KatieKat 2001 Cruise Chapter Seven

Click on underlined text to jump to it
September 2001KatieKat 2001 Cruise Chapter Eight
30 August 2001Running Rigging
29 August 2001BikeBoat Targa Mounting
27 August 2001Menus, Signs, and Trucks
26 August 2001Cooktown Tourists
22 August 2001Cairns to Cooktown (Updated 27 Aug.)
22 August 2001Connectivity
Early-Mid-August 2001KatieKat 2001 Cruise Chapter Six

Click here to go to KatieKat Cruise Index Webpage
Click here to return to KatieKat Home Page

This is the seventh webpage of our cruise covering the year 2001. The purpose of the cruise webpages is to let family and friends know what is going on in our lives. The "Interest" column identifies the target audience, and is intended to spare you baby-picture slide-show agony. This is one long continuous page, and clicking on any of the underlined dates above should jump your screen to the appropriate section on this page (or you can use the scrollbar on the right to navigate up and down this page). Joe Siudzinski

Click on the small photos to see larger-scale images,
then hit your browser BACK button to return to the small photo.

30 August, 2001 -- Running Rigging


I believe that one of the most important safety features I've added to the Seawind is the preventer. Its primary safety purpose is to keep the boom from crashing over to the other side in case of an accidental jibe. As a sail trimming device when running, it aids in flattening the sail and keeping it from chafing on the shrouds. When stowing the sail, the preventer keeps the boom locked athwartships and immobilized so that one can safely go up onto the cabintop to tidy things up. I added an eye to the boom for the upper block and use a strap to secure the lower block to the mooring cleat. Note that the four-part tackle has a quick-release cam cleat on it, and there is no knot in the end of the tail, so if it is released in an emergency it can run out completely. When running in heavy winds and a little overpowered, I keep both the mainsheet and preventer lines handy - actually, by that time I will have reduced sail unless I was going for maximum speed (rare when cruising).

[Preventer] [Boom Blocks

These view shows the portside preventer tackle going up to the boom from the mooring cleat. Detail shows the eye added to the boom for the preventer. Those lines wrapping around the boom are the terminations for Reef 2 (blue/white) and Reef 3 (red/white). Up above is the full-length sailbag permanently attached to the boom. Its functionality outweighs its lack of aesthetics.

[Preventer] This strap for the preventer has a couple of stainless eyes in it. A sewn strap loop or spliced line loop would be lighter, cheaper, and just as functional.

[Joe Holding Sheets] Hanging onto both the mainsheet and preventer (probably unnecessarily) while sailing a little overpowered for the conditions, intent on getting to the next anchorage before dark. Note the boat heel angle as evidenced by the horizon in the window (no, not flying a hull - just some large swells). Old racing cat habits die hard.


Made a few minor changes to the mainsheet: (a) locked the forward block on the boom so it sits athwartships (see photo above) and re-reeved the mainsheet to minimize snagging when it goes slack; (b) relocated the cam cleat to the top of the lower block mounting to eliminate inadvertent release; (c) added a spring to keep the lower block from flopping over completely when the mainsheet goes slack.

[Mainsheet Cleat] [Mainsheet Cleat Closeup]

The mainsheet flops down into its basket, which travels along under the mainsheet block as the traveller moves across the cockpit. On a multihull it is crucial that the mainsheet be free to run easily, and the basket keeps everything neat and tidy. The closeup photo shows the top-mounted cleat and the spring cleat support. The coiled black line is for raising the motor - I changed it to a 3:1 purchase to make it easier, and thus the excess line underfoot - I will probably add a little bag right in the corner to stow this line.


The photos below shows how I stow the ends of all the running rigging: in baskets with dividers (in lieu of the factory-standard sheet bags). On the portside, starting from aft, in the basket sitting on the aft deck is the preventer line. In the basket on the engine box are the portside spinnaker sheet and the jib furler. Flopping down into the lower basket are the jibsheet, Reef 1&4 outhaul and topping lift (share one compartment in the basket), and Reef 3 outhaul. Recall that I added a reefing line mounted externally to the boom which serves the dual purpose of being either a Reef 1 or Reef 4 clew outhaul. On the starboard side, starting from aft we have a basket with divider for the spinnaker sheet and the jibsheet. The spinnaker halyard (big fat white line) shares a basket with the Reef 2 outhaul, the basket snugly and conveniently fitting out of the way just in front of the motor control pedestal. The red line is the outhaul, which I rarely adjust so it just sits coiled up undercover. The jib halyard resides at the mast (I had added a rope clutch to the mast, thus eliminating one line back to the cockpit). The baskets can be readily moved around to get them out of the way or else to optimally position under the line in current use. The baskets are still temporary solutions. I don't care for bags as lines have to be stuffed into them rather than have them fall down into place. Still thinking...

