KatieKat Pre-Cruise

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KatieKat CruiseKatieKat Cruise Index WebpageReference
June-Sept. 2000Cruise Continues Up East CoastMixed
13 June 2000Signs and MenusGeneral
9 June 2000Touring SydneyFamily
3 June 2000Blue MountainsFamily
31 May 2000Frozen in VictoriaMixed
26 May 2000MelbourneFamily
23 May 2000Wilson's PromontoryFamily
22 May 2000Heading for MelbourneFamily
19 May 2000Sydney TouristsFamily
18 May 2000Sydney ScenesGeneral
16 May 2000Back in Sydney from PittwaterFamily
09 May 2000Some Observations of AustraliaGeneral
08 May 2000Boat Show in PittwaterFamily
02 May 2000Finally On BoardFamily
30 Apr 2000 Sea Trials in Sydney HarborFamily
29 Apr 2000 Boat Interior ModificationsMultihullers
27 Apr 2000 First Boat PhotosYachties
25 Apr 2000 Departure Day!Family
18 Apr 2000 Factory on ScheduleFamily
15 Apr 2000 Pre-Ownership Boat PerceptionsYachties
13 Apr 2000 Upscale Luggage and Hole In WallFamily
10 Apr 2000 A Leak Without a BoatFamily
25 Mar 2000 PreparationYachties

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This webpage covers our activities prior to the actual commencement of our cruise, and encompasses our back-home preparations, moving aboard, and tour (by car) of Victoria and New South Wales. Simply click on the small photos to see larger-scale images, then hit your browser BACK button to return to this page. Joe Siudzinski

13 June, 2000 -- Signs and Menus

Thought we'd share some photos of various road signs and menu items we don't quite have back home.

[Kangaroo Sign]One sees this sign everywhere

[Kangaroo Wombat Sign]In addition to the kangaroo, that's a wombat symbol

[No Pylons Sign]Finally realized this wasn't a road sign but a protest against overhead power lines.

[Smash Repairs Sign]Malls here are comprehensive!

[Sign]I was afraid to walk on the grass in this municipality!

[Dealt With Sign]Don't mess with the government! This sign was in the railway museum in the Blue Mountains.

[Mind Steps Sign]Nicely phrased - I thought the only thing one minded was the baby.

[Flamed Beans Menu]Dare you!

[Kangaroo Loin Menu]As seen on a menu outside an upscale restaurant in Balmain.

[Octopus Pizza Menu]Couldn't quite bring ourselves to try this one.

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9 June, 2000 -- Touring Sydney

No, we still haven't taken off yet and are enjoying some lovely weather in Sydney while preparing the boat and visiting the museums and surrounding areas such as the Blue Mountains with canyons which remind one of the Grand Canyon, only greener. Having our familiar yellow SeaCycle has made a world of difference, allowing us to comfortably explore anchorages and shuttle back and forth between boat and shore. Plan on heading up the coast to Pittwater in the next few days.

[Leaving Balmain]Leaving Balmain to another anchorage, still in Sydney Harbor.

3 June, 2000 -- Blue Mountains

Some photos taken during our one-day excursion from Sydney into the Blue Mountains.

[Kathy Blue Mountains]Overall view showing the grandeur of the area

[Joe Three Sisters]Those features are called the Three Sisters

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31 May, 2000 -- Frozen in Victoria

"No worries, mate" they said, as we Californians headed south in our shorts and t-shirts. I even (inadvertently) left my jacket behind on the boat. Little did we know that the heretofore-idyllic weather would turn into the coldest days of May recorded since 1951! The impetus for this was an Antarctic cold front which moved up, hitting the coast with gale-force winds and bringing cold rain, hail, sleet, and snow to southeastern Australia - exactly where we were touristing! The photos below show the effect on the coastline, where we were travelling a beautiful 100-mile stretch called the Great Ocean Road, otherwise known as the Shipwreck Coast. Seeing the huge gale-driven waves, visible way out at sea, one could really relate to this fatal lee shore for mariners. Visits to the shipwreck museums in the towns along this coast further demonstrated the effects of the the difficulties mariners had in this part of the world - Kathy now wants to have the Seawind shipped to Alice Springs (look that up on your map!). We shivered our way along the coast and then inland up through the snow-covered hills to Canberra (the nation's capitol) where we were awed by the War Memorial Museum - truly a sobering experience. Just came back to Sydney and today we received the remaining pieces to our SeaCycle and thus now have our own familiar independent means for getting to/from our anchored KatieKat.

