capt log #1 2010

Well here we are back in Australia, as usual a lot of repair and prep before we can leave for the season. As always the stabilizers are the number one thing on the list. Last year I had pulled the starboard stabilizer off and told the ship right company to cut it open and see what was inside, the banging had to stop. A couple months later I received e-mail showing broken welds within the fin,.$2,600.00 later the fin now looks like new.

Rick Hammond arrived from Florida to help me get Special Blend together and do some Island hopping. I don’t think he knew what was in store for him. Rick arrived on a Wednesday and we installed both stabilizer fins with new seals and bearings, reworked sensing system on starboard side, waxed hull, cleaned bottom, and applied new bottom paint along with new zincs and was ready to launch on Monday. (see picture of how I felt).

For the next week we did other smaller jobs, martha shopped for supplies, and we all did some tourist things. If you come to Brisbane, go to Steve Erwin’s Australian Zoo, When the 16 ft Croc charges from under water, onto land and chases the man dangling a chicken, the trip is “paid for” right then. I wonder what a chicken dangler is paid in Australia and where do they recruit these guys?

We are now half way along on a 1000 mile passage to Vanuatu. Seas have been fantastic (flat), thus far. Some weather moving in behind us , but we could make landfall in New Caledonia on Sunday if we need to.

We are headed to Resolution Bay on the Island of Tanna where I hope to introduce Rick to my namesake “little Jim”, We also hope to defy the odds and stand on the rim of the Volcano “just one more time”.