KatieKat 2002 Cruise Chapter Seven

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August 2002GoTo KatieKat 2002 Cruise Chapter Six
2 September 2002 Liferaft Mounting
26 September 2002 New Seawind Passage
10 october 2002 Manly to Bundaberg
12 october 2002 Birthday at Lady Musgrave
14 october 2002 BikeBoat Woes
16 october 2002SheetStow, Traveler, EnclosureZip
17 october 2002 Maryborough - Engineers' Town
30 october 2002 Maryborough to Southport, Spinnaker Trick
November 2002GoTo KatieKat 2002 Cruise Chapter Eight

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This is the seventh 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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2 September, 2002 -- Liferaft Mounting

Six months ago, before our passage across Bass Strait to Tasmania, I had bought a 4-person liferaft. Ever since then, we've been tripping over the darn thing. It has resided variously under our main saloon table, out on the forward deck, or, when conditions were interesting, in a corner on the outer aft deck. After thinking about it for some time, I finally decided upon a location underneath the aft targa-bar railings that is unobtrusive and easily reachable whether we're right-side-up or inverted.

[Liferaft Mounting] The liferaft is held in place with three straps, each secured with quick-release snapshackles.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, the most probable scenario for needing to use a liferaft is an uncontrollable onboard fire. Hopefully, it won't originate at the BBQ located just above it! :-)

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26 September, 2002 -- New Seawind Coastal Passage

Took a train to Sydney and helped long-time friend from California Craig Riley sail his neighbor Dennis' brand-new Seawind 1000 up the coast to Southport. Would you believe Dennis named the boat "Fear and Loathing"? The passage was unusual because it was upwind for the entire trip - I probably sailed upwind more in these last five days than I have in KatieKat in the last 2-1/2 years! The highlight (lowlight?) of the trip was getting whapped by a thunderstorm, with winds peaking at 39knots. The Seawind handled it all with aplomb.

[CraigDennis Windy] Craig driving and Dennis watching as they maneuver the boat after the thunderstorm had passed. Note the closed-up starboard hull hatch, just a precaution in case the seastate became interesting.

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10 October, 2002 -- Manly to Bundaberg

The following are excerpts from our cellphone updates-

2 October 2002
A bumpy downwind sail straight through to Fraser Island from Manly. Relaxing at Garry's Anchorage for a couple of days.

3 October 2002
Motored over to Kingfisher Resort on Fraser Island. Showers, newspapers, a cellphone tower, and good TV reception - what more does one need?

[Beacon in Shallow Water] This beacon at low tide shows why these channel markers should not be passed too closely.

5 October 2002
Motored across Hervey Bay (no wind) to Urangan Harbour where we'll stay for a couple of days and explore the surroundings on our new used trusty becoming rusty bicycles.

8 October 2002
Beautiful sail to Bundaberg. Getting ready to go out to Lady Musgrave (lovely island and reef at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef) and celebrate Joe's birthday (a big one) on Columbus Day.

[Bicycles Hung off Targa Bar] Our new used bicycles have already seen quite a workout. The old ones we left in Tasmania. Hung this way, the rust just drips down into the water instead of onto the deck :-)

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12 October, 2002 -- Birthday at Lady Musgrave

After partially repairing the owie that KatieKat received as a result of a careless powerboat wake (a separate mooring topic I'll discuss in the future), we left Bundaberg in the middle of the night to ensure midday arrival at Lady Musgrave which allows one to see the various 'bommies' (coral heads) within the lagoon. Lady Musgrave is a picture-perfect example of a small island with lovely sand-covered lagoon surrounded by a reef - hey, if I can't spend my birthday with all my family and friends, then the next best thing is to experience it with Kathy in such a beautiful setting

[KatieKat Anchored Lady Musgrave] KatieKat anchored in the Lady Musgrave lagoon, with the island in the background.

[Joe Showering] A refreshing fresh-water shower after snorkeling in the clear waters of the reef and lagoon. Have to clean up for the birthday feast.

[Joe Eating] Birthday feast.

My good digital camera has never recovered since Tasmania (its internal light sensor fails to compensate and all the photos taken in bright sunlight are overexposed) and the low-res camera is intermittent, so no more birthday photos - Kathy promised me a new camera for my birthday.

Sadly, my birthdate will now mark the Bali bombing - about which we didn't learn for a couple of days. Very heavily affected everyone in this nation, whose government has been unreservedly backing the US effort in the war against terror.

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14 October, 2002 -- BikeBoat Woes

We used the peace and serenity of Lady Musgrave to reflect upon our future plans. We've decided to return to Brisbane and gather some more information before choosing an option - besides, heading north exposes us to mozzies and other nasty bugs which have appeared early this year (we still have no screens on KatieKat).

