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Thread: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

  1. #456
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Anyone who thinks that skin-on-frames boats aren't tough should read this thread!
    I'm impressed with that little boat.
    Me too! I have the plans for it, partly inspired by this thread.

    Wonderful adventure, thanks for sharing.

  2. #457
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    One thing I really like about Fiji, is the relationship between the locals and the tourists. In many tropical countries, if a facility is built for the tourists, the locals are pretty much kept away. Usually by a security gaurd. But not in Fiji. They are happy to have the tourists, and they are not at all embarrased to live their lives right alongside.
    J. Madison, I'm baking you some bread when you get back. You are coming back, right? I'm super appreciating your story.

    Your descriptions of the places off the boat are great. I wish more places balanced tourism and locals as described above. Excellent observation. I also appreciate that you didn't ask to take a picture of everyone you meet. Sometimes we spend so much time documenting our travels that we pull ourselves out of the experience.

    I love the shopping expeditions. So many little details that you never think about if you just dink around at home. The interesting fish in the market, the tomato towers, and the unique-to-place fruits all intrigue.

    My wife even watched some of your videos. She doesn't want to pry, but said several times, what does the cabin look like?

    -Bruce
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  3. #458
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Thanks again for sharing your adventures.
    Anyone who thinks that skin-on-frames boats aren't tough should read this thread!
    I'm impressed with that little boat.
    The dinghy has been an absolute workhorse. We have recoated the bottom with paint 2 or 3 times, it wears off dragging on the beach or whatever and the fabric begins to slowly weep after a while. Granted we are using the dinghy harder than almost anyone ever would.

    We moved from islet to islet, basically killing time while watching the weather. Strange things were going on in the coral sea between New Cal and Australia. Lots of calms and contrary winds interspersed with howling gales.



    We picked up the wash of these systems in the form of squalls and thunderstorms.



    The official flag is the French flag, but they have recently adopted a local flag as well to represent the Kanak people. Of course we wanted that one and eventually found one to fly as a courtesy flag.





    We arrived at this island on a weekend and it was hopping with people. There were so many that we didn't go to shore until the next day when they dispersed. Unfortunately we then learned that the lighthouse is only open to climb when the cruise ships are in town and we had missed it.



    It is a very cool lighthouse though, all steel construction.


  4. #459
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Fiji is a fantastic place with incredible people, we visited those same places except Mana, the weather didn't cooperate for us. I have the same feeling about New Caledonia, admiration for the French administration as far as clearances and food etc ,yet well aware of the tension with the Kanaks and what is really the rape of the land for its nickel resource.
    I'd really like to know how you fared clearing in to Brisbane. I did do a delivery in there in 13 but since then I'm told that AU bio and customs are very tough on wooden boats.
    True?

  5. #460
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia





    These sea snakes are poisonous, but apparently not geometrically suited to actually biting people. Good thing because they were common, in the sea and on land.



    One of the interesting things was the coast guard issuing VHF warnings about local shark sightings. They only tracked the big sharks, not the reef sharks of course. The warnings were issued in french and then english. It was fun to hear them issue "Securite" alerts in french, of course that is where the term came from originally. By contrast, hearing the same thing in Australia makes me giggle every time. There is just something about the australian accent saying securite that I enjoy. I'm sure french visitors to american waters would cringe every time an alert was issued.





    We were making our way south, hoping to make it to the Isle of Pines.


  6. #461
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    We pulled into this big bay on the main island. The wind was blowing hard but we had good shelter from the waves. We anchored well out from shore, probably several hundred meters off the beach as we didn't intend going to shore. Astonishingly we were inundated by little flies. I couldn't believe they would venture that far from land in such a stiff breeze. We threw mosquito nets over the hatch openings and that took care of most of the issue.



    Checking the weather the next morning we saw what was starting to look like the weather window we had waited for shaping up. We scrapped the plans of making it to the Isle of Pines and started heading back toward Noumea.







    I think this is probably nickel mining. They were hauling the hillside away in trucks. I like nickel as much as the next guy, but I was horrified at the complete lack of erosion control. There was very clear evidence of major washouts and erosion down into the sea. Of course this destroys the reef, but it also takes away the topsoil which is not quickly replaced. At home, you can't build a driveway without installing erosion control during construction, I can't imagine mining operations just letting their obviously valuable mountains just wash into the sea.



