Ahh, the simple things!


d'Albora's Action Project: AUS 360 Blog Update

Presented by Pivotel

Afternoon all. Well, yesterday afternoon in the light winds I ended up getting busy with some jobs around the boat. I need to check if there was any more water in my collision compartment up forward. Thankfully there hasn't been so that was quick. I also sponged the water out of the bilges and I needed to check the main engine that I run of Bio-diesel supplied by Park Fuels in Sydney as this was starting to struggle a little when I start it. I use the main engine as another charging source on the boat and when there is no wind and it is overcast I defiantly need it to keep on top of the power draw that all my instruments have.

So I took the top of the engine and ran my normal checks. I use the acumen WOBBLE with my engine checks it stands for Water, Oil, Batteries, Belts, Leaks, Electronics. When I got to Belt I noticed right away that the fan belt was a little loose and would need to be tightening. This would also be why I haven't been getting a great power output at the moment of the alternator as this also is driven by the one belt.

It took me a minute to figure it out as I have never needed to adjust a fan belt but I knew the theory of it so 15 minutes later I had tightened the bolt and testing the engine by turning it on. Success she started well and I was back to full power output. I have to say that I was pretty proud of myself even though it was really a small thing it can be very hard for women to learn about engines and the likes. I know it has taken years to learn the basics and that is only because I have needed to work out how to fix it as it broke and do things like change starter motors over.

So feeling happy I poked my head outside only to notice that it was now a beautiful sunny day and all the rain of the morning had passed off. The sun was shining so hard it felt like a little touch of summer and when I looked at my temperature gauge that reads from the shade of the cockpit it was showing 24 degrees. It suddenly occurred to me that it was warm enough to have a bucket bath and because the winds were less than 10 knots the cold of the wind wouldn't be too bad. I hadn't washed my hair in almost 2 weeks and the itchiness of my scalp was killing me so I was so keen for this. I boiled 2 kettles of hot water and added them to some cold water in my bucket and went on deck.

I have to say it was brisk. Every time I poured hot water over me it was heaven and the second I stopped the wind would chill me so I didn't dally with my bucket bath on the back deck but it was so worth the chill to be clean again. To keep hygiene up I use baby wipes but it doesn't quite compare. By the time I finished, it was feeling quite a bit colder and I looked at the temp again and it was now reading 16 degrees. Burr. I got below and got warm again but I was so excited to have clean hair. Ah, the simple things in life.

I was waiting on the winds to shift from the WSW to the WNW so that I could gybe the boat. The weather gods were nice and just when I was getting ready to call it and go to bed I was able to put that gybe in. It was around 2 am by now so I was up fairly late and the winds were starting to blow in at 15-20 knots but I was still able to hold my large headsail and the full mainsail with the apparent winds. By 4 am I felt that the winds were starting to build and I was waiting for this to happen so I went back on deck to take a look and felt that I could still hold my large headsail a little bit longer, while I was there I had the chance to take in the sky and wow. The stars were amazing last night with no light influence and no moon up it was breathtaking to see and I spent quite a while just looking at the beauty of it.

By 5 am the new winds were arriving and in the first crest of dawn I could see a large cloud bank coming towards me with the new winds kicking up whitecaps on the waves. It is a marvel how quickly the seascape can change from perfectly calm seas to winds whipping the tops of the waves and as I watched that change happened. It was finally time to change out that No 1 Jib for the smaller J3 Jib and then I stayed on deck for another 30 min just watching the winds and seeing if Climate Action Now had too much sail up of if I would handle the new winds well. I started to get gusts at 30 knots and was starting to think about reefing but I really wanted to catch as much of this wind as I could to get me home quickly so I waited and I waited and when I could see the boat handling it well I was content to just leave the full sail up and start surfing waves.

I went back to bed again after the boat was taken care of and when I resurfaced the winds had already eased again and I was able to go back to the J1 headsail. For the rest of today, the conditions have been moderate with winds blowing between 15 and 25 knots and I have been able to hold an average of 7.7 knots which whilst not my best average it is still a good speed to shoot home with. I am now just over 200nm from rounding the Southern Cape of Tasmania and making that final turn North back to Sydney, however, watching the weather looking like I am going to have a complete mixed bag of winds to get me home.

Thanks to the following Sponsors for all their continued support: d’Albora Marinas, Pivotel  B&G, Australian Geographic, Zhik , Park Fuels, Karver, 3M, White Bay 6 Marine Park, and Great Circle Life Raft