We departed Lady Musgrave in mid-afternoon and sailed south all night long in beautiful conditions. I usually tow BikeBoat (our SeaCycle pedal-powered catamaran tender), which works just fine except in a following sea and strong winds where the wind tends to make it weathercock (high windage caused by the rear-mounted basket) and then the SeaCycle tries to surf and overrun its towline. Unfortunately, I completely forgot that I normally remove the drive legs when towing in open water - as the winds built up the seas the following day, BikeBoat became more unruly. Just as I was starting to pull in the SeaCycle so that I could remove its drive legs, it massively overshot its towline and snagged it on one of the drivelegs, causing the SeaCycle to all of a sudden be pulled sideways while KatieKat was cruising at 8 knots - not good, and overstressed the thin towline which promptly parted. Kathy and I then spent a half-hour retrieving BikeBoat - luckily, we were already inside the channels of Hervey Bay so the seas were subdued despite the 25-knot winds. Actually, it was good practice as a MOB drill, as it entailed maneuvering KatieKat up next to the SeaCycle, having Kathy hop onto it and then hand the two drive legs up to me before securing a new towline - an interesting experience which demonstrated how violently and differently both boats react to the wind and seas and how difficult it is to maneuver the boats in those conditions.

[BikeBoat Towed] BikeBoat tows very nicely behind a 100' 1/8" nylon line - its length and stretchiness smoothes out the peak towing loads.

[BikeBoat Loose] "You really want me to jump onto that thing and partially dismantle it??" Note the damaged drive leg protruding upwards on the SeaCycle - luckily held in with very strong shockcord so it wasn't lost like the one a year ago.

[Parted Towline] The parted towline. The double sheet bend has never slipped, and it's interesting to note that the towline parted at the point where it attached to the slightly heavier line which leads to the SeaCycle towing bridle.

After retrieving the drive legs (yes, the leg which had snagged now has a damaged driveshaft seal - the brand new seal I have as a spare which SeaCycle had sent me a year ago has the wrong diameter!) and re-securing the towline, we uneventfully sailed up the shallows of Mary River up to Maryborough.

[9990nm] Just before we arrived in Maryborough, the GPS odometer read 9990nm. Hard to believe we've sailed almost 10,000 miles on KatieKat!

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16 October, 2002 -- Boat Upgrades - Sheet Stowage, Traveler, Enclosure Zip

Thought I'd continue showing off some more of the minor changes I've been making to KatieKat. The first one is a continuation of my pursuit of neatness when it comes to running rigging. On a multihull it's imperative that the sheets be capable of being released immediately and allowed to flow in a snag-free environment. I had previously shown off my technique (30 August 2001) which utilizes baskets for containing the lines; however, I've added a couple of containers (shown below) which you might find interesting.

[Sheetbag] [Sheetbag]

The stock Seawind 1000 sheet/line storage, as seen on "Fear and Loathing". Not my cup of tea.

[Sheet Stowage] The two shaped 160mm (6-1/2") diameter PVC tubes (thank you Adam for cutting these to fit) are free-standing, simply held together with a shockcord, and restrained from movement by the tails themselves. I like the ability to easily and quickly drop the line tails into the holes. Now that I've used them for a couple of months, I think these tubes are keepers, their only disavantage being a little interference when one is trying to look out forward past the side of the boat (very rare).

[Traveler] This photo shows the conversion of the main traveler control from 3:1 to 4:1 by the simple addition of a double block to the car. Yes, the effort is reduced, but I screwed up and made the control line one size larger (to make it easier on the hands) and its increased friction all but negates the improved mechanical advantage.

[Zipper] Why didn't I think of this when we were shivering in Tasmania? The problem was that it was virtually impossible to snap in the main saloon fabric enclosure from inside the boat (note the snaps down by the steering wheel), so we had spent the winter in Hobart with it flapping and letting in cold air. The solution is abominably simple: add a full-length zipper right next to the existing attachment.

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17 October, 2002 -- Maryborough - Engineers' Town

Maryborough is located a few hours' motoring up the Mary River and is a town with a long history of engineering-related activities. Locomotives and trains were (and still are) built here, and there is a thriving support infrastructure of custom machine shops and services. Maryborough was also a major port of entry into Australia around the turn of the last century. We enjoyed our stay here, and Neville and Bev at Mary River Marina were especially nice.

[Engineers Arms Hotel] Engineers Arms Hotel

[Joe Steam Train] [Kathy Steam Train]

The MaryAnn is a locally-built replica of a locomotive which serviced this region in the late 1800's. A delight for kids of all ages, it huffs and puffs and the local enthusiasts drive it up and down a short section of track to show it off. Fun stuff like this may be soon curtailed because of incredible increases in public-liability insurance costs throughout the country.

