Tag Archives: cruising

Help to careen and repair at Pulau Tioman

Here is a little insight into what we might just ‘do’ all day when we are not sailing, diving, snorkelling, relaxing or socialising with other cruisers.  And another story to add to the little known fact that cruising and boat ownership sometimes feels like endless repairs and maintenance in exotic places.

Tiki is in company with a mini flotilla sailing together here in the Tioman group of islands whilst the majority of the other boats in the rally we are part of retraces Tiki’s journey north from 2015.  Gillie is single handing her ketch SY.Tuppenny and Peter and Cath on SY. Kittani have been joined by a new crew member Kelly from the US. We all opted to stay in the islands, relax, grow gills and have a shorter journey when we eventually head east to Indonesia’s Anambas and Natuna archipelagos at the end of the month.   Tuppenny has had an annoying leak since… well forever according to Gillie but since she relaunched in March it got progressively worse until the bilge pump was being activated every 7 or so minutes, sometimes less. It was coming from the stuffing box which was supposed to be a dripless system.  Peter has a similar setup on Kittani and over the past weeks had helped tighten/inspect/loosen bits in an attempt to stem the flow to no avail.  It was stressful for Gillie and we were all nervous for her – an inspection and repair haul out was required with the nearest alternative for 100’s of miles being suddenly expensive and up a shallow river at Endau.  As it turned out emergency or not, this yard had extensive sandblasting work in progress and advised her not to plan arrival for several weeks.  An alternative was required, and fairly fast.
Fortunately large spring tides and a dead low reconnaissance at dawn revealed a potential for careening on a clean patch of sand next to the wall in the main town at Tekek, Tioman.  Gillie had the replacement spare ready onboard so Peter’s bravado convinced her she could do it with their help and our experience from years of drying out on walls in the south of England and Brittany came into play to tip the confidence scales. So with no time to waste our little group formulated a plan to get Tuppenny onto the wall at high tide, then again for everyone to be ready to assist her settle into a lean at the next low scheduled for just before sundown.
Everything went perfectly to plan and with her mast tied to a solid rail she settled into the sand and we all strategically sat on her starboard side with celebratory sundowner G&T’s to ensure a good ‘inward to wall’ lean.  It must have been a real novelty to have a yacht against their town pier as so many locals came to look, take pictures and many took the time to try (in broken English with our broken Malay) to warn us that the water would soon be gone, even offering to tow her to deeper water.
Then came the challenging part – inspection and repair.  We calculated the tides and worked out that at 04:00 the next day the propellor would be almost (5-10cm below) exposed and this state would last until 10:30 at most.  This gave Pete and Neil six full hours to effect the replacement with a little time to spare to call it if they needed to wait out an extra tide.  After dinner on the quayside opposite Tuppenny we returned to Tiki & Kittani and Kelly stayed aboard for some welcome moral support for Gillie.  I think they had a fairly sleepless night with the bow tilted at an angle forwards and ferry boat wash causing strange wobbling movements but importantly Tuppenny was ready for repair.
The boys went super early and started as planned whilst Cath and I had a bit of a lie-in and joined them later for moral support and to source some yummy roti canai for breakfast.  I’m not technical on the details but we arrived at 8:30 to find all mostly on schedule and that the cause of the leak had been the pipe which supports the propshaft having split and broken on the underside – probably many years ago – and the dripless system had been installed over the broken pipe.  Neil removed the propellor and shaft and ground fibreglass away to enable the new system to be installed on clean solid pipe.  Pete epoxied everything clean and expertly re-installed the replacement bellows system.  These tasks are easy for me to write in a sentence when in reality it took them the best part of 5.5 hours solid work against the clock and tide to achieve by bending upside down into squished barely accessible compartments, and with sweat constantly dripping from every pore in the tropical heat.
But by 10am there were finally some smiles on their faces and Gillie was almost in tears with relief.  The propellor was back on as was the new dripless stuffing box and the skies had darkened and started to pour with some much needed local rain. We waited out the downpour in the local breakfast cafe and left Gillie aboard to keep an eye on things as the tide rose over the propellor.  A triumphant “NO DRIPS!” was declared when she re-appeared after the squall passed – SUCCESS!
High tide arrived at 14:00 and we returned to assist with lines and traffic direction as there are lots of small boats zipping in and out of the canals.  Again everything went smooth as clockwork and Tuppenny was soon back with us on anchor with Gillie tongue-in-cheek declaring she now had something wrong with the bilge pump as it didn’t seem to be working anymore… because it didn’t need to!
It was a great feeling to have saved her lots of yard money, coming together to help a fellow cruiser and to have had everything turn out so well.  Now it was time to  celebrate and party cruiser style.  We relocated the next day to an idyllic remote bay and snorkelled the reef, gathered wood for the beach bbq, laid out the grass mats and drank bubbles in the sea, complete with a beautiful bamboo swing to play on.
No wonder we love this lifestyle!