    Halfway back to Noumea we pulled in behind some islets to take a last saltwater shower before entering the relatively dirty waters of the harbor. These are the kind of things you think about when you don't have a shower on board.


  7. #462
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    This was a really pretty spot and we were wishing we had spent some time here.



    Showers completed we headed into the city.



    We anchored out front and rowed in to the marina. We were still somewhat outside the legal area, but not as bad as previously.



    When planning a passage, you really have to commit early. It takes a day to get back to the port, another day to check out with the authorities and get the last minute provisioning done, and then hopefully the window that was shaping up is still holding because now you have checked out of the country and have to leave the next morning.

    We walked around town visiting immigration, customs, and then the port captain for all the paperwork. That completed we got our shopping done.





    We rowed in 3 times to fill water jugs and ferry them out to the boat. The dinghy worked hard as usual.


  8. #463
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Bruce, this is for your wife.



    We had heard rather frightening things about biosecurity in Australia, especially as it concerns wooden boats. Complying with the rules is not a problem, the problem is that Australian biosecurity charges $200/ hr to inspect the vessel, charges by the kg to dispose of contraband food waste and garbage, and has the mandate to inspect EVERY piece of timber on a timber boat for termites or critters. This can add up to a very expensive process. We went through all of our provisions and got rid of anything that seemed suspicious. We still had some bulk items from Mexico that were nearly 9 months old. Buying dry goods in the tropics, it's not a matter of if there are bugs in it, it is a matter of when the eggs will begin to hatch. We dumped the heavy bags of rice, beans, and lentils. We got rid of some compromised pastas, all of our spices that were whole seeds, peppercorns, and more. We went through each compartment and cleaned it up, getting rid of things that might arouse suspicion. Fresh veggies and meats are not allowed, so we took on just what we would need for the passage. Popcorn seeds seem to be banned in every country for some reason. This all made for a rather exhausting last 24 hours in port as we got everything ready.

    To arrive in Aus you need a visa ahead of time, in addition to that you need to alert the authorities of your arrival at least 96 hours in advance and provide a bunch of info about your vessel and crew. Once approved then you can depart. As an American I am under no illusion as to the real purpose of these immigration controls. We had been preparing our entry docs since Fiji, so after a final update of our ETA to Australian customs, we were ready to depart.





    Last edited by J.Madison; 11-13-2022 at 10:08 PM.

  9. #464
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia



    We headed out through the pass as the same time as this LNG tanker.





    Winds were fairly light at first, but as we got away from the land the breeze steadied and we had a nice sail.




  10. #465
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    While in Noumea I had figured out how to download the GMDSS graphical forecast as an overlay to the grib files we get. So we could now see troughs, fronts, ridges, lows, and gale warnings. This is how we knew that there was a stationary trough ahead of us. The forecast was for 20-25 kt winds on the beam and seas from 2.5-3m. This would be excellent passagemaking conditions if we were going downwind, but we were going to take it all right on the beam, and I knew it would be somewhat wet and uncomfortable.

    The forecasts can be somewhat misleading, as the misery or terror factor is usually decided by the maximum waves and gusts, not the averages. The maximums are easily 50% higher, especially when squalls are in the picture. (Like when crossing a trough.)

    We had a great sail the first afternoon out, relatively flat seas and nice wind. The sun was out and it felt great to be at sea again. But then the wind increased by about 3 kts and a cross sea started rolling in, making pyramid shaped waves and generally confusing things. We started taking lots of water on deck as cloud cover rolled in. It was time to buckle up for the real conditions of the passage. Its amazing what a difference a small increase in wind can make.





    Water ran continuously down both side decks. Solid water on the low side and the foamy tops of waves on the high side. Water on the windward decks escapes through two scuppers in the cockpit coamings, which means there is a steady stream of water across the cockpit and out the other side. I've thought a lot about designs that would not have this stream running across your lap, but there is no easy solution in our case.



    This was to be our lot for days on end. It is not dangerous, not that bad really, but it meant motion too violent to do anything other than sleep when off watch, and when on watch most of it was done from the companionway or just popping topside every 10-15 minutes to look around.

    At times it would ease and we would set some more sail before it eventually built again.



    For some reason we found it hard to post consistently good speeds. A beam reach should be our fastest point of sail, but the waves were actually just ahead of the beam and their confused shape seemed to sap our power with each plunge of the bow. We were averaging 5.5 kts when the boat felt like it was going 7 kts and I was inclined to actually reef further. I started to become convinced there was a current against us.

