Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We are back in Tabourie

Quick post to say we are back at home to organise garage sale of the century and rent out house so we can continue cruising in Crazy Lady.

I'm disappointed at the lack of entries in our great song writing competition. Have Bruce and Jen set the bar too high? Surely you can do better than that? Denise? I know your dying to have a go!

Congratulations to Fiona and Johnny Jenkins who have sold up and starting their trip around Aus in a caravan. I will post a link to their blog site soon.

We will continue the blog from home, watch how we manage throwing our life out the window, and seeing how it pans out.

On a sadder note: Today I found out a Cameron Boyd died, he went quickly from pancreatic cancer. I met Cameron when we were both 15 years old, when friends and I caught the train down to the Boneyard in Kiama, from the Gong, for a surfing weekend. We both kept running into each other over the years, through surfing, he was a real waterman, super-fit and a nice guy. RIP Cameron.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Your chance to join in and help us write our song.

Rolf in his Satan worship days!!
What an evil looking dude.

From Jen:

Inspired by a “hum” first thing this morning I have created a new version of

TIE ME KANGAROO DOWN. ( an Aussie favourite)

We want your inspirations too: feel free to add your own verses.


An old yachtie lay under his sail: sighing and drying;

In his last gasps he said to his love:


Can you grab me some beer, Dear

Can you grab me a beer;

‘Been twelve hours and I’m feeling the fear, Dear

A carton of Boags if you’re near......altogether now


Tie me anchor chain down, boys

Tie me anchor chain down;

We don’t want dragging all 'round boys

So tie me anchor chain down.

Don't be such a big goose, Bruce

Don't be such a big goose;

A bowline isn't a noose, Bruce

Its more fun sailing when it's loose!!!....altogether now

Post cards to people we know, Joe

Post cards to people we know;

The internet’s running real slow, Joe

Snail mail’s THE way to go.....altogether now

Weather pants a little too tight, right?

Weather pants a little too tight;

Turn them ‘round and they’ll fit you alright, (might)

Wore backwards they look such a fright!!......altogether now

Bake me a fresh loaf of bread, Fred

Bake me a hot loaf of bread;

Hold back on the laxatives I said, Fred

Cos’ I’m not blocking up the head. (toilet).......altogether now

Go set the main sail again, Glenn

Set the main sail again;

We’re flapping and off course again, Glenn

I’m comfy, resting in the den.......altogether now

The dinghy’s found the wind vane, Shane

The painter’s found the wind vain;

Untangling is a real pain, Shane

Mutiny: is home on the plane.......altogether now

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Blog, the boat and other things.

Ken & Lynn from"Get a Life" trying to race
Crazy Lady. We had to double reef the main and
drag warps behind Crazy to give "Get a Life" a chance.

Jen at Cloudy Bay Lagoon

Glenn: "nice legs" walking the dog!

Why keep a blog I've been asked?
Not only is the blog an easy way for family, friends and interested others to keep up with our trip, but it has also become a quick and enjoyable diary for Jen and I.
The map, the pics and our thoughts keep us up to date with ourselves. (does that make sense?)

Over the last 3 months or so we have had an incredible journey and not only physical, but also within ourselves.
When we left in December our thoughts were to give cruising a try and see where it would lead: "nothing ventured, nothing gained", as well as to see how we felt about it.
A recent comment by our Tabourie next door neighbours Denise and Dennis probably summed up our common anxiety, "We fear Tabourie will loose you both to your new way of life - and who could blame you".
No, we will not be leaving Tabourie forever. We both enjoy Tabourie and have made some really great friends that we love and both miss often. We have decided to keep going on this trip of unstructured discovery. What this means is that we will be back at Tabourie very soon to have a massive Garage Sale and rent out the house for a while.

Travelling by yacht is a slow process that gives you time to really look around and think. I guess we have both been doing a lot of thinking. We have decided which things are important and not so important. Family and friends can't be replaced, and neither can memories.
Stuff like possessions :TV's, stereo's, appliances, gadget's and furniture may be. (not LP's sorry winni)(nor iphone's)
Now I'm not preaching here as a yacht is one of life's great material extravagances, but what a way to go!!! The freedom experienced by travel is something that must be tried.
Yes it's so slow and our boat is.
You can live almost rent free and you can anchor out most of the time.(says Glenn now in marina) The wind is free, but seldom blowing the direction you want it to. If you don't like your neighbours pull up the anchor and move.

