25 December 2017

Tasmania Dreaming

Katmai in her "pen" at Fremantle Sailing Club
The last part of 2017 has been spent preparing for a 1900 nautical mile offshore passage from Fremantle, Western Australia to Tasmania, Australia.  We plan to make the voyage during January 2018, assuming we can get a decent weather window.  For the first time, we'll make the passage on Katmai with one additional person, a friend from Tasmania.  This Southern Ocean voyage can be rather challenging!
Eric replacing the mainsail 'tell tails'
The last several weeks have been spent attended to many small things  on Katmai and we made some improvements as well.  The list includes:
- Installing a new system on the boat, an IridiumGO! with a subscription via PredictWind.  Combined, they will allow us to get weather forecasts/data as well as send basic emails while at sea over the iridium satellite network.  In the past we have relied on our HF radio to do this, and while that is still possible, technology moves fast and fewer and fewer shore based HF Winlink radio stations are available.  So far, we have been happy with the Iridium.
-  We replaced all the sealing gaskets on the opening hatches.  Last year we replaced the acrylic lenses, so it was time to complete the renewal of the windows.
- Installed a manual foot pump for the fresh water system on the boat, so we can get fresh water from the tanks even if we lose power.

Inspecting the Main sail on the lawn at the Club
- Eric modified the way the storm trysail hoists, and checked all sails and made a few minor repairs.

- A long list of miscellaneous items was also accomplished including procuring additional marine charts for the new regions we will sail through, and importantly checking all boat systems and inventories.

OK, there was a fair bit of socializing with old and new friends in Perth and at the yacht club.  Laurie also found some time to catch a batch or two of lovely blue swimmer crabs.
Merry Christmas Everyone!

03 December 2017

Clipper Round the World Race boats in Fremantle

The Clipper race fleet departing Dec 2 from Fremantle, Australia

We arrived back in Fremantle to our sailboat Katmai just before the arrival of the Clipper Around the World race boats arrived from their last stop in South Africa. It was wonderful to see so much activity around the Fremantle Sailing Club during the 10 days or so that the fleet of 11 boats were hosted. One of the entries was from Seattle, and it was this boat we able to tour during the open house day.

The seventy foot long boats carry a crew of up to 20 or so people, people from every walk of life. Many without sailing experience but with a huge appetite for adventure. The restart of the race was Dec 2nd, with this third leg of the voyage from Fremantle on the west coast of Australia, across the Southern Ocean and up the east coast of Australia to the city of Sidney. We watched the race on the website race viewer as for most of the journey they took a similar route that we plan on taking from Fremantle to Hobart, Tasmania in January 2018. The whole atmosphere was very festive and colorful here at the club.