    Whether from the continuous salt wash it was recieving, or just because it's time was up, our propane gas solenoid failed. For safety these things fail in the closed position, which means we had no way to cook. I knew the thing was vulnerable so we carry a spare for just such an event. But with continuous waves breaking across the foredeck, there was no way to hang out up there with a bag of tools making the repair.



    So for three days we had no hot meals. This would be a disaster in port, but the conditions did not lend themselves to much appetite or fancy meals anyway. We had excellent french cheese and dry sausages on board so we grazed on chips, crackers, and charcuterie.



    Despite what felt like slow sailing we were steadily inching our way across the chart. When the waves would become more organized or the wind a bit gentler we added sail. Then all of a sudden a giant wave would break across the boat, trying to rip off the dinghy and shooting like a firehose through the hole in the front of the dodger where the mainsheet exits. Sometime the waves would completely overtop the dodger. Either way lots of water would shoot below if the sliding hatch was open so we started keeping it closed. There was a certain motion associated with this that I would be happy to never experience again. First a hard slam hits to windward, the boat heaves and falls hard on its leeward shoulder, plunging the deck under. Next there is a roar as water sluices aft along the side deck and overtops the coaming filling the cockpit. The boat staggers upright and a few minutes later repeats. Down below nothing can be done except put another pillow against the lee-cloth. Maneuvering in the cabin was a series of controlled falls. Thankfully we have a narrow cabin and can reach both sides of it at once. In these conditions we could reef further, but we weren't exactly overpowered or making great time.

    Sometimes there is nothing to be done but just endure.

  11. #466
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    We barely flew the mizzen on this passage. Its power wasn't needed, and on a beam reach in anything over 18 kt it just adds weather helm.



    There seems to be a thriving cruise ship route between Australia and New Caledonia, they passed us multiple times. These are the big ones, 1000' long lit up like a floating city. As an aside one just landed in Sydney halfway through its itinerary and discharged 800 confirmed Covid cases. I can't imagine choosing to vacation that way. They probably said the same thing about us when they saw us plodding along on the high seas under deeply reefed sails.



    After passing under the trough, conditions improved somewhat. The squally weather layered on top of the brisk trade winds mostly went away at least.



    It was good enough that I went forward to fix the cooking gas. We really needed a hot meal. Note the water on the dinghy and mast, spray was still flying, but not nearly as much. I ended up just bypassing the solenoid rather than replacing it. Not as safe, but running wires would have meant sealing where they penetrate the cabin and things were too wet for that.



    I cooked a thai curry and felt much better.




  12. #467
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    I thought we were done with the roving squalls, but they started to hunt us once again.





    That night was a full moon, bright enough to read by. A full moon is a great companion for a night watch, especially when you want to watch the horizon for squalls. I noticed a little bite had been taken out of the disk. Slowly the bite increased.





    The shadow grew until the entire moon was consumed. I don't think I've ever witnessed an eclipse like this before without knowing it was coming.



    The next day conditions were lovely and I started to relax for the first time. We were getting quite near to Australia and surely the worst was behind us.


  13. #468
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    The wind headed us as we neared land, and for several hours we were nearly close hauled, falling off from our course.



    Strangely, we started to experience strong gusts. These would come out of nowhere, meaning there was no dark clouds or any other sign of them approaching. The gusts would howl at what must have been about gale force for 20 or 30 minutes before dropping off. We were entering the east australian current (of finding nemo fame) and the strong winds against the current started to stack up some pretty ugly seas.



    We were also now crossing the shipping lanes about 50 nm off the Australian coast. Twice we were on a collision coarse with a large ship and had to fall off our course even farther for about 30 minutes to allow them to pass.



    This all resulted in a landfall that was farther north than we had planned, any thought of taking the east entrance to Moreton bay was eliminated. We would be taking the main ship entrance, which was about 25 nm longer of a route compared to making a landfall directly at the east entrance. However the chart indicated shifting shoals and strong tidal currents there, and we would be arriving in the dark, so I was fine taking the ship entrance anyway.



    As dusk approached on our last night we felt so close. But the sea was not done with us yet. We collided with a monster series of squalls. They turned the sky orange in the setting sun and hit us hard with winds and rain. There was no lightning in any of them thankfully. The waves kicked up big and we fought hard to get the jib in. There were times that the double reefed main and tiny scrap of jib was too much, and I thought about putting in the 3rd reef for the first time ever. That leaves maybe 120 sq ft of mainsail and is pretty much intended only for heaving-to in extreme conditions.



