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update from the bridge of gaiasdream

Update from the bridge of GaiasDream

With a series of lows rolling across the base of Australia, I decided to leave for the first leg of the Pacific voyage on the back of a large low-pressure system last Wednesday. Sailing out of Pittwater past the heads I was greeted by an angry sea and a 3-4 m swell. Coastal advisories were in place for dangerous swells and I soon found myself broad reaching into a messy swell. GaiasDream was handling it well and I was particularly pleased that the recently added davit for carrying the dingy along-aside was working well with only occasional wash coming onto the dingy.

A few miles offshore, and having suffered a number of jarring impacts from beam-on waves, I looked down an saw some ball-bearings on the deck. My first thought was that these ball-bearings must have come from my sons sling shot, but then shortly after I saw some more ball-bearings and realized they were coming from the base of the mast, which I had packed with ball-bearings to enable the mast to shunt along the track. I thought I had engineered the track and ball-bearing system to withstand three times the expected maximum force so seeing ball-bearings on the deck sounded alarm bells for me. A quick investigation revealed a broken bearing casing and I could confirm that the ball bearings were coming out of the bottom of my mast.

At this point there was no way to tell whether the broken ball bearings were due to a weakness in the material or due to un-anticipated stress. However I was immediately aware that if enough ball bearings failed, then I would not be able to move the mast, and that would leave me literally stuck. reluctantly I realized I needed to turn back and immediately set preparing to shunt and return back to Pittwater. Luckily the shunt went smoothly and I  made it back inside the heads and made it back to the mooring.

The positive news was that despite heavy seas that would have severely puts the brakes on a mono-hull, Gaiasdream performed well easily reaching speeds of  11 knots in winds of  14 knots hard on the wind. She is a fast stable craft, even in heavy seas and is easy to handle, even singlehanded. the new challenge is redoing the calculations for the ball-bearing system and replacing and modifying the  ball-bearing system to ensure they do not fail under load. This will require lifting the mast and with our  22 meter mast that is no small challenge. This will happen this coming week.  At the same time we will do some other minor modifications. After this small refit we will do some sea trails to make sure things are fixed and up to it. We will keep you updated for the new departure time for pacific project.

mast car

mast car

 

broken bearing

broken bearing

Jun 11

voyage

Because of an illness of my son Joshua, gaiasdream’s departure has been delayed.
The new departure is set for early next week around the 18th of June, weather depending.
Preparations are in full swing, among lots of other things, I did an success full HF radio check with yacht “spice” which is 500M away, witch will tomorrow depart Bundaberg Australia bound for Fiji.
I will be sailing single handed bound for the Kingdom of Tonga, where I will take on a crew for the rest of the voyage. More updates soon.

Jun 01

pacific proa adventure project

Gaiasdream and me,
are all most ready for the trip, today we did the big shop which is always fun buying food in bulk to last us at least for the next 6 weeks.
We also have 400 liters of veggie oil on board to run the main engine, and 32 liters of ethanol for the stove. I have ordered some sun and wind from the right direction to supply the electricity and main propulsion for the boat.
Weather depending we will be departing this week.

Mar 20

Latest sea trials of Gaiasdream.

Today I took gaiasdream out single handed to try out the new modifications.

The spreaders have been modified to face more aft to solve a number of issues. Witch worked really well.

Also There was a risk of she main sheets getting caught on the new davit, it turned out to be no problem at all.

We tried out the davit as well, while Gaiasdream was under autopilot doing 6.5 knots my son Joshua came alongside in Aquarius the blue fast boat I built for him with a top speed of 23knots.

Hooked up the towing and hoisting lines and then lifted it clear of the water, it was extremely easy and worked really well, the dingy is high enough above the water to keep there on an ocean voyage.

This is a great asset, not many yachts can deploy there dingies while under way and at short notice.

All in all a great day on the water!

 

Mar 17

Our new tender davit

Gaiasdream has another improvement, with each step we get more ready for the voyage.

tender davitThis week we have added a davit to hoist boats out of the water and were they can stay while we are at sea, since its on the leeward side of the main hull its away from potential waves hitting the boat. This position also makes it possible to raise and lower the dingy while we are under way. The only draw back is the main sheets can get caught on the dingy, but I have put some things in place to stop that from happening.

the new davit

 

Mar 03

Record Breaking Summer

Australia has officially just had  its hottest summer on record, and one that has broken a number of other records for floods, rainfall and heat. Australia made the news worldwide for adding extra colours to the weather map and here on Gaiasdream, we are still waiting for a calm and dry weekend to get the lazy-jacks back on after Ini took the spreaders off to modify them. The one plus is that the rainwater catching system works a treat and we have two full tanks of freshwater and can take lots of long hot showers.

 

Jan 21

Electrics and Sydney heat wave

Last week there was a 45 degree heat wave in Sydney.

Gaiasdream for the first time ever hat an electronics problem as that is in, we almost run out of electricity despite it was a nice sunny day for the solar panels.

The cause was because it was sooo hot the fridge could not cope and was running continuously for almost 24 hours on top of our normal electricity usage.

This illustrates on a small scale what happens in the normal electricity net, with every ones fridges and air-conditioners running.

Lesson learnt for me and every one else, change the settings on your fridge on really hot days and reduce electricity usage as much as possible.

In the end of the day the energy needs to come from some where.

 

Dec 31

up coming feature

Happy holidays and happy new year for all the Gaiasdream friends and followers.

A Christmas present for me was a great 7 page spread in Australian multihull world magazine.

Written by my close friend Simon Bradshaw.

It is in the new January February issue.

Looking forward to keeping you posted with news of our adventures in the new year.

Dec 23

testing the new equipment

new wheels and autopilot

Had a great day on the ocean today, trying out the new equipment, rudders, wheels and autopilot.
It all worked like a dream. Gaiasdream is so much easier to sail and shunt now. The autopilot keeps a razor sharp course even when we did 15 knots on a broad reach. Shunting is also much quicker now. One shunt was so quick the girlfriend had her up to 7 knots when I looked up from finishing of the ropes.

All in in all, a great day and a great result, worth all the hard work of the modifications.

Happy Holidays to everyone and hope you have a safe and fun time

Dec 16

Annual haul out

looks like the boat is levitating

steel support frame

gaiasdream above the beach in morning bay

Gaiasdream had her annual haul-out these last few days.
She was on the beach for 3 days, sitting on steel frames to get access to her bottom, and now has a nice new coat of antifouling.
Also the topsides of the small hull had a new coat of paint.

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