[Portside Running Rigging] Nice and organized - I don't like tangles of lines.

[Starboard Sheets] [Starboard Sheet Basket]

The starboard layout. Note that the divider in the basket is simply thin polyester line reeved through the holes - light, cheap, and simple.

Further refined the sheet tail storage system. See 16 October, 2002

[Mast Winch Detail] For completeness, threw in this photo of the mast main halyard winch and jib halyard detail. I had added the rope clutch to the mast for the jib, and now the halyard just sits there nicely coiled up out of the way, as I rarely need to change its tension when cruising. For singlehanding, I have figured out ways of using that main halyard winch for the jib halyard, the spinnaker halyard, and the spinnaker sock puller-downer. Photo taken while anchored at Lizard Island.


Made a couple of changes in the way the jib furling line is routed: (a) added a fairlead to the seagull-striker bridle to help guide the furler line onto its drum; (b) added the furler turning block to the front of the pulpit railing - a low-friction Harken block; (c) added a couple of fairleads to the stanchions to ensure a nice straight run for the furling line. These changes completely eliminated furler line jamming and significantly reduced the furling effort. Photos taken at Lizard Island, where of seven cruising boats at anchor, five are multihulls.

[Furler Fairlead] [Furler Turning Block] [Furler Guides]

The modified jib furler line routing. Notice how straight the runs are. The red line is the port spinnaker sheet, normally secured to the top of the seagull striker. The line going down into the water is part of the anchor bridle. The water at Lizard Island is indeed as warm and inviting as it looks, with no (known) big nasties in the water to spoil the snorkeling enjoyment of the reef.

Click here to go back to top of page
Click here to go to KatieKat the Cat webpage.

29 August, 2001 -- BikeBoat Targa Mounting

For any significant passagemaking I strap BikeBoat (as I've named my SeaCycle pedal-powered catamaran) onto the targa bar. It is attached with four straps, each with a quick-release snapshackle.

[Upper Strap] One of two upper straps, fairly lightly loaded as all it does is keep the upper hull against the targa bar. Note the snapshackle release.

[Lower Strap] One of two lower straps, which support the weight of the SeaCycle and allow for a little swinging movement aft should the BikeBoat hull get whapped with a wave (to date it only rarely even gets splashed). Note the readily-accessible snapshackle release. Despite the turbulent conditions, you can see plenty of water clearance for the lower hull.

[Cross Ropes] Have to tie off BikeBoat athwartships as she tends to move sideways a little. Those are slipknots.

[Boom Reef Block] Added turning block for Reef 1. Rarely used for reefing, but handy for raising BikeBoat.

Although I have a great paper design for a custom dinghy hoist, we are still lifting the SeaCycle upwards and onto the targa bar using the boom and topping lift. Takes about ten minutes, with little physical effort. We are hoisting it up more often and towing less because we lose about a knot in boatspeed when towing.

Click here to go back to top of page
Click here to go to KatieKat the Cat webpage.

27 August, 2001 -- Menus, Signs, and Trucks

[German Tucker] The menu at a German restaurant in Kuranda.

[Burger Sign] Gosh, that's un-American... oops.

[DriveThru Drinks] This one struck my funnybone.

[Cleaning Fish Sign] Bet you didn't know that cleaning fish could be a death-defying act!

[Totally Prohibited] Either they really mean it, or a Valley Girl wrote the sign.

[4WD] This is the cleanest and shiniest example of a very typical vehicle in Northern Queensland. Note the snorkel.

[Hummer] One of many off-road tourist-toting contraptions.

[Truck] All the big trucks in Australia have massive front-end protection. Note the two gravel guards as well. I'll try to get a photo of a Road Train, which has a whole bunch of trailers. Next time an environmentally-unconscious housewife tells me that she needs to drive her kiddies around in a great big SUV because she wants to feel "protected", I'll flash this photo.

Click here to go back to top of page

26 August, 2001 -- Cooktown Tourists

Anchored in the shallow croc-infested (or so we're told) Endeavour River in front of Cooktown and commuted to shore on BikeBoat, which never fails to spark a conversation with locals or other yachties. Cooktown is famous as the place that Captain Cook brought his damaged Endeavour for repairs after pulling it off the Reef in 1770 (they tossed cannons and ballast overboard in order to save the ship - the cannon and anchor were found and recovered in 1969 by a US expedition). We were surprised by the small size of Cooktown, which only has a partially-paved road into it. Unpaved roads from here on out - four-wheelers' paradise.