[Port Campbell]Another view of Port Campbell. Refuge?

[Port Campbell]Port Campbell, said to be the only port of refuge for a long stretch of this coast

[Loch Ard Gorge]Loch Ard Gorge, named after the infamous 1878 wreck which had only two survivors

[Kathy 12 Apostles]Kathy peering out over the Twelve Apostles

[12 Apostles]The Twelve Apostles, famous landmark of the Shipwreck Coast

[Windblown Kathy]More horizontal rain.

[Windblown]Windblown. Alaska doesn't have a monopoly on horizontal rain.

[Ocean Waves]Compare this photo with the one taken from the same place on 26 May (below)

[Traction Engine]Happiness is a steam traction engine. Kaiserites remember the painting?

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26 May, 2000 -- Melbourne and Vicinity

[Cook Statue]Statue of Captain Cook by the Cook House in Melbourne

[Yard]At Kathy's parents' friend Margaret's house

[Royal Bot]More Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens

[Royal Bot]Fall colors at the Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens

[Ocean]Surfers' paradise off Ocean Grove

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23 May, 2000 -- Wilson's Promontory

[Joe]Cold and windy Bass Strait

[Lorikeet]Kathy thinks this is called a Lorikeet - almost stepped on the little guy!

[Wombat]That's a Wombat - totally ignored us and kept on munching

[Kathy Path]Enchanted Forest or Spooky Path, take your pick

[Kathy]On the Tide River along the way to Squeaky Beach

[JoeBoardwalk]Start of the hike to Squeaky Beach

We took a quick hike just before sundown along Tide River to Squeaky Beach on Wilson's Promontory, the southernmost part of the Australian mainland

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22 May, 2000 -- On the way to Melbourne

[Canoe]A canoe excursion into the swampland

[Roo]Years of practice posing for tourists!

[Joe Roo]This kangaroo just loved being scratched! (fleas and ticks?)

[Kathy Roo]Pebbly Beach - Kathy and her new buddy

[Dirt Road]Joe's kinda road (reminds him of home) on the way to Pebbly Beach

[Kiama Lighthouse]Joe loves lighthouses (you would too if you navigated unknown coasts before GPS)

[Kiama Lighthouse]Kiama Lighthouse

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19 May, 2000 -- Sydney Tourists

[Red Inflatable]Keeping the laundry dry in the inflatable loaned to us by Richard Ward

[Opera House Kathy]More Opera House

[Opera House Joe]Glistening tiles of the Opera House roof

[Sydney Harbor Bridge]Sydney Harbor Bridge with Bounty replica

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18 May, 2000 -- Sydney Scenes

[Motorcycle]That's a gasoline-powered grinding wheel on the back!

[Magpies Warning]Dangerous wildlife(?)

[Kids]Schoolkids - love those floppity hats!

[Pigs Heads]At least I don't show the product!

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16 May, 2000 -- Back in Sydney from Pittwater

[BigFish]In Sydney's Blackwattle Bay, with one of the Fish Market's signs in the background.

[KathyLaundry]In Pittwater, off to do the laundry which is in the backpack - why is she smiling?

Sailed back from Pittwater last week, an upwind slog which we ended up motorsailing in order to arrive in Sydney before dark. Boat performed great. We're anchored in Blackwattle Bay (home of the famous Fish Market) for the last few days, provisioning the boat and using the inflatable dinghy kindly loaned to us by Richard Ward.

9 May, 2000 -- Some Observations of Australia

[BBQ]First use of the barbie

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5-8 May, 2000 -- Boat Show in Pittwater

[BoatShow]1000 Looky-Loos crawling through our new home

The photo above shows our boat, in company with another Seawind 1000 and a Seawind 1200 which are both charter boats (there were two other Seawinds elsewhere, giving demo sails). An enterprising soul had set up a floating Starbucks-equivalent (with prices to match) right in front of us.
Writing this on May 9. We're finally putting our stuff back after the boat show. Must say, the crowd was very civilized and respectful of the boat, so it's none the worse for wear. The customized interior (especially with the wood floors instead of carpeting complementing the added furnishings forward of the master stateroom) drew many appreciative comments.
The mainsail was returned today with the added fourth reef(!). Bought some more safety equipment at the boat show: a comfortable inflatable vest and personal EPIRB for Kathy - even though we have a 406 EPIRB, the Australians actively promote the 121MHz system here as well, and this is a small vest-pocket-sized waterproof unit. Also picked up a heavy-duty sea anchor and a drogue with bridles and line which we hope never to use.
Today we're just vegetating, as our boat is landlocked by the others from the boat show; tomorrow, if the weather holds, we'll start some cruising in the Pittwater area before returning to Sydney.

