Getting comfortable with the intricacies of the long-distance HF radio is ticked off , but I must admit they're arcane devices shrouded in black magic. I've already committed to investing in a Satellite phone for remote internet access, which should make our Mac and iPads connectable just about anywhere, without the complexity of a Pactor Modem, laptop, and the dreaded HF. And if none of that makes sense to you, you'll see what I mean. But the HF radio is a beauty, and I know I'll be relying on the Bureau Of Meteorology's "schwell" reports a lot in the future.
And then there's the storm sails. Well, getting them up was easy when there wasn't a storm anyway, but it's going to be a lot more challenging when the deck's a leapin' and the thunder's a crackin'.
Becoming intimate with the engine's another one. I've discovered that my shoulders have a knack of turning off the fuel filter tap when I'm squeezing in to check the raw water intake filter. That was enough to deter us from a planned Melbourne trip a few weeks back.....I'm not sure about those old sailing myths and legends, but I'm taking a non-starting engine before a voyage as a bad omen.
It was another good little lesson though, and just part of getting to know that big motor a little more.
I've also successfully installed a little removable crane on the foredeck which will make launching the dinghy just that much easier.
Planning for the tropics, I've been designing a Stainless Steel structure for the cockpit, which would do multiple duty as a shady roof, surfboard rack, home for extra Solar Panels, and also be a handy water collector. Unfortunately, the plan was a little too ambitious as the quote from a local engineer to build the thing would keep us in shady hats for several lifetimes.
And then there's the waterproofing the hatches job, which resulted in a cabin drenching on the first test, but I think I've solved that one now, which is a huge relief.
And the list goes on....it seems that every time I tick something off, something else crops up. But it's all part of the learning process, and there's a real sense of satisfaction when I fully understand something by actually doing it.