Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Australis II

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 5
General Discussion / Australis II is no more :(
« on: January 06, 2015, 05:34:37 am »
Sitting in KL airport waiting for a flight back to Oz after a depressing few days - one of which was spent paddling a liferaft to shore. :(

Yes, it's horrible and so so sad to announce that our beautiful yacht Australis II is no more after we experienced a steering failure off a reef in Indonesia when we ran over some fishing floats and nets in the dark and could not turn the wheel and with the wind behind us, got pushed ashore across a reef.

Fortunately both my crew and I managed to grab most of our personal belongings and take to the liferaft once Australis had well and truly grounded and we managed to paddle ashore to a small beach after activating the epirb.

We've made some good friends in this forum and just wanted to let people know we were safe as the media in Australia, Indonesia and France had reported that while the yacht was found, the crew was still missing.

More soon.

Fair winds,

Australis II  :(

General Discussion / Re: I was happy to sleep in the bath….
« on: October 20, 2014, 12:01:39 pm »

Hadn't heard of their release, glad to hear it.  Someone else is missing, but no one knows (yet) if he just dropped his cell phone in the water, or found a girlfriend, or sunk or got kidnapped.  Please pass this around to your friends in this area:

Have passed it onto our friends in Sutera Harbour Marine in Kota Kinabalu. They have had some crap weather up that way due to the typhoon in the north so he might just be delayed. We'll be sailing past Labuan in a couple of weeks and will keep an eye out but hopefully he'll show up safely a lot sooner than that.

Fair winds,


General Discussion / It's all go..
« on: October 20, 2014, 11:46:06 am »
House is stripped and waiting for the builders to start and I'll be back on Australis II next week with our new crew, Indonesian cruising permit and all set for our return to Oz.

We were so relieved to hear of the release of German couple Stefan and Henrike on Friday by Abu Sayyaf. We had Christmas lunch with them in Puerto Princesa, Palawan before returning to Borneo in late January. Stefan and Henrike followed a couple of months later and were apparently kidnapped off their yacht in Rio Tuba. We had anchored there as well on our way back and ..there but for the they say. Scary scary stuff and we just can't imagine the trauma those two went through and wish them all the very best as they recover.

While attacks on yachts in SE Asia are still a rarity and many many yachts cruise the region with no problem at all - we have certainly loved our time there and met some fantastic people, it does reaffirm our decision to head south round the bottom of Kalimantan rather than across the top of Borneo and believe me, we'll be taking it cautiously. Call us chicken but with increased radicalisation of region and the whole ebola threat, we think SE Asia unfortunately could be a very different place in another year or two so it's time bring Australis home and venture back out into the safer waters of the South Pacific instead although as we all know, nothing in life is certain.

We ended up getting the Iridium Go sat wifi instead of the Yellowbrick. It too gives an hourly ship's position, speed and heading to a website map for tracking but will also deliver internet access and weather routing the entire voyage, so a better option I think. We'll post the link before we head off. :)

Fair winds,

Australis II

General Discussion / Average purchase price
« on: September 28, 2014, 10:39:26 pm »
Hi Steve,

Let me know if you need any details for the registration process - it was all pretty easy and I have the contact details for the woman who handles it. I'd send you an email but being a luddite, the google part of your address confuses me? Can we message direct on this site? Have never been sure.



General Discussion / Average purchase price
« on: September 28, 2014, 10:33:37 pm »
Any chance of getting a copy of those? :)

General Discussion / what is the expected tip for an instructor
« on: September 28, 2014, 10:18:49 pm »
If you were in Australia the instruction fees would be significant and no tip would be required although I understand that in the US it's far more common considering the lower wages. We will tip for courteous service from restaurant staff as we are aware their wages are pretty low as well but we'll do that direct rather than through the owners. I took my daughter to the Maldives one year where we knew the owners of many of the resorts pay minimal wage and treat the local staff pretty poorly. The day we arrived the resort owner took us all aside and said 'we realise you may want to tip staff for service but we find it best if you pass that money to us, we will then give it to the staff'

Yeh right!

