Cover Photo: SV Quattro moored in Mangles Bay, Rockingham, Western Australia on a blustery Monday.
19th of July, 2018. By Will.
Since Jenny’s last Travel/Adventure Blog Post back in late May we’ve had a “Month of Mayhem” ! As usual there has been heaps going on, we are pretty close to being ready for our North American Cycle Tour.
Just not any old sandals, these are Keen cycling sandals. You remove the insert & fit SPD Cleats into the recess. They are unavailable in Australia due to low demand. Jenny purchased them through Amazon and they were shipped out of the USA. As of July 1st Amazon will no longer ship to Australia due to the Governments new law to add 10% GST onto purchases under $1000AUD. Amazon are unwilling to collect the GST on the Australian Governments behalf. Australia’s Tax System is a total Dog’s Breakfast & not very equatable. It’s also one of the reasons we’ve both given up doing paid work or running a business the Tax System provides no incentive & sadly billions of Tax dollars are wasted.
We have managed to purchase our new, middle of the range, Lightweight Camping Gear from Campers Village in Calgary, Canada. They are a smaller family owned business that proved to be very helpful, Alyssa was excellent to deal with. They will hold our Gear until we arrive….Fantastic Service ! Campers Village Calgary
Yes we may avoid paying a bit of tax by purchasing this Gear in Canada but the real reason is to keep our weight down during the Flights from Perth to Calgary. On the last leg between San Francisco & Calgary on domestic airline Jetwest we are only allowed 23kg each in the hold & 7kg carry on. Just our bikes in a bike box weigh nearly 20kgs. So new 3P Tent, Sleeping Bags, Camp Stove, Sleeping Mats, etc.
We had tried Atmosphere & there is also MEC, but these Canadian Outdoor Companies are similar in size to Australia’s, BCF & Anaconda, think large, Public Owned & complicated to deal with online from half a world away.
To be precise we only tried Atmosphere (MEC were too expensive), their sales staff were friendly enough (via email) but their business model just can’t deal with us buying the Gear online & having it held at their Calgary Store. Ultimately we couldn’t figure out a decent work around so gave up.
Chris a friend of a friend & Natalie a Warm Showers Host, both residents of Calgary were willing to let us have the Gear shipped to their addresses. Then hold it on our behalf but we could see the whole process going “Pear Shaped” as Atmosphere didn’t have all the items & would be shipping part orders……So Campers Village became the solution !
Cycle training has been intermittent, being winter in Mandurah doesn’t help the cause. We still intend to do another “Cold Turkey” Training Ride for a week before departure.
Over the past month we have hosted some touring cyclists through Warm Showers . Left Photo: Ross & Angie from Queensland, riding the South West….Right: GaHing Sim from Taiwan, cycling to Sydney via the South West, Nullarbor, Eyre Peninsula, Great Ocean Road.
As you may have noticed on FB or Instagram we have recently become part time Crew on a 52 Foot Yacht, Quattro that is based in Fremantle. At the beginning of June we spent 2 nights & 2 days on board. We Sailed with 4 other regulars, plus the owners Andrew & Nancy over to Rottnest. There was also some passengers (day trippers) that came for a sail. The weather conditions were perfect for “cycling” , 22C days & no wind. Unfortunately not so great for sailing, since there was a lack of wind we had to use the Iron Sail (Motor).
The overnight sailing (well motoring) trip on Quattro was great, perfect weather for winter.
Last weekend it was to be an overnight trip to Rockingham, on Saturday we had a pleasant sail down to Mangles Bay, Rockingham. Offloaded the Day Trippers, then later the 9 remaining crew of Quattro dressed up as Pirates to help celebrate Andrew’s birthday at Latitude 32, a nearby restaurant.
It was Quattro’s owners Birthday, so in honour of Andrew’s Birthday we all dressed up like pirates, it was a fun night & the other Restaurant patrons at L32 had a great laugh.
That evening we all spent the night on the Yacht, gently being rocked to sleep. Sunday morning saw the wind pick up from the north, which apparently is the worst direction when you are moored at Mangles Bay, as there is no protection.
During the last big cold front that hit a few weeks ago, 3 Boats broke their mooring lines and ended up on the beach. We also lost a fence at our Investment House in Coodanup. The next big storm, cold front was predicted to hit at 8pm that night. Andrew & Nancy headed to shore to catch up with some friends while Jenny & I cooked up breakfast for the remaining 5 Crew Members.
Around 1pm, the sails were hoisted, mooring lines dropped & we began tacking north back to Fremantle. After about 3 hours it was obvious that we would not reach Freo before dark under sail, so Andrew decided time to lower the sails start the engine and motor the last 1/3 of the way into Fremantle Harbour.
