24th of June
The saga continues…. I tell you what, if it wasn’t for the car keys, my life might have been quite enjoyable the last couple of days. Except for the issue with the batteries. But that is a whole different kettle of fish.
After fishing grandpas keys out of the drink, heading to land and telling you all about the little incident. I set off up the hill to go say hello to my old friend grandpa. With the keys in my hot little hand, I unlocked the car door got in and prepared to go dominate in ticking all items off the list I had created.
The keys went in the ignition and turned with not a peep of noise from grandpa. That’s alright I thought, the starter motor has been playing up a bit lately so Ill just try a few more times. I know I should fix this issue, but I am too much a tight arse to spend money on the car. Knowing that soon it will only be sold to some backpacker for pittance compared to what emotional value it holds. I have owned grandpa for 8 or 9 years and he is more a part of the family than a car. A misused, un-cared for family member but none the less, family.
So I turn the keys a few moe times with still nothing from grandpa. I get the trusty ole tyre wrench out and tap the starter a few times. Still grandpa doesn’t want to play with me. My tapping gently turns into a bit more aggressive bumping. Still grandpa is silent. Right, that’s it, You f^&%*#$ piece of S%$^!
A brief moment of kicking and yelling at the old boy and I gathered my thoughts and set into problem solving. About this time a guy that I rang to purchase a wind turbine off, as if you have been following this blog, would know it decided to fly off into the abyss. He rang up telling me he was 100km away from a town near by called Proserpine and if I wanted to meet him there for the exchange. “Yea mate, got a few problems with the starter but I’ll be there”
So now I have locked myself into a time restraint to sort this issue out. Good stuff Yosh, your on point today.
I guess you have to call Juzzy… Being the part time guru, he sent me the details of his RAA member card as yep, I still didn’t update my membership after the last dilemma. I proceeded to inform the lady on the phone my details. Juzzy’s details. Then sat back in the comfort of grandpa to wait the hour that old mate will take to turn up.
Upon arrival, we had a little chuckle as it was the same old guy that helped previously. After doing all the normal stuff, he bypassed the fuse of the starter and sure enough grandpa came to life. So its not the starter motor he said. This just really rubbed in the fact that I know fuck all about cars and should just shut up instead of trying to explain my diagnostics. That being said, I said how it had been playing up and the minor fact that I fished my keys off the ocean floor this morning.
“Oh, that’s ya issue mate” was the response I got. If I was thinking, I should have put two and two together. The fact that electrics and water don’t mix, didn’t even enter my mind. He proceeded to explain to me that I need a new key and have it programmed to match. So another hour long wait and 180 big fellas later, grandpa was on the move again and off we went to Proserpine to find us a new power maker.
On the upside, grandpa is starting no worries and I can lock the car by pressing a button. Something I have not done for a long time as grandpas keys were always a bit ‘how ya goin’
Hopefully the this is the end of the key saga that seems to not want to give up. Currently though we are cruising along in Nandji with Allen the auto pilot operating as he should and us kicking back. The office is looking good today that’s for sure.
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22nd of June
So I know I said I woule write into the blog every day for the month of June. I seem to be failing at that, so I have conceived that that idea is over. But I will write in here every other day. Plus its better when I have a decent story to tell. Today I have another story…
What a way to start the day. I got up on this fabulous morning as usual, everything going smooth. Just your everyday, smooth, uneventful morning. Bonita has gone on a eco barge today volunteering to count turtles or play with the turtles… something to do with turtles I think. I dropped her off over at the beach, took Marley for a run on the beach, dropped the rubbish off. Normal morning tasks. Then headed back to Nandji to indulge in breakfast.
5 Weet-bix and milk later I am content and ready to start the day. I make a list as long as my arm in the hope to achieve all that’s on the list today. I load up the backpack, double check I have everything. Yep, all good. I grab my phone and wallet, turn back and grab the car keys of the hook. They live on that damn hook good now after the last fraccard. So I am all set to head to land.
