30 December 2006 Saturday
I seem to now be awake 7 til 7, or 8. After the sun has gone down there is not much I can do. In a marina you can wander off, but I am not likely to take the dingy out after dark. That reduces things to reading or the computer. This all takes power and the wind drops at night. I think running the watermaker takes more out of the battery than the engine puts in. I could run the engine for longer if there is anything I particularly want to do in the evening, but I quite appreciate the rest.
I was up this morning and sitting in my seat surveying the world when I noticed a boat close by with people waving at me. Eric and his family had arrived at 3 ths morning. I went over to say hello and they were all disgustingly awake, but it was nice to see people I know. Formalities, no, they had just anchored – that s the French for you. (Just kidding, JP). I said they were supposed to take the boat into the port, but try asking if they could go in by dinghy. Luckily the port is full and the last thing they wanted was a yacht turning up among the cruisers. There are 2 new cruisers with 5 masts like square riggers and a big Sea Princess.
We went by dinghy convoy, I let them tow me as they had their outboard. We tied up in town, walked to the port and did all the formalities. Slightly confusing the immigration man who recognised me. I said I was already here, just showing them the way. It is quite a process and to do it at arrival and departure at each island is going to be a bit of a pain. Once you have signed out you can t even anchor anywhere else on the coast, it has to be High Seas.
Formalities done we went to the first bar we could find to get Eric a cold beer and then to the supermarket. I did buy a bar of chocolate for later. I also found that a small peppermint aero had dropped into my basket. As this was for Xmas and Xmas has gone then it was only fair that it too has gone.
Just before we got to my boat on the way back we saw my turtle, which was good.
My wind generator had stopped while I was away. My Come In Handy rope had somehow managed to get to the back of the boat and and wrap itself round the blades; not helping the power situation. The generator is ok, but the rope was a problem. I had secured both ends, but the middle went on a little trip and had to be unwound from the shroud and the backstay.
I have managed to connect to a wi fi site, but still cannot get onto the internet.
31 December 2006 Sunday
I have cleaned the boat above the antifoul, where I was a bit low in the water and removed the slime weed and the goose barnacles, especially at the stern. This is where the boat length takes on a different view. When talking to people with other boats mine is 10 metres, make it as big as possible, including the bowsprit. When in a marina it is 9.5 metres, make it as short as possible. When cleaning the boat it is 8.55 metres waterline length and that is more than enough. I was either pushing myself off the boat to stop being smacked into the hull or pulling the rope to keep me into the boat to reach and scrape. I tethered on a few times when in open water, but here anchored in a bay I was totally focused on being firmly attached to the boat. I was in the dinghy at all times, just in case anyone thought I had actually made it into the water. The water was lovely and warm, but it does not stay still, the wind sends it in little waves into my face and that is more than enough to keep me in the dinghy. This took 2.5 hours and used up all my energy for the day. Was it enjoyable, no. Did it give me a sense of achievement, yes, but I would not have minded if it had been easy. Does it make a difference, oh yes, it makes a lot of difference. The boat looks better and must feel better. The only downside is that now it shows up the hull, that needs the streaks and round the exhaust cleaned – but not today. I shall do some sewing.
Looking back on this year a day hasn t gone by when I haven t learnt something. The more painful or expensive, the more it has sunk in. New Year Resolutions, no, just to keep going and keep trying.
Never Give Up, Never Give In – Galaxy Quest, great film.
Lots of love and hopes for a great 2007 to everyone, enjoy it, too soon it will be gone.