[Cooktown View] Cooktown and the Endeavour River.

[Cooktown Croc Sign] Through the bushes you can just make out KatieKat anchored in the river. Am I getting paranoid, or what?

[Cook Statue] [Cook Statue Plaque]

Kathy by the Captain Cook statue in Cooktown.
On the plaque, the credits are longer than the description.

[Prospector Statue] [Prospector Statue Night]

This statue commemorates the Cooktown goldrush in the 1870s.
Note anchored KatieKat off to the left.
That's the 43' Fastback catamaran "Raptor" in the background.

[Kangaroo Statue] [Kangaroo Plaque]

Statues are everywhere in Australia.
This little one alongside the unpaved road going up Grassy Hill above Cooktown notes the discovery and naming of the kangaroo by Cook's party.

[Joe Finch Bay] Finch Bay, on the other side of the hill from Cooktown, is a lovely place - one could just relax and swim in the warm river and lay on the sand, except for...

[Kathy Finch Bay] At the steps leading down to Finch Bay. Told you so!

[Joe Filling WaterTank] Topping up the water tank prior to departure for arid Lizard Island.

Fish] Fish by the dock in Cooktown. Reminds me of Alaska.

Click here to go back to top of page

22 August, 2001 -- Cairns to Cooktown (Updated 27 August)

For those family members tracking us on the map, we sailed a short hop from Half Moon Bay Marina at Yorkeys Knob (Kathy calls it Knobby's York) - which is actually north of Cairns - to Double Island. From there to Low Islets outside Port Douglas (the large fancy marina at Port Douglas was full). A long day's sail up to Hope Island - lovely peaceful spot surrounded by reefs - this is what Captain Cook was trying to avoid when he ran his ship up onto what is now called Endeavour Reef nearby. From Hope we gently sailed with the large spinnaker to Walker Bay (just south of Cooktown). I'm typing this before breakfast in Walker Bay, and plan on being in Cooktown before noon. Our destination is Lizard Island, and we're basically one long day's sail from there.

[Blue Bottle Stinger] Physalia, locally called a Bluebottle Stinger, is also known as a Portuguese Man 'O War. That little tail produces great pain if touched. Luckily for us swimmers, only a few isolated ones were seen.

[Blue Bottle Stinger] That's the Bluebottle Stinger. Lovely little Hope Island is in the background. The island is almost completely surrounded by a reef and getting into the small bay is tricky, but worth it!

[Tomato Plant] You know I'm undergoing a lifestyle change when I start photographing the first fruit on our tomato plant (the previous plant having been turned in to the Department of Agriculture when we returned from New Caledonia).

The normal southeast trades have disappeared for the last few days, and thus we've had very gentle breezes and super-calm anchorages. On the weatherfax I see a high coming across the continent so it will be back to boisterous southeasterlies shortly.

Click here to go back to top of page

22 August, 2001 -- Connectivity

Cellphone connectivity is becoming non-existent as we approach the edge of the known world. Hope to at least catch up on e-mail in Cooktown, and if you're reading this it means I was successful in finding a landphoneline in Cooktown. I wasn't able to get to a phoneline before leaving Yorkeys Knob in order to update this website with the previous "Cairns Tourists" writeup.

You can imagine how much fun I have trying to get plugged into a phone line - something we take for granted when living at home. If I can find one, the easiest way to connect is to go to an Internet cafe which also has phone booths (such as "Global Gossip"). For a minimal charge (roughly US$1.50/hr) they let me disconnect their phone and plug in my PowerBook and with a local phone call to my Australian ISP I can do whatever I want (although at slightly slower-than-normal 28.8Kbps). Otherwise, it's an interesting problem in customer/supplier relations: imagine running a store and having a stranger carrying a computer walk up to you and ask if he can disconnect your fax line so that he can plug in his computer. So, I put on my best clothes and make sure I've shaved, put on a smile, and give it a go - hoping that the owner of the store is Internet savvy (without the owner present, employees are reluctant to allow this). In general, people are wonderful, and after I've explained what I'm trying to do they really try to be helpful. I show them the website and explain just how I perform the upload - it's cute, as the Internet still elicits a "gee-whiz", especially for older people. Money isn't the issue as I offer to pay whatever they wish - it's the whole concept of allowing some stranger to do this in the first place that is the barrier. I've met some very nice people this way, and even if they can't or don't want to allow me to hookup it's all very cordial (the one exception that sticks in my craw is the real estate office on Kangaroo Point in Brisbane).

Click here to go back to top of page

Click here to return to KatieKat Home Page