Thursday, March 28, 2013


Lightning is powerful stuff!

We have been on a 'shake-down cruise' around Moreton Bay, trying out new gear like the IsatPhone Pro, and the watermaker. We have also been practicing for emergencies, like Man Overboard.

All was going well.

Then we were anchored in Deanbilla Bay, near Dunwich, a small town on North Stradbroke Island. 6.30 at night. Peaceful. Watching TV. Some thunder in the distance, getting closer. Then heavy rain.

Then BANG!!! The biggest bang I have ever heard. A smell of brimstone, a bit like firework sparklers.

The TV kept playing. We were shaken, but assumed we were OK. But then we noticed that two ventilation fans had turned on, and found that they couldn't be turned off!

We had been hit, or at least it had been so close that induction currents had run through the boats electrical systems powerfully enough to fuse the fans.

And other things....

As became apparent over the next few days.

GPS? Nah.
Chartplotter? Nah.
Autopilot? Nah.
Wind indicator? Nah.
Genset? Nah.
Inverter? Nah.
and on, and on.

We took the boat to boat hospital in Coomera and unleashed some electrical repair people on her, to provide quotes for insurance. Some big numbers. Some gulping by the insurance assessor. Some politics to follow.

It seems unlikely that we can get it all repaired safely to keep our plan to sail to New Cal on May 4th, so that whole project is on hold. We will only do it when we are confident that the boat  is safe to go.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spectra Ventura 200T watermaker

We plan to sail to New Caledonia in May, and possibly Vanuatu. This has led to us choosing a watermaker and getting it installed. We chose the Spectra Ventura 200T, which can produce 200 gallons of fresh water a day (30 litres/hour). The 'T' signifies 'tropical' water, or at least warmer than 10C. George is happy about that restriction!

Here is a video of the initiation ceremony and instruction by the technician, Craig Humphries.