Sailing into the wind – why would anyone do it?

image

My grandmother fondly refers to me as her little bird, flitting from branch to branch and migrating with an inbuilt instinct. Perhaps this translates to our sea life as we are nomadic sailors, exploring the globe however the seasonal or Trade wind dictates. I guess that’s the best way to describe the grand plan, although anyone who knows me understands my plans are often scratched in the sand of a beach with a rising tide.

Trade winds are amazing. We purchased a beautiful chart of the tall ships trading routes which inspired dreams long before we moved aboard Tiki and has become my go-to map when dream planning our global course.   Normally we would be sticking closely to these seasonal highways, after all we are nomadic and want an easy cruising life. But sometimes we go against the wind, turn on the engine and reverse course. Why?

It irked me as we sailed south away from the idyllic turquoise waters and palm fringed islands of Terengganu state. I’m green with envy talking to other cruising boats in the area which are generally headed north or east as it’s the SouthWest Monsoon season with consistent fresh winds from the south. Their destinations include Cambodia, Vietnam, Borneo and the Philippines. Oh boy am I jealous! (read inspired)

Not us we’re going south, motoring not only into a headwind but a 2-3knot opposing current and swell.  It seems like madness and after a few nasty passages into wind through Indonesia Captain Crackers and I looked each other in the eye, spat on our palms, shook and swore never again! yet here we are.

Ahh but this time the madness has an olive grove gold and mountain peaked silver lining. This time I’m not complaining at all. Because this time for all the queasy seasick, thumping discomfort associated with this beat to wind sea leg there is a huge reward at the end. We are off on a land based awesome adventure in the form of GR11 hiking in Spain, woo hoo!

So why am I sailing south into the wind? In boatlife any long departure from our salty home means Tiki needs to be looked after in a secure yard or marina. Mediocre ones simply offer a pontoon to tie to. A good one in addition has security, will check her mooring lines, watch her waterline, listen for alarms and tie down anything which works itself loose in a storm.  Tiki is my home, she’s got soul,  I talk to her, we’ve got sand-scratched plans. She HAS to be in a good one and unfortunately there isn’t a big choice in this area, so back south towards Singapore we go.

Sailing into the trade winds? Normally would never recommend it, but this time it’s all good and the distances not too far. The real beauty of the trades to this nomad is that they will be here around the same time every year so my sand scratchings are free to follow them when we return.

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.

New chapter for saltygardener and Tiki

Hiya! it’s no secret I’ve been awol a few years from posting here and so many wonderful journeys and events happened in that time.  Neil has captured some fantastic anchorages and bits of Tiki’s ongoing refurbishment on our site at SY Tiki – Adventures on a Young Sun 43 Both sites need updating and overhauling and it’s on the nice job list for me now I have the time.