All the guests decided then and there that giving money to the owners was the last thing we wanted to do, so simply gave our tips direct to the staff without management seeing. It was greatly appreciated.

I ran a dive resort in Papua New Guinea for a while and the owners treated their indigenous staff appallingly. Guests would approach me as the manager, to ask about tipping and I had no problem in telling them its a personal thing between them and the staff and I had nothing to do with it but told them that most staff have kids and like all parents, wanted to see them educated. I was later pressured by the owners to make the staff take some of their wages as goods from the General Store the resort owned. Considering the store sold sugar at double the price of road side vendors I flatly refused and let my thoughts on the way they treated staff be clearly known. Not surprisingly immediately after that phone call a couple of staff members took me aside and said 'Bossman, you need to pack your bags quickly and catch the next flight out this afternoon' They then told me about the fate of three other manager couples who dared to confront the owners about staff treatment. All were immediately ejected from the resort by the local police at the request of the owners and some were even accused of theft and as a consequence found themselves detained.

Needless to say, I divided up all my belongings and gave them to the staff and was smuggled out on the next afternoon flight after the staff secured me a seat on the already full aircraft by talking to the local villagers who had seen the same thing happen over and over again. One of the villagers gave up his seat for me. My wife and I had been working with the local communities in our own time to help establish cottage industries and eco tourism ventures owned and run by the locals - not something the owners were overly pleased about.

The most delightful thing was having the angry owner land in his private plane just before the commercial flight was to arrive and with a security guy, watch me pack my remaining gear and escort me to the plane about a mile from the resort gates. To my amazement, the entire route was lined with staff, local villagers, council members, local police I had befriended and even a number of chieftains from the villages up river - all in tears and all waving goodbye. When I stepped out onto the runway to board the plane I was hugged and kissed and had tears streaming down my face as I boarded the flight. That moment will stay with me my entire life and I swore that when we sailed anywhere in the future, we would never travel as tourists who simply arrive, drop anchor, haggle over local carvings and leave the next day. For us, cruising is a privilege and made so much richer by entering into the everyday life of the communities we meet. We have so much and often those we meet on our travels have so little.

Fair winds,

Australis II

General Discussion / Average purchase price
« on: September 28, 2014, 09:28:08 pm »

No. One of the biggest, and might I say most pleasant surprises we got when we spoke to AMSA - Australia's Maritime Authority and Ship's Registration, was that it was perfectly fine to reflag a foreign vessel to Australian registration as long as we paid the transfer fee and did the paperwork. I was told that many vessels are reflagged with Australian Registration even if they are not in Australia and have no intention of ever coming to Australia. Australis II was in Borneo when we purchased her and all we had to do was send photo's and a witness statement to the effect that the new registration numbers were placed on the hull and a Registration Plaque secured inside. Off course - we had a bit of a delay with deregistering the US paperwork but it was relatively painless and AMSA were extremely helpful.

My understanding of the process now is that Customs will want to calculate the value of the vessel based upon a survey and comparative prices and I will be paying 10%GST on that price plus whatever costs I had of bringing her back to Australia. I think I might get exception from part of the import duty as Australia has a free trade agreement with the US and as long as I can prove that 85% of materials used to build her where US sourced and it was a registered US builder who made her, then I should be fine.

Watch this space.

Fair winds,

Australis II

General Discussion / Average purchase price
« on: September 28, 2014, 03:45:19 am »
We sail our Australian registered Antigua 44 WT ketch back to Cairns over Christmas and will be importing the vessel into Australia. Part of that process involves a customs valuation to determine import duty and sales tax. I'll be using an agent and gathering all the relevant data I can but wondered what was the average price people are paying for a 44' CSY WT in reasonable condition?