At first we thought that what we were doing was a little radical, or unusual but in the last 3 months we've met many different cruisers and travellers "all in the same boat" as us, from USA, France, Germany and Australia. It's not a perfect lifestyle by any means, but there are always new ways of challenging yourself. I mean look at Jen, who would have thought even a year ago that she could cross Bass Strait almost singlehanded??? There is always something new to see, and on a boat there is always a job or 2 on the go.
So how long will we be cruising?
We don't know.
How long will we stay in Tassie?
We don't know but maybe we will start to head north (back to the mainland) by the end of April. We could stay here until this time next year.
The great thing for us(?liberating) is that there is no real plan.
Whatever we feel like doing at the time will suffice.
Maybe in 6 months time it will be a different story, and we might want to give it up and go back to a normal life, who knows?
While ever we are enjoying travelling and sailing on Crazy Lady we will keep going.

Neighbours in Tabourie beware: we will be back this WEDNESDAY for 2 weeks.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Leaving Port Huon to explore Port Cygnet Conservation Area

This photo is for those with a skilled nautical eye;
these are the leads into Port Huon Marina!!!.
They light up at night just like Christmas poles.

Expansion works including dredging to 3.5 metres and the
installation of a huge travel lift began the day before we left.
Expect Port Huon Marina to have a higher profile in the future.

Cygnet Sailing Club with two extraordinary timber
Herreshoff ketches receiving a good makeover.
(triple planked cold molded Huon)

We left Port Huon as winds on the river increased to
30 knots. Glenn had to seek shelter under the dodger.
Photo doesn't really capture the drama of the
unexpectant wet male.

This photo is for Bruce and Sue.
Cygnet is very pretty, and the coffee and cake
are really yummy.

No on locks up their gear in these parts.

On Tuesday we retreated to the calmer waters of Cygnet having been hold-up in Port Huon for just a bit too long. I guess we just got bored. I didn't even win the battle of enrolling in the Boat Building Diploma. ( a life changed commitment to be sure). (Well at least I tried by whinging)
Cabin fever had started to corrode our patience.

The trip was a wild downwind motoring event with a steady 30 knots westerly to stern.
Lots of river waves passing us and heading out to the main channel.
A wet ride for some.
We are really enjoying this anchorage, its beauty and proximity to the little township but tomorrow we'll head off to visit another new cove/bay.

Thanks for following our blog

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Jen visits the Timber Boat Building School, and I won't let her enroll!!

Huon pine slabs and planks being transformed
into a yacht. Did you know that Huon pine does not
disintegrate in water? (7% oil) It is a protected species.
It grows very slowly and most living specimens are
1500 to 3500 years old. Timber craftspersons are still
using century old stock thats been found floating
around Tasmania or lying around in the forests. WOW!!.

These timber plugs cover the copper nail heads.


Jen dreams of Diploma in Timber Boat Building!
(I feel right a home here, signed Jen.)

Not content with forming the "Beach Boys" Brian,
Dennis and Carl become boat builders.

When it comes to enthusiasm its hard to beat Jen. Those of you who know her will understand what I mean. Today we visited the Timber Boat Building School (TBBS in future) at Franklin. Jen has been dying to visit here since before we left Tabourie in NSW.

We are staying at Port Huon marina, which is about 17 klms away from Franklin. We could have motored up the river to Franklin in Crazy Lady, but apparently the channel is a little tricky. On chatting to Zed and Fay the marina managers, they offered us the use of their car. (again these friendly and helpful Tasmanians.)

Jen has been pestering me about doing the Diploma of Boat Building at this School. It's the only one of its kind in Australia. The present yacht is in it's second year of construction and the current students will eventually donate 11,000 hours. The wood for the yacht is all Huon pine.
Does this sound like fun to you???????

Jen will now continue the story.............

What can I say: I didn't have enough time to really look around and all of the students (six) were off for the weekend. There was no one to chat with about the options of the course nor to share the "feeling of the place".
The only person available was the woman at the front desk who I presumed was part of the founding couple. (generous and far sighted people).
Glenn spent time discussing with her the virtues of traditional fibreglass yachts, and she was somewhat narrow in her opinion, or so I was told. Thank goodness another unsuspecting couple came in to the centre.

