Welcome to Zenitude’s blog where you can follow us while we travel slow in our Lagoon catamaran. We update this blog frequently when we are cruising to let family and friends know where we are. Check the complete story of our adventures that started in 2006 when Zenitude became our home and cruising our way of life. Graciela and Oscar

Saturday, 31 May 2014

On the Move Again - In Mooloolaba

It was a hectic week but finally we decided we were ready to leave Gold Coast City Marina. It is such a great marina that we are sure we'll come back there, most probably at the end of this sailing season.

The weather looked good and we left the marina around noon. The tide was going out so we had a quick run on the Coomara River for the 11 miles up to the Cold Coast Seaway. Out through the seaway we found a choppy sea until we reached deeper waters. It was a thrill to open the new sails and check that they are actually good and working much better and easier than our old ones, at least on the great downwind run we had for this trip. The upgrade of navigation instruments and software was great too so far, things working fine together, except for the AIS that now and then was losing power and needed to be restarted. There was a lot of ship movement along the night as Brisbane is a busy port, the AIS makes navigating in a busy area much safer and a lot easier. 

We did a fast run until sunset when we decided to reef sails and slow down as it was no point to arrive before dawn. Right after sunrise, in the early morning hours the wind became very light and dead in the back so we decided to motor for the last 5 miles of the trip and then is when things got really interesting. We started port engine, and soon found out there was not water coming out, not good. Stopped port and started starboard one, same situation! What was going on? We were 5 miles from the coast, no wind and no engines. Luckily there was no current either so we were just drifting very slowly and wondering what to do next. 

Oscar had just changed the impellers in the Gold Coast and went on to check them, unbelievable but the new impellers had almost disintegrated! Changed impellers again and we were on our way, 1 hour later entering Mooloolaba bar and finding peace in the nice river anchorage. By 10.00 AM we were happily resting thinking we have still work ahead of us, but that will be left for Monday. 

If you know how a new impeller looks, what do you think of this one after 2 hours of use? Now in the mission to discover why this happened.

The trip in pictures:
Leaving Gold Coast behind
Out to sea through Gold Coast Seaway

Sunrise at sea

New main sail on second reef

Entering Mooloolaba



Friday, 16 May 2014

Ready to Go? Almost, but it's a Soccer World Cup Year

Almost all projects finished now. Navigation system is working, just need a sea trial with the vendor, all electrical work done, new sails are installed, only needing some adjustments which we think we better do at anchor somewhere nice rather than at the docks where we can't face the wind. The wind generator is fixed, engine maintenance half way (one engine done, one engine to go) and the list goes on but much shorter now.

The wind generator and a rainbow

The new sails installed and another rainbow

Fridge Door - Before
After - Happy with my new painting skills

But this is a 'Soccer World Cup' year and it requires another project that is not quite complete yet: TV Antenna. Last soccer world cup we were in Fakarava and Toao, Toamotus. When the timing of the games allowed we used to go to a resort for breakfast and watch the game there, when the game was in the middle of the night then Oscar would ride the dinghy to the beach and walk around town to one of the local houses where people would gather to watch the game. It was not the best of arrangements and Oscar decided this year he wants to watch on Zenitude, no matter the time. This requires a TV antenna, a new little (?) project. We now have the antenna, the structure to mount it and all the cables, just need to put it all together and install it somewhere high enough to get good reception.

At the beginning of this month Booker and Dave from Tortuguita arrived from the US. We met them in Grenada, Caribbean, many years ago and had sailed together many times in many different places. They crossed the Pacific last year and we are lucky this year they are going North the same way we are. Tortuguita is also a catamaran and is here at GCCM, still on dry. Dave and Booker working to get her ready for the season. It's great to have them around, and very handy too, as Dave has a load of knowledge on how to fix things around the boat, but the best are the pizza nights at the local club after a hard day's work.



Saturday, 3 May 2014

Raymarine Upgrade - Dreaming of wireless technology

We are almost done with the Raymarine upgrade, at least we managed to complete the hard part, the cables nightmare. The 2 days we estimated for the task took double the time, we even had to call a welder to make a hole in one of the stainless steel tubes to be able to remove the old Radar cable that got stuck inside.  And that was just the beginning, we wonder where is wireless technology up to for marine navigation systems. Now we are waiting for Raymarine reps to complete the connections and software upgrades, hoping to have it all working in a couple of days.

In the meantime we had a seacock valve failure and had to be lifted again to install a new one. Once more, we are extremely grateful to the staff in the marina that lifted us at the end for their working day, let us 'hanging' in the travel lift for the night and put us back in the water next morning. The weather gave us a break as well as it was pouring rain all day except when we needed to move the boat, which mainly kept us dry. 

Then we discovered that our wind generator blades got damaged in the big hail storm during last Summer, adding to the list of things that needs replacing.  

So, slowly progressing with our tasks but at the same time enjoying the Gold Coast. We find this area quite good for boat work, everything you need is available and in general services are good and reasonable priced. Generally.

The new radar in place

Installing the new chart plotter
The cables mess behind the nav station, it needs tidying up

Our friends Kristina and Phil from Songline live here in Brisbane. Songline was sold some time ago and now they have a beautiful home. We met in San Blas, Panama and crossed the Canal for the first time with them in Songline, Zenitude's sister ship. We visited last weekend, it was great to catch up with them.