years don't fight it, they hove to and wait. No problem. We (powerboats) hove to by turning up-sea at very low rpm and wait until it calms enough to resume course. Over the past 8 years Egret has done this 5 times at around 12 hours each (4 times were within a single week and all were in places very few would be apt to go so I wouldn't worry about it). Your fuel reserves should have no problem with a low burn interruption AND the schedule you DON'T have crossing an ocean will be no problem. In the meantime get on your Iridium phone and get things organized.
OK ladies, if you are still with us you will probably circumnavigate for sure. And for you guys, its just our opinion..........however......
Back to Fremantle. The sun is back out and the weather is as good as it gets, warm to hot during the day and cool at night. This past weekend we took the train into Perth both days (16k's - 10 miles). Saturday was to be an exploring downtown Perth day but we stumbled on to the Red Bull air race on the Swan River, just north of downtown. Picture 1. We had a great time watching the Red Bull pilots flying a tight obstacle course between inflated pylons. During practice on Friday there were wind gusts and the rookie Brazilian pilot crashed into the Swan but did not get hurt. The pilots fly one at a time thru the course against a clock. There are simple rules and a point system based on time, passing between the pylons at the marked height and not going to fast or to low. There are fifteen pilots from fourteen countries (two are from the U.S.). In addition to the Red bull pilots there was a group of 6 acrobatic pilots doing close quarter maneuvering, a Navy jet complete with rockets making a lot of noise and looking good and then a monster psychedelic Qantas Airline jet plane doing a slow, wheels down fly by. Picture 2. It was two good days. The spectator fleet was interesting as well. Pictures 3 and 4.
After the rain one afternoon Mary and I walked along the path heading south away from town. We came across a group of campers in small mini vans using the showers on the beach, washing dishes and so on. We stopped and talked with a young fellow from Germany. The group was a by chance meeting of international folks with the same idea of exploring Oz on the cheap. He said they ranged in age from 17 to 79. They were heading north as the 'wet' stopped and cooler temps made it pleasant to be nearer the equator. We plan to head north ourselves once we get our 'pen' (slip) established for the long term. We made a deal on a car where it is sort of a buy back when we are done with it. It isn't really what we want but a good 4WD high clearance diesel SUV/camper is super expensive and much in demand. If we were staying a year or so we would buy one then sell it at the end but with our relatively short time to go before we leave its too much. So anyway, unless things change we'll have a very used misterbeachie 4WD minivan to use until we leave in August. More on that later.
The camper fellow told us about an abandoned power station just up the road full of graffiti. Well, we're not big graffiti fans but this was different. The building was gutted with nothing inside and every available space inside and outside was taken up with graffiti. Much of the graffiti was high quality. Also, there was no foul language or low life punk type scribbling. Lets just say it was very different. We enjoyed looking around at all the misdirected artists' work. Of course today they are probably computer animation guru's making a zillion. We saw the same graffiti on a row of iron ore train cars done the same way adding color to a pretty boring subject. So you never know what is next when you leave the boat and head out. In fact, you never know what is next when you stay on the boat and head out. Interesting isn't it?
We have more interesting (The Life) happenings to report but it will have to wait in order to get this VofE posted asap because of the first paragraph. What's ironic, soon after we arrived at the Fremantle Sailing Club we volunteered to give a talk to the Power Division of the sailing club about life at sea two nights before we plan to leave. The next night we give a slide show presentation to the Cruising Division on Patagonia. Virtually every member Mary and I met here at the club have been first class folks, interested in Egret's travels and very welcoming. No matter the outcome we will still give the presentations.
So there you have it. An embarrassing tale for FSC members from the Egret crew, a ton of techno and a fun weekend in Perth. Ciao.