Amazing place and truly informative and it smelt soooo nice. ( fresh and sweet)


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quick Note: New Feature.

You can now email our posts to your friends or others that might be interested.
Just click on the envelope near the comments at bottom of the post.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Big Day: Part 2

Port Huon Marina (? once a paddock carpark)

Genuine "locally grown" Tasmanian Huon Apples.
Tasmanians are wonderful generous people.

Looking out from the pub towards the marina.

Earlier today:
An Echidna walking beside us on Bruny Island.
This little fellow wasn't at all in a hurry to hide from us.

No time for lunch.
Got to get moving.
The weather is perfect.
The Huon River awaits.

After 3 or 4 hours of motor assisted sailing we arrived at the friendly Port Huon Marina, a tiny little village with floating pontoons, water and power and very hot showers.
It seriously looks like a car park in a paddock that someone made into a water hole.
The management handed me a bag of fresh picked Huon Apples.(the real thing!!!)

I'm off to bed, feeling full and contented after a country pub dinner of lamb cutlets, vegies and gravy.

Tomorrow its Franklin.
I finally get to visit the famous Timber Boat Building School...I'd love to be one of the 6 candidates selected each another life perhaps.


A Big Day! Part 1. Cape Bruny.

2 Fat Ladies sat looking at this sign
and went no further.

Cape Bruny Lighthouse: 1836

Looking across to the mainland.

Bruny Island: Lighthouse Beach offshore in
NE wind and great beach breaks.

Bruny Island: Looking NE from the Cape.

For 2 nights the loom of the Cape Bruny Lighthouse has been beckoning me, like a moth to a flame(or a mosquito to a Navman screen)

Today we walked the 8 klms from our anchorage to quench our curiosity.

The pics tell the story.

I also answered my question and found another surf beach further south than Cloudy Bay, but I have been told there are other surfing spots further south.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Is this the End of the Earth? or the Garden of Eden?

Next stop South Pole. Is this Australia's most southern surf beach?

I guess I should have put that reef in the main!!
25 knots and no where to go.

End of the Earth or Garden of Eden?
Please double click this pic to see what I mean.
Looking out to Cloudy Bay.

Now these Tasmanians are getting a bit aggro with me for letting the secret out about how good it is down here. It seems they like to keep it to themselves, but with my big mouth, blog and new job with the Tasmanian Tourist Dept, word is getting out.

Because we own a South Coast 36 yacht, they think we are NSW millionaires. Crazy Lady is now the most prestigious boat in Tassie. So those with a bigger, newer, brighter boats than ours will be treated like interstate billionaires. Absolute royalty!!!!

Today we left Dover and sailed to Mickey's Bay. it is a quick row and walk to Cloudy Bay on Bruny Island, I love this place. I think Cloudy Bay might be Australia's most southern surf beach? I'm not sure so I will try and do some research. (if you know, please let me know) Bruny Island has the cleanest water in Australia. We will be staying put for a few days.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Does it get much better than this? Bruny Island!!!

Jen's stoney faced mascot.

Can you find Crazy Lady in this picture?
Anchored off Bruny Island.

Penguins on Parade!

The Neck Bruny Island.

The end of another perfect day in Tasmania,
Bruny Island.

Gee its cold down here in Tasmania, another 25 degrees Celcius again today. Clear skies and light winds. A relaxing sail down to The Neck on Bruny Island.

Best I let the pictures do the talking. (for once)

Jen & Glenn

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Who the "Bloody hell is Lara Bingle" and why should I care.

Crazy Lady in the city Hobart

Sea Sheperd opposite us in Hobart.

My new wetsuit for surfing Tasmanian waters
Funded under the federal governments insulation program

My new theme: "Adventure before Dementia"

Bloody Lara Bingle, really who cares? Another 2 bob flash in the pan, media wanna be. Does anyone really care?

Now why my rant? After escaping the great "Varnishing Boot Camp" and leaving on the next flight to Sydney, I was immediately flung back into the TV, media, instant headline crap, and inconsequential trivia, how can they justify Lara giving the finger as the main headline on the 6 o'clock news. Being on a boat for 3 months without watching TV, made me realize that I've not missed much, in the "real world". Do yourself a favour and throw your TV in the garbage or sell it at your next garage sale.

