Off at last, tomorrow!!

Sun 7 Oct 2007 03:14
Fleck was launched on Wednesday, but still some last minute jobs have kept Douwe (Douwe and Maaike, Dutch friends sailing 'Johanna')and me in the Marina, although as we are now on the water there seem rather fewer mosquitos, and life is more comfortable. We had planned to leave today, and have 'cleared out' of customs and immigration. Torrential thunderstorms last night however, with winds from the south west which would have made our next stop, down the coast at Santa Cruz bay untenable. None the less we plan to anchor there tomorrow night, then it is a day sail to Aruba. Hope the Customs don't check up on us.
Main drama of the week was a leak around the propeller shaft which obviously only became apparent as Fleck was dropped back in the briney. A thing called the stern gland was loose and I think it is fixed now.
Several new gizmos to try out once we are going. With Connys translation of the German instructions, I was able to dismantle the engine's alternator and fix in some new wires to power a high output voltage regulator: This means that I can recharge the ships batteries from the engine in half the time that it takes now, so when I am lazing in the San Blas Islands in a few weeks time I can run the engine for a short time each day and have enough electricity stored to run the fridge and keep the beer and cokes cold!
The other bit of kit is my 'SeaMe' radar detector: sounds a bell when I'm about to be run down by a super tanker:useful if I am down below with a book, or asleep. I may have mentioned this before: took ages to fix the detector bit to the top of the mast, and feed a wire down the inside of the mast to the deck, and then inside to the navigation station.
Looking forward, with the usual trepidation, to leaving the security of port behind, will write again next week