April 15, 2010
Position: S32 04.19 E115 44.89 Visitors Dock, Fremantle Sailing Club, Fremantle, Western Australia
We haven't been out for a while because of the rain so these pictures are from a day walk around Freo (Fremantle)
G' day mis amigos, a conversation we mentioned in a previous VofE set the wheels turning and I believe we should take the time and put cruising into perspective from a new boater's or boater-to-be's standpoint. Mary and I were seated next to a woman at a dinner party recently who didn't know a thing about boats and was listening to Mary talk about this boating adventure and that. Strangely, she seemed almost visibly frightened to even think she would have to ever do that. I reassured her it was like first learning to drive when you were young. Yes, driving back then was intimidating but youth and peer pressure made us all persevere and we survived. Today, I told her, she wouldn't give a thought about driving home after dinner and boating was the same. She relaxed a bit but I could tell she was still skeptical. So let's talk about it and put things into perspective from the beginning. Wannabe boaters today, and particularly folks who think they may want to long distance cruise some day, read stories like the adventures of N57 Bagan in the NW Passage, the Sushi group taking the wrong way route past the Aleutians to Japan, Ice Dancer II in the New Zealand fjords, Kanaloa on their 4th circumnavigation (3 in their N46), a group readying to cross the Pacific and a long list of others who have gone here and there...it seems pretty intimidating. In fact, nearly impossible to those who haven't gone far by boat or even boated at all. Fact is, if crossing oceans is your long term goal there IS a lot to learn. However, like learning to drive when you were first allowed to drive the family car back and forth in the driveway, then on back roads with a parent who was as nervous as you, boating is a lot easier. And most importantly, safer. You WILL NOT get physically hurt. You may bruise your ego a bit if you bash a dock as we did (more than once), stick your dreamboat into the mud as we did (more than once), but no harm will come to you or your precious. Well, perhaps a gel coat scratch, but so what? Big deal, gel coat is easy to fix and if you decided to fix your scratches sometime down the road (as we do) it doesn't matter. What does matter is getting on the water. In time you realize your dreamboat is nothing more than a tool bringing these dreams to life. Sure, we love Egret but she is just part of the dream, not the end all.
I can remember years ago before we had any thoughts of sailing into the sunset, I had a customer who traveled several times to the Bahamas and north and south on the Intracoastal Waterway (U.S. east coast) in their converted Down East lobster boat. He and his wife were my heroes. It seemed so beyond our day fishing in boats barely leaving the sight of land. How knowledgeable they must have been...and so on. Years later Mary and I did just the same. Naturally there was a learning curve, however it wasn't difficult. It was more than wonderful. It still is.
The bottom line of any pleasurable endeavor is being happy. If you start your boating in baby steps, keeping it fun as you learn you will be successful and will look back at your boating years someday and realize these were some of the happiest and most rewarding days of your life. Don't think you have to cross oceans, brave the NW Passage or other tough cruising to be happy boating. Relatively few cruisers shake tough salt. It is far easier to cruise in less demanding areas. If in time you decide to step out of your comfort range and give tough salt a go, fine. If not, fine. It doesn't matter. For those of you who take the first step, in time we will all be used-to-bes (cruisers) including Mary and I. I couldn't even comprehend being a neverwas knowing what we know.
A more expanded version of this ramble was printed in the February issue of Yachting Magazine. The article goes in to more depth of concerns or fears for new boaters or boaters-to-be. The article addresses each issue and the fix, plus includes items most articles sweep under the carpet. A quick e-mail to Yachting Magazine asking for a reprint of the article should do the trick.
This weekend there is a gathering of Beneteu sailboats (yachts) here at the sailing club for a regatta. Mary and I were using wifi in the clubhouse as the participants were racing around getting ready then having their captain's meeting (driver's meeting). It reminded us so much of the old car racing days. The only difference is the venue. Beneteaus are a relatively inexpensive production sailboat. (I'm treading on thin ice here) Sort of like a bottom end Chevrolet or Ford. Of course you can load them up with options like a Chevy or Ford, but when you get thru spending money you still have a core Chevy or Ford. This morning the racer folks were taking down their cruising sails and putting up hyper expensive gold kevlar sails. You know where this is going. A racer is a racer is a racer... This group would sell their mothers for 1/10th of a knot. In our day we would sell our mothers for a couple tenths a second lap time. Well, perhaps a tenth. OK, at times a few hundredths. You get the picture.
