I was way more a gardener than a salty until I met and married my sexy sailor! Since 2011 we have refurbished, sailed over 7000 nautical miles and lived aboard Tiki - our Young Sun 43. I write about off grid living in a floating tinyhouse, home steading at sea and sailing to remote places with no fixed agendas.
It was a slightly delayed start as some dirty fuel got sucked through the engine. Neil was on it straight away and with a replacement filter installed and a switch to the second tank we were off, albeit in a very large cloud of white smoke. We had a lovely send off from the pontoon thanks to Dave, Rose and Gail. See you all again soon! It felt sooooooo great to be out of the marina and on the water again. She looks so beautiful with all her sails up and filled with wind and Neil has that content cat that got the cream look about him that I hope will become permanent.
We set off from Manly yesterday after lunch and headed to Scarborough in Deception bay for the night. Gorgeous sunny winters day around 21C and perfect light winds for a shakedown sail, plus for a total bonus we had our first pod of dolphins yippee!
All the rather randomly stowed provisions have had a rattle around and we will no doubt be relocating a few items over the journey. The onions and spuds id long forgotten were there were first up as the bottom of the pantry soon gets toasty warm when the engine is on – the whole boat started to smell like stewed onion… not good, unless I’m making onion soup!
We will refuel here at Scarborough and head overnight up to the Wide Bay bar ready to pass through on the high tide midday Wednesday and from there the sheltered straights of Fraser Island.
Bex was our first guest (well apart from Dave our lovely relocation crew!) and totally revived my spirits by being the gorgeous pink whirlwind of joy that she is. Embracing the marina life, socializing at the evening BBQs and of coarse lots of shopping!
She is the first of many Tiki sirens
We are officially live-aboards! And what a great feeling it is. After several years talking about it and wondering what it would be like we are here on our floating home. In a marina and still commuting to work for now with the cruising date set for mid July.
Do you know what?
It feels amazing! Simple. Uncomplicated. Liberating. At the same time just a little bit daunting – there’s so much work to be done on and in her! We are all smiles here though, time for sleeves up and elbow grease.
Back from a great break in Thailand, now with so much to do. Neil is enroute from Keppel Marina and I’m packing up the flat ready to move onboard. Everything we bought for temporary use is back for sale on ebay or gumtree and we have arranged storage for the surplus – how easily we accumulated so much stuff after only 8 months here. Ruthlessness is the key, and with such limited space onboard the decisions are getting easier 🙂
Neil’s international power adaptor (patent still pending) is working a treat to charge the LG phone. Also check out the 670W 3A kettle provided in the hotel room. Keeps up to 2L on boiling point, cuppa tea anyone?
After what has been a huge amount of effort over the last month the boat is finally in a decent enough condition to get ready to depart for Brisbane. Over the last week in the Marina the engine has moved to a state where it can be sea trialled. This afternoon we went out in the bay and ran the engine for an hour to make sure it works okay. All seems well and Brett left with advice for further work and maintenance over the coming weeks. It will take some more attention on my part to make sure the Perkins becomes reliable after a long period of neglect.
We are back at the Marina for the evening and planning to leave at first light in the morning. This is the culmination of a lot of sweat and effort. I have lost at least 8kg in the last month, that was definitely needed and we have reinvested at least $12k in Tiki, that was also needed. And and I have learnt huge amounts about yachts which was also needed. Next step is to start the 600nm journey to Brisbane and find out how she handles at sea.
This buying a boat malarkey is pretty stressful. The emotional pull of a potential new home that has all the credentials to make our blue-water cruising dreams come true adds to the excitement, and to the level of impatience.
I am amazed at how quickly this boat grabbed hold of us and continues now to engage us entirely. We had looked at so many – over 30 in 3 months. There was an immaculate Ganley, a beautiful Morgan 38, run-down William Gardens, several Roberts refurb projects, Swanson 42’s, a long list of custom built steel and ferro varieties and even a selection of multihulls to balance us… we even got to placing offers on a couple which thankfully did not eventuate as, well, our hearts were definitely not in them.
And then there was Tiki, a Young Sun 43. Described by Greg in the Brokers office as “not on the market yet but nearly finished – fully refurbished just waiting for the new cushions that have been ordered”. “Let’s go take a look and see how she looks” says Rachael our Broker and we jumped in the car to add another to the long list viewed over the Xmas week.
The rain was falling and the tidal creek which cut the boatyard off from the road was rising as we pulled into Edge’s boatyard situated in the depths of the mangroves in Airlie Beach. There on the hard-ground was a beautiful double-ended canoe hull complete with full cruising keel, cutter rigged with sexy bowsprit and, well, what more do you need?!
We climbed the work ladder leading up tyro the centre cockpit to find a slightly different boat to the one we were expecting. She was nowhere near completed and our hearts sank. The timber decks had been removed and left unfinished. The teak railings had been smashed during transit in several places. There was abandoned rubbish and rusting tools everywhere we looked. Oh lordy-me what a mess.
The hatches were rotten and unsecured so it was easy to open her up and look inside. The rain was as torrential inside as it was outside due to the number of large leaks. It was like exploring a magical wet cave, with rainwater filling the bilges up to the solid teak floorboards which were all exposed. There was tropical mould everywhere and the spoils of the previous owners belongings which had succumbed to a “submerging event”, including the galley supplies so various critters had happily moved in and made the place their roach-ey new home. Nice.
This is where I re-iterate the part where a boat ‘grabs you’, as even in this terrible state I thought she felt absolutely gorgeous and I couldn’t get the smile from my face. I could see through the superficial to what was truly important to us. Her spacious sleeping areas forard and aft each with their own heads, a light and airy space to relax in the saloon, a great galley, amazing solid teak carpentry, she even had a separate workshop area crying out to store dive tanks and more.
Here is where Neil would add in the important observations about engine / sail inventory / seaworthiness etc which were duly noted as we rushed around trying to take it all in. Heavy rain and rising creeks and the realisation that this boat was nowhere near ready to be on the market meant the visit was very short. I never thought that it would be exactly one month later we would make an offer to buy her, and a month after that before she was all ours.