A quick summary is we journeyed up and down East Australia spending 2011 between Queensland’s coral coast down to Sydney and all of 2012 on Sydney Harbour.  2013 started in Tasmania for a haul out and refit before cruising to Pittwater, getting married (yippee!) and then north again to Brisbane where we stayed until May 2014.

The adventure continues as our route takes us further north and over the top of Australia to Darwin and into Indonesia. Let’s see how I go this time with the updates… I’m more consistent with Twitter – @saltygardener or Instagram – @saltygardener if you’d like to follow me.

Wishing you fair winds and rich soils.

Tiki picture showcase

IMG_1763IMG_1143109DSCF0042-2DSCF0050-2DSCF0051-2
IMG_1705DSCF0126DSCF0103IMG_1767IMG_1986IMG_1983
IMG_2050IMG_1994IMG_1995IMG_1999IMG_2004IMG_2005
DSCF0097IMG_2012IMG_2030IMG_2034DSCF0019IMG_2001

Tiki showcase, a set on Flickr.

Everyone has been asking for some more Tiki Pics so here she is – enjoy!

Catching and preparing crabs

Cooked Mudcrab
A really impressive first catch, cooked in salted water with a little sugar for 10-12 mins.

I’ve been on the hunt for crabs ever since we arrived in Australia as they are right at the top of my list of favourite sea foods.  It all started with family fishing trips to the Swan River and Mandurah Estuary as a child. I have wonderful memories of a massive copper pot of freshly scooped Blue Manners boiling on a campfire – newspaper laid out on the foldout table with bread buttered and white pepper and vinegar at the ready for the gourmets amongst us.  We’d stuff the warm crab meat sandwich to bursting and the buttery juices would run down my hands with each delightful bite – heaven.

All grown up and living on the other side of the world in London they were not so easy to catch – I’m no contender for the “Deadliest Catch” series that’s for sure.   I resolved to them being caught and prepared for me, which tended to leave me somewhat disappointed.  When I first met my partner and planned to move onboard a boat for a large part of the summer I straight away called home and asked mum if she would bring me over a couple of drop net pots on her next visit.  Strange thing to ask for I guess, but she didn’t even blink.  They arrived as priority in her luggage (what a great mum!) and I couldn’t wait to get crabbing again.

Sailing Brittany in northern France each summer and learning from the locals I would head ashore on the low tide to set my pots near rock and hope for a selection of small rock crabs.  They never yielded much meat but really added that essential oomph to any stock or our staple seafood bouillabaisse.  The divine brown and spider crabs which could be purchased cooked or live from the  fishmongers were brought up from a depth that my simple pots could never reach and so became a regular treat for us when dining out.

Keep an eye on these masterful houdinis as they can easily escape many containers.  Encountering this one walking around the foredeck was an interesting experience.

Which is why I am so excited to have the larger crabs back on my catch list here in Eastern Australia.  Whilst we are in northern climes with mangrove-fringed shores it is the mudcrab I’m after as they will not be around as we head south.  My first beauty crawled into the pot I had thrown off the back of the boat just yesterday and the cooked version of him is starring in this blog header – gorgeous isn’t he?  The hardest part is deciding how to cook them – an online search for recipes returns a huge list.  Not only was he the first “muddie” I’d ever caught, it was the first caught crab in such a long time for me that he got the royal treatment.  Half was consumed warm and unadorned and was eye-rollingly delicious.  The other half was chilled overnight in the fridge and meat was extracted to be served tossed through spaghettini with olive oil, lemon juice and a few chilli flakes.

Male Blue Swimmer crab caught using a tin of sardines for bait

The same pot and bait caught a couple of blue swimmers today which are currently going zzzz in the freezer.  Until I get used to the fact that they are here in my life again with abundance I will be treasuring these guys steamed naturally, buttering the bread in anticipation, a little vinegar and black pepper at the ready.

I can’t wait to try our luck at catching a few spanner crabs, or Moreton Bay bugs as we head south to explore the coast towards Sydney.  Whatever we catch I’m very glad to say that crab is back on the menu!

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.