It has been raining the past couple days so other than a quickie trip to the grocery store and post office we have been putzing on the boat. The generator has a new water pump impeller, the sea strainers are cleaned, a loose motor mount nut on the main was tightened (28mm open end wrench) and the dual Racor filters were cleaned. The filter cleaning started with a single filter element change (first since NZ). The bottom on the bowls had a bit of black debris so we drained each one and cleaned the turbo shield with a 3/8" artist brush. The brush sits in a bucket and has taken a 45 degree set, perfect for cleaning the inside of the bowl with the drain assemble removed. I used the drained fuel to pour back thru several times flushing the filter then used clean fuel from the transfer pump for the final rinse. Then it was a re-fill from the transfer pump and all is brandy new again.
Northern Lights generator water pumps (from 8kw to 20kw for sure) use a Jabsco raw water pump. These pumps have a notoriously weak ceramic seal. Egret's started dripping at 425 hours. Early in our cruising I paid a hack mechanic in the Bahamas to fix the pump with our spares, and ended up with a mess. It is the best thing that ever happened to us. I fixed it myself and have never looked back. Along the way we have helped several other N owners with their pumps as well. I would let them do it themselves and have them write a cheat sheet like we have in words they understand. Its really pretty simple. N/L parts pricing is good, not like most manufacturers or car dealerships for that matter. It is rare you can't find the generic (ie Jabsco) parts to fix the pump but at least if you buy them as a N/L part without a big penalty. We carry several complete rebuild kits as well as a spare complete pump WITH A DRIVE GEAR INSTALLED so a swap is just 4 - 12mm mounting nuts and 8 or so 8mm face plate screws. Be sure and use an impeller puller and not two screwdrivers to pop out the impeller. The pump housing is soft metal and it will mar the sealing surfaces on the edge of the housing if you use screwdrivers. After the swap you can rebuild the old pump at your leisure. After the initial seal change, Egret's 12KW generator pump has another 3600+ hours with no leaks and only impeller* changes for service. (*Jabsco 1210-0001 impeller...... the O ring is included in the package) (DO NOT use Jabsco1210-0003 impeller)
To contain a possible pump leak one trick is to wrap the seal area (the ceramic seal is white and partially exposed) in a hand towel and lead the towel end outside the drip tray to divert the water. If the seal leaks and fills the drip tray with sea water, the cooling fan in the electrical end can easily suck up the water and distribute it nicely thru the electrical end. We are super cautious and leave the service side of the sound shield off (we keep it on top of the sound shield) so we can keep a good eye on the gen. It is a bit noisier but not bad.
I thought I would share this personal e-mail and blast from the past because it is so unique, totally unexpected and very welcome. It contains three parts: the initial e-mail from Red Sails Edward, our reply from memory and our VofE log from 12-12-07 recounting the event. This shows just how small our long distance cruising community really is and how special fleeting moments burn into the memory banks. It seems we are just a couple people removed from knowing most long distance folks, particularly those who cruise in more difficult areas.
From: Red Sails Edward Anker (Edward addressed himself as Red Sails Edward)
Hi Mary and Scott.
I have heard from John Rushton of Eastern Jade. He explained how he met you in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. We met so very briefly in Canal Brecknock. Now with your e-mail address, I thought I would say hello again and thank you for passing on the message to Alicia and Alfredo (s/v On Vera) that you had seen Spirit of Rema and I heading towards Canal Beagle.
We are now in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland and have enjoyed some lovely spring days after a very cold winter.
