Duplicat's Diary

Since arrival..
by Rick at 04:38:11, 2022-06-09 (day 2958)
Clearing into Fiji was a somewhat slow affair, but I’m used to island time, so we relaxed, had breakfast, took the boat into the western (new) lagoon for COVID testing, then had lunch and awaited the rest of officialdom.Once cleared (and we had to wave goodbye to all our poultry products unfortunately), we took a berth in the new lagoon to recover, reprovision, get data sims, all the usual post-arrival stuff. We may even have had a couple of beers to celebrate the successful passage…So we’
Windy last few hours!
by Rick at 12:39:45, 2022-06-07 (day 2956)
We had quite a windy last afternoon, and yet another chinese boat that ignores collision regulations, forcing us to avoid them.However, we’re now safely inside the reef at the main island of Fiji and have a couple of hours of motoring to do to the quarantine anchorage for Vuda Marine. We’re tidying up a few things on the boat as we go and will get our head down as soon after the anchor hits the sand as possible!
Day 11
by Rick at 03:32:03, 2022-06-07 (day 2956)
The sailing has been great and we’ve been doing some great speeds. Wind picked up a bit this morning and we’ve been up in the 7 to 8 knots range for most of the day. Reefed a bit as the sea state picked up. The wind is staying determinedly more E than SE, so we’ve still got it ahead of the beam for now, and we’re picking up quite a bit of salty spray. Hey ho.The great news is that we’ll be in the pass through the reef around midnight, or even a bit before. Then its about 18nm to the an
Day 10
by Rick at 04:26:32, 2022-06-06 (day 2955)
Just after last nights blog, we hooked a nice yellowfin tuna. Alas, it got free from us as I was trying to bleed it - so some shark has been lucky! In fact one shark had already had a go - a cookie cutter shark had taken a disk from it whilst it was on the line. And yes, a cookie cutter shark is really a dog fish…So a bit sore from losing the tuna and a bit bored of motorsailing, we continued on into the night. A couple of times we tried sailing but the angle was too tight, or it shifted and w
Day 9
by Rick at 04:10:43, 2022-06-05 (day 2954)
Its been a continuation of the motoring in the light winds. What wind there has been, has been too tight to sail without missing Fiji. We’d rather keep our banked east in the pot so that when we turn for Fiji, if the wind isn’t as forecast, we’ll still make the pass through the reef.So today we did a number of little jobs that needed calmer seas. Though this morning it was a bit lively, the swell settled down and its been a very comfortable, if a little soporific afternoon. We made some al
Day 8
by Rick at 05:17:01, 2022-06-04 (day 2953)
Last night was pretty uneventful - starting with the screecher, then we swapped to the genoa as the wind increased. Made pretty good miles. Still haven’t seen another boat since the chinese fishing fleet and a container ship sometime back (Monday?).Today, the winds trended lighter and we ended up putting the genoa away and motoring on one engine. That gave me chance to make up our mezze feast I’d been thinking about. The sourdough pita breads worked well, with each one fully puffing so we’
500nm to go..
by Rick at 01:41:39, 2022-06-04 (day 2953)
2/3s done, 1/3rd to go. Not much out here today, and its pretty calm and flat
Its all about the numbers
by Rick at 08:38:24, 2022-06-03 (day 2952)
When we left the Gold Coast, with a 10-12 day trip ahead of us, its not possible to get an accurate forecast for the whole route. Beyond 5 days and things become harder to forecast - more of a lottery. You think your can see patterns, but often they surprise you.I don’t like surprises, particularly not weather ones. So I’ve been downloading a GRIB file of weather data for the whole area we’ll cover morning and night. We knew about the windy front when we left, but with that rough came the
Day 7
by Rick at 05:06:24, 2022-06-03 (day 2952)
Its been an eventful day. We had computer problems in the night with the navigation computer. This isn’t essential but its a nice to have, so I swapped the disk over to another computer that we have handy and got things going again. As well as sharing all the navigation and AIS information between all our devices, this computer also handles the satellite link and records our journey.After that disturbed night, and with such calm conditions, we decided it was time to sort out the bowsprit. I ha
Its all about the angle
by Rick at 11:07:06, 2022-06-02 (day 2951)
What seems like an entirely different age ago, I was sailing from New Caledonia (which is due north of us now) to Fiji. It had been hard on the wind to New Cal from Australia (in fact, we had to put 1 tack in to make the pass), and then again hard on the wind from New Cal to Fiji.That time, the course was 64degrees true. The wind was a moderate SE tradewind, so quite tight, but doable and it was much more comfortable than the leg to New Cal.From our current position, if we aimed direct at Fij
Day 6
by Rick at 04:42:18, 2022-06-02 (day 2951)
Day 6, and its much the same. In fact on last nights watches, neither of us touched the wheel, controls or saw anything else. Totally boring - we’re out here alone and the wind was nice and consistent! The upside was we made some good miles and boring is always good on a boat so far from land.Today will see us pass the halfway mark, with 750nm to go, and we’re just about 500nm to our waypoint where we turn for the run in as the trades establish. The actual route changes a bit each day as we
by Rick at 06:29:14, 2022-06-01 (day 2950)
First sunset of the trip that’s been worth photographing. Spectacular!
