Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Hardstand travails

It is now Tuesday evening and we have been hauled out since last Friday. We had to back into the travelift dock as otherwise our forestay would have fouled the travelift crossbeam and, although we always reverse like an unpredictable whale, we managed the exercise with our customary insousiance!! Having accomplished that we then were lifted out on the Travel Lift and the first thing that happens is that the boat is waterblasted to get any residual fouling removed. Then we were trundled across the road to the working hardstand where we have been ever since. The first job was to wetsand the whole hull which was accomplished with a hose and Scotch scouring pads. The hull after 12 months and many miles was looking better than she has looked in recent times and we put this down to the antifouling paint we had used back in Whangarei - Hempel ablative. Fortunately it's available here too and so we have been using it again.
The main problem we have come up against is the wind which blows through the boatyard at about 20-25 knots from 1000 every day. So, it's necessary to get working no later than 0700 which we will do again tomorrow and hopefully will complete two coats which, considering the excellent condition when we hauled out, should be sufficient for the forthcoming voyage to Malaysia. Then we can get it done again, but because of the lower labour costs, we won't be doing it - yaaayyyyy!  
We are on a gravel surface which is better for our timber hull but it tends to be somewhat messy. A heartwarming sight was Jean in her overalls lying on her back on the ground under the keel applying antifouling paint to the bottom of the keel and getting liberally spattered with the aforementioned!! So, antifouling is not all fun - far from it.
On another note we've had the Queensland State elections and the LNP Party has been returned with a historic majority  The only concern with this is that a weak opposition (Labour has only 6-7 seats in a Parliament of over 60 seats) can result in some less than democratic situations. Still, it seems that democracy is an illusion anyway so why should we be concerned?
After the wind got up this morning we went into Bundaberg and after waiting for the bus for a time, we were offered a lift by a very kind couple, Ron and Margaret in their Landcruiser. They have a property on the Burnett River with a schooner which they built themselves moored at the bottom of their garden and they and the boat survived last year's floods. Their anchor is now buried under 2 metres of river silt! We picked up our laptop which we'd left for a checkover and then some provisioning after which we caught the bus back to the marina. Early start in the morning to complete the antifouling.
As always watch this space.......................
Love from us

Friday, 23 March 2012

Tiare Taporo

I have just come across your website (www.pacificschooners.com)  detailing the conversion (in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia) and renaming as "Tiare Taporo" of your ex North Sea trawler for her new life in the Cook Islands. This is especially interesting to me as I am a member of the family that descended from A.B. Donald.
My name is James (Jim) Bell Donald and I am a great grandson of Alexander Bell Donald. I worked in Auckland for a subsidiary company of A.B. Donald Ltd. from 1965 to 1973 when all the businesses were sold. This included our trading businesses in the Cook Islands and Tahiti. The schooner "Tiare Taporo" had been sold some years earlier in 1964. In 1968 I travelled to Rarotonga on another of our vessels "Akatere" which was a steel built 110' motor ship which had been built in Holland in 1948 and was typical of the myriad of ex European coaster type vessels in the Pacific at that time. The skipper on that passage was Archie Pickering (a Fijian) and Andy Thomson was also a passenger. He taught me how to use a sextant during the voyage. I still have a couple of letters from him. While in the Cooks I travelled around the group on the "Akatere" visiting Mangaia, Aitutaki, Penrhyn, Rakahanga and Manihiki. I used to visit Andy at his little house at Arorangi on Rarotonga on Sunday afternoons and he told me many a fascinating tale of the old South Pacific over a bottle of whisky!
I have the original specs of the Tiare from Charles Bailey and the contract to build her signed by him. Incidentally, Capt. Winchester (the first skipper) was a 50% shareholder in the Tiare and in later years my great grandfather purchased his share thus becoming sole owner. In 1966 I had built by Percy Vos (a well known Auckland boatbuilder) a 12' clinker sailing dinghy which I named "Tiare Taporo II" and then in 2002 I bought a 38' Gauntlet design yacht. She had been carvel built of NZ Kauri in Wellington NZ and launched in 1978 as "Reflections of Wellington". Gauntlets were designed in England in the early 1930's as double ended cutter rigged racing/cruising yachts.
During an extensive refit in Whangarei, NZ in 2008/09 at the Norsand Boatyard I renamed her "Tiare Taporo III" and, as I had ambitions to sail offshore, I registered her as a NZ Ship (Regd. No. NZ1572). My girlfriend Jean (Gina) and I sailed from NZ in July 2011 and after a time in New Caledonia during which we circumnavigated NC we sailed in November last year to Bundaberg, Queensland. We are still here and in fact only yesterday hauled out for antifouling before our planned departure in mid April for Darwin, Indonesia and Malaysia. As I write this we are living on the boat in the Port Bundaberg Boatyard and it is now 0400 on March 24th. We are looking forward to some scraping and sanding today!!
It was great to read of your enterprise and I wish you all the best with it. Any boat with the famous old name of "Tiare Taporo" must be a lucky ship.By the way, I had always understood that the name Tiare Taporo came about as the result of a family discussion around the Donald dining room table! I hope we can keep in touch and share our various adventures. You can read about our past and current adventures on our blogsite - see below.
With best regards,
Jim Donald
s.v. Tiare Taporo III
Port Bundaberg Marina and Boatyard,
Queensland 4670
Ph. 04 294 71895