I hope this finds you well,
(Reply to Red Sails Edward)
What a surprise from our little water world. I remember the meeting quite well. It was near dark in windy, rainy weather. You were sitting in the cockpit in your yellow rain gear and towing the nesting dinghy. We had 2 miles to go upwind to the anchorage and you had 8 miles to go to your anchorage. We are sure you arrived well after dark. It would have been very difficult for you to run the two miles back upwind to our anchorage. It's such a shame we didn't get to meet properly. I'll let Jan and Kerry on Vision know you wrote as well. I know Kerry helped you with the outboard bracket.
Egret spent 14 wonderful months in NZ then crossed to Tasmania. We are currently in Fremantle. Egret leaves in Sept for Mauritius, South Africa and so on to the U.S. Summer 2011 will be Greenland and Iceland then over to your area of the world for the winter. Our winter plans are still undecided but we do have a dock waiting in Norway if we wish.
Brit friends from Patagonia aboard Pen Azen (Amel) are back in the UK and wrote about their winter. I imagine you are VERY happy to see the spring. Good sailing. You never know, we may meet again. If so we will spend a bit more time together. Scott and Mary Flanders m/y Egret
Excerpt from VofE 12-12-07
Before leaving Ushuaia, both Kiwi friends on Vision and the American/Italian couple on On Vera both asked us several times to keep an eye out for 'Red Sails Edward', a 73 year old single hander from New Zealand (I believe) in his 28' simple sailboat. Both had met Edward in Puerto Montt, Chile on their stay there. Edward has been at it for years and years sailing the world single handed with no engine and basically, no nuttin. The Chilean Armada in Puerto Montt wouldn't give Edward his zarpe for the Channels without an engine, with VERY good reason. Soooo, Red Sails caved and bought a 4hp, 4 stroke outboard. Next he built a simple bracket on the transom to mount the little engine, however he mounted it to high and now had a 4hp, gasoline powered fan. Vision got things straightened out and off Red Sails went. The other two boats passed him and have been in Ushuaia for weeks.
Several miles before the turn-off for Caleta Brecknock Mary spotted Red Sails Edward in the distance and hailed him on the VHF. Minimalist sailboaters don't leave their VHF's on to conserve battery power, so there was no reply. As we closed we drove over near Edward, who now hailed Egret as "sport fishing boat". Edward was exactly as described; sitting outside in the cockpit in bright yellow foul weather gear (it was raining hard at the time and blowing over 30) towing his 3 piece nesting dinghy (three pieces fit inside each other for storage on deck and assembled for use) trailing knotted lines behind the dink. Edward doesn't believe in life lines so tows the dink and knotted ropes behind. He fell overboard once and this arrangement saved him. He told Vision "if I would have had lifelines I couldn't have gotten back aboard". Can't argue with success.
We would loved to have Edward join us in Brecknock but it was not to be. For Edward to beat back against the wind and tide he was riding would have been a many hour affair, even for the relatively short distance, plus it was around 7:30pm making for a time crunch. We said our goodbyes and later, at his request, e-mailed Vision his position.
We have met a number of 'Red Sails' in our travels. This small group of older adventurous sailboaters tend to take their time traveling, have been everywhere and are readily assimilated into the more 'youthful' liveaboard cruising community. This group suffers unimaginably, we all know it and respect their independence and toughness. Their reward in suffering at times while under way is the genuine warmth and acceptance as peers of this small, mobile cruising community. Here, age is treated with a certain respect, something they may not enjoy sitting somewhere ashore watching re-runs. Mary has spoiled a number of red sails by inviting them for dinner aboard Egret, exchanging books (as a group they are ALL big readers) and fussing over them. They LOVE the attention & my sweetie.
