Saturday, 12 May 2012

Sailing 101

Sailing is all about Teamwork.    Last week Neil was an invited guest speaker at Space Matrix management conference in Singapore.  His topic was the power of teamwork, using Sailing as the example.  Sailing 101 is the title - what a buzz. The event was held at One Degree 15 Marina Club, our old home in Singapore.

While introducing sailing skills he challenged the audience with knot tying skills - and the results were hilarious.  How many architects does it take to tie a bowline ?  Actually quite a few got it right !

Of course our cruising anecdotes became vivid examples of teamwork in action, and the one hour presentation concluded with a marina tour.  The audience were able to inspect the classic cruising boat SV Sunrise (thanks to Robert Goh) and the hot shot racer Yoo Zoo (thanks Ludde Ingvalls) before admiring motor yacht MV Blue Steel (thanks Rod Steel).  25 people from Singapore, India, Thailand and Dubai had a hell of a time, and the party after the conference wasn't bad either.  Need a team oriented motivational talk ?  Call us !

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Wi-Fi Onboard

Staying connected to the internet is important these days, and most cruising sailors have exactly the same needs as their land locked brothers.  We all want web access and email, and then there are Facebook & Twitter, online shopping, video downloads, chart updates etc etc.

Some years back we wrote about a simple hi-power Wi-Fi transceiver that worked well onboard Crystal Blues, but things have now changed.

Rogue Wave Wi-Fi Transceiver
There is a new kid on the block - the Rogue Wave from Wave WiFi - and it is a significant improvement over previous technologies for those who live on boats (or RV's, camper vans, etc).  We learned about the unit on the great Panbo website, but have only recently purchased and installed, once we had committed to leaving Singapore.

Using this thing is a revolution - imagine turning on the wi-fi connection and finding more than 50 hotspots to chose from (thats not going to happen everywhere, but you get my drift ...).  Or imagine connecting reliably to your favourite hotspot from more than 3 kilometres away ....while the boat is swinging at anchor, with no fancy directional antennas or complexity. Finally, think about one transceiver providing internet to all your on-board devices - from notebook PC's to iPads, smart phones and internet TV's. That's the promise, and (mostly) the reality delivered by the Rogue Wave.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Boat Marooned Again

To me, it only seems like yesterday that we were on the hardstand at Boat Maroon, oops Boat Lagoon, in Phuket Thailand.  We had great "welcome home" from the marina staff and all the locals, from supermarket checkout chicks to Mumma, our favourite lunch time chef.   Even the yard sweeper welcomed us back in her halting Thainglish!

In reality there were 28 months between our launch and our haul out a few weeks back. A lot of water has passed under our keel during this time and along the way we started an underwater farm on the propeller.

So now we're "hauled out on the hard", lavishing Crystal Blues with loads of TLC and hard yakka, lubricated with rivers of sweat. We have had a start-stop-start-stop time on the hard.  Start - the hull is wet sanded down.  Stop - our contractor is too busy, so we start on painting the starboard side of the saloon ourselves.  Stop -  back home to Williamstown for a quick family visit. Start - finish painting the saloon.  Stop - our contractor is still too busy to work on the hull.  We will get there .....

Chasing Our Tails?

Ley is teaching H how to play the drums on the iPad.          The boys enjoying french fries from McDonalds
Our Melbourne visit was hectic, charged with emotion and filled with family joy.  Ley's father's sudden heart attack and subsequent hospitalization caused us all a bit of worry, but a week later Dad emerged from the hospital feeling better than he had for the last 12 months.

Our gorgeous grandson, Harrison kept us all on our toes.  With his help we shifted yards of soil, built storage shelves and a work bench, baked bread, cooked for family dinners and enjoyed special early morning cuddles and Shaun the Sheep videos on YouTube.  Neil then flew to Dallas, via Singapore, Tokyo and Chicago for a specialist conference with AMX.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Our contractor finally turned up yesterday. Armed with our trusty Dremel we attended to five tiny little painted areas that required a little warranty work. He managed to get two coats of epoxy paint on the work areas and then the sky opened up. At sunset it was all fine again, so another coat of Jotamastic 87 was applied.  Hope someone turns up tomorrow?

 It appears that the monsoon is changing now, a little early.  The wind is prevailing westerly, and gusting to 20 knots at times.  If it moderates we'll anti-foul the boat next week.