Our Current Position

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Just when we thought we were ready ……

Well everything went to plan with the re-launch and we got back in the water on Tuesday morning. We immediately went for a quick sea trial to check the rebuilt steering system and also to do engine checks. Everything seemed fine except that the engine didn’t seem to attain the revs that it should at maximum throttle. This is not something we were particularly worried about as we rarely run at maximum throttle. However, the engineers undertook to do further checks.

Debi arrived on Tuesday afternoon and we spent Wednesday buying provisions, stowing provisions and then Debi started cooking. Once again she has done a fantastic job and prepared eight meals for our passage and we are all fully stocked and ready to roll.

A serious load of provisioning

It's important to include the essentials
Now the difficult task of stowing it all
On Thursday, Debi finished up the cooking, did the laundry and got everything stowed, whilst Pat filled up the water and did final preparations on deck with a plan to head up the coast on Saturday to our planned departure point at Marsden Cove.

Whilst driving to the airport on Thursday to pick up our third crew member, Leanne, Pat got a phone call from the engineer, saying that they had investigated the tachometer issue and had decided the alternator was “fried”. Not good news.

A depressing look in the engine bay
The offending alternator
Given that the alternator was a) a very expensive one and b) only two years old this seemed completely improbable. However, further investigations have revealed that it is indeed “fried”, that being the technical term for a short in the windings. A new one is now on order but has the come from the US. It should hopefully be here on Tuesday. Having been on the brink of departure with everything lined up, including notifying NZ customs of our imminent departure, this has been to say the least, disappointing.

The weather has not been the best with very squally showers and high winds coming through, so it wouldn’t have been the best weather to set off. It is also quite cold.

Yesterday we decided to get away from the boat and go and visit Piha, a small village on the west coast of North Island. There is a lovely long beach of black sand and some wild waves rolling in from the Tasman. Thankfully there was also a Surf Life Saving Club, selling good beer and hot food!

A stormy Piha Beach

Sheltering in the Surf Life Saving Club

Leanne, our new crew member
A very windy Piha Beach
Debi getting to grips with her new camera, courtesy of Leanne
Sea spray on a windy Piha Beach

You've been framed!

Leanne has undertaken to upgrade the interior design of X-Pat and has been busy embroidering anything that doesn’t move! Our interior is gradually being transformed!

Our new look interior!

And so now we wait for the alternator to arrive, be fixed and for the next weather window!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Almost back in action

It seems like ages since the last post. We parked X-Pat at Gulf Harbour marina at the end of March and have been back to Sydney and doing other things for the last month. 

X-Pat came out of the water on the 30th April for the annual service and antifoul and at the moment is still sitting on the hardstand! We had the hull soda blasted to take off all the old antifoul and get back to the gelcoat. This was followed by three coats of primer and three coats of antifoul and so we are hopefully protected from all those marine beasties that would like to make our hull their home.

Blasted and filled and ready for primer

Primed and looking a lot better

New anodes and coated with Prop speed

Three coats of anti-foul and ready for re-launch

We have also had the whole steering system dismantled and serviced. Anyone who has ever helmed on X-Pat would be familiar with the steering "clunk" which has been with us for years, but has been getting progressively worse. Driven by a fear that something might just fall apart we decided it was time for a closer look. It turned out there was nothing too sinister lurking within the gearboxes and auto helm which make up the system. It just all needed a good clean and lots of grease! The system all seems much smoother now, but the real test will be when we get back in the water.

We have also had a rig check and the engine serviced and new fuel filter system installed.

Pat got back on board on the 13th April and has been living aboard since. He has been busy checking all the safety equipment and doing a few running repairs.

Lifejackets all checked and serviced.

It's never much fun living on the hardstand, but we are due to be lifted back in the water on Tuesday (22nd). Debi will be arriving from Sydney on the same day. The plan is then to provision and do a lot of cooking. Leanne, our new crew member is joining us on Thursday (24th) and then we will be looking for a suitable weather window to leave for Tonga!

We are looking forward to getting back into the cruising life.

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...