Monday, 19 March 2012

More postponements

We were hauling out this morning but heard the weather forecast which is for monsoonal rainfall over the next 2 days or so. So, rather than sit on the hard in pouring rain twiddling our thumbs, we decided to postpone until Friday when the rain is supposed to clear and enable us to get on with painting. So, we'll twiddle our thumbs on the boat in the water instead!! Anyway, we should get the watermaker wired up so we could try it out so not all will be lost.
As always watch this space!!
Love from us..............

Sunday, 18 March 2012

A brief sojourn on land

We were going to haul out on Thursday but Jean has put her back out and the osteopath didn't think that would be such a good idea so we are now hauling out on Tuesday.
So, in the meantime we decided to hire a car locally and go to Agnes Water and Town of 1770 about 130 kms north of here on the coast. We were going just for the day but had a problem with a tyre on the car when the steel reinforcing burst through the tread and we had to change the tyre 20 kms short of Agnes. We've never seen that before; the tyre seemed good but it just developed this bulge with all the wires poking through. Just as well we felt the car vibrating otherwise it could have blown out which could have been somewhat catastrophic.
That delayed us so after a late lunch at 1770 we decided to stay the night in a backpacker at Agnes Water. Everything is so expensive up there; the backpacker cost us $80 for a double room but it was pleasant, clean and friendly. Our impression of the 2 towns was that we wouldn't be bothered going back. 1770 was quite pleasant on a river estuary but inaccessible for us by sea as there is a dangerous bar at the entrance which may be pasasble at high tide in calm weather but is very marginal.
Anyway, it gets its quaint name from the fact that Capt. Cook landed there in 1770 so once again we were treading in the footsteps of the Great Navigator. He would have anchored "Endeavour" outside the entrance and come ashore in the ship's boats.
But the overwhelming impression was that everything was grossly overpriced, over supplied and very mediocre. The best part about the whole trip was that on the way up at Rosedale (a historic railway settlement) there was a very good cafe called the Tiny Teahouse. Only opened for 3 months so far but some of the best coffee we have ever tasted and great bacon and eggs!! We stopped there on the way north and also coming back. So different from Agnes as the food was very good value ($7 for bacon and eggs) and very good.
After we got back to Bundaberg we visited the Hinkler Museum which commemorates Bert Hinkler (born 1892) who first flew a glider at Mon Repos Beach and which he built himself at his parents house in Bundaberg. He was fascinated by flying so left for England soon after and worked for the A.V. Roe Company (Avro) at Southhampton. He flew for the forerunner of the RAF in WWI and became well known for his inventiveness and engineering skills as well as actually flying. He flew an Avro Avian which was a single engined biplane with an open cockpit from England to Australia in 1928. An amazing feat of courage and endurance. He then flew a de Havilland Puss Moth across the Atlantic to the US, then to South America and again across the Atlantic and eventually to England again. Sadly he crashed and was killed in the hills of Tuscany in Italy when attempting a repeat of his earlier England-Australia epic flight - this time in the Puss Moth. His 2 story house at Southhampton was much later dismantled brick by brick and brought to Australia where it was rebuilt next to the Hinkler Museum in the botanical gardens. All in all an amazing story of a man about whom outside of Bundaberg very little seems to be known.
Hopefully tomorrow our water maker re-installation will be finished and then it will be a busy 4-5 days cleaning up the hull and then re-antifouling. What fun this cruising life is!! Spent this afternoon in a much more pleasurable activity working on a passage plan for our trip north to Cairns. Consulting the Coral Coast Cruising Guide along with our trusty chartplotter has enabled a workable plan with not too many long passages so it should all be possible with maybe one or two exceptions to day sail with overnight stops.
As this blog is being written Jean has gone ashore to ring Jiveen in the UK. She was covered from head to toe with socks, the aforementioned pink bloomers and head scarf in an effort to beat the Noseeums. They are the biggest downside to staying here and we hope that they may be seasonal and fade away soon. Anyway, we heard some more very good news during the course of that phone call - Jiveen and Jenny who live in Edinburgh have also become engaged! This is the second engagement in almost as many weeks for the Lal Family as Rakesh and Geraldine also became engaged very recently. Must be catching!! Very many congratulations and best wishes from us!
More soon................
Jim and Jean (Gina)

