Week ending 2 December 2007

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Sun 2 Dec 2007 00:25

Week ending 2 December 2007



I have a toolbox which in theory should be empty.  This is a bits box, in it are the bits that have broken and need fixing or replacing and anything that needs to be properly homed whenever the relevant locker is next opened.  The trick is to keep the contents of this box to a minimum. 


I had the broken bits to the autopilot fitting and decided it was time to replace this with my spare.  I undid the bolts in the binnacle and took the wheel lock off.  Then I had to take the wheel off and the autopilot to fit the new fitting against the binnacle.  On the basis that if I touched it I might have two broken parts and only one spare and it was not that significant, it was only a spacer, I put everything back together and got out the superglue.  I did tighten up the wheel clamp as well, so it feels solid enough. 


I have the new spark plugs for the outboard, so I put one of those in the engine.  Add fuel and pull the cord and - it looks as though I will have to keep rowing.


In the afternoon we had dominoes with Silver Seas, the only other boat in this anchorage.  We had a great evening and Mike, the new recruit, won.



I walked, yes walked, into Clifton and met up with some of the others.  I bought a haematite turtle necklace, checked my e-mails and caught a maxi back.



The winds have dropped and the swell is lessening and it is time to make a break for it while the weather is good.  11.20 I went round the west coast of Union and up to Mayreau, 14.05.  I went in the water, checked the anchor and cleaned the waterline; all without a rope to the boat.  Jane took us for a walk and it was all uphill until Dick and I moaned enough and then it was downhill all the way back.  Non Linear were in Tobago Cays and we radiod them from the top of the hill and waved.  Ours was a very rolly anchorage for the night, theirs was fine.



08.15 Left Mayreau and went to Tobago Cays 9.30.  Cheetah 2 gave me a lift to the reef and with Non Linear we snorkelled.  The water is about 85 degrees, 28 C, but still I wore my wetsuit.  It keeps me warm and helps me float, I do not get too hot, I find it comforting and am now enjoying being in the water.  There are buoys for the dinghies just off the reef.    The water is crystal clear and I saw lots of fish - a big ray, camouflage fish, pipe fish, big turquoise checked fish, a collection of big blue flat fish, yellow fish, small blue fish with fluorescent sparkles and many more that I also have no idea what they were.  There were fan and brain and lots of other corals.  Luckily the surf was coming in and so it was a hard swim out to the reef, but when you are tired and want to get back you just stop and drift back to the dinghy.


It was only Noon and so I up anchored and set off for Canouan the next island up, 14.00 – I love these short hops.  It is rolly here also, but that is a result of the Christmas winds coming early and causing the swell.  We went for lunch ashore and I had fish and chips, the fish was fried complete including the head, but I managed ok.  I am told that it was Snapper.  We went for a walk and it was back to the boat soon after 5.  I finished the dvd I was watching last night, when the computer played up again, with about 10 minutes to go.  It is completely dark before 6.30 and time for bed.  It was a busy and energetic day and it is an early start tomorrow.



6.15 set off.  The wind did not go over 10 knots and it was a mixture of motoring, sailing and motor sailing.  I did have over an hour of full sails and no engine.  It was close hauled all the way and 6 hours later I arrived 20 miles up the chain - Bequia. My main caused me no trouble taking it out or putting it away and hopefully it is happy now.


There are several boats I know here – Cheetah 2, Non Linear, Halleluia, Silver Seas and Pelagial.  We had a walk into town.




Yesterday was the official last day of the hurricane season, I am insured above Trinidad. 


I topped up the batteries and checked the engine before Judy and I went into town, they call it a town, but it is a bit of an overstatement.  I exchanged one of my gas bottles here, rather than having it refilled.  I left the Canaries with 2 lovely new gas bottles and exchanged them in Cape Verdes and Guadeloupe for rusty ones.  I got a slightly better bottle than I handed in, but not much.  The lady explained yesterday that she replaced like for like, so there was not much point taking in my really rusty one that I am currently using, and it was not empty yet.


I had the mad idea that I could knot my own guardrail netting, but the quantity of rope necessary would be huge.  I bought 30 metres of netting and will tie this on. 


We had chocolate Hagen Daas ice cream, thank you Pelagial.  Also I was told that I had made the last two entries as December 2008, something happened to the computers date, hopefully I have corrected these.


I took the wind head off the Duogen and replaced it with the water head in preparation to get power when sailing.  There is not much wind at the moment, so I have not lost anything and if I can sail without the motor it is the only way to get power as the dinghy is fastened over the solar panel for longer trips.  I put out the jack stays along the deck to give me something to clip on to.  They were in the locker to save them from the UV in Trinidad, and to stop them getting dirty, but they won’t save me if they are still in the locker.


We had a final, roudy, game of dominoes in a bar that had just opened, I am not sure that they would have us back, but this is another of those leaving points, boats going in all different directions and people flying off for Christmas. 


I should have an early start tomorrow, so I will send this now.