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Old 06-03-2016, 06:43 PM   #21
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Searching the internet for property earlier this afternoon and my two buddies motored up alongside in their dinghies to point out that I was drifting. Eek, I was so intent on what I was reading that hadn't noticed. The combination of outgoing tide and 25kt Westerlies gusting to 35kt had done their worst and my anchor had dragged about 150 metres.

Thankfully it had dug in again but the rest of the day was tense because I'm now in 9 metres of water which only gives a 2:1 ratio. Trying to let out more chain manually in such conditions is pointless, I would only have lost the chain and anchor, so I sat here ready to steer downstream and avoid obstacles if she broke away again.

Which didn't happen, thankfully.

Should be low tide soon and the winds will die off at dusk, so I'll raise anchor and motor back outside the channel where I belong.
Since you sail alone: Anchor alarm, my friend, anchor alarm.

If you have a celphone you can get an app with an anchor alarm. In our case, we didn't have a modern cel phone so David wrote a short Python program for position track and anchor alarm using my Nokia N810 some years ago, then when we got a Raspberry Pi to use as the low power consumption computer aboard, he wrote on up for it.

The Pi uses a hockey puck type GPS that you get for a laptop and the Pi is hooked up with a $3.00 buzzer from the local Radio Shack so it's loud enough (got that buzzer during our Alaska trip because the little beep, beep on the tiny little usb speaker I had didn't make enough racket.

Now the Pi has a nifty program David put together using QT and the NMEA sentences from our mast-top Airmar PB100. We see all the weather station info from the Airmar but we also can set alarms for things like wind speed, changes in wind direction, change in boat heading, position, etc.

Anchor alarm.

If you sailed with additional people, you could always sit an anchor watch. Before we had overlapping anchor alarms on different gps (the Nokia, the Pi, etc) we used to have one of us sit anchor watch in the charthouse if winds were over 20 kts steady. Now with the alarms, we still sit anchor watch if winds are over 25kts steady. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:14 AM   #22
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Yeah, maybe when I'm actually cruising it will seem worthwhile but right now an anchor alarm is fairly low priority. And my phone is a dinosaur Nokia 6233 so I'd have to do something similar ... and I never have the thing turned on anyhow.

It got a bit wet here today. 35kt winds and super high tide after 150mm of rain.
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:38 AM   #23
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Well it's a good thing my departure was delayed by the weather. I've been struggling to get my outboard to run evenly at low revs and despite a clean with carbie cleaner and a retune she just wouldn't co-operate. After scouring the net for days trying to find a manual for the damned thing I finally found a post on YouTube showing one running smooth as silk in the USA. Trouble is it was only a single cylinder engine.

WTF? It's also a Mercury ME6ML but mine has two cylinders. It seems they used the same model number here for a bloody 2-stroke! And it was sold to me as a 4-stroke!! And NOWHERE on the ID plate does it say it's a 2-stroke!!!

I'm pretty sure that adding some oil to the fuel will fix the problem. FFS Mercury marine, you are utter morons.
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Old 06-07-2016, 05:21 PM   #24
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Sounds like you need a diversion! Sorry about the outboard fiasco. I hope it's all better by now?
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:19 AM   #25
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A 4 stroke would have an oil filler aperture (and dipstick?)
Must have been running hot with no oil in the fuel.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:36 AM   #26
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Sounds like you need a diversion! Sorry about the outboard fiasco. I hope it's all better by now?
Still won't idle worth a damn and I'm totally out of ideas now. At least there has been a delay, the haulout yard can't take me out of the water until 5th July. Not sure how MSQ will take that but it can't be helped.

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A 4 stroke would have an oil filler aperture (and dipstick?)
Must have been running hot with no oil in the fuel.
Thankfully didn't burn a hole in the pistons anyhow, I could only run it for short bursts the way it was going. And yes, the lack of a dipstick should have been a dead giveaway but I was spending my time looking for a manual before looking at the engine.
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:20 AM   #27
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Rang the local Mercury agent for a price on a carbie kit. He tells me he's never had to use one and says it will invariably be dirt. So I pulled her apart for the third time, this time disassembling further than on previous occasions.

SUCCESS!!!

She purrs like a kitten and now I'm ready to travel.
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:37 AM   #28
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Well that high didn't last long. I've now stripped and cleaned the carbie two more times and again she purrs like a kitten. Considering a very fine fuel filter on the line from the plastic tank at this point. Dirty fuel.

Hope to hell I make it across the bay.
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:40 AM   #29
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I hope your engine's getting better. Nothing more frustrating than thinking you've fixed it and you haven't.
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:39 AM   #30
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Got the fine filter today, I'm hoping that improves matters. I'll be off as soon as there's a break in the weather.
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Old 06-15-2016, 05:12 PM   #31
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I recently had a similar issue. Cleaned the carbie, turfed out the fuel in the tank, cleaned the tank and in short order, the carbie was grubby again. It turned out to be a combination of deterioration, and caked on, and aparently flaking, 'cholesterol' in the fuel line between the tank and the engine. Replaced both and now it purrs like a kitten.
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Old 06-16-2016, 03:13 AM   #32
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When I cut the line to install the new filter I could see a layer of varnish inside the lines and it flaked off quite easily. I'll be replacing those soon too. Strangely enough I also had the vision of veins full of plaque and cholestorol when I saw it.