Friday, 16 March 2012


----- Original Message -----
From: "Josette & Peter" <jopeter.werk@mail.pf>
To: ZMQ5985, <alan@cutloose.org>
Date: 16 Mar 2012 08:20:00 -0000

-------Message original-------

De : Joe Nemes
Date : 18/02/2012 04:52:10
A : Josette & Peter

When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep
Lee Majors

After marriage, husband and wife become two sides of a coin; they just can't
face each other, but still they stay together.
Al Gore

By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a
bad one, you'll become a philosopher.

Woman inspires us to great things, and prevents us from achieving them.
Mike Tyson

The great question.. which I have not been able to answer... is, "What does
a woman want?
George Clooney

I had some words with my wife, and she had some paragraphs with me.
Bill Clinton

"Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a
restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and
dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays."
George W. Bush

"I don't worry about terrorism. I was married for two years."
Rudy Giuliani

"There's a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic
banking. It's called marriage."
Michael Jordan

"I've had bad luck with all my wives. The first one left me and the second
one didn t. The third gave me more children!
Donald Trump

Two secrets to keep your marriage brimming 1. Whenever you're wrong, admit
it, 2. Whenever you're right, shut up.
Shaquille O Neal

The most effective way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once
Kobe Bryant

You know what I did before I married? Anything I wanted to.
David Hasselhoff

My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.
Alec Baldwin

A good wife always forgives her husband when she's wrong.
Barack Obama

Marriage is the only war where one sleeps with the enemy.
Tommy Lee

A man inserted an 'ad' in the classifieds: "Wife wanted". Next day he
received a hundred letters. They all said the same thing: "You can have mine
Brad Pitt

First Guy (proudly): "My wife's an angel!"
Second Guy: "You're lucky, mine's still alive."
Jimmy Kimmel

Honey, what happened to ladies first ? Husband replies, That s the reason
why the world s a mess today, because a lady went first!
David Letterman

First there s the promise ring, then the engagement ring, then the wedding
ring..soon after....comes Suffer...ing! Jay Leno


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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Bundy 3 weeks on........

