17 June, 2006

An update now that we are living on the boat

We’ve been living on the boat now for nearly three weeks, so I thought it was time the blog got updated.

We moved on to the boat on Monday 29 May. Here we are moving onboard with our (then) possessions, plus our recently purchased kayak.

The previous owners left heaps of their gear (and junk) on the boat, so we had to go through all their stuff, decide what was going to be kept or thrown out, and then sort out where everything (their gear and ours) was going to go. That’s one thing you learn fast living on a yacht – you have to be really organised as far as storing things goes, and the saying “a place for everything, and everything in it’s place” really applies.

Here is a photo of us the first night on the boat. Enjoying some ‘bubbles’ at sunset to celebrate ………

Wednesday 31 May was like Christmas morning! Our seven tea chests containing all our gear (that we hadn’t seen for three months) arrived. It was really exciting coming across things we had totally forgotten about; but also a little despondent realising some things should have been left at home, and things at home should be here! I was also a little worried how we were going to fit everything on the boat, but once a couple of tea chests were empty I knew it wouldn’t be a problem. Tin Can is certainly a very spacious vessel.

‘Tin Can’ had a bit more rust than Shane remembered from his trip back to NZ, and it has proved to be quite a mission to get rid of it. Every morning last week, Shane disappeared into his ‘hole’ in the forward cabin, and for much of the day there was a mighty racket as he used a needle gun to remove the rust from the hull and the anchor well. He emerged at the end of the day looking like a chimney sweep – grime and dust from top to toe. He became quite despairing with the job in hand; at one stage there was even the utterance “do you get the feeling we have got a lemon?” Happily, a visit from the local engineering guys put his mind at rest. One look at Tin Can and their response was “we’ve seen more rust on Navy ships” and “this is nothing at all”. After that, Shane felt heaps better (and I have to say, so did I!).

Shane has been doing all the interior rust removal and painting this week, and also doing the prep-work for next week. I have been doing more of the “run around” jobs.

The boat goes into the marina work yard for three days next week for some new steel to be welded in. The rust was so bad in the anchor well, the steel that was left was paper-thin and in fact in some places, Shane went right through the steel with his needle gun rust removal (fortunately above the waterline).

We did have a break from hard work a couple of days last week, and we took the boat out into Moreton Bay. On the second day, John came out with us. John is a fellow Wellingtonian living here in Brisbane on a boat. I knew John vaguely from my dragon boating days in Wellington. On the day the three of us went out sailing, there was very little wind in the late afternoon and at one stage we were becalmed. Unfortunately that meant only one thing – we had to sit back and enjoy and ale or three, and some fresh Aussie prawns, until the breeze picked up again. Gee, this is a tough life!!

Life on board (albeit it in the marina) is just like living in a small flat, but we have to be a little more organised and flexible. To do the washing, I can’t just go and throw everything in the washing machine in the laundry at I did at home, and then peg it on the line. I have to hope that I time my visit to the marina laundry when everyone else is not there, and then I have to rig up lines on the boat to hang out the washing. The boat looked a little bit like a Chinese laundry the first washing day, but fortunately we have got plenty of space on the rear deck.

Hopefully we will have all the work done on the boat inside of the next two weeks, and then we can head off into the bright blue yonder. In the meantime we are enjoying all that Brisbane has to offer, not to mention helping keep their economy afloat by spending lots of money in the local marine stores, Bunnings, and hardware stores. Oh, and also the local cafes and coffee outlets ……… The weather here is fantastic – still shorts and t-shirts – and we are enjoying the sports (all the rugby is on TV here and we watched the second State of Origin on Wednesday). All the Brisbanites were certainly happy after a great win to tie up the series. We are heading into the ‘big smoke’ tomorrow night to watch an AFL (Aussie rules) game; let’s see if we can work out the rules. We had a good afternoon on the last Sunday we were at the motel. We took Doug’s advice on the blog (thanks Doug!) and went to the Story Bridge Hotel and listened to the great dixie-jazz band that plays there. They were so good, and it was such a cruisey afternoon, we hope to get back there again before we leave Brisbane.

Everyone here is really friendly and they go out of their way to be obliging and helpful. We have enjoyed our time in Brissy, but at the end of the month we’ll start heading up the coast, in time to meet Shane’s daughter who flies in to meet us in the Whitsundays in early August. Our days are certainly busy at the moment, but hopefully we’ll soon be able to sit back and relax a little…… I am certainly looking forward to many gin and tonics on the deck.

To finish off this little chapter - we have just had some good news. Maritime NZ have accepted our registration, so we are now “all legal” – ‘Tin Can’ is no more, and from here on in, ‘eNZwell’ sails the ocean waves. We are getting all the signwriting done next week! We will do the necessary dancing on the deck, and offer the requisite gifts to Neptune, so that good fortune follows eNZwell and her crew…….. Posted by Picasa