Finally we were saying farewell to Oscar the electrician. It was Saturday morning, not normally a working day, but typically of Cap Green and his colleagues at The Signal Locker, they were doing their best to get us on our way at last. Hands had been shaken, cold drinks were being drunk and expressions of satisfaction were being offered all round when I made the suggestion that it might be as well just to try the generator to assure ourselves that it worked OK with the new charger/inverter. It didn’t. Back to the drawing board. Oscar is good. He identified an under-performing capacitor in the generator control box, searched unsuccessfully for a suitable replacement and returned with a small unit which he wired up in parallel with the faulty one and we were back in business.
The previous evening we had gone to the
office to pay with various cards.
Every one we tried caused some sort of a problem involving telephone
conversations and authorisation codes.
On one call I was asked my name: would I spell it? What was the name of my bank (it was my
own bank’s debit card that I was offering)? “NatWest.” Would I spell that please? “WHAT?” We were all amused to begin with but it
was well past knocking off time on a Friday evening, we knew that there were
sufficient balances on each card offered and in the end we got hot, bothered,
embarrassed and cross. At
the following morning I was
in the cockpit looking for a phantom knocking and enjoying a cooling breeze on a
very hot night when my phone rang on the chart table. A nice lady from Morgan Stanley in
Nevertheless, we had a good time in
Having dragged ourselves away we anchored in a bay at the northern end of
For passages that cannot be accomplished in the hours of daylight we tend to sail overnight so that we arrive about and have no trouble with berths, checking in and so forth. Antigua-Dominica and Dominica-St Lucia are both just under 100 miles and we had two rather busy and somewhat uncomfortable nights; all reefing, setting more sail, squally showers, soaking wettings and insufficient sleep. We were a bit zonked when we arrived each time but I hope it was all good experience.
So we are back in
We have decided to build a bit more
redundancy into our navigation systems.
The new radar is terrific. At quite moderate cost we can add a
basic Furuno g.p.s. and some C-Map cartridges which will give us a full blown
chart-plotter back-up to our computer based charting system. Our 14 year
old g.p.s. has started to "hum" and I would not want to lose everything in
mid-Pacific. I am sure we could find Tahiti OK (we also carry some small
scale paper charts) but it would knock on the head ideas of visiting exotic
islands. Of course it will take some time for parts to be delivered from
We shall probably be here for the rest of the week. Vision is going to give our bottom a wipe over, subject to agreement on price.