Our Current Position

Saturday, 28 October 2017

The Preparations Continue

Pat has been back on board for the last few days, servicing bits and pieces and checking systems. We now have shiny new LED navigation lights, the old ones were looking very dodgy and although they seemed to work fine, we were nervous that they may fail soon. The lifejackets have all been serviced and the MOB and EPIRB devices all tested. The sat phone system (Iridium Go!) and weather data system (Predictwind) have all been checked.

New starboard navigation light
We have invested in a seabrake drogue to help control the boat should we encounter bad weather. Hopefully just an insurance measure!

Meanwhile Debi has been working out what we need to do to clear customs in Australia and in New Zealand. Provisioning plans are well underway and we have even bought a vacuum packing machine, to pack all of our prepared meals. 

We will be back onboard on board next week for a one week shake down in Moreton Bay. We are booked in for a lift and pressure wash of the hull next Friday at Scarborough Marina. That should make sure that we don't take any undesirable marine growth to New Zealand with us.

So X-Pat is just about ready, the question is are we? Debi passed her RYA Coastal Skipper qualification earlier in the year and Pat has just got his Offshore Yachtmaster qualification. We have also completed sea survival and first aid courses, so are feeling as prepared as we can be.

Our departure window for New Zealand starts on the 27th November, one month today!

Ready to set sail

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Back on the Water

Finally we got back out on the water today and it was an opportunity to play with the new toys on Moreton Bay. Unfortunately the weather didn't play ball but we managed.

First up was to get familiar with the new Raymarine Axiom plotters, including one at the helm and the new auto pilot. Coming out through the Newport channel was simplified by having the plotter at the helm. We then went through the commissioning of the autopilot, getting the magnetic deviation calibrated and then successfully steered a course to a way point. Bob, as our autopilot is affectionately known, did a fine job of getting us to this initial waypoint and then steering us across Moreton Bay in a 30 knot south easterly! It's good to have him back onboard!

Next up, we got out our storm jib and hoisted it. This is not something that we are planning to use, but it seems mad that we have had the thing in the sail locker for seven years and never tried it out. From the look of it, I don't think the previous owner had used it either. All went well and we now know how to get it all rigged up.

Ironically after we took the storm jib down and got ready to hoist our new furling genoa, the wind built to 30 knots and so we decided to hold off on the genoa and motor across to Moreton island where things were all a bit more sheltered. In hindsight we would have been better off putting the storm jib back up!

Once we got across the bay we got the genoa up and with Debi on the helm we were doing 7 knots, close hauled with no main. The genoa is not too big but we will have a go at reefing it over the next few days, to get used to it.  We are hoping it turns out to be a very useful cruising sail.

We are now anchored in the lee of Moreton Island and things are looking very grey with occasional showers. The forecast does not look good for tomorrow and so it may be the opportunity to test out the other new feature on X-Pat, new mattresses!

New Flexima Mattress in starboard aft cabin

Friendly Fiji

After a burst of activity early on, it has been a pretty chilled out week. We left Buca Bay on Sunday, motoring out through the reef into...