So there you have it, a bit of encouragement for the want to bes, a bit of techno and a heart warming blast from the past. Ciao.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Position: S32 04.19 E115 44.89 Visitors Dock, Fremantle Sailing Club, Fremantle, Western Australia
G' day mis amigos, the Egret crew has been busy. First a little techno. The hot water heater patch was a total failure. It lasted less than a day. I don't know why the patch didn't hold but it didn't and a re-patch isn't good enough for the long haul. We ordered a replacement Seward S-1100 11 gallon heater from lewismarine.com. We asked it be sent UPS air, non priority. It will be an exact drop in replacement. After we took the heater out we cut 4" pieces of blue Whale tubing and put end caps on the ends and plugged the 2 tees that clipped onto the hot water heater, 1 cold water and 1 hot water. We had problems with the pump loosing its prime because of air in the hot water line. Soooo, we drained the system and removed the end caps and pushed on two Whale female fittings with a 1/2" hose barb on the end. We put one on each tee with a U shaped loop of 12mm flexible hose. It works perfect with both the cold and hot water lines purged of air.. So we'll just have to take cold showers until the heater comes in. If that becomes a chore we'll have to use the showers at the yacht club like sailboateri commonaire. If you have or end up with a boat with Whale fresh or salt water plumbing you will NEED (not want) to have a bag full of replacement fittings AND a length of 15mm blue hose and the same in red (for the hot water side) We carry 6 couplings, 4 tees, 6 - 90 degree elbows, 6 end caps, 6 female to 1/2" hose adapters, a 10' length or red and blue 15mm tubing and 10' of 1/2" polybraid hose. Make sure when you buy polybraid hose you don't buy the red tracer el junko hose but the blue tracer good heavy stuff from Canada (figure 9112 at lewismarine.com). The el cheapo hose can't take much heat in a bend and also kinks in bends over time
Speaking of hose, it is another story for another time, but when we arrive back in Ft Lauderdale next spring we will replace every hose on the boat. She will be 9 1/2 years old at the time and even though every hose still looks new it is time for a change. If we were coastal cruising we would let it go and rely on our spares and fiberglass tubing splices, but after the minor refit we're off again where possible hose failure is not an option.
As far as other boat work, Mary has been at the stainless and I have been doing a bit of buffing. The little lady is looking great (the boat, Mary always looks great). We dropped the CIB (catamaran ice breaker dink) overboard and took a harbor cruise. She started on the second pull and hasn't run since the New Paige crew came to visit in Stewart Island months ago. After the Stewart trip and Egret returned to Nelson we ran the dink then raised it and ran it out of fuel with a fresh water hose hooked up to earmuffs. Then we drained the carb and she has been sitting since. We'll do the same when we load it back aboard. We have no idea when we'll use it again. For everyday use we use the 9' aluminum bottom rib. It is easier and faster to launch. The inflatable dink is also better for visiting other boats, dragging up on beaches and so on. Another thing we don't like to think about, but in 3d world countries a 30hp outboard like on the CIB is worth a LOT to local fishermen. Perhaps a years pay or more. We had a padlock between the turn handles in Easter Island. When we returned to the dink one day after time ashore, the lock was attached to one handle only. Someone had broken them apart. The engine is bolted on so it stopped them from lifting it off. Sad but true. We should have had the bar lock that covers both handles from Master Lock. After a tip in Syracuse, Sicily from N40 Uno Mas, we ran a stainless steel cable from the outboard carrying handle, thru the gas tank and bow ring to shore and padlocked it together. Twice the gas tank had been moved and once our dinghy anchor, chain and rode kept in a milk crate disappeared. Fortunately theft has been a very rare occurrence.
Now for the good part. These past weeks there has been a local festival called Foto Freo (Freo is the nickname for Fremantle). In addition to photography they have a number of events including a buskers festival held in downtown Fremantle. We went on Saturday and spent the day. It was great. The buskers came from as far away as Sweden. They were all first class. Pictures 1-3 are of the participants. Picture 1 is of an Australian lady who said she is self taught and didn't take up acrobatics until she was 24. Her act is based on pure strength, not aerial gymnastics. It was quite a show. Photo 2 is of a Swede who juggled balls and in the picture shown, kept 7 balls in play by bouncing them. He also did an act with his eyes covered with duct tape. Photo 3 is of a Canadian who first juggled fire batons then got a Bosnian and a German visitor from the audience to help put on his straight jacket and wrap him with chains. His constant commentary and whining had the audience in stitches. It didn't take him but a few minutes to get out of this predicament. (He took the top chain across his chest in his teeth and flipped it up to his chin, over his nose, forehead then over his head. Now loose, the rest of the chain was shrugged off.)