    Whitney was on watch, and she steered by hand for a while to basically luff us through the peak of the wind.


  14. #469
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia



    We would pop out the back of a squall and the wind would go light for a few minutes before the next one overtook us. When we finally found a way out of the system the wind went light. After 30 minutes of light winds and no clouds on the horizon I cautiously increased sail, we did have a passage to complete after all. A few minutes later we were hit with one of those clear-sky gusts and Whit had to come out to help me get the jib back in. We were doing 6 hour watches at night, but between the constant action and dense shipping traffic we hadn't slept all day and had to be in the cockpit all night. I couldn't last and Whitney relieved my watch early. She brought us in to the channel entrance and then I took over again.

    Looking at the chart it appears that tucking in behind Moreton Island would provide relief from the relentless seas, but that is a trick of scale. There is still some 25 miles of fetch there, and while the underlying swell was gone the wind waves were every bit as steep. We approached the ship channel entrance in the dark as two monsterous ships exited the narrow channel. We furled the jib and motorsailed into the wind, barely making 2.5 kts against the wind and waves. A squall hit as we entered the channel and in the pouring rain I became disoriented as to which blinking light meant what. The beacons are AIS enabled, which is cool except that makes them all appear green on the chart and for some reason buries the light characteristics several menus deep on our gps. Furthermore our slow speed meant the heading shown was not very accurate either, so the blinking light directly ahead of us might not be what is ahead on the chart. Combined with the busy lights of the city in the background and the exhaustion of the last 24 hours it felt like a course in expert navigation. The rain pelting our eyes didn't help. As we neared the first bend a 1000' cruise ship entered behind us. We had a friendly radio conversation with the skipper and we inched out of the channel to let him by us.



    The squall passed and just left a hard wind right on the nose. We now had a 20 mile stretch of narrow channel, directly into the wind. Our speed of 2.5 kt at full engine rpm was pretty depressing. The sun came up and we plodded along. Finally the channel widened enough we could short tack with our mainsail to increase speed.



    The wind waves did ease some as we neared the island. I could tell it was a lovely island, but in this wind I just wanted to put it behind us. We were the only fools out in the bay that day, excepting the ships.



    It was almost comical watching the waves break ineffectually against the bow of Mr Wilhelmsen, compared to their effect on us. I started wondering how big of a boat I would need to be able to shrug off the waves like that.



    The last bend in the channel finally gave us an angle we could sail and we happily killed the motor and started moving twice as fast. This is a sailboat, and she doesn't love being treated like a motor boat.


  15. #470
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    We ducked out of the channel one more time just at the entrance to the Brisbane river to let another ship by.



    Entering the river it was like flipping a switch. Suddenly it was a beautiful day again. We gently sailed upstream with little wavelets slapping at the hull. There was an unexpected sense of familiarity to the whole scene. It felt just like all the day sails I have done in the Willamette or Duwamish rivers. The infastructure was familiar, the weather felt familiar, it was like a perfect summer sail back home.



    We were in no hurry now, as we wanted to land after the customs people were done for the day, so we could recover and clean the boat up for them the next morning without incurring overtime charges. I didn't know it, but I got an email from them about this time stating that they saw us in the river and that we were moving pretty slowly. If we would just kick it up a gear then they could get us cleared in today. We leisurely sailed on, letting the sun soak into our wind-seared bones. Eventually they got us on the VHF with essentially the same message, and Whit flew into a panic clean of the boat. It was truly a disaster after the rough passage. She shook the salt out of things and stowed them frantically as I approached the dock. When we landed the boat looked fresh and clean and I'm sure they had no idea that isn't what boats always look like. Yachting....

    Dealing with officials immediately after an ocean crossing is difficult. Invariably you don't sleep well on the approach to land, so you are wiped out and in no state for officialdom. But that is how it goes sometimes. Humorously, the marina staff was adament that we not step off the boat onto the dock. How am I supposed to dock in a 3 kt current and not jump onto the dock to secure the boat as quickly as possible? Is the risk that I hit Australia running and dissapear before they check my passport? So we ended up with a rather silly dockline and fender arrangement but at least we were tied to something as the officials borded.

