We'll things have been all over the shop as normal. Just before Christmas 2014 I was offered some work back in the Caribbean and with the wet season upon us in North Queensland I thought it sounded like a great idea to head back to work for a while.
The next question was what to do with Spirit? after a week of running around all over the place and ringing people and asking friends for help. The Whitsunday Yacht Club offered to put her on their property just beside the yacht club. It was a great surprise and it all happened so quickly and easily. I can't thank all those involved with Spirit enough. One minute your worrying about what to do with your home and boat and the next thing it's all ok and you couldn't have found a better spot for her. Actually a shed 50ft x 40ft would have been perfect but that's out of the question.
After a few days getting all the crap off the boat, mostly pots, pans, food, fridge, clothing and everything I could remove it was time to haul her out. Sitting on the tailor ready to be wheeled over the old volleyball courts
Rupert King who owns Overdrive offered the use of his trailer and also his forklift. Spirit fitted perfectly on the trailer. After hauling her out we then drover her over to the patch of ground she was going to live on for the next eight months. Rupert helped organise some tires and we bought four two ton concrete blocks for her to sit upon. One being put under each float where the beam bulkhead is. We then put the tires upon the blocks and also some under the main hull until she was sitting straight and steady. From there we jacked one side up and removed the trailer.
After that we removed the tires we placed under the float to jack her up and then lowered her down onto the single tires, which we had place upon the concrete blocks. We bought some two ton straps and strapped her down to the blocks so at the moment she's holding fast to eight tons of concrete!!
We had a pretty close call at the end of January when a cyclone crossed the coast just north of Airlie Beach in Bowen. It just happened to cross at the same time as the years highest tide which brought the water level up to near where Spirit was. There were a few days there where we didn't know how bad the cyclone was going to be or how Spirit would cope with the wind and water. Thank goodness she came out ok in the end. There was a bit of water damage to the ground around where the concrete blocks were but nothing too bad. Spirit is all fine and with my parents living in Airlie Beach it's great to know someone is popping down regularly to keep an eye on her for me. Along with a few local friends that have also been a great help.
So I'll be updating the blog from the Caribbean for the next few months. We're going to be based around here until May when we hope to sail over to the Med and Spain and beyond...... who knows??
I'm now on a very luxurious 80ft ketch with ever mod con and more. It's one extreme going from Spirit to this yacht Zanabe. I do miss Spirit's simplicity and her turn of speed. She has proven over the last three years to be a great little boat and a perfect platform to cruise on. I can't wait to get back to her and have more adventures up and around Asia.