A long time since our last post and a lot of miles travelled - air miles rather than sea miles!
The last post had seen us arrive in Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote, with failed instruments and auto-helm. With the help of an engineer at port, it transpired that the PCB (printed circuit board) in our auto-helm computer was ‘fried’.
He was able to re-route our wiring so that the instruments by-passed the auto-helm computer, so we could hop down the coast to Marina Rubicon, who have a very impressive chandlery (not to mention the swimming pool)!
As we rounded the southern tip of the island, out true understanding of the Canary island ‘acceleration zones’ was formed. Having read all about this in the pilot and been told by World Cruising, it still came to us as a surprise at how suddenly the wind changes. An additional 10 knots from seemingly nowhere made for a very exhilarating final leg of our sail.
Once settled into Marina Rubicon, we then focussed on the repairs. The auto-helm is linked to the steering motor and after a lot of correspondence with the steering motor manufacturer, we were able to do some tests on our motor to discover this was the failed part. We ordered a replacement Raymarine auto-helm through the chandlers but only Jefa steering in Denmark are able to supply or repair their steering motor. We explored getting a new one sent to us, but were advised with the post Brexit issues, this was a complicated process and unlikely to get to us in time (if at all!).
Not to be deterred and with our planned return to the UK for 3 weeks, we flew back with our 15kg steering motor in our luggage and then did a quick trip to Denmark. We sat in the canteen at Jefa for 1 1/2 hours whilst our motor was inspected and duly repaired, before returning to the UK with it and subsequently to Lanzarote.
An evening off to enjoy dining and some live music in the lava caves before focussing on boat repairs.
All parts now back at the boat, auto-helm computer and steering motor fitted, all that remains is for the sea trials to check out the repairs.
Unfortunately during the refitting process Gerry came down with another bout of appendicitis and had a blue light ambulance ride to hospital in Arrecife, about 40 km from the boat. Having taken several hours to sail from Arrecife to marina Rubicon, it took about 40 minutes to get back!
After nine days in hospital with an antibiotic drip, he was finally ‘released”, still with his appendix in place. We have returned to the UK for some recovery time, however Gerry is now under doctors orders not to go long distance sailing with his appendix in place and is now on the waiting list for an op.
Thank goodness the flare up was when we were shore based and not half way across the Atlantic. We’ve currently switched to a January 2022 crossing with the ARC but it will depend on operation and recovery timings.
Repairing the boat had its complications but repairing crew is much harder to plan for!
We hope to be back early 2022 with the next instalment of our sailing adventure.