Jack and Jude Binder prepare to set sail again, pausing to admire their latest article in the current issue of Cruising Helmsman magazine as they do so!
The December issue of Cruising Helmsman magaine is tops, filled with adventurous and practical articles, and illustrated by some very lovely photographs. The cover alone is enough to have one handing in their notice. In particular, Mike Prince's explanation of chart reliability is fascinating. A bit of a history as well as practical knowledge so necessary in our work.
Doug Brooker's Lessons from a Collision was also informative, although I know of only one collision rule that has stood the test of time. And that is might is right. Ships? – get out of their way. I'd rather sail another day than have on my tombstone -“He was right – dead right.” Ships take forever to turn and even longer to stop, and whenever I've passed a trawler, the crew are usually busy on the aft deck under bright lights that ruin their night vision. So, whenever I see another vessel not changing bearing to Banyandah, I make a large coarse change, and agree with Bob Crouper's suggestion to have a powerful torch at the ready to shine on my sails and at the ship's bridge. If that doesn't grab their attention, on go my deck lights. Of course, with electronics so good these days, a call on Channel 16, “to the ship approaching the sailing yacht – Do you see me?” Usually resolves the issue. Mind, today more ships are curious and come too close to see that we're alright.
Caroline and her crew did a beautiful job presenting my article, Rhumb Lines Round Australia. What a grand adventure. Why sail to distant foreign ports when Australia offers such diversity. A manuscript has now been completed; let's hope a book will be forthcoming. In the meanwhile a video is online: YouTube – More Perfect with Age – Part 1
OR WATCH IT BELOW… Hope you can tolerate my singing!!
Am I getting old and grumpy? The highest November temperatures ever and the way politicians do business have fired up my need to skedaddle for distant lonely isles. So Jude and I are once again casting off the mooring lines holding Banyandah. Next bunch of northerlies will see us heading south. To where? Dunno. To explore the Bass Strait Islands we're telling family and friends. But that could mean as far as South Australia. Heck, we might even go clockwise-round Australia this time.
We've been adding new bits to our lady to make her even better. Gone are those puny 40W solar panels. Replaced by three “massive” 80W panels. Whoa! 18 amps in the middle of the day. Hallelujah, we can run the fridge day and night and still charge both laptops and all the digital batteries too. We also have a new-beaut broomstick antennae for our mobile phone that will hopefully allow us to talk to the grandkids from the backside of whoop-whoop. I installed a RFI COL2195 on our aft tower and initial tests pushed the signal up from two bars to off the scale. It came with 10m of coax, making installation to our nav station relatively easy. I'll report back with how it pans out.
The one disappointment was a purchase off EBay of a brand new tiller pilot someone had received as an unwanted prize. Electronics scare me. They go “Phewt!” Then never work again. And, so costly to repair I normally only buy new with a warranty, and then extend that if I can. So question number one was does it have a warranty? Yes I was told, the card's in the box. So I bid and won it. Only problem, when I contacted the manufacturer, they deemed it second-hand even though they had presented the prize personally a month earlier. I should have known better, but Simrad ought to stand behind the gear that goes out their factory door. Fingers crossed they make good stuff.
To all I say, if you glimpse a dark blue hull in your anchorage with “Little Red” floating aft, stop by for a cuppa. Until then, fair winds and beautiful sunsets.