Australia 4 Fremantle
We arrived at the Fremantle Sailing Club after a difficult night but were met by the efficient and friendly Harbour Master, who took our lines and gave us a brief run down of the club. We made ourselves fast and headed off for a hot shower, followed by a bacon sandwich on board. All seemed rosy once more.
I collected some mail from reception and booked us in for a 2-week stay. We had a number of jobs to do and Fremantle was an ideal stop. Most parts and spares were available, and the town was just a short, free bus ride away. That would make it easy for Amanda to take the boys off the boat while I carried out the maintenance Pegasus desperately needed.
I had a long jobs list, but first was to order new seals for our hydraulic rams which needed replacing. What a nightmare. After identifying the ram type, and date of manufacture, it was apparent that there were 2 sorts of seals available that had to be ordered from the states. The Australian wholesaler was less than motivated and it looked like it would take a month at least before they would arrive, and then it was likely that they would be the wrong part. After a week of messing around I contacted technical support in Canada at 1am, and finally got through to “the man that can” After detailing my requirement and his discrepancy in the parts list and printed manuals, he said he would send them direct, no charge. It’s always a pleasure dealing with N American suppliers. They have great customer service and just want to help. Problem 1 solved, the right parts were on the way.
Over the following 2 weeks I installed a salt-water deck wash, serviced both engines and relocated the water traps, which had been causing problems, bought engine spares and worked on the dinghy. The old Avon rib was taking a bashing, and the hull was pretty chipped where we had been pulling it up beaches and rocks. I reglassed the bottom and put a strip of Kevlar along the keel to protect it over the next year.
It looked like we could haul Pegasus out of the water in a Travel lift, so on 29th March we motored a mile into the adjacent harbour and took Pegasus out of the water to finally attend to the antifouling and hull. This was really the first time we had found a travel lift wide enough to accept our 8-meter beam. I thought we needed 4 days but completely forgot that it was the Easter weekend. There was no way we could finish in 3 days so were resigned to spend 9 days on land. That was no bad thing as it allowed plenty of time to work on the hulls.
I put in 5 solid days and at the end of it Pegasus had 5 coats of antifouling, a good polish and I stripped and serviced both rams and the hydraulic system, amongst other things. Amanda and the boys bought stores, went swimming, toured a few museums and enjoyed the Fremantle fringe festival which was right on our doorstop.
It’s not easy to be on land and its always difficult for Amanda to keep the boys amused while off the boat, and safe while in the yard. Everything gets filthy, and it’s a struggle for us all to keep clean. Luckily we knew we would be back at the club and could give Pegasus and ourselves a really good clean on our return.
By Easter Saturday I had broken the back of the jobs so in the afternoon we went into town and watched some Fringe theatre and had dinner at a great bar called Little Creatures. Easter Sunday we would all spend together.
We had a great Easter. The boys were very excited about the Easter egg hunt, and yes, the Easter bunny did come but failed to pick up the antifouling tools and whip a quick coat on!
The Following Tuesday saw us back at the club with Pegasus looking good and all systems working. We were conscious that this was really our last stop in any population density for some time, so needed to get organised for Indonesia as well as the 2000 miles of wilderness we were about to explore. We went off to the Travel Doctor to get up to date with various inoculations. The boys needed some usual stuff, Louis with his MMR and the like, and we decided it was prudent to all get Rabies jabs. These are a 3 series inoculation with injections on day 0, 7 and 28. We had our jabs and organised to be back in a week. Our day 28’s we would have in Carnarvon and organised for the vaccine to be on hand at the Pharmacist on our arrival.
We were destined to be in Freo for another week. We made contact with a friend of a friend, Christina. After meeting on board she invited us to lunch, then Dinner. Christina organised a great evening with some friends of hers with mutual contacts. We all had a most enjoyable evening, the conversation flowed, and late into the evening we bundled 2 sleeping children into a taxi and headed back to Pegasus.
While waiting for mail and our next series of injections we had a little time for sightseeing and meeting contacts. We went into Perth, walked around the museums and generally looked around. I organised for a few business contacts to come down to Pegasus and we had some long evenings in good company.
It looked like we would try and leave on Sunday 18th April and head to Rottnest Island for a few days before heading north. The Saturday night saw a big party in the Club hosted by two couples also heading north imminently. We had a great evening with a band and BBQ, and both boys ended up crashing out in a Marina barrow with pillow and sleeping bag, while mum and dad carried on with the party.
The following morning we headed off to Rottnest after saying our goodbyes. Christina came and had coffee and wished us well, and by mid afternoon we were at anchor in Thomson bay on Rottnest Island. It felt great to be out of the Marina and off again on our travels.
Pegasus had been alongside for a month and we had all put on weight, having eaten and drunk far too much. Some energetic sailing, walks down the beach and anchor hauling were in order. We went ashore, swam and walked: it felt good. That evening we were lulled to sleep by the gentle lapping of water on the hulls and a slight motion on the boat…glorious, we had missed that.