Before we purchased Australis II (formerly Wind Rose) we had a look at a 44' sloop rigger CSY in Brisbane called Tactless II which I believe is now in Melbourne. It was selling for $135,000 AU but was in very bad condition but I'd love know what she was purchased for so we can present some historical and current valuation figures to Customs. We also met a couple passing through Cairns who purchased a 44' WO CSY cutter rigged sloop in Tin Can Bay - but I didn't get the opportunity to discover what they had paid for her either :(

Any thoughts?


Hull and Rig / Anyone using synthetic lifelines?
« on: September 28, 2014, 03:33:13 am »
We are just about to install a pair of Wichard 'Lyf'Safe' webbing jacklines running from bow to stern on our Antigue 44 ketch for our return trip from Borneo to Cairns in November. We had the same set up on our 33' double ender cutter we sailed around the pacific and they worked extremely well and come with UV protection and a glow in the dark edging. When we are not sailing we simply disconnect them. I rolled an ankle on a S/S jackline a few years ago and find I prefer a webbing set up.

Fair winds,

Australis II

General Discussion / I was happy to sleep in the bath….
« on: September 20, 2014, 07:25:42 am »
Hi Sherry,

Have sent you an email and thanks for the contacts - I'm following them up now.

I read with interest that the new interior minister for Indonesia has announced a partial with drawl of the Indonesian government diesel fuel subsidy. Apparently from the end of September prices rise by almost 25% across the entire country. There was a comment that while people will be angry about it - they will calm down in a couple of months. I'm not sure of that. My guess is we'll see more boardings of yachts and theft of fuel and a little more angst at the pump against westerners carrying jerry cans. We'll load up as much as we can at Kota Kinabalu and then again in Kuching. That will get us across to Macassar and if we can refuel there as well, we should be ok until Thursday Island.
We've had nothing but extremely positive experiences in Malaysia and the Philippines and many of our friends cruising Indonesia report the same warm welcome yet I'm also hearing about yachts being boarded in those areas and a lot of gear being stolen. At least this time I'll have one crew member aboard, the second ferrying me and another crew member ashore and then returning to the vessel to await our return from customs.

That leaves two on the boat at all times and two ashore, both with VHF radios and the crew aboard monitoring. Apart from that and being sensible about what we leave on deck and in the cockpit, we should be fine. I'm also picking up a YellowBrick transponder which will report our position every hour back to a central base. I like the idea of simply activating it and hiding it somewhere on board and know that its pinging happily away. I've told my wife that if she see's Australis II suddenly heading up into the Philippines, China or the Ukraine then something is seriously amiss and perhaps it might be worth calling someone. :P

Fair winds,

Australis II

General Discussion / I was happy to sleep in the bath….
« on: August 06, 2014, 03:55:29 am »
For some reason, my wife doesn't believe I can demolish 60% of the house in preparation for our renovations and still leave one room we can live in for 6 months. The plumber has even offered to run a pipe through the window with a faucet; I can run an extension lead across the road to the neighbours shed; we'll have a builders Porta toilet on the road verge and I've even offered to run a clothes line between the scaffolding and the cement mixer — what more can one man do?

So we're going to need somewhere to live and with the new owners of Sutera Harbour Marina in Borneo upping the rents and dropping the benefits of our membership, its time to bring our 44' Antigua ketch Australis II back home to Cairns.

My intention was to run across the top of Borneo, scoot along northern Sulawesi and then drop down through Indonesia past Ambon and out into the Arafura Sea for a Thursday Island Australian customs check in and a leisurely sail down the Great Barrier Reef where we'll become live-a boards for a while.

The previous owners sailed in from the US along much the same route and I have all their way points as well as paper charts. I'm just about to organise my Indonesian CAIT and sort out my crew when I discovered Malaysian authorities have just declared a dusk to dawn curfew across the top of Borneo from Sandakan down the West coast to the Indonesian border. With increased Philippine piracy, gun running and resort raiding as well as the recent shooting of a Malaysian policeman and the kidnapping of another — it's not likely to reopen soon.