I pull the tender up close so I can jump in. I am always careful of my phone and wallet in my pockets as the last thing I want is these guys to swimming. There down deep in my pockets, the tender is close, I step out and jump in… I hear get caught up for a brief second on the jump over but something gives and I land in the tender all good. But that noise of what snagged me in the jump was a distinc noise of metal on metal. I turn back just in time to see those bloody car keys sinking to the bottom… Your kidding…
I didn’t swear, I just thought I can find those. The water is calm, Nandji shouldn’t be swinging to much. If I am quick I should be back before Nandji moves as my reference point. So I quickly climb back up on Nandji, strip down to my boardies. Conviniently already positioned around my waist. Jump down stairs to grab fins and a mask. Climb back up and jump in. A quick clean of the mask and down I dive in hunt of these bloody keys. On my way down, I realise that this is not going to be as easy I first thought. The water is of course as clear as mud.
The mud bottom of the bay we are moored in is good for anchoring but doesn’t give off the greatest of visibility in the water. I swim down and down as the tide is high, thinking where is the bottom. Then it appears half a metre in front of my face. Well then, this is going to be fun. I can see only whats right in front of me. So I slowly move around scanning side to side trying my hardest not to touch the bottom as I don’t want to stir up the water even more than what it is. I circle around for as long as I can with no reward.
After 7 or 8 attempts of this I start to get a little bit frustrated as they have to be here. Right here somewhere. Down I go again and this time I came across a hole in the mud and think that maybe they made an mpact in the soft mud and have sank a bit. So I dig my hand in, stir up the water around and come up empty handed. The naughty words slowly come out of mouth as Marley watches on clueless.
The sinking feeling of ‘these little pricks are actually gone this time’ starts showing it self. A quick talk to my self to calm down and keep searching and down I go again. The water is of course just a cloud of mud from my digging attempt before. But perseverance pays off. They have to be around here somewhere. Its about now that I wish I could say that there they were. However, this is not the case.
I swim a few metres away from Nandji as no doubt she is slightly swinging to the un trained eye. I dive down a few times and only find mud. I swim to the other side of Nandji and dive down a few times, still coming up with nothing. Well, my little grid search pattern idea isn’t working. I have been in the water now for over forty minutes. I am starting to lose hope when I think, Ill just dive down here. Why not hey.
I dive down until the bottom appears in front of my face again. Instead of just the bottom appearing in front of my nose, there they were. Sitting there all along on top of the mud, clear as day. Yew!!!
I climb back up on board and dance around with Marley. He has no idea what is going on, but is pretty stoked to get some attention and joins in the play time. I dry off and get changed again ready for land. Into the back pack with the keys and off to land I went. Currently I am sipping a hot coffee from a café as I use their internet. I thought I needed a treat after the mornings events and couldn’t be bothered dealing with stinky backpackers.
So like I have said previously, there is definitely never a dull moment living on a boat. Car keys hey, who bloody needs them.
Happy froth day to my little bro who turns dirty thirty today. Yew!
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17th of June
I woke up this morning with a bit of a spring in my step. A quick check of the phone to see if competition was under way yet or not, this influencing my decision in getting out of bed. It was finals day in the world surf league today at Fiji. Now this excites me. After a couple of good days of waves and viewing, finals day is when it all goes down and I get a little bit in the zone. In the zone like those fanatical football fans that cheer and yell at the TV. That sort of fanatical.
The first couple of quarter finals heats were done and dusted and up next, John John Florence the Hawaiian who is the freak of the sport, vs the current ranks leader, all time frother Matty Wilko. Who yes, is an Australian. I am full on the Wilko band wagon this year for him to win his first world title. He has always been a bit of a character and just cruised but this year has a coach and is killing shit.
I packed up the laptop and charger, kissed goodbye to Bonita and took to the nearest open café to begin the wifi, electrical rort that you all know much about these days. I organised myself in a corner with a powerpoint, ordered their biggest glass of water, put the head phones on and zoned in. Off my own little world swearing and cheering at the laptop. Wilko wins the quarter final heat and the semis and makes the final. Yew. His competitor is a much hated surfer of mine, Gabrial Medina.
Medina is no walk in the park mind you. He is the first Brazilian to win a world title and was only twenty when he did so two years ago. Cheeky little prick. He is good, relly good. I think this is partly the reason why I dislike him. That and he is Brazilian. There is nothing wrong with Brazil, but they have so many good upcoming surfers and are taking over the rankings. Therefore my rivalry is strong as Australians are getting beaten.
