Rob and Jacky Black
Thu 4 Jun 2009 13:47

39 53.4N  04 16.5E

We arrived here on Tuesday evening but were unable to contact the rigger until Wednesday; he promised to come in the afternoon but he didn’t arrive until 1800 and then waited for his pal to come so he could go up the mast for a look at what was wrong. The result was a new forestay had to be made. They left at 1930 and promised to return at 0800 today. We were up bright and early to get the jib down and stowed out of the way. Then it was a case of winding John up the mast passing various tools aloft, undoing the bottleneck screws on the main shrouds, loosening the backstay, using the spinnaker halyards x 2 and the newly rigged jib halyard to hold the mast forward while the forestay was removed. All a bit scary really. This done the whole of the foil was dismantled and we were able to see the extent of the damage to the top of it. The wire had come un wound and you can see the rope core – so in a blow we would probably have lost the mast and rigging!

The guys were back by 1100 and the new forestay duly fitted. There was a problem with the twin spinnaker halyards tangling in the furler so this had to be sorted and John had to go back up the mast to do it! We have been told to use WD40 on the top fitting monthly and to ensure the two spinnaker halyards are back on the mast before letting out the jib or furling it in!

All complete by 1330 and we all stopped for a nice cold beer. Now just waiting for the bill.

In the process of refitting the furler our bow navigation light was damaged so we are now waiting for the chandlery to re –open to replace this. In addition Mario dropped one of his ‘shifters’ over the side so I had to find a large magnet and go fishing for it! Got it back after about 20 minutes – along with a good deal of other smaller pieces of metal from the bottom!

In between all of this I managed to walk up to town and get some shopping – there is a lovely old market area around the Cathedral and underneath this a small supermarket. I was able to get a taxi back to the boat with the supplies.

We have washed the boat, restocked the water tanks and charged the batteries so hope now to be set for some anchoring and then our passage to Sardinia.

Paid 3 Euros for a 5 hour internet connection through Sunseeker. Hence the ability to get messages off easily over the last couple of days. The showers here are great but no laundry unless you are prepared to pay 30 Euros for 5 kilos to be washed and dried!

I did ours in the large black buckets bought in Portugal – caused quite a spectacle as I did the scrubbing on the jetty while the tourists walked by, and then of course Arwen looked like a ‘Chinese laundry’ with sheets towels and clothes hanging all over the place!

That’s it for now.

Jacky and Rob


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