KatieKat 2002 Cruise Chapter Four

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April - May 2002KatieKat 2002 Cruise Chapter Three
15 June 2002 Signs and Ads
21 June 2002 Land Tourists
27 June 2002 Weather Watch
6 July 2002 Winter Cruise
7 July 2002 Gale Jib
8 July 2002 Seawind in a Cold Climate
June 2002KatieKat 2002 Cruise Chapter Five

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This is the fourth webpage of our cruise covering the year 2002. 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

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15 June, 2002 -- Signs and Ads

Trying to keep this website from becoming another "here we are in beautiful ..." travelogue, so I thought I'd spice it up (or gross you out) with a few more signs and ads we've come across in the last few months.

[Sign Quickie]

[Sign Gross] Have no idea what the advertisers are trying to say in this highly-visible ad at a Brisbane train station, but its grossness did catch my attention. Skip it if you're easily offended.

[Pure Taste] While on the subject of senseless ad (or whatever) copy, this is what appears on a milk carton label. 100% WHAT? This one really does upset me with its meaninglessness!

[Emergency Exit] On a popular Hobart tourist bus that looks like a tram, there's this notification on the back window. Trouble is, if you're inside trying to follow directions, you'd better be able to read backwards!

[Osborne Park] I've heard of game preserves and nature reserves, but ...

[No Parking Over Doorway] My favorite - pass it every day on the way to the bus here in Lindisfarne.

We've just rented a car and will be sightseeing around Tasmania for a week or so. After that, hope to visit some of the more remote areas down here on KatieKat before heading north.

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21 June, 2002 -- Land Tourists

Finally rented a car and took a few-day jaunt around the island of Tasmania. Just a few snapshots to show we really did it.

[Richmond Bridge] The bridge at Richmond.

[Ross War Memorial] The War Memorial at Ross.

[Joe Scenic Lookout] Hey, just because it's the middle of winter doesn't mean I can't wear shorts!

[Scottsdale] Arizona?

[School Building] Lots of lovely old buildings, especially up in Launceston - this one a school.

[Port Arthur] Down in the southeastern corner of Tasmania is Port Arthur, site of the historic prison. Interesting tour.

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27 June, 2002 -- Weather Watch

We're presently very busy prepping the boat for the upcoming dash northwards, primarily installing a HF radio system. We're constantly keeping an eye on the weather, as being at the southern end of Tasmania exposes us to some, uh, interesting conditions. I am not going to contribute to the myth that Hobart is a dreadfully cold wet miserable dreary windy overcast terrible corner of the world - IT'S NOT! It's lovely! The locals are promulgating that myth in order to keep the beauty to themselves! The inside passages, channels, and rivers down here are a wonderful well-protected cruising grounds; nevertheless, the coast offers full exposure to the Southern Ocean - not noted for its pleasant sailing conditions.

[MSL Chart] We constantly monitor the weather - either off the Internet or short-wave weatherfax downloads.

[Wave Chart] [Wave Chart]

This Navy wave-height model vividly shows how conditions can change in this part of the world.. Just imagine setting off to cross Bass Strait in calm seas, and a day later...

[Barometer] Not unusually low, but the rapidity of the change is what gets our attention.

[Kathy Clutching Monkey] This is Kathy's response when we get whapped by some extremely strong gusts, even though we're in a very well-sheltered spot in the marina.

[Kathy Biking] See, it IS lovely! That's snow up on Mt. Wellington looming above Hobart.

We completed a tour of Tasmania by car and hope to explore southwest Tasmania by boat before heading out. Need to anchor out somewhere so I can sort through the many photos and devote some more time to this website - simply too busy! (and everyone asks us what we do all day...)

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6 July, 2002 -- Winter Cruise

Despite it being the middle of winter, we knew our visit to Tasmania wouldn't be complete without at least some attempt to cruise the lovely channels in the southern part of the state. Unfortunately, the weather was simply changing too quickly for us to venture out on the wild western coast, where we are told it is simply beautiful.

[Joe Hoisting Anchor] Hoisting anchor. Note the headphones for communicating with Kathy as she maneuvers the boat. The pink pants I've had forever - a never-ending source of mirth. When I wore these in Alaska, the locals were rolling in the aisles! My excuse: I'll be easy to find when I fall overboard.

[Rock Jamming Anchor] After backing down on the anchor resulted in dragging (despite a "good" bottom), retrieval of the anchor showed the reason: a barnacle-encrusted rock jammed in the flukes. Disconcerting, as it happened more than once during this four-day trip.