    The officials were genuinly very friendly and easy to work with. The biosecurity guy was impressed with how little he found in our cupboards to confiscate. We had a hot tip from another boat that landed at Brisbane a few days before us so we ditched the last few items of contraband at sea. Our great fear of having to unload the entire boat onto the dock was unfounded. He took a light and looked in every single cabinet and drawer, in the bilge, everywhere. But he didn't make us remove anything and he didn't have any complaints or issues. It went much faster than it could have, and he was in good spirits the whole time. We were so relieved. Whit facilitated the boat inspection while I filled out customs forms in the cockpit. While you have to pay biosecurity high-powered lawyer fees by the minute, the customs guys just work for the fun of it I guess. We paid $400 at the end of the day, which I think is actually below average. Granted that is more than the check in fees of every other country on our itinerary combined, but I had heard of fees of $700 or even more if they decide you must fumigate the boat.

    The marina staff loved our boat, which was cool. We were riding high after our big day. Since our food was all confiscated we walked to a local brewery for dinner. Wow, it was so much like home. I started feeling sentimental about seeing things I hadn't even known I was missing. We ordered pints and pizzas and stumbled back to the boat and crashed, so happy to be here.


  16. #471
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    From Julia's track on the Predictwind site, it looks like they have approached the coast as close as they dared and have now turned upwind this (very early for them) morning and are heading directly for Moreton Bay and Brisbane. If the wind arrows are correct, it looks like they are thrashing up hard on the wind or are motoring. Neither of which look very comfortable. Hope for their sakes they reach calmer conditions safely, and soon.
    You nailed it. It was 45 miles from where we entered the channel to docking at Brisbane, and somehow I just wasn't mentally prepared for that long of a distance bashing into it. I'd been spoiled by the calm conditions inside the fringing reefs around so many islands, that I thought it would be similar. It wasn't.

  17. #472
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Hello W&J,

    My heart races as you relate this tale!!!!
    Thank You!!!

    Regards,
    A

  18. #473
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Thanks for the update. Some of the details spark familiar memories.

  19. #474
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Congratulations on a safe landfall after an exciting passage! And a sincere and heartfelt thanks for taking us along with these posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    Blondes tend to stick out in these villages and draw lots of attention.
    Yep. We once had this exact experience at a funeral!

  20. #475
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Thanks for sharing the passage with us! Your comments on dealing with Customs while exhausted after a crossing struck home

  21. #476
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    You nailed it. It was 45 miles from where we entered the channel to docking at Brisbane, and somehow I just wasn't mentally prepared for that long of a distance bashing into it. I'd been spoiled by the calm conditions inside the fringing reefs around so many islands, that I thought it would be similar. It wasn't.
    The good thing about satellite tracking, for those of us avidly following your adventures, is that we can instantaneously see your progress and imagine some wonderful sailing. The bad thing is that, when we can infer that conditions are gnarly and you are having a tough time, there’s not a damn thing we can do to make things better for you. Glad you made it safely into Brisbane.

    On another note, I have been trying come up with some clever solution for propping the forward hatch open a little in nice weather, for ventilation, something better than a stick. From the photo in post #460 it looks like you haven’t come up with anything better yet, either.
    Alex

    “It's only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose.”
    - Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  22. #477
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Jeez… you earned that!!! Welcome to Aus.

  23. #478
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Another fascinating update, thanks for bringing us along!

  24. #479
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Sounds like you are having a wonderful sail. Keep going west. We will meet you at the Brest maritime festival summer 2024 for a meal and drinks !
    Cheers,
    Mark

  25. #480
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    I usually follow threads in Building and Repair and was really impressed with your Dyneema rig. Then I found your videos and followed them down the coast to MX. Imagine my suprise when I stumbled upon this thread and found you down under! Amazing trip, wonderful writing, photos and videos. You are both very lucky indeed.

    It's been below freezing here for a week or so and while skiing is just getting started, I miss the warmth you're experiencing. Enjoy your adventure.
    spending most of my time on the water, in winter it just takes a different form

  26. #481
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Welcome to Australia guys good to hear you arrived without breaking any gear with all that unstable weather we’ve had.
    You may want to look at anchoring downtown near the Botanical garden if you want to explore the city.
    Not sure what your plans are ? Apologies for not tracking you regularly have been busy finishing my build in the Moreton Bay Islands.

  27. #482
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Very nice!

  28. #483
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Wow, I'm loving this, thanks so much for sharing!