Day 5
by Rick at 04:51:56, 2022-06-01 (day 2950)
After the front passed yesterday, things calmed down and we sailed the night under genoa alone. Peter had to contend with a bunch of Chinese fishing boats on his watch, all milling around the Australian marine boundary. Once through those, his watch was simple. I saw a container ship on mine but it was way behind us and never an issue. Other than that, the watches were easy. I was very tired on my first watch, but fine on the second after my 3hrs sleep. So far, we’re managing pretty well on th
Day 4
by Rick at 05:13:56, 2022-05-31 (day 2949)
The night was quite lively with the wind steadily building as the front approached. The sea state followed the wind and it meant not much sleep was had as things were moving a lot (and lots of waves slamming into the hulls).The mornings weather forecast showed that we’d not managed to outrun the front, and it was due during the day. We carried on under a very reefed genoa, until Peter woke me at 12:15pm and suggested I may want to see this. The radar was very angry and red, and you could see t
Day 3
by Rick at 03:14:16, 2022-05-30 (day 2948)
Overnight was quite windy, until my second watch when the wind eased as did the sea state. I shook out the first reef, then all reefs in the genoa. However the wind continued to drop.We opted to replace the genoa with the screecher - but as we started to unfurl the screecher, the shackle failed (seems that even though the pin was moused with wire, it had come undone!). We furled the sail, and lashed the bowsprit up (as the same pin holds the bobstay attached to the top of the sprit). We have a s
Day 2
by Rick at 05:07:16, 2022-05-29 (day 2947)
We had some rain overnight, and periods of very light winds in between the squalls, but we kept up with the sail changes and engines on/off to keep making progress.Today has been a much nicer day. Champagne downwind sailing, still under just headsail but making pretty nice progress. We’re taking a slightly more northerly course now, but will come a bit further south when the blow comes though on Tuesday. After that, we’ll see where we are - but its beginning to look like we don’t need to g
And away we go…
by Rick at 05:30:30, 2022-05-28 (day 2946)
After a last minute speed fix on my toilet tank pump, we were ready for the off. At 6:45am we lifted the anchor and made our way down towards Southport Yacht Club. Our first port of call was the diesel pump where we put in 160litres at A$2.23/litre. A small motorboat was on the pontoon, but he moved back to the petrol side as he just wanted petrol (which seemed to have run out and explains why we found it slow taking fuel for the dinghy the other day). A large motorboat came in as we were finish
Almost ready
by Rick at 01:27:35, 2022-05-27 (day 2945)
We’re in the countdown to leaving Australia! A few last jobs are underway, and we’re busy making water to fill the tank. Tomorrow morning, we’ll go and fill up with diesel (will report back on price) and then clear out with Australia Border Force, before heading out of the seaway and out to sea.Weather looks easy for the first few days. A light southerly, going westerly to get us going. Tuesday is the complicated day, with a front coming from behind us which may give us some wind to deal w
Jobs you wish you hadn’t started
by Rick at 07:09:43, 2022-05-25 (day 2943)
For a while, I’ve had a couple of clutches (rope jammers) that were showing signs of failing. They were both failing in the same way - the sides were breaking above the hinge pin. Clearly the failure case as this is where the load gets applied. Spin lock no longer make these clutches but they do make an updated model which has the same bolt pattern (easy, no drilling!).So dodging the rain, a bit of a hike got us to a chandlery and by luck they had what we needed in stock. So back to the boat a
The work continues
by Rick at 10:13:47, 2022-05-23 (day 2941)
The weather here has been pretty bad, with lots of rain and not much sun. We’ve continued to prepare, taking on some of the jobs that I’d been putting off for a while. Having fixed the electrical control boxes, there was an outstanding issue on the switch modules for one of the boxes. The Privilege electrical system is split into 2 parts. Above the nav station is a number of columns of buttons and lights. Each button operates a relay in a box in the hull (some in the port, some in the starbo
Back afloat
by Rick at 04:12:34, 2022-05-18 (day 2936)
After a somewhat manic mini-refit, Duplicat is now back afloat. We’ve done upholstery inside and out, covers, windscreen covers, mosquito mesh, escape hatch fixes, engine services, mast off and electrical and standing rigging replacements. We’ve done a myriad of other little jobs (new nav lights, new cockpit lights, fixed some of the original Privilege control modules. Its been hard, non-stop work but we’re done, afloat and out of the marina.Now the really hard part starts - waiting for we
Australia Day