Usually I would be sitting contempt with a beer, enjoying the spectacle of the worlds best getting absolutely slotted in solid Cloudbreak waves. But dry June remains. Probably a good thing because the public around were already watching my body language as I threw my arms around and muttered naughty words at the computer. If there was beer in front of me, I would probably have been told I had had enough. It was 8:30 in the morning after all.
Without going into the nitty gritty and explaining a few obvious facts about the final. Medina won, Wilko lost. Prick.
Anyway, I was meant to be editing and finalising the next episode of Sailing Nandji. That’s what I told Bonita this morning anyway… She knew I was telling porkys.
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Wilko for PM
9th of June
Well then. Where do I start… We have had some amazing days out here on the reef, but today was next level. We woke early to watch the sunrise and that surely did not disappoint. I have said that Gary (glass off) has been hanging around a bit recently and this morning he was still here. All morning it was hard to define where the ocean finished and the sky begun. A truly magical morning, on the water.
Bonita’s fun fact over this morning’s coffee was; there is a type of sea cucumber that dissolves themselves into fragments when danger is near. Once the danger has passed, it reforms it self. Sea cucumbers hey…
We moved anchorages this morning for something different. A fella we met in Airlie was out here the other day and he told us that it was good spearing in the northern corner of Hook reef. So we thought we would check out this theory. I think next time ill try and get some marker points off him. The reef was still magnificent to view, but the fish were non-existent. The fish I was hunting anyway. So after an hour or so, we changed spots. We are now anchored to the west and in a bit deeper water than our first couple of nights anchorage.
This is where things get good. In my three years or so that I have been spearfishing, the ultimate trophy fish is what your after. Today my fellow humans, was that day. Yew! I got my first Red Emperor. It wasn’t the biggest red in the sea, but it was a decent legal sized red. I have always said that I never buy fish because I can get them myself, this including Red Emperor. So today I got to clean my first red and enjoy his beautiful taste. Yep, they are a good chew.
These fish are quite rare to find and live in the deep water, 50 metres deep or so. They come into shallower water during the summer months I think. But don’t quote me on that, as it could be the winter months. But still, in water depths of around 20 metres. So today, when I was diving on a bombie around 15 metres and he showed up, I nearly lost my shit. I had been a bit trigger happy all day and missed a few chances on other good fish, however when my eyes seen this guy there was no missing. So today I joined the red club. The next step is the big red club. 1 metre long Red Emperors…
So as you can imagine, I am very full right now. We had some delicious fish and chips for dinner cooked by the captain.
It has been an amazing few days out on the reef. We are both totally knackered from diving so much. I reckon we would have averaged 5 hours in the water each day. My body aches that good feeling like you have been up to something fun. My skin is salty and burnt, just the way it should be after relishing the oceans delights. My belly is full and content, with the thought that people pay big bucks for what we just ate for free. So feeling quite content with life right now.
Done a bit of cabin lock down in preparation for the sail back tomorrow. Cleaned ‘la diva’ the tender. Top and bottom. Packed everything up, including the hammock. When the hammock comes down, you know its land time. So Nandji is pretty well ready for a early start tomorrow and prepared for if the wind picks up over night.
I’m toast. Its bed time for me at this late hour of 8pm…
Dry June remains
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16th of June
The ole ticker had a work out again today. It seems at the moment that everything wants to be difficult. But hey, its keeping us on our toes. Here is todays little adventure.
It is still cold wet and windy. Cold for up here, that is. There is no sun shine, just grey clouds that decide every hour or so they want to attempt in flooding the town. So it is not much fun going outside and doing stuff.
I was meant to drive the hour down to Mackay tomorrow to attend a course so that I can be available to join the normal working life that society says. I said how much of a fracas this was just to organise. So today, I went to prepare for my early morning drive by fueling up ‘Grandpa’ the car and that sort of business. We went through our usual “get ready for land” routine and when I went to grab grandpa’s keys from the key hook. No keys… That instant feeling of ,“what the fuck have I done with those things” sinks in. After turning Nandji upside down for the next half hour we decide that they must be in the car.
