Saturday, 13 April 2013

Wash down, a new craze, koalas and school

For over three years now, which is as long as we've owned Aratika 2, I have promised Em a wash down pump. This would allow us to hose mud and gunk off the chain and anchor before it came on deck. Instead we have been using a bucket and mop and enduring a mud bath on deck in places like Bathurst Harbour and Recherché Bay to mention just a few sites of horror. So about 6 months ago we bought a pump from the US when our mates on Galactic did a big gear order and since then the pump has sat in its box in the bilge where it wasn't very effective!

Well at last this week I fitted the pump and to my relief it even works when we turn it on (an achievement for a technically challenged engineer such as myself!). So now we just need a muddy bottom anchorage to give it a really good test. Since leaving Hobart I've been pulling the anchor up while Em helms the boat as an incentive for me to fit the pump, but now I want to stay on the bow so I reap the rewards (and Em is probably a better helm anyway).

Wash Down! 
We've seen people on stand up paddle boards in places all the way along on our trip and Em has been coveting them, so while in Port Macquarie we've given it a go. A very generous local paddle boarder lent us his board for a week after we struck up a conversation with him (how's that for nice!) and since then we've embraced this new craze on Aratika 2 with gusto. Em even went and did a lesson which she really enjoyed.  So we are thinking of getting one as a second tender and fun craft.

A new tender? 

Which way?
We took a break from paddle boarding, doing school, wrestling with a myriad of boat jobs or swimming at the beach to visit the local koala hospital here in Port Macquarie. It was a great place, run by volunteers, that takes in and cares for injured and sick koalas. Many are returned to the wild after recovery and a few remain at the hospital if they can't return to the wild. We really enjoyed the daily guided tour and being able to see the koalas up close. Though it is sad to see that loss of habitat due to urban expansion, cars and dogs seem to be having such a negative impact on the koala population.
Koala hospital feeding time
It's been nice to be in a bit of a routine this last week and alongside a dock so the kids have been able to get off the boat each morning to do "daily fitness" before classes start. This week skipping has been the daily fitness activity of choice. Keeping up the girls schooling is certainly proving to be one of the biggest challenges of the trip for us so it was great to have a guest lecturer in the form of Gran to help out for the week. Particularly as she is actually a professional teacher, unlike us. Ava worked on rocks for a science project while D'Arcy focussed on spelling and learning to tell the time.

Daily fitness on the dock
Geology with Gran the guest lecturer
We will be here another week or so we think and are looking forward to friends and family visiting from Sydney and Canberra next week.


  1. Hi Darcy and Ava.... its Lucia and Stella here... We like the photos. We hope you are having fun in Port Macquarie. How is home schooling going? Have you had any really bumpy nights at sea when you couldnt get to sleep? Has anybody fallen overboard yet? Have you run out of chocolate yet?

    1. Hi Lucia and Stella. Yes we have run out of chocolate and there has been some really bumpy nights. Some people have fallen overboard but not while we were sailing, including me (Ava). School is cool but sometimes it goes on for a bit too long. Sounds like you are having fun in America and the aquarium was awesome.

  2. Hi you lot...this is my third attempt to put a comment on your truly wonderful blog...see how I go this time eh? Rob E