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Tahina Expedition

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We are finally getting to the benefits from our lightning strike last month.  We just finished installing a brand new navigation system for Tahina.  Check out this post which shows pictures of our new instruments and talks about some of the features.
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Tahina Expedition

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Really missing the joy of sailing since we've been in the Singapore area.  We are in a marina in Malaysia actually, but right next to Singapore.  They don't allow sailing in the Singapore shipping channel due to the navigation hazard it would present.  And, Singapore in general restricts the traffic in the area.  We've been sticking around here for medical reasons, and for our trip back to the US a while back.  So, it's been months now since we've had our sails up.  We have new sails on order, so the pressure to go try them out will be really high.  Once the new sails arrive, we may motor out away from the shipping channel just so we can go raise sails for a day.
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when is it scheduled to arrive in Maldives?
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Sorry for not positing here lately.  The best place to follow us is always on http://TahinaExpedition.com/blog (our blog).  Most recent post here is about fixing a leaking watermaker part - that actually worked! 
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We are literally sailing off towards the sunset (still an hour or so away) as we see the last bits of the Australia mainland coast, the Cox Pennisula, about 15 miles west of Darwin.  Mixed emotions as we leave this place we've been visiting for the past 10 months.  Australia has been a mixture of ups and downs, but over all we have been amazed by many things in this huge country/continent.  We also met some really nice people and had some amazing experiences.  We hope to come back someday and see some of the many things we missed!
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Have just updated the Tahina Expedition map showing our track from North Carolina all the way to Darwin, Australia now.  The map also shows our very approximate future track for the rest of the circumnavigation.
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We had just the right conditions to continue sailing our spinnaker right around Cape Wilbeforce and directly through the cuts between the islands there.  It was a bit risky, but we went through quite pleasantly with a flood tide doing 10+ knots speed over ground.   We are now making our way towards "Hole in the Wall".  We are making such good time, we will have to slow down the boat and wait a bit for the slack tide necessary to do the Hole.  See the map and the red route for where we are going.
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Have them in circles
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Tahina Expedition

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One of the curses of every boating cruiser's existence is the ordering and shipment of parts from/to International locations.  As often happens, we have boat parts coming from the four corners of the world (due to an upcoming haul-out in a boatyard), and always there is the concern about delays and problems.  We were told there might be problems with shipments into Malaysia - one report being with Fedex in this area.  And, you never know if customs will hold up a box for duty even though "yachts in transit" are supposed to get parts duty free. 

I had an important set of parts (new thru-hull ball-valves) from New Zealand ordered last week.   I asked them to send it DHL.  I finally got a tracking number on Monday saying it was sent last Friday.  But, it wasn't showing any tracking progress.  Well, it arrived yesterday while we were in Singapore.   The marina handed it over this afternoon when we got back and there were no issues with the duty or anything.  Everything was in order with the contents too! Yay!
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Just going to do a preliminary write-up of today's activities in preparation for a blog post tomorrow.  Those of you reading here will get the gist first!  If you haven't been following the blog, we are located at a marina in Singapore off the  resort island of Sentosa.

Finally finished the water heater replacement project today.  It was mostly done yesterday, but one of the fittings was leaking.  Turns out I overturned a brass fitting in my attempts to stop a leak and cracked it.  This morning I found a new replacement fitting and tried again.  Again I had a very small leak, and after leaving things pressurized I realized there were some other leaks on other fittings.  I spent a couple hours in the very hot and humid day tweaking the fittings until I got the leaking to stop. Well, all except one which was a fitting I never touched and had been leaking very slowly for a long time.  In the process  I think I ended up sweating several liters - which if you know me it is a true phenomena.  I never sweat!

This evening I hooked up the boat engine circulation hoses, that are connected to the water heater, and started up the engine to test it's ability to heat the water in the water heater tank.  I had to prime the hoses a bit and re-fill the fresh water coolant tank.  But, I think it's all working now.  Will check again after running the engine more.

Late today we got a call from the marina that they want us to move the boat tomorrow to another slip.  It's a bit of an improvement in terms of walking distance to the facilities.  But, we lose the access to our boat neighbor's bike I had been using for the last several days.  Oh well...life in a marina.  We are leaving next week anyway to move the boat back to Malaysia.
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Oh the joy of cleaning a boat's bottom

We are getting ready to move the boat to another marina after staying in one spot since last early-November.  We did take the boat out once in January to run the water maker and our speed was much slower thanks to growth.  So, today I jumped in the kind of murky water here at Puteri Harbour Marina in Malaysia near the river from Johor Bahru to the Singapore channel.

I put on full wet suit, gloves, mask, weights, snorkel and fins.  But, no tank.  I decided to do this one free diving.  The props had a fair bit of growth, so I started there first.  I dive down and scrape, scrape, scrape a few times until I need air and then pop up for a few breaths, repeat. 

We have a catamaran, so two of everything.  Then, the rudders, the bows, the sides, and finally I checked the bottoms of the keels.  Oh my gawd!  There was like 6 INCHES of a coral reef growing on the bottoms!  It took several dives down to 5 feet to clean each keel bottom.  I was actually thinking a morray eel could be living there!

I took a break half-way through this process because I had a bit of a foot cramp.  I drank a full glass of iced tea to help hydrate the muscles.   The wide paint scraper I used for this job managed to bend a bit, and so it lost its ability to jam through the hard growths.  At that point I was 95% done, so I finally quit.

We only have a 2 or 3 hour trip to the marina in Singapore later this week, so the job should be more than adequate to smooth our ride over there.
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The shore breeze we had been sailing under stopped blowing just before the sunset.  So, we are motoring off into the sunset and are now in the Timor Sea as we leave the waters of Australia and head for Indonesia.
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Bon Voyage - it was great to share a short "leg" of your adventure with you!
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And we're off!  We have a nice shore breeze and are sailing out of Darwin at 8.5 knots!  A great start to what will likely be a lot of motoring to Indonesia.
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We are nearly to Darwin - arriving today.  We are in the southern part of Van Diemen Gulf which has had very little wind - so, we have been motoring.  We had excellent sailing, for the most part, all the way from Gove.  We flew the spinnaker the majority of the time, and averaged 6-7 knots.  Very few other vessels seen enroute.  Not a single sailboat.
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Have them in circles
180 people
Jean-Baptiste Scref's profile photo
Birgit Röthel's profile photo
Story
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A five year sailing circumnavigation by Frank and Karen Taylor
Introduction
Tahina is in the middle of a five year sailing circumnavigation which started in North Carolina, USA in November 2009.  We (Karen Taylor and Frank Taylor) are documenting our travels on our web site with a blog, with thousands of geo-tagged photos visible in our photo albums, and through Google Earth with our photos, GPS tracks and maps.  Currently located in Australia and will soon be traveling in Indonesia.