Another year gone meant it was time to clean Makroro’s bottom again. This involved lots of stress watching her lifted out of the water and placed in a cradle. Kel got the messy job of scrubbing the bottom, while I tackled removing the old propeller and shaft. The old propeller shaft bearing took some getting out, but we managed to press it out with a home made contraption. The old stainless steel shaft was riddled with corrosion, so we were glad to get a new one in place, and it only cost one boat buck.
A new red coat of paint on the bottom and some grunt-work polishing the topsides and she was ready for the water again. Until next year… Continue reading
Well, an update on our sailing adventures is long overdue, and it’s been a different sort of adventure (the mechanical kind). We managed to rig up a jerry can as a fuel tank for the trip from the Hawkesbury to Newcastle, which would guarantee clean fuel but is not really a permanent solution. So on a fresh July day, we picked up two sailing buddies (Peter and Peter) from the Brooklyn jetty and set out at 7am. We almost turned back after re-checking the forecast and finding a strong wind warning had been issued, but decided to press on… Continue reading
From Lake Macquarie, we picked up one of Tom’s sailing buddies Peter early in the morning and headed south to the Hawkesbury River. Not long into the trip the wind became confused, making it difficult to weave our way around all the gargantuan ships that were waiting their turn to enter Newcastle Harbour. From a distance we saw some whales swimming past with their tails waving hello in the air. But soon we had an even more amazing greeting as we were passing a ship whose crew were all out on deck watching the spectacle. No, the spectacle wasn’t us, but a whale probably less than 50 metres from us that fully breached in the air and came crashing down creating a massive wave that we surfed all the way to the Hawkesbury. Okay okay, maybe the wave and surfing have been a little embellished, but the whale DID fully breach next to us! Continue reading
In total we spent 11 nights in Lake Macquarie. On the days that it rained we baked cookies, read books and watched movies, but thankfully we had more days with sunshine than with rain. On the long weekend we invited some of Tom’s sailing buddies over to test out our old girl, Makroro. We got lucky with the weather and had beautiful sun and some fantastic wind. I learnt a lot that day. I didn’t know our Macky-Ro was capable of the things she did that day. Unlike me, these guys really know how to sail! Our top speed that day I think was 8-9 knots – we absolutely flew like the wind – and heeled over until our rail was touching the water, to which I couldn’t stop myself from letting out just a small squeal. Let’s just pretend it was a squeal of sheer joy instead of terror. It was great having these guys out on the boat, we both really learnt a lot about how to sail Makroro to her full potential. Continue reading