Back in boat world, now Jen's description of me escaping the varnishing, was not quite true. I had made work commitments last year and had to fulfill them, but I was quite happy to miss all the chaos created on the boat. After 10 days away from both Crazy Ladies, I have decided, that I will give the return to Sydney to work thing a big miss. Now don't get me wrong I love training people, but leaving the trip was a hard thing to do. Having said that, it was great to catch up on family and friends, James (my son) came down and stayed with me for a few days. Thanks to those who showed their hospitality and had us over for food and drinks. Al and Kaye, Gerti and Dave, yes we can can eat and drink us Love's. I hope you have restocked your larder for our next visit!!!

Jen and I had a great walk around Hobart yesterday, in my humble opinion it is one of the great cities. Try a walk to Sandy Bay thru Battery Point, the houses are unbelievable, I don't mean big or modern. Most of them were built in the 1800's. Of course Jen wanted to buy every second one.

Now once again I must tell you of the friendly Tasmanian spirit. This morning I was looking for a place to buy diesel, I asked the skipper of a abalone boat where? He told me the nearest servo was about 4 klms away, and insisted that I get my fuel cans throw them in the back of his ute, he drove me up and back, then asked me on-board to show me charts of Bathurst Harbour and explained the best route's etc: Speaking of Bathurst Harbour, Al gave me a book when I was home in Tabourie, about Deny King. The skipper of the abalone boat knew all about him Al!! He is a Tasmanian legend.

The Sea Shepard "Steve Irwin"(bloody Steve Irwin" couldn't they come up with a better name? all he used to do was annoy the crap out of wildlife) is moored just across from us, I thought that Jen might have signed up with them and gone off to fight the Japanese whalers.(yes she had for a moment considered it)

We are leaving Hobart tomorrow, after the Salamanca Markets Jen wants to stock up with fresh fruit, vegetables and jams. I want to have a German sausage on a roll. We will be heading further south to explore Bruny Island (cleanest air in the world) and further afield. Bruny Island has some of the best surf in Tasmania, and I won't be leaving it until I've sampled some.

Ok, thats all I can think of at the moment.



Finished job on drawers

Jen's very clever plumbing

Saloon doors sanded

Guardian of the head (toilet for landlubbers)

Steps re-finished and shiny wall

Yes, there has been a gap in the blogging. Sorry, but it's Glenn's fault.
I only had to mention internal VARNISHING and REFURBISHMENT in one breath and turned around to seek his opinion on this, to find that Glenn had taken the first available flight out of Hobart!!

So finding myself alone, and without blogging abilities I made a plan for a frantic 10 day renovation makeover. Before I could make my first purchase of essential supplies from Hobart's most expensive chandlery, the kitchen (galley) water tap system started spouting a fountain of water out everywhere.
I bet you didn't know that I had plumbing skills.
Of the four pipes to be reconnected three had varying diameters of connections in old style measurements, and two of permanent copper pipes were without threads.
See photo of neat end results.

Overkill could be the expression to use to describe my varnishing activities. Generally a few broad walls (bulkheads) were in good condition but looking a little tired. These responded well to a secret recipe given to me by my sailing mentor: Ken Miller. (refreshments supplied by Lynn). Water ingress had over the years caused dark staining to lovely teak fittings. This troubled absolutely no one but me.
I hate dark interiors and the "log cabin" style, and had struggled not to paint the interior gloss white...dark corners only.
So what's the big deal?

Doing anything to the interior of a boat requires a lot of tiresome shuffling: stock piling cushions and books and carefully stowed gear into all other available empty spaces only to do the same roundabout of moving the next day as some progress is made. Each area had at least two applications of "rejuvenation" and I found that I quickly tired of it all. Unfortunately once I had started to improve one area everything else looked shabby. (the curse of the home renovator).

Anyway the gangway steps made by "Winnie the wonder" of Tabourie now look pretty special, and the aft cabin is a lot fresher and brighter. The saloon now glows golden in the afternoon light and not a trace of stale smells exists.
I didn't complete the entire job but made a dent into the worst areas.
See photos

Bye for now
Love to all
Jen Jen the busy Hen