Friday, June 12, 2009

Nice to know now!

It took a round of hot drinks first thing this morning to get any work happening, I’ll never say that it doesn’t get cold on the Sunshine Coast again. Before the sun got high enough, the shed acted as a giant fridge, a cold one too at 2 degrees! Talking of cold, keeping me warm while I’m down south has been a big smoko conversation topic lately. While I’ll not be experiencing severe below freezing conditions because I’ll be rounding Cape Horn (my most southerly point) in the height of summer, cold is a pretty huge issue. Statistics point out that teenagers and females are the first to suffer from exposure.

Believe it or not I’m also not completely crazy and enjoy a bit of comfort. So insulation, sleeping bags, clothing, heating, staying dry and protection from the weather are all important things to be organized. Every sailor knows that not letting yourself get too cold is extremely important because if you do get cold there’s no hot shower in warm up in, nothing heroic about toughing it out, maybe being a softy will come in handy yet?!

We had a bit of disappointing news today when we received the results of the x-ray and testing carried out on the rudder by Pearl Street Testing and Inspection Dad announced the bad news that the rudder shaft was badly corroded with a fracture in the weld and just to top it off, it was full of close to 5L of sea water . Definitely not a rudder that’s ready to take on the world! Our first reactions were dam, another job that needs doing. Then it started sinking in, imagine if I’d set off with the rudder in this condition! Apparently left as it was, the corrosion would have gone crazy while I sailed through the tropics, not leaving me in very good shape for the southern ocean. Certainty nice to know now on dry land and it really showed us again why we’re putting all this effort into the refit. “That’s why we’re here” as Bruce said.

While all the hands-on work to the refit is practically 24/7 another thing that is extremely time consuming is researching, tracking down, making decisions on and organizing all the equipment needed, down to every nut and bolt. Today alone for the little time I spent getting my hands dirty I’m not proud to say that I went through quite a number of knife blades meaning that if I kept going at this rate I’d need to dedicate half the boat to storing blades! Can you imagine planning out every single thing that you’ll need for 230 days and fitting it into a 34ft yacht?

I couldn’t imagine having got through today alone without Mums sandwiches, Dads persistence (he’s determined to turn the boat into a battle ship) Rods attitude problem , Suzanne, Hayden and Murray’s hard work, Andrew for straightening out everything I seem to mess up, Bruce’s total dedication and that’s just to name a very few, there’s a million other people putting in some hard work. Some solo voyage, thanks team!!

Everyday there’s a million ups and downs (maybe that’s just part of being a teenager??)It’s certainly a challenge, I’m constantly telling myself that this isn’t meant to be easy but 10 minutes later and from another angle nothing ever looks so bad.

There’s lots more hard work planned so you can be sure that I’ll be excusing myself to blog more often!



Sven on Senta II said...

Glad you found the rudder problem while high and dry, if not warm :-)

If you didn't see it yet, Mike took the prudent choice and is going through Panama instead of around Cape Horn. I hope you will be ready to make that same disappointing decision if circumstances call for it. While being Perfectly safe is Perfectly boring a record isn't worth reckless gambles.


Anonymous said...

Hi there Jess. Thanks for the newsy blogs. Its good to keep up with all the activity. Hope you are recording everything for the book which you will just HAVE to write afterwards. It will be a best seller!! What a great crew!Anon

Ed said...

Good life lessons - nothing is ever easy, good planning is key and persistence pays off. Keep it up!

Cap'n Jack said...

Glad you found the problems, but did it take an x-ray? The rudder looked like a P.O.S. in the photo yesterday.

Keep focusing on the details, out on blue water is no place to find a problem.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Jessica, So excited for your voyage. You go girl, you can do it. One thing I am concerned for you though. I am sure you have good offshore sailors advising you, but please get a parachute anchor and practice "hoving to" with it before you take off. As Pete Goss on the "Spirit of Mystery" recently demonstrated again, running off downwind in big seas most often results in knockdown. Please hang out with and read some of Lyn and Larry Pardey's storm tactics. Two elderly sailors around cape horn the wrong way in their enginless 30' wooden boat. They are nice people in NZ and you would enjoy meeting them. Hove to, and be safe please when the waves start breaking. Also, that windvane is going to be your best friend. Name her and use her all the time.

Good sailing,

Anonymous said...

Those comments from Anon June 14 re sailing tactics, are good to receive! Nice that people are backing you and are showing their concern for your safety. That GREAT crew that you have behind you are such an asset. As you say in the Qweekender article, the preparation is an integral part of achieving your dream!! Go Jess Go!
Girls can do anything!