Fremantle has a covered market much like the ones we have seen from Barcelona to here. The permanent stalls in front are what I would call 'made in China' stalls with flashy cheap tourist stuff. There are ethnic eateries abound the perimeter (we ate at a Malaysian stall), and a fruit and vegetable market in the back. We loaded up on fresh fruit and veggies before we left. We have been buying huge naval oranges ever since arriving in Oz. They are all from California. So it was another great day.
After a boat work and reading day we went back into town for the last day of the festival. It was a repeat of what we saw and was another great day. The highlights of the day were meeting an artist (Tony Cunningham) in a solo showing along with introducing ourselves to the sculptor who poured the bronze described in the last VofE. The photography art is actually a passionate extension of Tony's vocation as an Ethnoecology Botanist. He has been at his trade studying links between people, plants and place for over 30 years. A 5th generation African he currently lives in Fremantle but works mostly overseas. His photography started over 40 years ago but he has mastered the art of Giclee print making. Trying to describe what he does as a layman (YT), he photographs his subject (leaves, sea life and so on), turns them into near transparencies, then layers the photographs one over another. The collage is absolutely stunning. So we talked about his work, about boats and travels and so on. We invited him to the boat and showed him our life. He in turn invited us to a very small gathering of his artists buddies on Wednesday evening. He was going to serve fish, sooo we supplied fresh tuna for the occasion. One thing lead to another including contacts in Africa among others.
Just prior to meeting Tony we stopped by the sculptor where we witnessed the 6 different pours of molten bronze. We gave the artist (Greg James) a photo CD we took from the balcony during the pour. He took the time to show us around the shop and show us what the pour consisted of and how his business operates. The two large pours we described in the last VofE were two pieces of a life size bronze sculpture of a "Greek Goddess" for lack of a more informed description. When finished the sculpture will consist of 7-8 different pours. Each piece is finished and welded together. He latest large commission is of a Franciscan monk who came to the Australian outback west of Perth in the middle 1800s and ended up staying his life in the same place teaching the aboriginals. There were photographs of the monk along a working wall in addition to working drawings and concepts. There were even pictures of Greg in various poses as a model. Hanging at the end of the wall was a monks habit on loan for authenticity. Greg said it takes a year from concept to a completed piece of appreciable size. The smaller pieces of the pour were done for another artist who is displaying his interpretation of modern objects intermingled with age old actuals. Shipwrecks are the theme. One striking piece was an albatross in flight connected by a small rod to a modern airplane. Both are shown as shadows of each other. We were invited to the opening of that display as well.
Exciting, isn't it? The by chance meetings are just a small example how Egret and her travels has changed our lives. The new friendships and education just don't stop. As you can see, shaking salt is a small part of what we do. However, it is the boat and our enthusiasm that unlock doors not generally available to fly in folks. You get the picture.
So after hurling barbs at the dockwalkers with their bags of showering stuff we joined the quay. The icy showers we thought we were brave enough to endure (1st paragraph) we found we weren't brave at all but whimpers when the cascada de mil aguja hit our backs (waterfall of 1000 needles). So we took hot showers and didn't even turn the water off between soaping and rinsing. It was luxuriant.
