Monday, December 30, 2013

Its almost 2014, New Years eve this evening, about 9 hours to go.
This year has been a horrorshow, with a few exceptions, just enough to keep me sane ( but thats a matter of opinion, mostly mine!).
But the next year is shaping up better, I'm in much better shape, I've two SCAMP Camps plus the Academy sailing skills courses to teach, a third one here in New Zealand, plus the chance of more teaching about design.  I'm working hard to be fit enough to cope, not like last time where I had to creep away for naps and meds to get through the day.

I'm part of the time resident on my ship Kairos, and thats working out nicely, have done a bit of cruising in her, some with family aboard and some with friends Maureen and Jamie Orr from Victoria on Vancouver Island.

It was nice cruising, and the ship is proving to be both comfortable and reliable, perhaps some work to do on damping out the clatter from the big Ford diesel, and there is quite a bit of deferred maintenance in terms of paintwork to catch up on, but its nothing major.
I've run about 400 litres of diesel through the engine so far, thats about 50 hours of running and its not smoking like it was, starts instantly now, and its initial problems seem to have simply been caused by being too often run sitting in the marina with no load on.
As a by the way, I got a 12 m marina berth in Marsden Marina as part of the deal, its got 3 years to go on the lease and I'd be please to sell it, very cheap if anyone is interested.

While out with the Orrs, Jamie got me to drop him in the dinghy way out in the middle of the passage between Rakino and Whangaparoa, and run back and forth to get some photographs of her under way.
Heres a nice shot, we're running at about 8 knots , if you could see me behind the starboard side windscreen in the main cabin you'd see a big smile.

So from me here on New Years Eve, all the very best to everyone for 2014, its going to be a good year!

John Welsford

New Zealand

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I had someone ask " isnt it cramped living on board a boat?"
The main cabin in my ship is about 11 ft x 10 ft wide, there is a cabin forward of that which is in the process of being converted into an office complete with drawing board ( yes there is that much space in there) and aft of the main cabin opposite the galley there is a double bunk, and aft of that again the cockpit is about 6ft longwise and 9 ft wide.
Yes its smaller than a house, but there is a very very big outside just outside and that makes the inside feel a lot bigger.

Here are some shots of the interior. Before I bought the boat, there will be some minor changes.
I have a deepfreeze and a second refrigerator powered by a compressor on the engine which is good when cruising, have pressure hot water and a proper shower too.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I've moved, well, sort of.  Have an internet connection through my cellphone, have a cellphone even!  And thats a big deal as I've not had one since the big bricks, managed to avoid them all these years.

So I'm technically up to date with a phone that is smarter than I am, a Macbook, printer and all on board the ship, and the  ship is now on her berth up in the Wade River.

Its a lovely spot, a couple of miles up a narrow but ok channel, not far away from the city by road or ferry for my three times a week commute, 15 mins walk to a decent corner shop, good cellphone reception and lots of birdsong in the trees.  I'm looking forward to being there.

Here are some pics of the little ship "at home" .

No its not as pretty when the tides out, but even the mudbanks have their appeal with the seabirds hunting on them.

The vista is ever changing with tide moving, wind and currents, and the bush all around.

I have a drawing board set up, will be building an office in the forepeak and will be fitting a bigger battery bank and inverter to make sure that I can carry on working without shore power when I travel to another quiet spot for a change of outlook.

I've got Mike Monies Footloose project on the board at the moment, one of several projects that make up a backlog that needs finishing before I get onto new ones, but some are particularly interesting and Footloose which is a semi displacement monohulled trailerable "houseboat" about 22 ft x 8 ft presented several challenges, its going to be really interesting to see how the theory behind the unusual hull works out in practice.