So I now have an extra 1000nm to travel going down the West coast of Borneo, past Kalimantan and island hop across the arc of the Indonesian Archipelago and try and make for Gove or as a fallback, Darwin.

I'm planning on departing Borneo the first week of November and while I realise December/January is the start of Queensland's cyclone season, after 12 years of sailing the region at that time of year - like most Far North Queenslander's, I have found it's either going to be light northerly westerly winds 85% of the time with the chance of a cyclone the rest. Those odds change considerably as you start getting into February but I'm hoping to be back painting and decorating by then.

Borneo down to Kalimantan and the top of Australia from Darwin to Cairns is pretty familiar territory but Indonesia heading east will be a new one for me. Any cruisers out there traversed this route? All advice and observations most welcome.

I still think we could have survived living in our bathroom for 6 months…

Fair winds

Mico/Australis II

Interior / Interior Leaks
« on: February 16, 2014, 03:21:06 am »
You are talking about the forward Veeberth? We have two large circular opening portholes that we never open as we're worried that we'd forget to close them some day. The other oblong portholes we close whenever we are sailing but of late I have been noticing that I close them a lot tighter than my good lady so she now uses a screwdriver to get some extra leverage. You may want to check out the condition of your porthole seals. Over time they get hard and will leak but are easily replaced. The other area for water to enter that area is through the anchor winch and chain locker. We will usually have a cover over ours if we are battling into a heavy sea. The next thing to check is your stancheon bases and toe rail for leaks around bolts and screws. Unfortunately its often a long process of elimination and may involve someone laying down on the bunk with a torch as you are healed on either tack and looking for the wet spot. That or someone up top hosing the deck down for the same effect.

Good luck

Australis II

Systems / Windvane Suggestions
« on: February 14, 2014, 05:09:30 am »
Yep - we'd be interested in seeing some pics. I've just discovered a S/S tube company in Borneo who can bend and do a pretty good job of welding. Unfortunately it isn't 316 S/S but then again, I'd also like a Valentines Day card from Helen Mirren - but we can't everything can we? lmao.

There is a ketch in the next berth who have fold-out davits and a windvane so we know it's possible. Our next project on Australis II will probably be replacing the head gasket on the Ford Lehman 90hp. I have a sneaking suspicion that the odd white smoke in the exhaust is a small leak in the head gasket. We've cleaned the tanks, cleaned the fuel but there is still a hint of it - although nowhere near as bad as before. Unfortunately all the diesel manuals talk about white smoke being the hardest to pin down. We don't seem to be losing any power but I did notice that once a fortnight I'm putting another litre of coolant in the header tank. I guess that could also be a leak in one of the heat exchangers - so I'll pull those first and check the rods and pipes. Oh the joys of boat ownership! :P

Fair winds,

Australis II

Systems / raymarine autopilot
« on: January 23, 2014, 07:02:09 am »
We have a Type 1 drive as part of our new Raymarine Hydraulic steering set up. I'm regretting not getting the Type 2 now as I find the pump gets very hot if we have the response set above 2. Part of the heat might also be from the fact that the pump is positioned in the engine room rather down near the rudder ram but that's what we inherited and I'll see if I can change that next trip. For now I have installed a large computer fan directly over the pump and this seems to work well but my overall suspicion is that the Type 1 pump is underpowered for our 44. I was given an almost brand new Type 2 pump off a catamaran in the marina so we do have a backup if needed. We also have the old linear drive unit in one of the holds as well, so we'll see how we go but at present everything seems to be working as long as we keep the fan running.

Fair winds,

Australis II

General Discussion / Vessel List
« on: January 18, 2014, 07:26:40 pm »
Thank you for posting the new vessel list in the drop box - it's great to see who is about.

Here is some updated info on Australis II.

Ketch rig with deep keel and Ford Lehman 90hp diesel engine
Vessel home base at present: Kota Kinabalu, Borneo
Crew home base: Cairns, Australia

Fair winds,

Australis II

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 5