by Rick at 19:44:19, 2022-01-25 (day 2823)
I find myself in Australia for yet another Australia Day, or Invasion Day as some call it. For your typical Aussie, its a day to hit the beach or get out on a boat, throw a few snags on the barbie and blow the froth off a few cold ones. For the indigenous people, its not quite the same. It does seem churlish to celebrate a day which was the start of much pain and suffering to so many of the population here. The indigenous peoples would prefer the celebration to be on almost any other day (and yo
Heading towards maintenance
by Rick at 22:12:47, 2022-01-16 (day 2814)
Things have been a bit quiet on the blog, sorry about that! Its not that we’ve not being doing anything - we’ve been doing quite a bit. Its just not that interesting!We left the Brisbane river after a lovely time enjoying city life. Some great breweries, exquisite restaurants, shops so I could get on with my tech refresh, etc. However, it was clear that COVID was becoming more common there and so it was prudent to move to a less crowded area.Bryan and Sammie joined us for the trip down the r
WoW - Waiting on Weather
by Rick at 01:00:30, 2022-01-02 (day 2800)
Well, our stay in the Brisbane River has been extended as Cyclone Seth is making itself felt in the bay outside. In truth, its not really going to impact things on the coast too badly, but the wind is up as is the swell, so we’re far more comfortable in here.City life is also quite nice for a change. We managed to stay a while on the walk-ashore pontoon. Officially the limit is 2hrs, but boats are staying weeks at a time because otherwise they are empty all the time, and come March a new bridg
Merry Christmas from Moreton Bay
by Rick at 03:39:07, 2021-12-27 (day 2794)
We’ve been having a nice time catching up with friends, collecting parcels, cooking, socialising. Oh, and Christmas.We had Christmas Day anchored out at Sandhills on the eastern side of Moreton Bay, and it was very pleasant indeed. Prior to that, we’d been anchored at Peel Island and Raby Bay (twice). We even saw a Dugong up very close in Raby Bay - which was a nice surprise as I’d not seen them there before.The forecast for the next few days is looking a bit average, so we’ve decided to
Raby Bay, here we come!
by Rick at 04:11:35, 2021-12-19 (day 2786)
After a night at Inskip point (which was very comfortable), we punched the last of the incoming tide to get out across Wide Bay bar. It was never likely to be a problem, but Wide Bay bar has a deserved reputation, so we treat it with sensible caution. For me that means arriving at the bar before the outgoing flow has started. The prevailing swell is coming from offshore, so once the tide is falling, the bar can get lively.Given todays conditions, the bar crossing was simple, and once out we coul
South again
by Rick at 11:03:57, 2021-12-16 (day 2783)
Having seen the turtles, manta rays and caught up with Upstart and Jadean, we could once again move south. So at 5:20am this morning we dropped the mooring (which in a nice piece of choreography was immediately picked up by Upstart), and headed out of the lagoon.Once around the top of the atoll, we turned SE and motored towards Fraser Island. We did see Caledonian Sky, a small cruise ship we’ve seen up and down the east coast and throughout the Kimberley) heading towards the atoll, so pleased
Lady Musgrave
by Rick at 20:05:32, 2021-12-14 (day 2781)
Its been quite windy whilst we’ve been here, and we had a day of squalls which was a bit damp. Very tropical weather… After the squalls we’ve had wonderful weather. Sunny, warm but with enough wind to keep everything a pleasant temperature.We‘ve managed to snorkel a bit, and get some boat jobs done. When the wind calmed down we went ashore for a walk around the (tiny) island and despite not having seen any signs of life on the island, found quite a few camped there. I knew there was a ca
by Rick at 04:57:06, 2021-12-10 (day 2777)
Having recovered (a bit) from the 2 night passage, we headed out in the dinghy to the spot where I’d previously seen manta rays. There was a bit more swell than I had hoped for, which made spotting them harder. So I just dropped in for a drift snorkel to see what was going on.It wasn’t too long before we’d found a rather tired looking turtle.And shortly after that, we found our first manta ray.We saw 3 in total, but didn’t spend too long swimming with them (still feeling tired from the d
Arrived, Lady Musgrave
by Rick at 23:37:19, 2021-12-09 (day 2776)
Slightly more complicated night last night. We had wind which was nice, and managed to sail big chunks of it. Also needed a bit of engine now and again as the wind disappeared. However there were a lot more fishing boats, so i was kept quite busy and allowed Nina to sleep a bit longer.We arrived at Lady Musgrave at a reasonable time to see, so headed straight into the atoll, and picked up the same mooring I was on last year. Very comfortable in here, and should be for the next blow.So first up,