Dinner with the artists was special. Most seemed to be ex pats from somewhere colonized during the British Colonial era, like India but mostly from Africa. The ones seated around us wanted to know all about our travels, told us how brave we were, we told them you had to learn to drive once (scary wasn't it?) and boating was no different. Its all baby steps and so on. And we learned about their art. Their art interests were as diverse as their backgrounds, their common bond being ex-pats from somewhere else. Dinner was super with course after course being served. Egret's tuna ended up in a curry served over rice. It was great. Just as the dinner was breaking up was I able to corner Tony and get a commitment for his permission to put a picture of his work on VofE. Like so many, Tony does everything technical himself from the artwork, importing special German paper, special dye inks that last nearly forever to having his own giant printer to control color and quality, one person marketing and so on. But in business you can't just be the head buffalo, you need to let go a bit, particularly when this is your passion, not your vocation. I'm sure he wrestled with that over the two days before the dinner and in the end everyone wins. You are the first if you choose to be. So instead of being a one person marketing team he agreed to let the gallery where he was solo displaying sell his work. Picture 4 is one small example of Tony's work. www.kidogo.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org Ask to see Tony Cunningham's portfolio.
Egret is now the proud owner of Tony's Fibonacci's nature: Paper Nautilus 2. Mary and I haven't loaded Egret with 'stuff' from here and there. We used to have lotsa stuff and its gone and we don't miss it. The only item on display we didn't leave Ft Lauderdale with years ago is 3 cannibal forks (yes, sized for eating eyes, brains and human flesh) we bought in Tonga. And now this. Its that special.
Lastly, we received two Forum Requests, one is tearful and one is hopeful. Both are interesting. In our little water world things are starting to move. N57 Ice Dancer II reported on their Fiordland (NZ) visit (and great pics), the Sushi Run folks are back aboard and ready to depart, other boats are getting reading to cross the Pacific, and I'm sure most N. Hemisphere boats are making plans as spring is here. Isn't it great? Ciao.
April 1, 2010
Position: S32 04.19 E115 44.89 Visitors Dock, Fremantle Sailing Club, Fremantle, Western Australia
G' day mis amigos, good news and not so good news. We mentioned a day on the town visiting a few museums. It's worth talking about. Young Aussies like young folks everywhere like their weekends and play. Mary noticed a mystery shoe lying under a tree just outside a popular waterfront nightclub called Critters. So what's the deal here with Cinderella? Stay out past midnight? Kiss a frog and it didn't work out? Worked out? Who knows. Picture 1.
While we were wandering around a waterfront historical site we passed a warehouse with individual bays leased by different artists. We saw a fellow with a big camera disappear into the one that was open. We saw some activity inside so checked the hours posted outside and we were cool. So inside we went and up a fight of steps to a loft gallery of bronze sculptures and photos from Europe. As luck would have it they were preparing a pour of yellow hot bronze. First they poured two large images inside 55 gallon drums. The drums had short lengths of wood on top to help with splatter. The drums were sitting in sand to catch any splatter that may hit the floor. After pouring the two large drums first they poured four smaller next. The excess was poured into iron ladles. It was really interesting. We took a ton of motor drive pictures hoping to capture a special moment during the pour. We did. Several. It was good fortune to be there at the time. We later found the artist was using the lost wax process. We have seen a few of his bronzes around Fremantle. www.gregjamessculpture.com Picture 2.
Mary and I have seen a number of maritime museums in our travels. The most awe inspiring was the museum in Barcelona, not because of it's contents but of it's history. This is the EXACT building where Spain built the fleets of the 1500s and later. The waterfront used to come to the door. Another special maritime museum was in Lisbon, Portugal. Again, it wasn't the nautical contents so much as it has the sarcophagus of Vasco da Gama (1469 - 1525) and some other historical dude. The museum building has existed for one use or another continuously since the 1400s. However, the Fremantle Maritime Museum is the best we have seen anywhere as far as quality of the displays (not the quantity). Inside is the fully rigged (sails up) Australia II America's Cup defender with its innovative winged keel that captured the Cup in the mid 80s.
Next to it was Aussie Jon Sanders' boat, Parry Endeavour, in a radical bow down position as it was nearly pitch-poled (end over end) in a sea he estimated at 30 meters (96'). (He was on the foredeck at the time and hugged the mast when he saw the wave) Between 1986 and 1988 Sanders spent 657 days, 21 hours and 18 minutes at sea (alone) without stopping or receiving support. Jon completed 3 (THREE) non-stop circumnavigations, one west about and two east about. All three went below the five Great Southern Capes, and during all three he sailed above the equator and rounded St Peter's and St Paul's Rocks off the coast of Brazil. (During a 'pure' circumnavigation you must dip south or north across the equator depending on your course (N Hemisphere - S Hemisphere). During this time there was no GPS as we know it. It is certainly one of the more amazing feats of yachting since Slocum.
