Week ending 17 August 2008
Week ending 17 August 2008
I finished the rain catcher in the morning and went to dominoes. I went to the trouble of proper cooking again and just when I thought it should be time to put in the Yorkshire puddings I found that the gas had run out quite some time before. Now I have two bottles to have filled.
Phoned the rigger again and he came out after lunch. His opinion was that we would have to drill it and whilst he was there he spotted rust coming out from a cracked terminal on one of my cap shrouds. I could leave it for now, but not for long. I could not face the mast descending from a great height at some time in the future and so that has to be replaced. Both these things meant going into the marina for a more stable working platform than out here in the bay.
I contacted someone else with a view to fixing the autopilot and he came out later that afternoon. He got wind data to the autopilot which was good, but lost GPS information, which was not good; hopefully it is just another data cable needed so that we can daisy chain the three instruments together later in the week.
I had kept finding ants on the boat and thought they came from the anchor locker, courtesy of the palm tree, but I found a nest in the mainsail that had stayed in the sail repairers for a week or so. I do not like mosquitoes and I like ants less than I like mosquitoes. I poured buckets of sea water over the sail to wash them off, I would have to rinse it with the hose when I got into the marina.
7.20 I set off into the marina and it went well, although not according to plan. Mike was going to take my dinghy to the dock and pick up Jim who was going to be on the boat to do the ropes, but I was there before Jim was ready for pick up. Damien, the dockmaster was to take the ropes, but he was a bit late.
My fellow cruisers on the pontoons came and provided help with the ropes.
Mike came back with his tools and we started drilling the bolt. That went remarkably well, I was told it could take days, but it was done by noon. The hole needs rounding and tapping, but that would wait until tomorrow.
I phoned the first autopilot people to tell them not to bother and they have received a reply from the installer in St Maarten, such timing.
I phoned the riggers to tell them they could come anytime, but they said it would still be Thursday. I had a cup of tea with Jim, looked out and there were two men on my boat. They were jumping about without me and were just about to use my newly made cockpit cusion to pad the solar panel to protect it from the boom. I managed to get things in order. One went up the mast, got to the spreaders and decided he needed a blowtorch. I went and borrowed one from Jim and then it rained. While sheltering they decided it was nearly time to go home and not really a sensible idea to take the shroud down now and leave it overnight unsupported, it gets rocky here and it is a deck stepped mast – which means it is an important bit of rigging. They would come back in the morning, with a blowtorch and hopefully a new wind arrow as mine appears to have snapped off at some point.
I rowed over to the shop, the tide was with me, I did try the engine, it did not want to start, but it worked on the way back.
I have been away for a week and not really had time to miss the pool, but it was nice to have a sociable wind down to the busy day. And then I cooked the last of the chicken that I had bought on Sunday.
There is still a lot of little things on my list, I will have to pace myself tomorrow.
I managed to put up the mainsail before the riggers came back and took off the shroud, they could not get the windex off and so I said to leave it as I did not want to affect the electronic wind instrument; I will just have to tie a ribbon to the shroud instead. Later the riggers came back and installed my new shroud, which makes me feel safe again. I went shopping for bolts, I would have liked 8mm, but the new hole would be bigger. There was only one in 10mm and I took that back. I settled on ¾” with a hex head that I can get a socket on. Late in the afternoon we tapped the hole and the bolt was just right.
I took up my gas bottles to be refilled. The autopilot was fixed and I went off to see some people about charts. I got talked into an afternoon of bridge, which I have not played for decades and never this seriously. I was only making up the numbers, I never said I was any good, but I did not come last – probably second from last. When I got back my gas bottles had not been collected.
I wanted to leave today, the marina and the country, but too much conspired against me. I took the outboard off the dinghy and knocked the spare prop pins into the marina. I was snorkeling from the dinghy for a couple of long stints, but managed to find them in the end and fish them out. I shall be keeping them on the boat from now on. It rained, very heavily and there was nothing I could do until that stopped. Eventually I left the marina and went back out to the anchorage.
Jim and Mike and I went out for dinner.
I have re-marked the anchor chain with coloured cable ties and the boat is looking much more like home again. I went to see people on a boat who had charts to give me and I got there at 1 and got back at 7.30. That was the entire day gone. My insurers have agreed to extend my cruising ground, which is good. Today was the supercharged boats race to Tobago, but I have no idea what happened.
I will send this now as the internet in general is not good in Trinidad and on board a boat in the mooring field is not going to improve it any.