Loaded up and ready to rort the town of their internet and electricity, we headed to land. Bonita went off to continue the editing of episode 5, whilst I went to the car to investigate. Nope, no keys in the ignition and the car was locked. Like most people I think, of course the spare key was in side the car. As I double glanced all the doors, I noticed that a rear door was unlocked. Yes, winning. Thank you grandpa for having faulty central locking and leaving an entry for me. So in I climbed and dug out the spare key. Out I climbed through the rear door and thought, I better lock that door since the central locking is busted. Locked the door and closed. As soon as it shut, I instantly thought. That was not very smart. But I had the spare key so we should be all sweet.
Around to the drivers door I walk, in goes the key and yep. It wouldn’t unlock. “Your kidding me.” How is this possible, the spare key doesn’t unlock the drivers door. So I tried the boot. Nope. Still locked out. After a few swear words I thought Ill break into him. Easy. So, I marched back down the hill to the tender. Fanged back out to Nandji and grabbed a coat hanger. Fanged back to land, walked up that bloody hill again ready to break in. After ten minutes of attempting this, I realised that I am a shit car thief. I thought VS commodores were easy to break in to, they always get stolen… By this time, mother nature decides that I am dealing with all this a little to well, so she decides to rain. It pissed down for a solid fifteen minutes, whilst I tried to hide under a small bush with not much success of staying dry. The rain passed, I gathered my thoughts and went in for round two.
I jiggled that damn coat hanger in all the doors. Up and down and around and didn’t get any where. After twenty minutes or so, I thought Ill call my mate in town, Juzzy, who just got back from working away. After a little chuckle at the predicament I was in, he looked up on YouTube how to break in to a car. I should of thought of that. So with a little help from our friends on the internet, we now had the knowledge. However, I still lacked in the skill. Being a good guy that he is sometimes, he rang the RAA to come and assist. My membership expired last week and I thought there is no point in renewing this as I live on a boat. RAA are the car helper guys that you call when you are broken down or in this case, lock your keys in the car. They informed us that they would be there in an hour and a half… Great.
Now Juzzy was on board and keen to get into grandpa. After another fifteen minutes and a few more YouTube videos later. I had a new technique of prying open the door and lifting the lock that way. So I scrounged around looing for some sort of wedge. I found a thin rock that proved to be useless and started hunting again.
Juzzy rocked up ready to rumble and even bought me a coffee to make me smile. Oh, thanks mate. He was armed with a few tools in his ute and out came the chisel to pry the door open. This worked well but we needed more door open to lift the lock. Out came the Jimmy bar. Now with over an inch gap of door open, we contemplated weather we could squeeze my arm down there without getting hurt. Just in the nick of time, old mate RAA rocked up and saved my arm. With a bent door now and Juzzy and I deep in problem solving mode. The RAA held off for a few minutes until he realised we weren’t getting anywhere fast. Two minutes later, the door was open.
Thanks mate and off he went. Now the all critical thought of if this spare key, that wouldn’t open anything, can bring life to grandpa. The key goes in the ignition. Okay that’s a good start. Now will it turn… Of course it wont. It is obviously a key not meant for this Holden. The entire 9 years of owning grandpa, I have never used the spare, it just lived in the centre console. The one day it was his time to shine and it’s the wrong bloody key.
Juzzy and I say our goodbyes after bending the door back to shape. At least we got into the car we thought. Juzzy went back to his car and I started to ruffle through the glove box looking to see if there was another possible spare key. It was around this time I looked out the front window and “Hello Sally.”
There was the keys tucked under the wind screen wipers! I probably left them hanging out of the door (which I have done before a few times) and some legend has seen that and tucked them under the wipers. Woohoo!
After a little dance and some screams of joy with Juzzy, off I went to find Bonita and tell her the good news.
Got to love it when things are looking so grim and then in the same sentence they turn into the greatest feeling. I thought today, dry June is over. Lets celebrate. But its to bloody cold to drink beer. If the sun was shining it might have been a different outcome.