  29. #484
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    A very cool voyage and adventure . .

    regards from the Vets For Peace navy - The Golden Rule

  30. #485
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Welcome to Australia W & J.
    I note that you have moved further south to Coffs Harbour. I wonder if you are moving south to Hobart to attend the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart next February. We are on our way south at this time heading to the festival in Hobart. Bruce SY Tui of Opua

  31. #486
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Welcome to Oz.
    without freedom of speech, we wouldn't know who the idiots are.

  32. #487
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Morley View Post
    Welcome to Australia W & J.
    I note that you have moved further south to Coffs Harbour. I wonder if you are moving south to Hobart to attend the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart next February. We are on our way south at this time heading to the festival in Hobart. Bruce SY Tui of Opua
    Yes, we are working our way south to Tasmania, planning to attend the wooden boat festival. We'll see you there!

    After landing in Brisbane we were very excited about being in a place with so much familiar food available. Its not that we ever went hungry, although there were some admittedly bland months in the more remote parts of French Polynesia, but seeing familiar things after a long absence is quite nice. Brewery restaurants seem to be just as popular here as they are in Seattle.



    We spent a couple days on the guest dock at Rivergate, doing laundry and generally recovering.



    We then anchored out in the river on the outskirts of town. It is free to anchor, and the city has provided a public dinghy dock with clean water spigot. The transit system has both a ferry and a bus that leaves right from the end of the dinghy dock to go into the city. It is basically a perfect situation for cruisers in a big city! The fast ferrys operate as part of the bus system, stopping at a dozen spots throughout the city on their route. It costs $3 to go anywhere in town, and the views are excellent.





    We rode the ferrys into town every day for a week straight. It was great. Brisbane is a thoroughly modern city.




  33. #488
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia



    We started preparing for our upcoming haulout. We had a very expensive afternoon at Bunnings, the Australian version of Home Depot, buying the tools and suppies we needed.



    We started on the deck projects during down time.







    With chores done, we caught the $3 river cruise back downtown for the evenings.

    Last edited by J.Madison; 12-18-2022 at 06:34 AM.

  34. #489
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    There is a massive public pool complex surrounded by parks and restuarants stretching along the shoreline on the south bank.



    It is all public and free to use. Various pools and water features stretched for probably a quarter mile. We couldn't get over the massive investment in public infastructure that was evident everywhere we went. In addition to the fast ferry system and modern busses, there were public docks all up and down the river. They are used for launching kayaks or landing big boats to visit restaurants, people fish from them as well. Parks are located everywhere, good parks with comfortable furniture and smooth walking paths under shade trees. Free wifi is located in public areas. I'm not a city person, but we decided that Brisbane was the most livable city that we have ever been to. It is built for people in a way that American cities are not.

    Perhaps Australia is the answer to what happens if your country is colonized by felons instead of puritans. Free electric bbq grills in every park? Not in America....

    I have been trying to learn to speak Australian, but their skills in the profane arts are beyond what even a sailor could ever hope to acheive. I'll keep practicing though.



    Eventually we headed back down the river, making miles south to Redland Bay where we planned to haul the boat.



    This is a passage in very skinny water, just going from one marker to the next, trying not to end up on the many sand banks.



    When we arrived at Redland Bay, we couldn't find anywhere to anchor as the depths in the channel were very shallow, and outside of the channel was drying mudflats. We dropped the hook as close to the edge of the channel as we dared and burned the deck light in addition to the anchor light all night. This was Thanksgiving, and we had a little celebration on board.




  35. #490
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    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    We roasted a chicken, a turkey being much too big for our oven even if we had been able to find one. In all it was a lovely meal. We reflected on our last thanksgiving, anchored in remote Turtle Bay on the outside of the Baja penninsula in Mexico. We have had some serious adventures since then.



    Whit even made us a pumpkin pie, using a can of pumpkin puree that we bought in San Diego for last thanksgiving. It was a well travelled can of pumpkin.



    Early the next morning we headed into the river mouth to the slipway, with just barely enough water to float us all the way in.



    Pelican is a proper old-time marine railway. Such a cool operation, and very gentle on the boat. However, that scaffolding to the right is for a new condo development, and I know what happens to places like this when the condos move in next door....



    We set about cleaning up the topsides. It had been less than a year sice our last haulout, but that was many thousands of ocean miles ago. The constant wracking of the hull at sea had cracked the paint at each seam, and a year of tropical sun had burned it yellow along the cracks. We had more bleeding fasteners than usual, due to the warm waters and baking sun I'm sure.

    I sanded the whole topsides heavily, we gouged out the bleeders and scraped them clean.








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