Friday, 3 May 2013

Welcome Home To Yacht Haven - Animal Farm

Fish, Lizards, Snakes & Rats

After four weeks away it was good for both Ley and I to be back on board.  It had been a stressful month.  We arrived home to find rat poop on the deck, so the marina provided rat traps and bait, and sure enough we caught the culprits by the nearest rubbish bins (one reason many marinas don't provide bins on the docks).

As usual the propeller, shaft and thru-hulls needed cleaning.  The shellfish growth here is incredibly fast - it took 2 hours to scrape clean the propeller and shaft, which had last been cleaned only 12 weeks before.

Crystal Blues has a single large (1.5") thru-hull that delivers sea water to several services, including the water cooled refrigeration and the air conditioning system.  The constant flow of warm, nutrient filled water means we also need to clean the intake pipe and hoses quite regularly.  It doesn't seem to be a problem in cooler climates and clear water, but here in the warm silty water at Yacht Haven the little devils grow thick and fast.

Whilst cleaning I had constant company from a growing school of beautiful tropical fish, all chomping on the growth I was removing.

What I didn't see (until later) is that there are larger creatures in the water here, like our friend at left.  This water monitor was resting on our fenders yesterday, oblivious to us watching through the port-light from our navigation station.

Last night the critter was even bigger - we stopped and watched a 3 meter reticulated python cross the road at the marina entrance and disappear into the trees above our pathway home. 

What next ?   If only we could get the lizard to eat the shell fish and the snake to eat the rats for us .... but lets not go there, we've had three snakes on board Crystal Blues over the years, and three is enough.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Vale Ray Worrall, 1921 - 2013

My father in law Ray Worrall passed away on April 16th. That's him in the yellow jacket, sailing aboard Shamrock back in 2006. 

He loved boats, loved sailing, and really loved his fishing.  Ray was a glorious man who helped others and gave endlessly.  In his retirement he eventually worked part time in the workshop at my business, where he was best mates with my father Dean, and a friend to all our team.  Ray encouraged us to always do the best job, never to accept second rate, and to value our own work and contributions.  He brightened our lives at work.

Ray treated me like a son from day one, and welcomed me into his family.  It is a privilege to have shared in his life.  Neil.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Whitby Harbour - Living Sailing History

The River Esk, Whitby Harbour
In Whitby, the locals say there are three ways of doing things - the right way, the wrong way, and the Whitby way.  The latter way seems to be enthusiastic, friendly, and sailing mad !

Whitby Yacht Club Pontoon
Captain James Cook earned his apprenticeship here in Whitby, serving on a range of vessels in his early sailing life.  Cook's later voyages of discovery were remarkable, including the charting of the eastern Australian coast.  His early masters residence is now the Captain Cook Museum in Whitby, and it was this connection that brought the traveling Langford clan to North Yorkshire.

Whitby Yacht Club View
My father Dean was keen to see the port and the museum, so on we came. Whitby Yacht Club (who have the best harbour view in town) gave us a very warm welcome, as did the friendly Port Controller and marina staff.  This place is tailor made for sailors - and for fisherman. We enjoyed their hospitality.