Back to the simple life

Mystic of Holyhead (successor to Lynn Rival)
Rachel and Paul Chandler
Wed 7 Oct 2009 08:42
We were lucky with the weather and didn't miss the tropical heat too much during our extended visit to the UK.  Now that the boat is our main home we look forward to coming back all the more.  Much of our time was spent with Paul's father in Dartmouth, a lovely place to relax by the sea.  At other times we were catching up with friends and family, including attending Leah and Paul's wedding in Norfolk.

A reminder of Dartmouth - the view from Paul's father's house

Torcross, after fish and chips with Pa

It was a relief to see all our baggage arrive this end and to find Lynn Rival in good shape on our return (just over a week ago).  As usual, we were laden down with all manner of spares and equipment that are either impossible or very expensive to get in this part of the world.  We'd even taken the engine injectors back for servicing, rather than risk having them done locally.  As soon as our taxi arrived at the boatyard the heavens opened up so we had a wet arrival to dampen our spirits a little.

We always pack away as much as possible when we leave the boat for any time.  Anything movable on deck gets stowed down below so as not to attract petty thieves.  In the process of getting organised again we usually find a few problems to be sorted before we can get going anywhere.  The biggest problem this time is our outboard motor, which has seized up and is too far gone to repair.  It was over 20 years old so had done well, given the neglect such equipment inevitably suffers.  It also didn't take us long to visit the local dealers and find that none has a small enough engine in stock.  We're now waiting for one to be imported for us, possibly from South Africa.

I don't know why I'm smiling - perhaps I haven't reached the last rites yet?

A less expensive, but far less pleasant, discovery was signs of a rat on board.  It must have got in through a small hatch we left open for ventilation while away.  We had bought a rat trap some time ago so were equipped for the problem.  Using a piece of sugared cucumber as bait we didn't have to wait long and were woken in the middle of the night by the sound of the trap going off.  The next morning the yard watchman came to our rescue and took it away for a suitable cremation.

As soon as we were organised, and the injectors reinstalled, we moved back to the old port, on a mooring not far from the Yacht Club and its facilities.  There are now very few foreign-registered boats here and our circle of cruising friends is limited to a couple of French-speaking families.  At this time of year the winds are lighter, which is a good thing because we are having to row the dingy ashore and back.  We've even got our old, larger dinghy out of storage as it's easier to row, having a proper seat.

There's plenty to keep us busy - eg. a little bit of teak work

Our plan is to sail west to Tanzania as soon as possible, but that will depend on the arrival of our replacement outboard motor.  We expect to be here another two weeks at least before setting off.  It's a passage of about 1000 miles to the coast of Tanzania and, depending on the wind strength, should take 7 to 10 days.  As usual the boat will need to be topped up with diesel, fresh water, provisions, etc.  The Seychelles Rupee has strengthened while we've been away so it will be more expensive than we'd anticipated.  We were getting about 21 Seychelles Rupees to the £ but now only 16!