Sunday, April 4, 2010



Yep. Me alone in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia. Pretty boring.  A few nice friends from last year here doing boat prep. Janet hasn't arrived yet.

The camera I have with me isn't talking to my laptop so I can't upload photos for this blog. Imagine thrilling photos like that of me in my sexy shear white painters  poopy suit with hood, respirator and googles ready to sand bottom paint. Imagine action photos of the boat sitting on the hard in the typical dusty ship yard, very much the same the world over. get the idea.

 Instead  I'll risk boring everyone by recounting the past couple weeks getting the beast ready for another season. Let's see, got the prop shaft checked for trueness (about .0001 off, no factor) got prop checked for trueness (a couple degrees off, yes, a factor) reinstalled both, prepped for and applied anti-fouling bottom paint, got house bank batteries equalized, got anchor chain re-galvanized, installed new anchor swivel, painted primary anchor (nice silver galvo color), had scuba tanks hydro'd and filled, got cockpit cushions cleaned and a new one fabricated, got propane tanks filled, having sails delivered from repair, got new Aussie cell phone and internet service, having new auto pilot installed, spent lots of money and am very popular with the marina chandlery, had a rental car crap out on the return, spent more money (Australia's expensive, you like lots of government, you get to pay for it), serviced outboard (changed plugs, changed engine oil, changed gear box oil), serviced diesel (changed oil, oil filter, primary and secondary fuel filters), got the boat launched (that, at least, is thrilling for an owner) started waxing, got the dinghy together, started the engine on the first pull and ran up and down the river for half an hour without missing a beat, ran the diesel which is also smooooth, and now I'm planning my next move. Will it be to call the local canvas guy (it's a holiday here today) and have him overhaul the mainsail cover or go hit some golf balls at the local range? Does reverse coriolis effect in the southern hemisphere need to be accounted for in my best Tigers Woods replica swing?

It's good that Janet will be hear in less than ten days. I'm getting very eager to see her. She should be in on the 14th and we'll spend a few days getting her acclimated and then head out on the voyage for the year. The plan is to head up into and inside the Great Barrier Reef and day sail our way up the coast to the Torres Strait between New Guinea and Australia, cross the Gulf of Carpentaria to Darwin and then spend a couple weeks in Darwin before joining the Indonesian Cruising rally. We should be in Darwin first week in July and we'll do some land travel from there. The rally departs the 24th of July and we'll head for Kupang and then work our way along the southern reaches of Indonesia to Malaysia and then Singapore. We'll head north back into  Malaysia and then into Thailand around Phuket. We should be in Phuket sometime in October. We'll probably put the boat on the hard there and have  the teak decks replaced (much, much cheaper there) and some interior refurbishing as well.

So as is said in airline operations, "That's the plan." There's a double meaning to that statement which is also well understood by cruisers. No plan survives beyond first contact with the enemy. The 'enemy' in this case being 'life'. We'll keep you posted. I promise to have photos as soon as Janet arrives with the number one camera. Thanks for your interest.

Love to all,
Bill & Janet
SV Airstream

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