10:40.738N 61:38.182W Launch 10 August 2008
10:40.738N 61:38.182W Launch 10 August 2008
Sunday, 3 August
I had hoped to launch tomorrow, but have been seriously overdoing things and am too tired, so today I would not try and get finished.
I had a huge tidy up, this included moving anchors and so was not exactly dusting. Then it was off to dominoes, a swim and to have a look round a classic yawl. They are setting off for Rio de Janiero and then round the bottom of S America. This is not the conventional way or time to go, but it is a big boat; it takes 3 guys to hoist the main. It is a lovely boat, but I think they must have shares in a varnish company, Penny has a continual job keeping it looking good.
Monday, 4 August
I started to put the engine back together. I moved the pre filter. I vented the fuel system, for 2 hours I tightened things up and kept pumping, but it was as if there was no fuel. I turned on the fuel gauge and it said there was no fuel; how can this be when I left that tank full and the other one empty. I don’t have bilges big enough to hide 80 litres of fuel, there was nowhere it could have drained out, had it been stolen? Surely not at these prices. I had 50 litres of diesel for the other tank, 103TT – divide by 12 for sterling and weep UK people.
I pumped the diesel into the tank and then went back to the fuel system. The manual lever is very difficult to get to and several hundred pumps later I had diesel dripping out the top of the loose nut, and was I glad to see that. The rest of the engine was quite easy after that; followed by a diesel clean up job inside and in the cockpit. I went to the office to book a launch for tomorrow 9am.
Then I scrubbed the deck from end to end. The water pressure is very low, it is not amazingly clean, but it will do. I was very tired and stressed about the launch.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
6am took my duvet to the laundry and washed and dried it. I did all the little things that have to be done before launch and was ready by 8.30. I went to the office to pay and get the paperwork for customs. I have to pay harbour fees for the days I am in the water, starting today and need a certificate to prove what dates the boat was in the country, but out of the water. The launch was now 10am.
10am arrived, but nothing happened. Mike turned up in his dinghy to help and Jim was also on standby and I had tied my dinghy to his so that he could tow it out for me.
The launch went very well. The guys were careful and it was a good lift and dunk. The engine started first time, which made me feel much better. I drove out of the hoist dock and set off for the anchorage. There was a mooring buoy available and I am going to hang on that until I decide what to do. The stress levels suddenly vanished. I just tied up before the first of several squalls, but it is nice to be on the water.
There was not much I could do in the heavy rain, so I cooked a meal, put the flags out and assembled the wind generator. The in-mast furling makes a racket without a sail in the gap, so I had tied a rope to the halyard swivel and hauled it up. I had to climb on the boom and use the boat hook to get the halyard swivel to come down, pulling on the rope just would not do it. I had taken all the ropes off and had to get the outhaul rope fed down the boom, luckily I had moused this and it worked after a few tries. So I had the ‘up’ rope, the ‘out’ rope, all I needed now was the ‘in’ rope and there lay the problem. I remember now that when I came in I had to take the sails down before haul and cut the rope. This was fine because I should replace or at least end to end it. The problem was the screw holding the last 2” of rope was stuck; the good old stainless in aluminium trick – solid. I had abandoned it for the day when Pete came by. He offered help, I took up the offer.
The genoa was easy, it helped to have one person feeding the sail up the track and the other at the mast pulling the rope. Then there was just the little matter of the screw in the mast. We tried everything and failed. Pete went back to see his, but his had an allen key head, mine was a slot and the screwdriver was not big enough and kept sliding out.
I tried Jim and he came out, but his screwdriver was the same as mine and we got no further.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
There was me thinking everything would be better once I had launched and I would stop moaning. Such is not to be, sorry. I tried to make a harness to pull up the dinghy, but it is still balanced too far forward and I think I need a longer rope if it has to reach to a winch. Abandoning that for the day I went in with Gillian and Graham to a fabric shop. I got some burgundy vinyl to trim the holes I have to make in the sprayhood to get round the solar panel fittings.
Back at the marinas I collected an impact screwdriver and a large screwdriver from Andrew, he assured me that would shift the screw in the mast. I called in on Jim and arranged for him to bring his blowtorch and another contraption. Nothing worked. Andrew brought over some special penetrating spray and had a go; then Mike arrived and had a go – actually they all had lots of goes and put in a lot of effort. The screw had moved a fraction, but would not budge. I think we have arrived at the scenario of drilling it out. It would have been difficult on land, but on the water is not stable and lacks power -
All in all rather depressing.
Thursday, 7 August
I am going to the biggest mall and hardware stores today, not that there is anything that I really need that I cannot get locally, but it takes my mind off the mast problem.
I bought a new set of crockery, light and as unbreakable as possible. The good thing was that it was the only one that had glasses rather than mugs, we shall have to see how unbreakable those are.
I struggled to find anything in the hardware store, they had a poor selection of hardened bits for drilling stainless steel, but I chose 4 sizes for tomorrow.
Friday 8 August
The plan was to take the boat back to the dock for a more stable platform and mains power, in the end I phoned a rigger at 7.30 because I wanted more advice before taking drastic measures. I stayed in all day, but no call came. I also tried to move the autopilot problem on a step.
By the end of the day I was determined to take the alternative solution to drilling; I don’t know what it is yet, but there must be one.
I went with Mike to take the dogs for a walk, they jump off and we stay in the dinghy until they come back; now that’s my kind of walk.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
A weekend to be spent in blissful denial that I have a problem with the mast as I cannot get anybody until Monday. I did the washing and hung it out, without a good rinse as I was sure the rain would do that. I took the dodgers that I had made into shore and put more grommets in, it takes a good hammering to seal them and I did not want to do that on the boat. They stop stuff falling overboard and I like them. If it is not illegal, immoral and nobody gets hurt then the only one I have to please is me. I also made a skirt for the cockpit table to disguise the generator.
I then started the new watercatcher, version 3. The sewing machine works off the inverter, but it does not like the thread, I could probably adjust the tension, but I am doing it by hand; hence it is dark and I have not finished.
I am much happier on the water, there is not really a mosquito and bug problem, but I had forgotten how bad the weekend gets in the anchorage. The fast fishing boats are bad enough, but Friday afternoon until Sunday night there are a huge number of motor boats that thrash in and out. The wake can be unbearable. Sometimes the people wave – I won’t say what I think to that. Perhaps if they were to put up the price of fuel they would calm down a bit.
Sometimes I can get reasonable internet here.