After another roller coaster ride, I am back on Nandji where it is warm and dry. The keys are back on the key hook where they belong and we are all feeling quite contempt again.
So that was my day. How was yours?
14th and 15th of June
Okay, I done it again. I have been a naughty boy. Incorporating two days into the one again. This time there are no stories to be told in my attempt to cover up any unfortunate circumstances that make are life just that little bit difficult. Because this time, I was on land the whole time yesterday. Utilising power from a certain hotel, that sells the tastiest pints of water. The fact of the matter is, I just didn’t get time.
I suppose I have a lot of time on my hands. Its all about managing certain tasks and juggling those minutes in a day to your advantage. I can juggle, in fact I could juggle in any circus if I wasn’t living in the circus at the moment. Yep, it’s shenanigans here on Nandji. You think we have everything under control, then you realise you have so many things to do.
We have been editing our new video the last few days, this is fun and enjoyable and stressful and on going… But once it is completed, it is a good feeling. It isn’t completed yet by the way, therefore here is the opening circus act.
I have been actively trying to contribute to the normal way of life this week. By this I mean, seeking normal employment. The main act of this circus. It is definitely a time wasting event. The hurdles to jump through to be to be made available and the inductions and courses to pay and sit through, to then not have a job at the end of the tunnel is ridiculous. But I guess that’s the game I chose to play years ago. Hence the reason for circus act three.
Working online, researching, promoting, marketing etc. is a whole ball game in its self. This is what we enjoy doing, want to do and therefore work on it bloody hard to get ourselves out there and noticed, but it costs money. Money which slowly disappears and forces us back into the contributing part of society that we are working so hard to let go of. It’s a lovely cycle really.
Anyway, enough about the circle of life. So, the sun shines through the clouds sometimes today and with that we have power! Yew. Go you sunshine. With power we can operate all those electrical things we use to go about creating our circle of life. It is so much easier to work on Nandji with the gentle rock of the ocean and the sound of the wind howling outside. Compared to editing noise on our new video with head phones on whilst sitting at the pub, drinking water.
After all these first world problems that I am highlighting, I feel that you all need to know that we are loving every minute. Life is always more interesting when it is challenging. It is about having a dream and working towards that dream. Something a little crazy and different is the way we like to roll. There are always tough times of course, but that is part of the game we play. If you don’t try, you never know. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. So we are trying something different and asking a heap of questions. We wouldn’t want it any other way. Remember you can always buy tickets to the circus as well, you just have to become a patron. Hint hint.
Well I have cleared my head from thought and I still have episode five to finish editing, so until the same time tomorrow…
Captain Yosh signing off
You wouldn't read about it. Through out the fun times we are having, it seems as though we are consistently taking one step forward and two steps back...
Yesterday i explained how stoked i was about the near future of having electricity again. After completing my blog, i went back to Nandji, as i said i would. I tested the batteries that had been on charge and one was holding power good and the other had dropped voltage a bit, but hey, thats what we got so lets just run with it. So back to Nandji we all went and into their new home they were placed. I wired it all together sweet and presto, power!! The wind was blowing at fifteen knots and gusting into the twenties, so the wind turbine was spinning you could say. I sat down stairs monitoring the charge input, relishing what my eyes could see. Hanging around 8 amps of charge.Yep, we are in business… Famous last words… I sat there with my eyes glued on the screen when the charge input dropped from that 8 amps to 0.2 amps. I tapped the screen a few times. Turned it on and off. Whats going on here I thought. I walked outside to check the turbine and there was no more rotor...
The bolt that was used to attach the rotor to the shaft of the generator decided it wanted to break and the rotor flew off somewhere into the a bis. The sun was just going down, the wind was howling, the water was filthy and the sky was grey. I quickly stripped off to my boar dies, grabbed a dive mask, fins and the trusty dolphin torch and in i went. We are anchored in 5 metres of water, so not that deep. I could just make out my finger tips with arms out stretched. I swam around in circles down there for half hour trying to find the rotor. I wish i could say that this story finishes with the treasure being found… Nope, no treasure here.