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2 May, 2000 -- Finally On Board!

[Kathy Galley]Happy Galley Slave

We are somewhat rushed, as we agreed to let the Seawind factory display our boat in a boat show in Pittwater this coming weekend. We'll be sailing up the coast about 20 miles on Wednesday. The last two days have been a frenzy outfitting the boat with the initial living-aboard necessities as well as safety gear. Our luggage containers are still on shore, and we've only pulled out some clothes and some basic boat stuff. The full settling-down will have to wait until next week.
On another note, although I am able to readily download my e-mail from my Telis account and can easily upload the website files, I am having trouble sending out e-mails. Just haven't taken the time to work the problem, so am sending out web-based e-mails, and evidently the attachments get scrambled. Hope to establish an account with an Australian ISP next week, and hopefully can hook up to the Internet from my Macintosh using the cellphone. We'll see...
Also, I played around with the format of the table at the top of this page and managed to mess things up. Looks reasonable using Internet Explorer but not using Netscape. Hope to have some time to fix it over the next few days.

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30 April, 2000 -- Sea Trials in Sydney Harbor

[Sydney Bridge]Kodak Moment

[Sydney Opera House]Another Kodak Moment

We had fantastic weather for the Sea Trials yesterday. Everything worked. We'll be moving aboard today.

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29 April, 2000 -- Boat Interior Modifications

[Port Fwd Mod]Port forward cabin modification

[Port Fwd Seat]Port forward cabin mod showing seat lowered

[Port Fwd Desk]Port forward cabin mod showing desk drawers and cubbyholes

[Port Fwd Wardrobe]Port forward cabin mod showing wardrobe interior.

[Stbd Aft Table]Starboard aft cabin modification showing table.

In order to increase the liveability of the boat when cruising as a couple, there were two modifications which I asked to be made to the boat:
1. In the port forward cabin, instead of a long double bunk (which is great for a family cruising with kids) there is now a desk with a fold-down seat for it, shelving, a good-sized wardrobe closet with shelving, and, just aft of the wardrobe doors, there is a seat with storage underneath (which Kathy just designated as the clothes hamper). Seawind has been recently offering this layout as an option.
2. In the starboard aft cabin, I wanted it made useable as either sleeping quarters for occasional guests or as a computer/nav/office cabin. I kept the design very simple and just asked for a straightforward removable table which would double as the base for the bunk.

You can see the results above, the port forward cabin is now really a very luxurious extension to the master stateroom and the starboard aft cabin table provides functionality to an area that would otherwise be used for storage (or a doghouse) when cruising as a couple. We'll see how these work out in the long run.

By the way, all this fun of downloading the images from the digital camera, formatting them, and updating this website I've just done between 2am and 6am (Australia time) since my internal clock hasn't reset and I'm still on California time. Sure beats just lying there awake trying not to disturb Kathy who had no trouble adjusting instantly! By the way, I'd appreciate some feedback regarding the format and formatting of this webpage, as I intend to just let it keep growing (to send me an e-mail click here). I'm doing this html stuff from scratch, and it's a fun learning experience.

Until I get my own internet access, Richard Ward, the owner of Seawind Catamarans, has very kindly allowed me to use his ISP. I've been able to easily access the Internet, download my e-mail from my Telis POP3 account, but haven't figured out how to send out e-mails without altering my identity. I finally resorted to the web-based Yahoo account for sending out messages. The only hardware compatibility issue I had is that the dialtone is different than in the US, which was easily overcome by disabling the dial tone recognition feature during dial-up.

We're still staying in a motel, and I hope to finish my pre-acceptance inspection this morning which will culminate with some sea trials for detailed operational testing. If all continues well, we hope to start moving aboard tomorrow. In the next installment I'll let Kathy wax eloquent about how lovely this area is.

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27 April, 2000 -- First Boat Photos

[First Sight]First view of boat, with Kathy's head just visible. Boat name has a gap in it, so when they change it, will that anger Neptune?

[SideView]In Wollongong harbor, just before setting off up the coast for the delivery to Sydney.

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25 April, 2000 -- Departure!

[Departure]Packed up and leaving home and dying grass for Los Angeles International Airport with six blue tote-boxes.

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18 April, 2000 -- Factory Right On Schedule!

