Saturday, 21 July 2012

The run down.......

ok, i am told it s time to start my blog about LAST WORD'S trip north to the Whitsundays
Some particulars first.
CREW comprise Captain Barry Barker, a 57 year old recently retired lawyer  with approx. 7 years large boating experience and someone who is happy to go down into the laz or engine room and fix the latest problem (assuming the latest problem can be properly identified in the first place), ,and Rear Admiral Julie Barker, not retired, but still enjoying playing with jewellery and someone definitely not prepared to visit the laz or engine for any reason ( other than to perhaps load the third fridge with pepsimax ). Other crew will join along the way, for example Ray and Maggie Gent who will sign on as deck hands for food and lodging - plus wine, from Mooloolaba to somewhere north of the Great Sandy Straits. Ray, who just loves big boats,  loves the excitement of the Wide Bay Bar crossing, being an experienced hand at such crossings.

VESSEL  is a Pama built pilothouse motor yacht named LAST WORD. Constructed in 2010 under instruction from PMI ( aka Don Salthouse / Peter MacDonald and Roger Gaskell ) and Barry Barker.
LAST WORD has a water line length of approx. 17.5 m and LOA of 19.7m, a beam of 5.3m and draft of approx. 1.55m, and head clearance to top of steaming light of approx 6.3m with twin Cat C12 705 hp engines , one Onan 17 Kw generator,  one HRO 150l/h watermaker, Wesmar RS600 stabilizers (6 sqf fins) with digital gyro and larger vickers hydraulic pump for slow RPM passagmaking, 1300 l of fresh water, 3800 l of diesel ,  plenty of Raymarine screen and electronic equipment , 80m of 13mm L grade anchor chain and 45 kg Ultra anchor (plus spare anchor and chain).  LAST WORD has two helms (pilothouse and flying bridge ) and  is carrying two tenders ( one 4 m AB  RIB with 60 hp and one 2.6m sirroco fully inflatable with 3 hp). Loaded for the trip north, LAST WORD  weighs approx. 36 tons and has a top speed of approx 24+kts clean. LAST WORD  passagemakes either between 8 and 11 knots (using approx 36 to 55 l/hr combined ) or on the plane at between 13+ and 20 kts, using approx 160 l/hr combined at 1800rpm making approx.15t 16 kts seas depending.

The trip is planned to take approx 5 months. Approx 5 to 6 weeks to arrive at Hamilton Island , three months in the Whitsundays, and a couple of weeks to return home..... is all flexible , and we intend returning home several times during the trip, leaving LAST WORD  where ever.

Capt, Barry has spent the last several months planning the trip, ie buying the necessary publications (the 2 Alan Lucas books and the hundred magic miles , plus the paper charts ( approx 15 required ) , beacon to beacon for parts of the trip, a book on understanding chats and the Navionics platinum flash card for the satelite pics and tide info.
Of course we have plenty of parts for mechanical breakdowns ( assuming it is the standard parts that play up ) and spare props for the tender  (and castle nuts in case i drop one when changing the prop ) , impellers, oils, coolant,  filters (including for the watermaker), anodes , medical etc.
I have additional flares, spare portable VFH and grab bag to go, (with heat sack - and solar panel for heating -  for the Rear Admiral , in case we have to spend several days adrift).

The first leg was on Saturday 14th July 2012, from STGMBC on the Georges River Kogarah , Botany Bay to Bobbin Head where LAST WORD  will be lifted and cleaned for the rest of the trip. The cleaning cost should pay for itself with the saving in fuel.

The trip took 5 hours at approx 9 knots ( opening to WOT every 90 mins or so , for approx 5 to 8 mins ). The seas were about 0.5m and there was a north westerly headwind gusting 10 to 20 knots.

i was accompanied by Bruce Hald and Phillip Ralph (in place of the Rear Admiral who insisted on beading at home ) and it was best described as a 12 beer trip

We arrived at 3.00pm Saturday afternoon and slipped LAST WORD  into berth F19, gave her a quick clean and left to return home until Monday 16th when LAST WORD  will be lifted and cleaned.
Monday 16th July i will report on the lift out and clean.

Wind and seas are looking unfavourable for starting our trip in the next week , so the crew may look for something to do in the meantime.

Be back soon.


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