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!
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.