Position- No further on.
Rooks have played a significant role in the lives of the Banham Powers, and conversely the BPs have had quite a significant impact on the Banham Rooks.
I am referring to the banishing of the rooks from the chimneys of Church Farmhouse after many years of putting up with the sound of squabbling echoing down the chimneys in the early spring mornings, the annual clearing of twigs dropped carelessly down the flues, and occasional rescue of fallen birds that otherwise would suffer a slow gloomy death trapped above the register plates. The escape of a couple of trapped birds when we were away sailing was the final straw as they wreaked havoc among Diana’s Myott jugs in the lounge. Expensive scaffolding and chimney pots with cages the final solution. The birds still visit their ancestral home each spring and complain bitterly at the lack of accommodation.
Now the complaints have followed us to Pangkor, Malaysia where the sound of monotonal chattering rooks takes over from the Imam’s chanting at first light and only stops at dusk.
The chanting here is most pleasant being not too loud, projected over good quality speakers and with a musical lilt than could almost tempt one to visit the mosque and ask for more. In each respect quite the opposite of the Medana Bay racket that we endured 5 times daily from at least 2 nearby mosques over Ramadan.
We should by now be on the high seas on route to Langkawi, but unsurprisingly a last minute technical hitch has held us back. It is very easy to succumb to the LMTHs when comfortably ensconced in friendly surroundings with easy access to either motor scooter or car when you fancy a trip into town for a missing broom handle or new bike wheel bearing. There are numerous boats in similar states of almost readiness just putting off the decision to head out into the storms and calms of open water.
The hitch is the autohelm, another lightning casualty and we sailed without it from Medana Bay here thinking that if Joshua Slocum could manage then so could we. JS was clearly made of stronger stuff and the tedium of actually steering the boat when a machine could do it better ensured a new replacement was top of the list of parts bought out on the plane. I plugged all the bits in and switched on while still on the hard to see that the kit was all functioning -just the formality of a test in the water to confirm success. The subsequent failure was recorded in the previous blog so fast forward and after 2 replacement connectors were obtained by Adam in the marina office, help from Nick (a visiting aussie electrician), and a lucky intervention by a Raymarine technician who happened to be visiting another boat, the system returned to showing a promising course direction on the screen instead of ‘No Signal’. That only proved that the drive that actually turns the wheel wasn’t responding to input from the computer.
So drive unit removed from the aft locker after a day with much bashing and cursing -stripped down with no sign of defect until a tiny wire dropped out of the electromagnet. Clearly not something I can repair and Nick agreed unrepairable. New unit required and fastest delivery looks like Cactus Marine in UK. Unit ordered and as backup an electrician recommended by Ruz has taken way the old one to see if anything can be done.
Plans revised, trip to George Town by bus arranged, Christmas bbq at the marina booked. We may get the drive this side of new year but won’t be counting chickens. May sail round Pangkor island tomorrow to blow away some cobwebs.