[Channel View] [Windy Channel]

Sailing down the beautiful D'Entrecasteaux Channel can be peaceful, but within seconds can change to a 35-knot gearbuster. One doesn't become complacent sailing around here.

[Huon River] [KatieKat on River] [Huon River]

Motoring up the lovely and placid (this time) Huon River.

[Huonville] End of the line for sailboats at Huonville. The low bridge across the river can be seen under the targa bar.

[Dangerous Cloud] Coming back down the river this nasty cloud appeared. Sure enough, we were soon whapped!

[Joe] Warm and toasty (sort of) inside, while rain poured outside. Ah, winter cruising! At least it didn't snow. Note the autopilot remote control, which allows one to steer the boat without having to venture outside.

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7 July, 2002 -- Gale Jib

The standard roller-furling jib on the Seawind is quite versatile and usable without furling when beating in winds up to the 25-30 knot region, and even higher windspeeds when running. Using the furler in order to reef the sail is not very satisfactory, because the first jib turning block cannot be moved forward and thus the sail distorts badly due to insufficient downward pull. I have actually attached a snatch block to the aft anchor cleat and provided that downward thrust to the partially-furled jib on port tack, but it's a klugy solution that I was not comfortable with.

Rather than risk damaging the jib or its furler, I've come up with two alternatives which utilize my heavy-weather jib (notice, I'm careful to use the expression "Gale Jib" rather than "Storm Jib" - don't wish to tempt Neptune...). This jib is off my Telstar trimaran, which I had specially made out of heavy sailcloth to the identical dimensions of my Shark catamaran jib. It has served me well on the tri for many years and is still in good condition, so I chose to adapt it to the Seawind as its proportions made it quite suitable for the job, with a low center of effort and dimensionally lining up the clew very well with the existing jibsheet turning blocks.

I have come up with two different techniques utilizing this jib. First is a jib luff adapter to enable the jib to be pulled up the furler luff foil while leaving the hanks in place. Of course, this entails complete removal of the normal jib. The second technique involves rigging a separate forestay and halyard alongside the existing furled jib and simply hanking on the jib conventionally.

[Jib Luff Adapter] The narrow adapter strip slides up the existing furler foil, with the jib hanked onto eyes in this strip. This very well-made sail by Bierig has served wonderfully for many years. I have not flown the sail in this configuration in very heavy weather yet, and am saving it as a backup in case there is a problem with the alternate technique. The two problems I've discovered with this so far: the strip get compressed slightly at the head because the attachment to the halyard is not fair. The second problem is that I am unable to furl this configuration because the jib halyard wraps around the foil - the much-shorter luff of this sail leaves too much halyard slack for the wrapping-preventer to cope with (although more halyard tension may solve this - I intend to play with it some more).

[Second Forestay] This shows the base of the added forestay, which is held up using the spinnaker halyard. The blue/white line is the added jib halyard. At the head, the jibstay is attached to a turning block, with the jib halyard brought back down and through the block as shown. The end of the line with the bowline is what would be attached to the head of the jib for hoisting.

[Jib Halyard Routing] This photo shows the jib halyard brought back to the turning block at the base of the mast (and from thence to the cockpit). I take that halyard back to the cockpit so I can control the jib luff tension using it as well as the spinnaker halyard. Sorry for the mess on deck, as we had anchored in a very muddy bay and I was in a hurry to get us moving that morning - even left the anchor bridle attached to the chain (very unusual). The deck is now squeaky-clean. That's the normal jib in use.

[Jib Halyard Routing] This photo shows the jib halyard routing back to the cockpit using turning blocks that were previously utilized for the normal jib halyard until I added the rope clutch on the mast. An added advantage of this line across the deck is that it keeps the normal jibsheet from snagging on the aft anchor cleat. That's the normal jib in use. I also use the normal jibsheet for the gale jib. If you'll look closely, you can see my all-rope quickly-detachable jibsheet clew attachment, which consists of a loop going through the clew cringle secured by a single line with stopper knot going through that loop. on the other side. The trick will be to properly secure the furled jib before removing the jibsheet to use with the other sail.

[Mast Hardware] My Seawind's mast hardware differs from that on a production boat because of my desire to easily singlehand the boat. The differing hardware is the addition of a main halyard winch, a conventional cleat under the winch, the recently-added rope clutch above the winch (so I can free up the winch for other uses), the added rope clutch for the jib halyard (the coiled blue halyard line rests on it), and some strings for adjusting the sailbag. Using appropriately-located snatch blocks on the forward deck, I can utilize this winch (in addition to its main-halyard duties) for the normal jib halyard, for the spinnaker halyard (if singlehanding), and for the spinnaker sock puller-downer if I'm caught in too much wind to douse it by hand.