Yipee! Received an e-mail from Seawind confirming that the boat has been finished - meeting their schedule date exactly - the date they promised six months ago! They're launching the boat on Thursday, so it will be in the water ready to go when we arrive.

15 April, 2000 -- Pre-Ownership Boat Perceptions

A number of friends asked me to comment regarding the choice of boat, and what I consider its strengths and weaknesses. I thought this would be a good time to write down my perceptions, and then revisit these items after a few months of actual experience.

Since I'm buying the boat, I must like it! I'm a multihull addict, and simply prefer the motion and habitability of a catamaran over a trimaran, and especially over those other (hull-challenged) vessels. I had the opportunity to sail the Seawind 1000 quite a number of times, including a heavy-weather jaunt out to the Farallones (see the Seawind to the Farallones writeup of that experience elsewhere on this website), and a cruise down the coast from Monterey to Santa Barbara - in fact, these extensive sea trials convinced me that the boat indeed can sail quite well and this was a major factor in making the decision to purchase. Remember, this is a cruiser and not a stripped raceboat. The quality of the workmanship on the boats I've seen is very good. To me, one of the boat's primary attractions is its excellent all-round visibility from the bridgedeck saloon. The main cabin enclosure and its extension provide excellent screening from the sun and helm protection from the rain. In the outer cabins, the side windows are also nice and large, providing good lighting inside and a very good view out the sides (but, unfortunately, not forward). The boat has good bridgedeck clearance, has excellent creature accommodations, and seems very spacious, especially for a 10-metre multihull - the length is fine, as I prefer smaller boats, although weight-carrying capacity will of necessity be restricted if I desire to retain some performance. I consider its twin outboards a significant plus over built-in diesels from a weight-saving, maintenance, and lack of drag standpoint.

The perceived negatives to me are the lack of daggerboards or centerboards for really heavy-weather windward work (or the ability to retract them to allow the boat to skid sideways), the significant draft (for a multihull) resulting from the fixed mini-keels, and rudders which don't lift up. On the other hand, the fixed mini-keels should work out great in Britain in supporting the boat when the tide runs out. From a habitability standpoint, the fabric enclosure for the main saloon may prove insufficient in colder climes. There also seems to me to be a lack of "coziness" in the main saloon - an awfully subjective perception which might be easily altered by appropriate embellishments.

A couple of nagging unanswered concerns are an unknown waterline should one of the hulls flood as well as an unknown upsidedown waterline (or will it sink?). Hopefully, we won't empirically determine these.

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13 April, 2000 -- Upscale Luggage and Hole in Wall

[Strewn Stuff]Trying to keep track of everything while cramming into tote-boxes

[Hole In Wall]We didn't need this right now!

10 April, 2000 -- Leak (and not even on a boat yet!)

The never-ending task of storing away one's possessions continues... as though I didn't have enough to do, a water pipe in my house just developed a leak, which means I now have to tear out a portion of the front entryway wall! Went up to San Francisco Airport today with a huge plastic tote-box to find out if it qualified as a piece of luggage within the legal dimensions for international travel. Was told "no problem" by two airlines.

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25 March, 2000 -- Preparation

Very little time is being devoted to the actual preparation for this cruise, as we're very busy refurbishing family homes, dealing with family and personal administrative matters, as well as packing away three households' worth of stuff (my parents', Kathy's, and my own).

The boat is nearing completion (I hope!), incorporating custom modifications aimed at increasing living space for long-term cruising for two. Changes include a combination wardrobe closet and desk for Kathy in the forward end of the port hull and an aft starboard cabin conversion which will provide an office/nav-station (while retaining the ability to convert back into a sleeping cabin). Numerous other small changes are being made which I will detail in later writeups.

[Survival Suit] Kathy's first pose for her modeling portfolio

I'm gradually collecting accessories for the boat as I find bargains, such as a self-contained backup autopilot (Simrad WP-10), a VHF (Standard Intrepid), a digital compass (Ritchie Mag/One), and a 406 EPIRB. In addition, I'm taking dozens of existing sailing items off the Telstar trimaran, including two handheld GPSs, shortwave receiver, parachute anchor, handheld VHFs, spinnakers with socks, survival suits (see above photo), and safety gear.

For a computer system, I plan on taking both my old and new Apple PowerBooks, with backup hard drives, ZIP drives, CD-R drive, modems, cables, etc. The boat is indeed going to have its own LAN (Local Area Network)!

I think we're already over the volume (but not weight) limit for travel...

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