So for twenty minutes or so, we had outstanding power and full charged batteries. Things were looking good then. But now, we have next to new batteries with no sun or wind power to charge them back up. The last thing i want to do now is to drain these suckers and be back to where we started. So here we are, back in town at a dodgey backpacker travel agent again sponging their wifi and power. But that twenty minutes was amazing!
Its not all doom and gloom though humans. After a chat with a friend on the blower this morning, I got on gumtree in search of a second hand treasure. Possibly we might have found a winner! A bloke is selling a similar smaller model of the turbine we have. But hopefully the rotor fits ours! This is where we did have a small win as he is driving to Townsville next week. To get to Townsville for those of you that didn't know, you have to travel past Airlie beach! Hopefully these pirates have found their treasure.
Believe it or not, dry June stays strong. Even after this roller coaster of emotions the captain didn't go to the rum...
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11th & 12th of June
Yep, that's right. Im writing two days into one. Now before you get all up in my porcelain grill, let me explain a few things. Now this is in no way making excuses, I just thought i should elaborate in our circumstances. Lets start with the fact we have no power... Yep, no power. Its hard to utilise technology without that one little thing called electricity. We have been struggling with that word since we got back from the reef. Well, we struggled out there to, but it didnt matter as much because the sun was shining and the solar panels were operating well. Now that we are back in town, because of bad weather, the ole sunshine is non existent. Since our batteries are pretty well fingered, without that bit of solar energy we have been living in the dark. So that's right, every little piece of electronics are flat. Now this is not an excuse as we are anchored in front of town, where there is backpacker free internet all round the place. Which is exactly where I am at the moment. Sitting in a manky tourist outlet, attempting to type and spell correctly without using word to solve all the mistakes for me. So that is part of the reason why two days have become one.
Yesterday I begun in resurrecting this electrical dilemma that we are faced with. Lucky enough the spare wind turbine blade had arrived in the post, so I set to work in fixing that bad boy. It still isn't operating at its full potential as there is a bit of friction internally when it spins. Not the whole rotation of the rotor, just one eighth of a revolution. Today she is spinning happily as the winds are up around 15 knots, however it should be rotating in winds of 5 knots. I'm to scared to pull it apart at the moment. I could cut the wires and take the whole gig down stairs so I don't drop anything, but then I am relying on my skills of electrician. I know I could do it, but still, its one of those things. Ill just wait and see how much power it supplies first before I think I should operate... But now that she is up and working to a degree, after I finish writing this bad boy, I will go install the two new batteries I acquired from a previous job site. They have been all charged up and been sitting dormant for a couple of days so hopefully when I get back to Nandji and put the multi metre on them, they say 13V at least. Fingers crossed. Hopefully then, we are back in the world of night lights and electronics.
It isn't much fun sitting around in Airlie beach when the sun isn't shining, the wind is blowing and you have decided to be all controlling upon yourself and not drink for the month. Usually in this situation, we would go to the best internet in town that we have found, (at the pub) with fully charged technology and sip cheap beer. Work is so much easier when your tipsy...
So today I done the clothes washing. I feel this needs to be mentioned as this is the first time I have done this since we have lived on Nandji... I don't wear dirty clothes all the time, its more the fact that I don't wear clothes. I don't kick around naked all day, but when clothes are worn, basically I just put on board shorts. Also there is the other fact that Bonita dominates this area of our relationship. That minor factor should be mentioned. However, today I took 'la diva' the tender to the yacht club and paid there prices to do a mammoth load of clothes in their machines. As good as Bonita is at hand cleaning the clothes on the boat, that just wasn't gonna happen with me. Ill pay the few coins to stick it in a machine and walk away. Forget about it for half the day, go back to someone who has been waiting for over an hour to use the machine and deal with their antics. It was much easier than hand washing.
Tomorrow is when the wind is really meant to start blowing. It is still forecast to blow 30 knots in Airlie. That is pretty bloody windy. Lucky it is from the South East, so it is an off shore breeze. This should keep the ocean around us in the bay, relatively smooth. Therefore not throwing Nandji around to much. Hopefully... The other week when it was only 10 knots from the North, Nandji was not a good place to be. Three different vessels around us, either broke off their mooring or snapped anchor. Its was an eventful day.
Anyway I got clothes to hang up and power to be re installed. Peace.
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