One More Year…..of Make Believing.
It doesn’t seem like twelve months ago that we had to make the hard decision to leave our cruising life and return to the hard facts of reality (running out of money will do that to you). So we made a short stop in Santo, Vanuatua, on the way home to catch up with Rehua, one of our cruising buddies who have become very good friends, enjoyed a short stay with them and then headed home to face reality.
I must say that having been out of the mainstream for two and a half years it was quite a shock to the system. Having to put shoes on was a major task let along having to promptly turn up for work at a specific time. I could just tell this wasn’t going to be a lot of fun but, if we wanted to get back out there it was something we just needed to do. And so you do it living vicariously through your friends who are still cruising.
When we bought Toucan we spent quite a bit of time in Annapolis rebuilding many of the systems on the boat and upon returning we thought it might be a good time to touch up a few things that needed doing. As always things don’t quite turn out the way you thought.
On our way back to Oz we noticed that our Port bilge seemed to be collecting a fair amount of water. After the all important taste test we determined that it was fresh water. A small relief – at the worst our bilge would be collecting 800 litres of fresh water that we could pump out. After much checking we determined that the port water tank was leaking. Toucan is a production boat so I don’t think designers think too much about what problems might occur, let alone how you go about fixing them. So it was with great trepidation that I removed the surrounding panels then disassembled the wardrobe to access the tank. It was even more amazing when I measured the width of the tank and the doorway to discover after taking the door off we had 2mm to spare and therefore didn’t have to cut a hole in the deck which I assumed we may have had to do. Out with the old in with the new. First job down!
On our way home we stopped off at Huon Reef to swim and dive with the turtles that gather there during the breeding season and as Di reported we had a turtle destroy our dinghy. After six months of surviving with our temporary “el cheapo” replacement we finally bit the bullet and purchased a new Highfield 3.4 metre RIB. Of course with a new RIB came the need for a new motor as our old 15hp was finally biting the dust. We now have a Ferrari people mover as the 25/30hp outboard pushes us along rather quickly and scares the pants off me.
So while we were in replacement mode there were a couple of other issues that needed addressing. Our portable freezer really wasn’t cutting it – so out with the old…in with the new upright 95 litre purpose built freezer. Of course now we needed to drive both of our fridge units without the need for motors or generators so we installed four new solar panels giving us 960 watts. Now we’re heading in the right direction, might start selling some of that power back to the grid to cover these minor updates!
As Xmas was upon us and the entire family were gathering on Toucan for the odd slice of ham and bottle of beer we thought a little sprucing up was needed so a new coat of paint throughout the interior was applied and now the old girl is ready to tackle the festive season. One year down and one to go, bring it on!