Lost and found
Barry and Margaret Wilmshurst
Fri 26 Jul 2013 18:23
The sail arrived, (at last), on Wednesday afternoon, and was hoisted Thursday morning, but not without an intervening miserable night. It came with four battens rolled up in the box whereas the sketch accompanying the quotation showed five. A mistake? Surely not! Two of the battens had joins (carbon-fibre rod is only supplied up to a certain length) and they were bent by about 15°– 20°. I had been told that the joints were glued under a protective wrapping and they had clearly taken on the curve of the tight rolls within the cardboard box. On a boat, just as on land, everything seems much worse at 0300 and it seemed to me most unlikely that glued carbon-fibre rod could be persuaded to take on a new shape by force. We still had two of the old battens, which might be modified to work, but if one of the new ones was missing we’d had it. (Toss; turn; “are you awake”? no response; take my mind off it with a chapter of JK Rowling’s new detective thriller - not quite thrilling enough; toss; turn). However, an early morning telephone conversation with the sailmakers in South Africa was somewhat re-assuring – four battens was correct and the ends at the joints were glued into stainless steel tubes that could probably be straightened, with care, in a vice. Vice – what vice? Then I remembered that for nine boat shows on the trot I had resisted the blandishments of the wicked salesman trying to sell me a flashy, light-weight, portable, aluminium alloy vice, with multiple attachments, at an enormous discount to the proper price demanded of landlubbers. On the tenth occasion, in New Zealand, I had succumbed (“end of show, mate; only two left; practically giving them away!”). Of course, I had never had occasion to use it.....until.....now! Exactly what was required! The vice did the business, the battens were straightened and up went the sail despite what had now developed into a stiff breeze. It fitted. O joy!
We have checked out of the country with the Marine Police and the Immigration Police with a view to sailing on Sunday. General goodwill and bonhomie all round.
Tomorrow morning at 0700 we are having our bottom wiped – it is green and whiskery and would slow us down in light airs. As usual, we are going to be over-charged but we hope we can count it as another of our little contributions to this needy economy.
Tonight, Saturday, we shall probably pay a further visit to the restaurant at the Gaudi Hotel. We hope the guitarist with the flat cap will be there but we haven’t seen him recently.