Our Current Position

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Time to Go!

Well the day has finally come, the weather is looking perfect, the boat and crew are all prepared and once we clear customs this morning we will be off.

The last few days have been a bit busy. We flew up to Brisbane on Saturday and hired a car. Pat dropped Debi at the supermarket to start provisioning and then went off to get the watermaker which is now all fixed. Pat was only gone an hour but got back to find this .....

Trolley No. 1

This was the first of two trolleys! Anyway it's good to see that there is plenty of health food in there.

Then it was back to the boat to dump all the groceries and then off to Julian and Julia's for supper.

Debi spent the whole of Sunday cooking meals for the trip. Amazingly she managed to cook eight meals in a day, vacuum packed them all and attempted to freeze them. The poor fridge was struggling and so Julian and Julia kindly lent us the use of their freezer. Note to self .... remember to pick up the food!

Galley Slave!
The rest of Sunday was spent rearranging the boat so that everything is safely stowed.

Yesterday we dropped the hire car back and met our new crew member, Gwyn, from the airport. We think he is still in shock having flown in from North Wales to find it's 27 degrees here.

The Crew!
We then went around to Scarborough marina and filled up with as much diesel as we could get on board. We also went out into the bay to test the watermaker which worked fine, but seemed to have a problem stopping! Just a corroded switch.

We have received our weather routing from our meteorologist, Roger Badham and so are set to go. There probably won't be anymore blogs for a while but our progress will be automatically updated on this page .....

The route

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

One week to go!

We are currently both back in Sydney and X-Pat is having a rest in Brisbane prior to departure. The last week has been mainly occupied with filling out customs paperwork for departure from Australia and arrival in New Zealand. Debi has been busy finalising the menu and making a very long shopping list. This coming weekend she plans to cook twelve days worth of food! That should be entertaining. 

Pat has spent a lot of time this week studying various weather forecasts and alternative routes to make the trip as safe and pleasant as possible. At the moment everything is looking good for a departure on Tuesday 28th November, but that could change!

All of the paper charts arrived today. The one below shows that the whole trip can be fitted onto one piece of paper! So how hard can it be?

We'll be travelling up to X-Pat on Saturday (25th) to start final preparations (and cooking!).

The trip across the Tasman Sea on one piece of paper!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Moreton Bay Shake Down

We have spent the last few days on board X-Pat in Moreton Bay having a bit of a shake down to make sure everything is working.  We ticked the following off the list:
  • Lift out at Scarborough marina and had the bottom pressure washed to remove marine growth;
    On her way back into the water after a good clean
  • Sail to windward with new headsail: This went well sailing to windward in up to 20 knots of wind albeit is fairly sheltered waters;
  • Check navigation and auto-helm following installation of new instruments: all seemed to be working fine;
  • Check communication equipment: Our satellite tracking worked well and our track is visible on this site.  Our weather reports via Predictwind and the Iridium Go! seem to work, but can be horribly slow some times;
  • Test out our new “Seabrake” or drogue: Intended for heavy weather this device is dragged behind the back of the boat to slow it down. It certainly worked, slowing the boat from 5 knots to a standstill almost instantaneously. It is however, very awkward to deploy and retrieve, so having a practice to iron out some issues was a good idea. We also found the drogue very effective as an emergency steering device should we have any issues with the main steering;
  • Check out the Watt & Sea Hydro-generator: this power generator has been sitting idle on the back of the boat for the last 18 months, but worked fine when we deployed it, generating a steady 7 amps.
  • Check the water maker: well there was always something that was going to go wrong! It coughed and spluttered into action after a year of being hidden away under our bunk, but I couldn’t really get it to run smoothly and it is quite badly corroded. Then one of the reverse osmosis units started leaking. So time to call in the experts on that one. Hopefully we can get it fixed in time.

Good reason to stay out of the shipping lane!

We did a trip out to Flinders Reef off the northern end of Moreton Island. That was something we had intended doing for a while and we were lucky enough that the weather was good enough. Pat had hoped to go for a snorkel but the tide was a bit strong and so he was restricted to snorkelling whilst holding onto the back of the boat!

Flinders Reef
We have seen turtles, dolphins, parrotfish and lots of birds during this short trip. Debi has been busy cooking and practising her Spanish. Her logic is that if we get the navigation wrong and miss New Zealand she will be able to handle things in South America!

We are heading back to the marina tomorrow to put X-Pat to bed for a final few weeks before our trip begins.

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...