10 minutes later the engine alarm is going off, the motor is at 120C, it usually operates at 85C !!! After spending about an hour bobbing about trying to resolve the problem, the diagnosis is the seawater intake has a blockage & the seawater cooling impeller has burnt out due to a lack of water. There isn’t a spare on board, the wind is picking up from the north & ominous black clouds from the leading edge of a winter cold front have now appeared on the darkening Western horizon.
We are in the poop, the motor will only run for 5 minutes before overheating & we can’t make it to Fremantle before the Storm hits under sail. Andrew advises Fremantle Sea Rescue on VHF Channel 73 of our predicament & tells them we are going to turn around & beat downwind under sail back to Rockingham.
The sun has well & truely set, it is dark and cloudy as we reach Mangles Bay. The game plan is to sail in as close as we can, pull in the Forsail, start the engine & hook up to the first Mooring we see. It is now quite windy, at about 25-30km/h. We really only have one decent shot at this. If we miss, then plan B is to head out as far as possible until the overheating alarm goes off again & drop anchor.
We spot mooring A6 not knowing if it’s suitable for a 14 Tonne 52 Foot Yacht and after a bit of high pressure yelling, shouting & scrabbling around with slippery lines we manage to tie up. We end up being about 200 meters from the boat jetty which is handy.
After some discussion it is decided that Janet, Jenny & I would remain on board overnight to keep watch on Quattro during the storm. Janet transfers the rest of the crew via the inflatable tender, across to the Jetty so they could find there way home. The boat mechanic had been told about our problem & he will come out to the Yacht at about 11am the following day (Monday).
It was a windy Sunday night on the Boat, the rigging rattled a whistled, the mooring ropes creaked as Quattro bobbed up & down in the one meter chop. Janet did the first 3 hour watch, from 11.30pm to 2.30am. Then Jenny did 3 hours & I had the last watch. At 5.15am Jenny woke me, there was a problem with the inflatable tender dingy. Which we had left tied to the stern. It had become tangled in the adjacent mooring, probably when the wind switched direction to westerly. (or had the mooring already started to drag ?).
With Jenny’s help in the dark & with 40km/h+ winds I managed to free it, but strained my lower back in the process. Jen then went to bed on the lounge in the Saloon & I kept an eye on things from up in the wheel house until 8.30am. Later we discovered that the winds had reached 80km/h on Garden Island about 5kms away.
Josh the mechanic arrived at 11am so Jenny & I headed for Fremantle. Firstly on the Bus, then Train. At Murdoch Station our Daughter picked us up & dropped us back to the Landcruiser. From there we headed home both tired & sore. Janet spent a third night on the Yacht & during the next 24 hours it dragged the mooring 10-20 meters. Later we found out that we had jagged a Big Boat mooring so it shouldn’t have shifted.
On short notice Tuesday saw Jenny, Andrew & I headed back to Rockingham at 3.45pm. Janet picked us up in the tender & we motored over to Quattro. Initially we were going to shift moorings as arrangements had been made to take Quattro back to Fremantle on Thursday.
There was a strong SW Wind so Andrew asked if we were all up for a sail to Freo now !! Why not we thought. It turned out to be a great fun, uneventful, night sail & we reached Fremantle Boat Harbour at 6.30pm. Janet’s little Toyota Corolla was in the car park, so she drove us all back down to Rockingham so we could collect our own vehicles. Quick feed & a couple of beers then we called it a day. Unfortunately Andrew took a tumble on the wet pavement & cracked a couple of ribs on his right side…ouch. What a fine bunch of “sailors” we all were, my dodgy back, Jenny’s stupid dick knees, Andrew now with busted ribs & a very tired Janet.
Totally exhausted & sore. No more Sailing planned until we get home from North America.
Behind the scenes we have been putting some finishing touches on the Travel Home Base or THB for short. The main mods have been concrete down the side, a 3600L water tank & more gardening. Really not much left to complete now, just a few cosmetic jobs outside.
3 weeks ago…during the first big storm of winter. Mandy (Jenny’s step-sister) rings. “You have lost a whole fence”. At the Coodanup house that we rent to her. All fixed now.
There you have it, not much cycle training or motorcycle touring but still a fair bit of action. Thanks for reading, catch ya later on.
We will probably do one last Blog Post before boarding the Big White Bird & heading over to Canada. 😎👍
Team wiljen’s interpretation of Adventure ……”When there’s a deviation from the plan the adventure begins.”