My, how time flies. Before continuing we felt that we should clarify an earlier reference to a yacht broker. No, we are NOT contemplating selling the boat; it was just a social meeting as happens all the time in the boating/cruising fraternity.
We've managed to continue with our deck caulking but not getting as much done as we had hoped due to the odd bit of rain and people coming and going with regard to the ongoing sagas of the freezer and watermaker!!! 'Nuff said though on those subjects.
Jean has just come back on board after a shower ashore. She is proudly wearing a pair of pink cotton pyjama pantaloons which she got at a street market for $5 (so extravagant) in Milford during our recent visit to NZ. They look great and oh so sexy walking down the Bundaberg marina!!! Along with that she has as a top a dark blue short wrap around with tassels. The effect is stunning and it's just such a pity she didn't have the pyjamas in Noumea with all the Frenchmen around!! Or wearing the outfit down the Champs Elysee - on second thoughts probably just as well we're in Bundy. 'Nuff said on that subject as well. One more thing - Jim picked up 2 good cotton shirts at Vinnies here in Bundy (recycling shop) for $3.50 ea. intending to use them for our upcoming antifouling but they are so good that some disposable overalls might be the go instead. We could re-outfit ourselves entirely at Vinnies and really cut a dash when we get to Raffles Marina in Singapore!!!
On a more negative note we must make mention of the Noseeums. These nasty little critters are causing us some problems with their biting habits. They are quite toxic and it's taken some time for us to get to grips with the most effective methods of discouragement. They cause septic red welts which itch like crazy and which take days to disappear. However, after some experimentation we have found a cream which helps the itching and a spray which at least seems part way effective in keeping them away. The worst is that you can't generally see them and you don't know you've been bitten until about an hour afterwards. Then it's much too late.
Bundaberg seems to be on a bit of a roll. The sugar cane growing season has been one of the best on record and everyone expects a bumper crop. The harvest begins in June after when we will have departed. There has been some rain but not too much and apparently the price per ton is up too. Not often increased production coincides with higher prices. Not like a local tomato growing outfit which has just recently gone under owing thirty million dollars. Jim should still have his glasshouse property in Mangere - might have made a fortune! - nah, rather be sailing.
We have continued to meet some interesting people - an example is Claus, a German who is in his 80's and who lives on his boat near to us with a small dog. He goes bicycle riding every day in the very early hours and the dog rides in a basket over the back wheel. We go to the Bundaberg Farmer's Market every Sunday morning and the primary attraction at the moment is beautiful very large passion fruit at $2.50 per bag of  6-8. Along with pineapple ($1.50 ea) and very sweet melons there is a cornucopia of fruit. Not so many green vegetables however.
Then there are the staff in the marina office - Sam (Samantha), Emily, Dan and the manager, Geoff. We enjoy the daily encounters and particularly Emily's zany sense of humour. One needs this sort of distraction during these times of such uncertainty. One thing for sure, whatever the concerns are, it's necessary to just get on with one's plans because at our age if we don't.........it's a slippery slope downwards. This time next year, who knows?
The Queensland State elections are fast coming up and it looked as if the LNP (Campbell Newman) was a shoe-in but it now seems that there are serious doubts as to whether he'll win his seat so would be a leader without a seat in the state parliament! Very embarassing!! Labour might be re-elected which seemed almost impossible a month or so ago. Then there are the Federal politics - Julia Gillard is hanging on with a one vote majority - a very fragile position. Looking at NZ politics, we're very sad at what we see. Debilitating strikes at Auckland and plenty of criticism to be levelled at both sides, the ongoing debate about the sale of productive assets offshore - we are adamantly opposed and that was the reason we voted NZ First. Everything seems to come down to money these days and there are very few curbs on commercial excess. It's the same in Oz; huge mining developments with associated ports and the wholesale depositing of dredging spoils within the Great Barrier Reef National Park. No wonder it's in the state it is at the moment and as for the future, it looks bleak indeed. What are we doing to our planet in the name of $$$$$$'s? As an example, at the moment there are some 1700 ship movements through the barrier reef each year but by 2015 it's predicted that there will be over 10,000 p.a. with all the attendant risk that will entail. 
We are hauling out this Thursday (15th.) to antifoul and hopefully won't be out for longer than 5 days. Long enough for a wooden carvel planked boat in this climate. Then back in the water again and maybe time for a quick trip to Fraser is. and back.
Then in mid April we are looking forward hugely to Dennis Bouverie joining us for the sail north - at least as far as Cairns. Maybe further?  Dennis was part of a 3 way partnership back in the 1970's who were the 2nd. owners of Tiare (then "Reflections of Wellington") and who actually launched the old girl in 1978 in Wellington. He is also very excited at renewing his long lost love but hopefully he won't forget his new wife, Rosie who sadly because of work commitments can't be part of the journey north!!
Much more to come............
love from us, Jim and Jean (Gina)