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8 July, 2002 -- Seawind in a Cold Climate

The Seawind 1000 was originally designed as a tropical boat, with a fabric top and vinyl windows. The upgraded design added the hardtop, but still retains the fabric main saloon aft enclosure. One of the purposes of going to Tasmania was to see what it would be like to live aboard the boat in a colder climate - frosty cold, not freezing cold. In Hobart, we experienced both frost on the deck in the morning and hail, but the snow stayed up on Mt. Wellington - pity, i was really hoping to take a photo of KatieKat covered with snow.

[Cold Night] KatieKat on a cold clear night in Tassie, with Hobart visible across the River Derwent behind the Tasman Bridge

[Sunken Boat] Don't know if it had anything to do with it, but the day after a nasty front came through all that could be seen of one of the moored boats in Lindisfarne was this mast.

Guess what? For the two of us, living in cold weather works great as long as we can be tied to marina power. A small quiet fan-driven space heater (not one of those noisy ceramic units) in each hull keeps everything below toasty warm, with the rising hot air taking the chill out of the main saloon. I'm afraid I drove the salesman at the local hardware store nuts, because they had about twenty space heater models on display and I had him plug most of them in to determine how noisy they are - some were downright awful! A 1000-watt heater is plenty to heat each hull's relatively small volume.

[Heater Port Cabin] Our portside heater is lightweight, quiet, is not hot to the touch, and doesn't heat up the surrounding cabinetry. Those Australian sheepskin Ugg booties are wonderful! Sorry, the photo is a bit out of focus.

Unfortunately, the design of the aft enclosure supplied for our boat precludes snapping it shut from the inside, so it flutters open in a breeze (yes, Richard, it DOES matter). See the upgrade 16 October, 2002. In addition, there's the gap between the fabric and the cockpit floor that lets cold air seep in. The fabric itself does a reasonable job of retaining some heat in the cool climate (after all, fabric tents are used worldwide), especially with the fabric flap over the large aft vinyl window. Basically, we only live in the hulls and don't utilize the main saloon. We did have an occasion to entertain on a cold winter's evening, and added a small radiant heater under the main saloon table - it worked just fine at keeping everybody warm. The silent radiant heater was originally purchased for use down below, but it warmed the side cabinetry a little too much.

I developed another trick for the large windows down below: foam cutouts that fit inside the windowframes provide both privacy and insulation, keeping condensation off the windows. For a more seriously-cold climate, I would be inclined to add that foam insulation to all the overhead hatches and main saloon windows. For really cold weather I would make a special fabric main saloon rear enclosure with a zippered pocket into which I would place a sheet of thin foam for insulation - furthermore, I would add a detachable railing of some sort to completely seal this enclosure to the cockpit sole to keep the rainwater and snow out.

[Foam Window Cover] Pulled back slightly to show it off, this one-inch-thick closed-cell foam does double duty as a window cover and insulator and requires no fasteners. It wasn't available in KatieKat green. Above, the added light fixture can be seen, and the temporarily stuck-on mirror will be replaced by a nice wood-framed one ... one of these days.

For our winter cruise away from the marina, it was a different story - there is no heating system in the boat, so longjons, fleece, sweaters, wool hats, wooly socks over polypro, a good blanket over the comforter, and Australian Ugg boots (sheepskin leather) do the job. A small radiant heater on a small propane bottle (that's our backup propane supply in case the two main propane cylinders get depleted) worked well down below, but perhaps isn't the safest thing around so we used it carefully and sparingly just to take the edge off the chill. We do not have an oven in the galley; however, the old trick of using an inverted clay pot over the stove worked nicely.

[Propane Heater] The propane radiant heater in use.

[Clay Pot Heater] The clay pot radiant heater (and you didn't believe me!).

[Defroster Fan] This small oscillating 12v fan clamped to the main saloon table was enough to keep the windows clear.

So, what's the conclusion? The foam-sandwich hulls provide very good insulation both from the cold air as well as cold water. Small heaters keep the place warm at the dock. For shore-power-independent cruising in a cold climate, a serious heating system would need to be added. For us, tied to a marina with shore power, living aboard in a cooler climate worked out wonderfully!

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