[Steam Drive] [Drive Shaft]

The Olds foundry and machine shop is a wonderful old-time sand-casting foundry and custom machine shop - they specialize in one-off weird parts (e.g., replacement parts for antique automobiles), and examples of their creations are shown in their display room which is a museum in itself. I was so enthralled with their small steam engines that I forgot to take pictures. Every Thursday (we were there then) they turn on their steam plant and run everything off their steam engine-driven line shaft - for real, and not just for show. They also had a cute working model of a solar-powered Stirling Cycle engine which demonstrated just another example of a self-contained independent-energy power source.

[River Mist] [River Mist]

This is the early-morning Mary River scene from our boat, tied up to the marina in Maryborough. That space-age looking thing is our tv antenna.

[Birdcage In Diesel Shop] Couldn't resist snapping this photo of a tweety in a birdcage hung from a chain hoist in a diesel engine repair shop. The bird (don't ask me its brand) was happily chirping away while this industrial work was being done all around it - what a contrast!

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30 October, 2002 -- Maryborough to Southport

Our plans gelled as we were relaxing at Lady Musgrave and we have decided to sail across to New Zealand. After staying a few days in Maryborough, we zoomed down to Manly where we stayed a week and then sailed down to Southport where we're preparing both the boat and ourselves for the passage.

[9999nm] [0000nm]

It was with great anticipation that I waited for the GPS odometer to roll over for the 10,000 nautical miles we've covered since we picked up the boat in April 2000. The magic moment came on 18 October as we were sailing down the Mary River - after quite some time spent staring at the darn thing, it became obvious that the GPS "Trip" was stuck at 9999 and was not going to roll over!! The GPS handbook doesn't mention this. Had to do a manual reset. (Sigh)

One thing about our yellow SeaCycle - everybody who has seen it can spot us miles away! As we were sailing down the Great Sandy Straits, imagine our surprise to hear Dorothy Darden's voice calling us on the VHF - sure enough, Adagio soon zoomed up and passed us. We first met the Dardens in New Caledonia, and since then I had sailed across Bass Strait to Hobart with Steve and Dorothy, in Tasmania we were tied up at the same marina in Lindisfarne, and we chased them up the coast from Tassie, last seeing them in Sydney. Now they were returning from the Whitsundays - we caught up to them in Mooloolaba and subsequently again in Southport.

[Adagio and BikeBoat] [Adagio and WindGen] [Adagio Dorothy]

Adagio is a wonderfully engineered and equipped 52' catamaran. Click here to visit the Adagio website.

I've owned a Telstar trimaran for over 15 years and thus get excited when I see one. Here in Australia someone had knocked-off an 8m Telstar (they do things like that with all sorts of products in this country), made some minor mods to it, and marketed it under the name of Manta.

[Joe Telstar] [Telstar] [Telstar]

The primary changes that I can spot on this Telstar trimaran knockoff are an altered bow, an absence of outboard motor skid, and a slightly different window cutout pattern. Even the rudder blade shape was retained!

The following are excerpts from the cellphone updates during our coastal cruise from Maryborough to Southport:

18 October 2002 - Maryborough to Ungowa
Had a nervewracking sail down the Mary River (only ran aground once right in the middle of where the channel was supposed to be) and sailed into Ungowa just at sunset. Peaceful. The Seawind is great at anchor as it points into the wind and the cockpit and barbie are nicely sheltered.

19 October 2002 - Ungowa to Mooloolaba
Had a great sail out the Wide Bay Bar (under sail on an outgoing tide at low tide while towing BikeBoat - four NoNo's, but the bar was calm) and then a windy spinnaker run down the coast to Mooloolaba where we'll sit out the southeasterly change which is going to hit tomorrow. Did some experimentation and discovered a neat trick to lowering the spinnaker when the main is down and the wind is howling - will describe in a future website update.

All right, here's the trick for taming the spinnaker when the main is down:
When running dead downwind with main and jib, I usually wing out the jib (to the side opposite from the mainsail) through a snatch block to a stanchion base because otherwise it would simply be blanketed by the main. When flying a spinnaker, I usually lower the main (and furl the jib); thus, when lowering the spinnaker in an increasing wind it is fully exposed and thus it can be difficult to pull the sock down over it. The solution is simple: pull out the jib to the side (as when running wing-and-wing), and thus partially blanket the spinnaker (it flaps around) and allows a much reduced-load sock pulldown. Why didn't I think of this before? See 2001 Manly to Mooloolaba for a description of antics (try not to laugh) I could have easily prevented using this technique. (Sigh)

22-23 October 2002 - Mooloolaba to Manly
Back in Manly for a few days, docked at the East Coast Marina. Nice to be back on familiar ground. Winds steadily in the 30's today.

30 October 2002 - Manly
Heading for Southport today. Prepping the boat for a crossing to NZ within the next few weeks.

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