Webb Chiles has reached Darwin.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:58 AM   #33
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Over the past few days I've been consistently nailing down unfinished tasks in preparation for the trip to the haulout yard, which is 30nmi away in the Caboolture River. I have a working 6hp engine - barely adequate for a 6 ton yacht - and a storm jib with hanks. Can't use the new sails due to the state of the running rigging.

As the MSQ deadline approached the tasks dwindled, until there was just one left. I spent a fitful night trying to work out a solution, and only really solved it while at Bunnings this afternoon. It all has to do with my anchor winch, which had to be bolted to the anchor locker lid because there was no place else for it to go. But even though I reinforced the lid there was a distinct possibility that while anchoring a drifting yacht could yank the lid - winch and all - into the water. I really needed to solve that.

Elegantly simple as the solution was, it is only temporary. I bought two 100mm (4 inch) bolts and a metre of chain and simply ran the chain between the bolts, which I bolted through the concrete deck, right across the back of the hatch. So, even if it gets away from me the yacht should hold against this new piece of chain, at least for long enough so that I can tie off to the steel post behind the bowsprit.

Having no further excuses I now actually have to leave here, probably early tomorrow at high tide. After five years living aboard I'm actually going somewhere in one of my boats. Reading Webb's latest logs for inspiration but a little bit petrified at this stage.

I'm sure it will all work out, but if you don't hear from me for a few days don't be surprised. I'll probably be drifting around Moreton Bay with the carbie in pieces.
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:41 PM   #34
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Dammit. Well, here I am out of bed by 0615 which is rare. But looking outside I see seven oktas of heavy black rain clouds and it's freezing. Queensland isn't supposed to be like this, ever. Brrrrr.

I don't like the weather forecast either. Saturday was supposed to be sunny, now it's showing as cloudy with rain both today and Sunday. Nope, I'm going next week.

Probably a sensible decision. I have to anchor out near Scarborough Marina for the night and wait for the morning high tide before entering the Caboolture River, which has a 0.3 metre bar and large areas that turn into mud flats during the lows. That means starting off before sunrise if I do it tomorrow but gets 40 minutes later each day I delay. Monday sounds fine to me.
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Old 06-17-2016, 04:50 PM   #35
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Good decision. Wait for wx that works for your move. I hope you're warm inside the boat even if it's awfully nippy outside.
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Old 06-18-2016, 08:51 AM   #36
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Yep. The weather bureau has been totally wrong this time though, it has been overcast but almost windless for two days, with no rain at all. We were supposed to have had 25-45kt NW-erlies and 100% chance of rain which would have been the worst possible weather for this trip.

Here's tonight's sunset over Brisbane.
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Old 06-18-2016, 05:11 PM   #37
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Been watching the auctions again. A Roberts Mauritius 43'er closed tonight for AU$6900.00

Yachts are cheap.
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Old 06-19-2016, 12:04 AM   #38
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Have you considered quick decisive action?
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:05 AM   #39
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Yes. I studiously ignored it lest I become the owner of yet another project.
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Old 06-23-2016, 11:42 AM   #40
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North by North West - my first outing

(How I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory yet again)

So, the winter solstice passed us on Tuesday and forecasts for the weekend included thunderstorms and possible snow - in Brisbane! - and it seemed if I didn't leave right away I might not get to the haulout yard before the designated haulout day. There's never a right time to go, but I had done what I could to prepare myself and the boat for the journey and it was time to leave.

Wednesday I hauled anchor about an hour before high tide, at around 10:00am. I didn't actually get going until 10:30 because it took about 15 minutes to get the anchor free without running into something, and then I discovered that the outboard skewed sideways which tended to overpower the rudder. A few rubber straps fixed that and off I puttered with some trepidation.

The day was slated to be overcast but without rain, but the bureau had also predicted 15-25kt Westerlies swinging to NW in the late afternoon. Which is exactly the direction I was heading. I did have the storm jib hanked on for extra speed across Moreton Bay but if I was headed it wouldn't help.

The most boring 3 1/2 hours of my life then ensued as I motored up the river towards the bay. That was soon to change, because there was a 1 metre chop once I got out there and it was hitting me side on, which caused everything on the shelves to land on the floor. But I took it philosophically ... we weren't being swamped at least. I never did go forward to haul that sail, it was way too rough.

By 4pm it became obvious I wasn't going to make it to my waypoint by nightfall, but I set a target of at least making it around the headland into Deception Bay and gunned the engine a little. Thankfully this story doesn't include any engine troubles, the little Mercury performed faultlessly throughout.

I anchored two miles out of the entrance to Caboolture River at 6:30pm in 2.7 metres of water and had a great night's sleep.

TO BE CONTINUED
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