It IS time to see what Rodney & Penny have been doing.
And we've been very busy replacing all the chain on the mooring
and making it strong and secure enough for our big heavy yacht in bad weather.
 
There was just no way, we could leave the yacht to go back home for the Elections and the High School Reunion - without replacing the old mooring chains that have been on this mooring for many years - and had undoubtedly rusted away badly.   Keith said, he had looked at the chain a while back while diving - and it was in a very unsafe state - and could not possibly hold this yacht - if a good wind blew up on the bay.
 
 
So come last Thursday - we were all ready for the job.   Dive bottles filled and gear near at hand, should we need to scuba dive - and I had rung the heart specialist beforehand to ask his advice - as to whether I could dive OK with the cardiomyopathy - heart condition - but as yet - had not heard back from him.   Much to the concern of a few friends, like Bill on shore who implored me not to dive without the doctors approval.
 
Keith arrived and as usual, greeted Penny.
 
 
 
While I finished off breakfast - we watched the work tug go by and I took a panorama
but the tug was moving along so we ended up with this . . . .
 

 
Keith - who was overseeing the whole operation - because it was his friend Sam's mooring we were repairing - felt we might be able to haul up the sections of chain - using ropes - and my big 240v Deck Winch.   So this was our first approach (Plan A) as neither of us was all that keen to dive anyway - in the murky conditions - with poor visibility.
 
So we proceeded to tie rope as far down as we could - and then haul that 10' or so up - re-tie another rope further down again - and then pull that next section up - and so on - until we got as much of the old rig up as we could - and hopefully we would reach the good solid - heavy ground chain that should be attached to the big commercial block on the bottom.
 
This is a diagram showing different mooring arrangements
but the usual here, is the big ground chain to a heavy smaller chain up to the buoy
 
 
 
So we started hauling it up with the winch - and this is how it went. . . . . .
 
 
 
 
 
 
Look at the state of this section of chain which was originally 3/4" steel
and has rusted away to be 'paper clip' thin - and would break easily.
 
 
 
 
 
But it was only an hour or twos work to cut away all the old ropes - and then using the 240v Makita Grinder on an extension lead - we cut off all the old chain right down tto the good heavy 1" steel diameter ground chain that was still in near perfect condition and showed no signs of rust - because for most if it's life it sits in the bottom mud.
 
With everything still suspended from the bowfitting, and working completely from the runabout below - we proceeded to connect up a new big 26mm steel swivel - and then new big shackles and new double galvanised chain from the ground chain to the mooring buoy.
 
 
The picture above is showing it in reverse - because the big bottom chain is held up and coming back over the rollers towards you and the new fittings and chain hanging down - will actually be above it, and lead UP to the mooring.   The smaller 1/2" chain will then come from the mooring buoy to the yacht - along with a big 40mm mooring rope as the main 'snubber line'.
 
All the old chains you see were just held up out of the way, by ropes until we finished, and then lowered into the runabout - a heavy rusted mess - to be 'got rid of' later.
 
So we were going pretty damn well with good old 'Plan A'.
 
But as I said to Keith - it was probably all due to the fact that about halfway through, Machine Gun turned up - and we then had the benefit of his 'management skills' and extra hands.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And so the job was done - with 1/2 the day to spare - and no scuba diving.
 
I've been asked 'how do we know the condition of the block and fittings' - but the fact is that we don't really - without scuba diving to have a look.   But being a heavy commercial mooring it will likely have at least 2" or even bigger - steel lifting rings from it - which would last indefinitely - and should not be compromised.   But come better weather we will dive and see.
 
[from 'GMac' on the Cruisers Forum: 'With regards to using non-galvanised steel gear. Rust needs O2 and you don't have to go too deep for that to fade away so no O2 no rust. Self-colour (black) gear is also a lot cheaper.']
 
 
The completed mooring setup - that should hold us securely in just about any weather.
 
 
So now we can settle back and enjoy the sunrises and sunsets
without worrying that we may be blown across the bay at any moment.
 
 
 
Plus, we can now go back home for a few days
knowing the yacht will still be where we left it - when we return.
 
So there you have it - Plan A actually worked - and Oh yes - the Heart Specialist did ring
at 6.30pm that night - after all was done - to tell me I 'should not' scuba dive for now.
 
Well - we're rolling along and catching up with the adventures of the past few days
so stay tuned for our next exciting Penny episode.
 
 
and
 
 
 
 
So we'll see you soon
 
 
from your friends
 
 
 
 
'the worsest pirates on the block'
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sydney, Australia