Category Archives: About

Fixing bloggers block 101

What is happening with saltygardener.com?

 **crickets chirping**

Well for my 10 truly devoted followers you are all in for a bumpy ride over the next 3 weeks because I have signed up for a 21 day WordPress.com kick up the blogging butt. There is a daily assignment to blow out the dusty cobwebs and bring some life into both the site and the blogger I just know is within me.

Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
I’ve never kept a personal journal. Living a nomadic travelling lifestlye aboard a sailing yacht I have so many crazy things to write home about and for the past few years I have posted fairly reguarly on Social Media. But lately Updates / Instas / Tweets leave me feeling kinda hollow. So I got to thinking about family and friends who are not on Facebook and realised I have left them without news or escapism or insight into my wierdo ways for a few years now. I also really enjoy the extended writing, the composition and the story telling of the ‘old’ email days. Well actually before email I wrote and sent postcards and letters from my travels – yes I am one of those dinosaurs.

So I am going to blog with the same intention. If a post sounds like a letter home to family and friends then good, its supposed to.

What topics do you think you’ll write about?
I am passionate about how people use plants, about growing and catching my own food, self sufficiency and the natural world. I love to travel, dive, snorkel, meet people, take pictures, try anything edible, forage, buy local and cook from scratch. I aspire to live minimally, be fearless, keep my global footprint tinier than my tiny floating home and be better at fixing stuff. I miss my family and friends. I think I’ll be writing about all these topics.

Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
Friends, extended family, vicarious travellers, foodies, gardeners, bloggers, fellow nomads, live-aboards, minimalists, nurses, ethno-botanists, sailors, first mates & crew, farmers, sales people, scientists, cartoonists, fishermen, divers, free spirits, comedians, chefs, domestic engineers, musicians, retirees, managers, analysts, artists, drivers, students…
please see above “I love… meeting people”

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?
I really hope to have found a writing style that reflects who I am so that I can wear it comfortably and continue to write from the heart. I’ll have a larger, equally truly devoted group of followers who I feel connected to and eager to update on all the highs, low and epic parts of travelling the world by sailing boat. On the site design front I will learn more so that saltygardener.com can evolve into an organised, content rich blog which is easy to navigate and looks amazing.

Stay tuned!

Tiki – what’s in a name?

We have attended a few naming ceremonies and heard of superstitions surrounding the changing of a boat name.  In our case we bought our Young Sun 43 already named Tiki and saw no reason at all to change it, actually we embraced it and who wouldn’t?  Tiki or a Tiki hut conjures up images of turquoise waters, white sands, palm trees, tropical flowers and plenty of rum drenched cocktails complete with umbrella sticks.  Mai Tai anyone? Oh yeah…

On a more spiritual side (no pun intended) Tiki is revered and honoured with magnificent carvings, statues, masks and ornaments throughout Polynesia and the Pacific.  I was fairly ignorant of this and after lots of on line searching for a definitive meaning, settled on something between God and Creator.  This may not be accurate but it is my take any hoot.

In Maori there are many Tiki progenitors – one each for the birds, fish, mankind and even the kumara.  Yes, kumara as in sweet potato. Being a nature & plant and food loving freak I’m very cool indeed with this side to our Tiki name meaning.

We were so lucky to be able to meet the original owners who (over lots of rum, lime and sugar-based cocktails!) told us they named Tiki from the 1960’s TV series “Adventures in Paradise”.  Three seasons and over 90 episodes took viewers aboard the 85’ schooner ‘Tiki’ with Captain Troy – a Korean War vet cruising the South Pacific looking for various ways to make ends meet in order to finance the live-aboard sailing dream.  Paul and Gise had acquired her in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Hugo hit in 1989 and demasted her ketch rig. After re-rigging her as a sloop they named her Tiki and proceeded with their own adventure in paradise, working as delivery skippers and cruising the Pacific for 8 years.

Well that sealed it, she really was meant to be ours – original name and all.

 

Do you have a story to tell about the name of your boat?  We’d love to hear it!

an aside…

The beautiful carvings or lucky charms often worn as neck pendants are called Hei Tiki.

Kon-Tiki was a raft built in 1947 by Norwegian Thor Hayerdahl for an amazing 100 day journey across over 3,700 nautical miles of the Pacific.  

Contiki is a tour operator for 18-35 year olds with the great motto #NOREGRETS.

Young Sun 43 – our version

I came across a good review of Young Sun 43 yachts by TalkoftheDock. My SY Tiki was a ketch rigged centre cockpit, twin cabin version of the Young Sun 43 built for a US owner. She survived a de-masting in Hurricane Hugo Sept 1989 and is now cutter rigged and with some ballast removed weighs a mere 20 tonnes – a lot lighter that the original specs. Her revamped rig was designed so she sailed like a dream in the lightest of winds (view the superb results of our light wind Parachute trials) She also has a refurbished Perkins 4.236 engine located under the centre cockpit and accessed between the galley and workstations.

When researching her history it was difficult to sort through all the conflicting posts of information and the review has certainly shed some light and helped clarify a few things.

A lovely Young Sun 43 pilothouse cutter

The first Young Suns were designed by Ron Amy, built in 1978 in Taiwan and sold into both the US and Australian markets under different names. It was available as either a center cockpit cutter or pilothouse cutter and there were four interior layouts available. The little sister was the popular Perry designed Young Sun 35.

In the US market the design morphed into similar versions built at the Formosa Boat Builders yard. She had at least three cousins – the Formosa 44, Spindrift 43 and later, a Hampton 43 that was built in China.

via Young Sun 43 Review.

Yacht Tiki – ours!


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 aft deck contained piles of mooring lines, fenders, detached bimini covers and various boat debris

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.

Forard has a basket of rotting / wet food left on deck, the purple basket has broken glass and there is a spare portable toilet by the mast. There were actually 3 portable toilets onboard in addition to the 2 plumbed heads

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.

How amazing!