Around the museum are raised walkways showing displays from above as well as below. Mary and I spent the afternoon in the museum enjoying ourselves as well as the steam engine display next door. They had various models of steam engines running slowly from steam piped along the wall and manifolded to each working engine. What Mary and I have learned to do is each go their own way meeting later at a set time. This way Mary can read EVERY WORD of EVERY display and I can do my deal. This also lets me sneak off and have a coffee and sweet while she is reading All The Words.
Yesterday afternoon was to be a short work break after the play. Egret's el junko new model Shurflo water pressure pump was giving us a hard time and it was Time to make it Go Away. So we got out an older model I rebuilt a while back and went to install it. Of course I snapped off the threaded fitting and ruined that part of the pump head. So then I installed our second rebuilt pump. It didn't work. The bearing had come loose in the housing so I reset it with loctite during the rebuild figuring that would hold it in place. It didn't. So now we made two pumps out of one and it worked perfect. (and we have lotsa spares from the bits) Then the pump started cycling. With the extra pressure or by disturbing the lines a little debris got stuck under the diaphragm of the electric water solenoid valve for the head and the head was overflowing. (Egret has Raritan Atlantis fresh water heads) Out with the 4 bolts, a couple on and offs of the water pump breaker to flush the system and all was well......for a while. Then the pump started cycling again but slower this time. To make a sad story short, the hot water heater we repaired in NZ was leaking slowly again. We bypassed the hoses, drained the unit and got it out this morning. I pressurized the tank (after taking the tank out of the insulated box) by first using ships water pressure to fill the tank from the fresh water inlet and then from the pop-off valve. It was leaking from the patch itself. It was a slow drip in two places. Apparently the patch material was a dissimilar aluminum from the tank material and electrolysis had eaten thru. Soooo, after a thorough sanding and wire brushing we mixed some West System epoxy and 404 filler (like kryptonite) and plastered a 1/4" thick layer over the entire patch and up the sides a bit then covered the whole thing with fiberglass cloth and more resin. Its on the flybridge curing just now. The patch should hold until we return to Florida where we will replace the unit.
In the meantime Mary is doing the stainless so it won't be long before Egret is boat show ready. We have had a few club members stop by that follow VofE. Universally they are all surprised how Egret looks because they know her history to some degree. Of course we tell them we just hose her off every now and again but in truth we do spend time keeping her looking the way she does. She is our home and like our other homes in the past she looks good. Today the hot water tank gets pressure tested, reassembled and reinstalled. Later we will lower both dinks over the side so Mary can do the boat deck rails and I can give the boat deck a good scrubbing. After we will de-rig the inflatable, turn it upside down and cover it with a plastic tarp. The sun here is fierce so we'll give the dink some protection while Egret is a Marina Queen.
When the work is done we intend to make a photo CD of the artist Greg James' bronze pour and deliver it to his shop. Hopefully he will allow us to photograph the fresh cast pieces in their unfinished state.
On an Egret historical note, eight years ago today Egret cast off the lines and left on her personal voyage of discovery (we were live aboards six months prior). Can you imagine what she has seen? If there was a single regret it is not starting sooner. Think about it. We aren't any different than you. You may think you are different, but we're all the same. Richer or poorer, younger or older, if you REALLY want to you can leave on your own personal voyage of discovery no matter how modest or challenging.
So there you have it. A couple more days in The Life enjoying ourselves and fixing what needs to be fixed. Both are part of The Life. Enjoying and fixing. Ciao.
Ed. Note - The glossary of Egretism terms will be posted on the Captain's Log home page for easy reference.