Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cairns, Port Douglas, Hope Island, Cooktown

I never thought that taking measurements of the shaft and the thread would be so complicated. We hauled out in the morning, the yard took out the propeller and then took measurements while I was busy with an electrician trying to sort out the power supply problem with the auto pilot.
They were in so much of a hurry that they gave me the data sheet when the boat was already back in the water and I had not time to review it and check. Once back at the squadron marina, I was totally confused wi
th what the had given me, mixing imperial and metric units and I had to go back to the yard twice to sort out the problems. Eventually we got it right and I was able to place the order for the Variprop 3 blades which will be delivered in Darwin when we get there in June.
As for the power supply problem, all we found out was that if we connect the unit to one of the aft cabin lights, it works perfect. If we connect to its cable, it does not work. Conclusion, the problem is either the cable or the breaker. I will wait until I am in familiar territory to do any further wo
rk on that. For the time being, we have the connect
ion to one of the light with a switch in between and that is good enough.
Port Douglas ranks as the number one stop we have made since Sydney. The place feels a lot like Key West. Very laid back, very nice buildings and shop. Good crowd. We had fun.
The day after we arrived, we took a 90 minutes excursion on a paddle boat up the river to look for crocodiles. Apparently, there is one which knows the script perfectly and shows up when the boat arrives, has a go at the cat fish being fed by the boat under our eyes, and then lays on the bank long enough for a photo op.
After that, it was the turn of an eagle to follow the boat and do some acrobatics for us, including grabbing a piece of food thrown at him from the boat while flying. Super fun.
After Port Douglas, we went for the night to Hope Island, an anchorage very well protected from the swell as it is almost a lagoon, but with absolutely no protection against the wind which blew at 15 to 25 all night. Pleasant evening any way as there were four other boats, on their way to the rallye towards Indonesia and we shared a drink with them on the beach.
After that, we went to Cooktown, last town before we turn the corner (meaning Cape York). It feels like at last, we are on our way back to Virginia.
In Cooktown, nice and historic little town, no internet and no phone. Almost, we found a bar/restaurant/hotel which had internet, and I could post this blog. Next postings
will be via the sat phone with no pictures. Next posting of pictures will probably have to wait for Darwin in June.

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