Duplicat's Diary

Busy afternoon
by Rick at 21:47:10, 2021-09-11 (day 2687)

Nice as it was in Casuarina Creek, I decided it was a bit too hard to stay overnight. Duplicat is a bit big for the area you can anchor in - not enough room to swing when the wind reverses. We’d put a stern anchor out - several times in fact, because the bottom near the island is rocky and the holding isn’t great. We’d had a settled afternoon, but I’d have a very disturbed night anchored there as I’d be checking all the time.

However, the creek nearly dries at low tide, so we needed some rise of tide to get out. This is where the fun starts… I mostly use the Imray Tide Planner app, but the tide times for Reveley Island made no sense compared to the nearby King George river. They seemed quite some way off, almost like they were in another timezone. I don’t single-source information - I also have a tide app on the computer - but it agrees with the Imray app. Navionics on the plotter, on the other hand, seemed closer to the times I’d expect. Then it dawned on me - for some reason Imray thinks Reveley Island is in the NT timezone. I dug into the tidal harmonics I use on the computer and though it said ‘Australia/Perth’ for the timezone, it also had +9:30 for the offset! Ok, now we understand the tides and the 3 sources agree!

After that little distraction, I figured we had just enough water to get out at 5:30pm, which is sunset. At 5:15pm we lifted the stern anchor, then the main anchor and we set off to the entrance. Mostly it was fine, but we did a little ploughing in the mud at the entrance to the creek, and we got into the river around 5:45pm. We had enough light to ensure we anchored in a wide enough spot.

I was just about to start washing down the stern anchor and chain, when Nina pointed out that the freezer was a bit wet. Sure enough, the freezer was actually defrosting. This is ironic and lucky. Ironic because we had just started to use things up in an effort to get the freezer empty by the time we reached Darwin. Lucky because its failed this side of the Kimberley and won’t impact us at all.

Much diagnostics later, it seems like its either the control box thats failed (not unknown), or the more serious case of a failed keel cooler allowing the compressor to ingest seawater. I’ve run the vacuum pump on it and it holds vacuum, so I’m hoping its the former. The fault code is ‘Motor start error’ and the compressor shudders briefly when you turn it on. The compressor was changed in St Lucia to the bigger version (needed more power in the tropics!) but the control box remained the basic one. There is a better box for the BD-50 compressor, but for whatever reason that wasn’t fitted at the time. A friend in Darwin may have a spare box we can test with, otherwise we’ll be seeking a technician as I don’t have the soldering tools to replace a compressor.

Today we’ll cook the few bits of meat we had left in the freezer - but we’re more than ok for food. We’ve got a couple of large pumpkins left, carrots, cabbage, bacon, sausages and we’ve barely touched our tinned stuff. Not to mention all the dried stuff.

After all that, we started hearing a funny noise. An intermittent buzzing sound. It was coming from down in the hulls and it was getting louder! Now I’ve heard noises coming through the hull before - the popping crackle often attributed to shrimps. However this was unlike anything I’ve ever heard and was heard throughout the boat. We couldn’t hear it outside, but you definitely couldn’t miss it inside! It did stop eventually - all is quiet this morning. Here’s a view looking upstream…

Hoping for a less busy day today!