Fw: Tiare Taporo III in Bundaberg

This is a forwarded copy of my email to the supplier of our refrigeration system (Partridge Yachts, Kerikeri, NZ) and also our watermaker (Open Ocean, Opua, Bay of Islands, NZ). It is no surprise that we have not received a reply; one can only suppose that they're scared witless of further incriminating themselves. Mind you they've done a fairly good job of that already and everyone here who works on the problems we have inherited simply shakes their head in disbelief. Not that that is much comfort to us with all the frustration and considerable extra cost. However, we are close to solving the problem with the watermaker  by supplying a replacement high pressure water pump which is at the heart of the system but in the case of the freezer  our fix will only be partially successful because of the fundamental substandard work in constructing the fridge and freezer boxes in the first place. The only solution there is to scrap them entirely and start from scratch but unfortunately we are not made of money and the partial fix will have to do for now.
We are posting these on our blogsite in order that as many people as possible are aware of these cowboys and hopefully will avoid being snared by them in the future.
We have also made contact with a yacht broker who has offices all over Australia and have given them chapter and verse so they will be telling anyone who asks not to touch these two characters with a bargepole.
Apart from that we are still in Bundaberg but getting the decks re-caulked slowly but surely and anticipating leaving here for points north in a month's time. There will be another blog dealing with these far more interesting details in a couple of days - or sooner!!
Cheers for now.........................................

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Jim Donald <tiare_taporo@yahoo.co.nz>
To: "info@partridgeyachts.com" <info@partridgeyachts.com>; "openocean@xtra.co.nz" <openocean@xtra.co.nz>
Sent: Tuesday, 28 February 2012 2:29 PM
Subject: Tiare Taporo III in Bundaberg

I thought you'd both like to know that we are still fixing problems as a direct result of your incompetent work during the Tiare's ill-fated so-called refit at Waipapa in 2007.
A gas leak in the feezer has been getting worse and we are now having to bite the bullet and replace the U shaped cold plate plus the associated piping at a cost which will finish up around AUD800. The installation has been condemned by not only refrigeration experts in NZ, but also here in Australia. The piping seems to have been damaged during the removal and subsequent refitting of the fridge and freezer in an only partially successful attempt to rebuild the cabinets to proper standards. The damage is not repairable. Never mind the fact that the freezer cabinet still does not freeze properly but we also have the gas leakage problem. The two problems are not linked.
And, last but not least, Terry and your shoddiness and dishonesty concerning our watermaker. We now have a replacement STAINLESS STEEL HP pump and needle valve. We are in the process of installing these and have found one more example of your unbelievable shoddy work. In trying to remove the clutch assembly from the old pump we find that you have installed a spacer plate and 4-6 washers as additional spacers, presumably so that the drive puuley would line up with the engine.  But why didn't you just move the pump? The result of this is that 2 grub screws which are necessary to access to remove the clutch are inaccessible so we now have to disassemble the clutch with corresponding difficulty in re-assembly. Just another example of a long list of serious penny pinching problems directly caused by you. I estimate that the cost of the new pump and re-installation will be at least AUD1,500 - not that I have any expectation of you ever behaving honourably and refunding any of our extra costs to say nothing of the very considerable inconvenience and effect on our cruising plans to date.
You can both be sure that I will lose no opportunity to dissuade anyone I come across of ever utilising your very dubious services and I am sure neither will any of the tradesmen we have dealt with since who all without exception condemn these and many other issues arising from the Bay of Islands refit.
Jim Donald