Friday, August 28, 2009

leaving Venice

Yes, Anni we have left Venice! We have had (and continue to have) very limited reception and are experiencing email glitches, so the blog is way behind.

So, a quick catch up......we left the 'pond' for the marina at Scarborough to give ourselves some luxury before we slipped Manatee.

Leaving Venice

We spent a few nights tucked away from the strong winds and enjoying water and power 'on tap'. Idgi made the most of her time, exploring every nook and cranny, while we got some R & R.

Idgi checking everything out

On the morning of our slipping, the rain howled and the winds gave us a very bumpy ride across the bay. AK had to continually wipe down the windows to give Marg some visibility so she had a chance to see the river markers. We managed due to Marg's excellent helming to miss a grounding in a notoriously shallow section of the river. We arrived at the slip-way at the pre-arranged time to find Manatee was a very snug fit in the cradle.

a snug fit

Ruby helping move the cradle

Our expected 3 day anti-fouling extended into weeks as the scope for our work expanded. The yard was very cheap ($150 per week), compared to city prices ($100 per day), so we got as much done as possible.

last anti-foul was 2007-not much growth!

We anti-fouled, then gave Manatee a new colour scheme as well as re-doing the anti-slip on her decks (AK had almost gone a over t during the recent storms in the area). We changed the deck colour from buttermilk (pale yellow) to silver grey (blue/grey) as the latter will be cooler in this hot climate. We have continued to use Jotun products, although we have tried super tropic anti-foul this time rather than sea guardian. We have also tried lanolin spray along the water line and on the rudder as this apparently will stop growth. We again used prop speed as our prop was surprisingly clean and neither of us like scraping the prop in the water.
Change of deck colour
Some areas of Manatee's gunnel's needed some epoxy bog as our (past) novice attempts at berthing caused some magnificent scrapes. Although we had kept the paint up to them, Manatee has a zinc coating over her steel which doesn't allow most paints to stick, causing the dreaded bubble. Marg pulled out all the batteries and tidied up wiring. She also pulled out the fridge and removed some lining to allow better access for hull inspections. AK changed oil in the generator, cleaned the bilge, painted the interior of the wheelhouse and did some rust work. We worked on the dinghy davits and sanded and oiled Manatee's teak. The 3 porthole windows from the wheelhouse into the single cabin were pulled and replaced as they were very scratched and there was some rust evident in the surrounds. We also raised the waterline-oops maybe we are accumulating too much stuff!

the fun of anti-fouling

The girls were welcome and enjoyed the novelty of the yard. Jacki and Ruby revelled in hanging with the yard lads who shared their lunch. They became very independent which equalled naughty! Occasionally one dog would disappear and upon questioning someone would say "Oh yes I saw Pearl heading that way with a piece of pizza" or "Ruby is in the grass, eating a pie". On the morning of our departure, Jacki was seen in a shed with a string of sausages, too busy to leave. Their usual diet is very healthy so they delighted in the change.
They all made friends with Shaun's dog Pep who graciously allowed them to dig up his bones. Pep has been the only dog they have welcomed on to Manatee, even allowing him to nap in their bed.
Idgi surveying her new territory
Idgi became proficient at navigating the ladder, while AK and Marg developed biceps from carrying the dogs up and down.

Jacki can always find a comfy spot to rest

Between the hard work we kept the girls amused with walks along the bay, listened and learnt lots of tricks from steel boat owners and did a full check of Manatee's hull looking for any signs of rust. Overall, Manatee is in excellent condition. Nights were occasionally spent looking at the clear country sky with its splatter of bright stars.

the view through the hatch above the bed

Our re-launching was a day of much celebration! We enlisted some friends to help fend Manatee off the cradle to preserve her pristine paintwork.

Chris helping by supervising Pep

returning the guys to the yard
Shaun ready to fend
It was great meeting these guys, we saw the creation of boat 'legs' which will allow hull work without the need for slipping (the legs attach to the mid way point along the hull and stand the boat up in the shallows/on a sand bank), Chris & Shaun explained how they have pulled the fossil fuel motors from their yachts and have replaced them with electric motors, and we learnt about the joy of sailing in the Torres Strait and how to travel the top end in cyclone season.

Idgi had a minor altercation with a tom in the yard, causing a nasty wound which was starting to heal nicely until she went swimming. We had been out most of the day (with the dogs) and Manatee was rafted up to Tony's barge in the river, which Idgi was enjoying exploring.
Idgi exploring the barge
..and ignoring the signs
We returned at nightfall to find Idgi was missing. We called and searched, alas no sign of Captain Idgi. After a few days AK had given her up for dead, Marg wanted to complete one last trawl of the river which we did in June with Ruby sitting on the bow howling for her cat. A run past the boat yard and we had a lead on Idge. She had been seen and was found living in a shed. Clever cat had made her way back to the yard. She had completed a substantial swim, avoiding the bull sharks and made her way through the mangroves to the yard. We all did a happy dance-the pack was complete again! Unfortunately the wound looked nasty, so a trip to the vet extended to surgery and an overnight stay. Her convalescence was stressful for AK & Marg as she was a determined and stroppy patient (traits that probably kept her alive), who decided that a drain and stitches were not required.
poor Idgi
her summer bonnet
Idge has healed and continues to remind us that she is Captain. The dogs are relieved and itching to get on the move again. comes the wide expanse of Moreton Bay!

heading back to Moreton Bay

We have plenty of photos to add, alas internet cafes suck!
Hooray, a computer that works!