Dec 02

GaiasDream has two new steering wheels

Instead of the tillers I have built and installed a set of steering wheels which are working very nicely.

We took GaiasDream for a spin today to refill the tanks with water in the marina.
She is now amazingly easy to steer with the bigger rudders and shunting is much easier to with the new wheels, especially when we go ‘back wards” into the marina.

Most yachts that have two wheels have them side by side. On GaiasDream the wheels are at each end of the yacht, which clearly confuses people as they sail past the mooring, but most seem to work it out eventually.

The next item due for an upgrade is the auto-pilot. The plan is to get a more powerful system installed before Christmas and I am now just waiting for the parts.

This week I will take her for a spin under sail, can’t wait….

Nov 25

NEW WORLD SAILING SPEED RECORD

Congratulations to Australian Paul Larsen in setting the new world sailing speed record at 59 knots or 109 Km per hour. I’m sure here in OZ they would have given him a speeding ticket!

Well done Paul!

It was great to have Paul visit Gaiasdream a few months ago and it is wonderful to see him achieve his dream and an example of perseverance paying off.

If you are interested in checking out his record breaking run, have a look at http://www.sailrocket.com/

Nov 18

Explorers club talk

Last Tuesday evening I had the chance to share my stories and outline my proposed expeditions with a group of fellow explorers. Thanks to an invitation from Chris Bray, I had been asked to give a talk at the Australian and New Zealand chapter of the Explorers Club. The special guest speaker was John Cantor who talked about his traverse of the Brooks Ranges in Alaska, solo considered to be one of the toughest solo expeditions of its kind..The other speakers included myself, Chris Bray and Jess Taunton who talked about their trip through the north west passage in a wooden junk- rigged yacht, complete with close encounters with polar bears and arctic fox cubs and our friend Dave Pryce, talking about the crazy re-enactment of the Bounty voyage, a very long-trip in a very small boat. The talks were held in an inspiring location, the Boat Shed in Balmoral and it was a great night, with a delicious BBQ looking out over Balmoral beach, and we met lots of inspiring people. For me it was a trip down memory lane as we had anchored in Balmoral when I arrived in Sydney ten years before and had to find ice cream at 6 am for my son Joshua, which was our tradition when coming into a new port. Chris and Jess are now off to the Galapagos and we look forward to hearing their stories and videos when they get back.

Oct 27

new rudders and wheel progress

new wheels

the beginning of a wheel

extension of rudders

rudders almost finished


Work is progressing on Gaiasdream.
The rudders are almost finished, it will give us 25% more surface area, and I expect 30% more maximum lift from the new rudders.
It should make it easier to balance the boat under sail, and give us more control at slow speeds.
The wheels are progressing nicely too.

It still will be a while before the new wheel system will be installed, because it also means we have to use different autopilot drives.
Both of these, will be a major upgrade for Gaiasdream.

Gaiasdream is planned to go on the beach for her annual anti-fouling in the next few weeks.
If you are in the Sydney area, contact me if you want to help.

Oct 21

Octopus Safari

Oct 21

October up date

Hello, the last couple of months have been busy and currently we are doing a small refit and modifications based on lessons learned.

The rudders are being enlarged, to have more control at slower speeds.

And we are moving from a tiller system to wheel steering to make it easier to shunt.

This will also mean an upgrade for the autopilot drive system.

 

In order to allow even more sponsors to support the trip, and to fine-tune the boat, we have postponed the round the world trip till next year.

 

Over the summer we have two trips planed, and will be posting more info about them shortly.

 

Ini

Aug 05

Strange wild-life happenings

It has been an interesting week for wildlife in Pittwater. First a New Zealand fur seal showed up at the dog-walking park in Bayview http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/seal-seen-resting-at-bayview/ then a 11 m 30 ton humpback whale carcass was discovered in the rock swimming baths at Newport beach http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2012/08/01/3558073.htm The sub-adult male had died a few days before but the high tides and rough seas had washed the body into the pool.

 

On the boating side of things, I downscaled considerably and sailed my Girlfriend’s boat Eric up from Sydney. Eric, a 28 ft stretch stella 40 year old wooden boat, spent a night rafted up along-asides Gaiasdream and is now on a mooring nearby awaiting a new coat of anti-fouling.

 

Erik along side gaiasdream

Jul 26

New wind generator

On the weekend I in stalled the new Silent Wind wind generator. Its very quite it makes a zooming noise but nothing annoying like some of the other marine wind generators. It will be a major help with our electricity needs as it charges the batteries 24 hours a day when we are sailing. It has been sponsored by Silent Wind’s dealer in Australia – Wolfgang Salinger. www.silentwind.com.au

Jul 22

How it all works. Part 1 – my rainwater catcher

With less than three months before Gaiasdream sets off for her world-first circumnavigation, I thought it’s about time I told you more about some of the boat’s special features, starting with one of the many environmentally friendly technologies I’ve installed.

Water is always a challenge for long distance sailors. Many modern yachts carry a “watermaker” that turn seawater into drinking water. But these are expensive, use a lot of energy, and require maintenance.

One thing Gaiasdream has is lots of is space. I rigged up a special system to catch rain water from the roof of the main cabin and pipe it directly into the boat’s main water tanks. Whenever it starts raining I simply wait till the rain has rinsed any salt and grime from the roof and then open a valve to start collecting the rainwater.

For each 1mm of rain I collect 11 litres of water. Which means it only takes a few Sydney cloudbursts to fill the tank.

And unlike the energy-intensive water heaters in many houses, my hot water system recycles heat from Gaiasdream’s veggie-oil powered engine. So after a good downpour and a few mins of running the engine it’s guilt-free hot showers all round!

 

Jul 15

Aquarius – our new dinghy!

Hi, JJ here. I’m Ini’s son and a crew member on Gaiasdream. My dad recently built a very interesting new dinghy. Today I decided to put it through its paces. I strapped our GoPro camera to the hull to show you how it performs. Let me know what you think!

 

 

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