Ships Log Earth Date 23rd May 07

Rebel T
Tim Walsh
Thu 24 May 2007 00:02
Dear Reader

Yesterday's log finished with us heading towards Lymington. We arrived about
4.30pm under engine as the wind was too light and from directly ahead. The
journey itself was fairly uneventful, navigation from Brighton to Lymington
is relatively simple. You just keep the land on the right hand side. (apart
from the Isle of Wight, which is best kept on the left )

We had a little interest as we came into the Solent, a member of the crew
spotted an enormous yacht sailing towards us. Its size was such that it
would have had to be a J Class or at least an internationally recognisable
vessel. As we got nearer it began to dwarf the skyline, then began to look
as if it was in a marina with the sails up...Ultimately it became clear that
it was the big building in Gosport shaped like a sailing boat. tee hee.

We came to Lymington of a purpose. Rebel has had new sails for the trip and
John Channon the maker is based here, so we stopped in for him to check them
over now that they have been onboard for a couple of months, we needed some
small changes to the sail cover and we also needed a new cover for the
helmsman's seat because I hadn't got it together to get a new cover at home.
All went well.

Watermaker. Rebel being a catamaran weight is an issue, so at the boat show
we stalked around looking units and prodding salesmen with fingers and
questions. We took all the brochures home and Trevor began grinding through
them and the internet to decipher truth from hype and to arrive at a unit
that would suit our needs. We settled on an HRO Seafari 32ltr 12v unit. It
was duly purchased, and then fitted by Anthony, captive boat builder and
crew member. I then arranged for a "watermaker man" from the company to come
aboard in Lymington, where by happy co-incidence he was based, to check it
out before we left friendly territory. Life being what it is, we never got
to start it up, there being just too many other things to do. I will admit
that an element of the problem was my vague fear of pressing the start
button and Armageddon erupting in the starb/d forecabin with me being too
terified to get close enough to turn it off. This fear was born when I found
that the unit developed a working pressure of 1000lbs per sq inch. Then of
course I was told by the watermaker man on the phone not to run it in a
marina because the filters would have to cope with diesel, detergents and of
course the ever present possibility of over much material of an organic
nature. Another facet of my horror, which I kept pretty much to myself was
that if I started it for the first time at sea where the water is cleaner,
well then what if it all went berserk in the starb'd forecabin and we sank
within seconds, so, you can see dear reader, that between the rational and
irrational fears that beset me relating to the watermaker, there wasn't much
incentive to actually get on and start it...Long story cut short, (which as
by now you can tell, is not my forte) I hit on the idea that if I could
string it out long enough, then I could lay the whole issue off to the
watermaker man.

And so the watermaker man arrived. Within a few minutes it was clear that we
had some minor issues, the unit was leaking from a filter and also from the
big expensive bit at the top, this was identified as a fault caused prior to
delivery and was covered by the warrantee. Tim Jones, ( who turned out to be
a very nice watermaker man) then had to dismantle the whole gubbins. Still,
we kept him plied with tea and Mars Bars and I tried not to ask too many
inane questions and in the end he got it all sorted.
All said and done however Mr Jones expected to be onboard for an hour or so
and just to check through an existing and running system, deliver a set of
spares and be on his way. In fact he worked diligently for the whole day and
didn't leave until all was tested.
At one point we told him that he wouldn't be allowed to leave until he had
drunk the first litre of his new water and kept it down for at least 2
hours, even when confronted with such bizarre behaviour from all crew
members, been subject to amateur psychological analysis, and interrogated as
to the nature of his childhood, he stayed calm and smiley. We all thought
he was a great guy and as such we awarded him one of the highest honours
bestowable. We presented him with a Rebel. T crew cap. The whole event was
captured on camera for posterity and a picture will be added to the log to
create a permanent record for future generations, that they may know the
glory that was done here today.

Dear Tim Jones, thanks again. Yours Sincerely Rebel T. XXX

Shortly after the nice waterman left, Mike, who had carried away the box of
spare filters, stepped into the cabin to present to the crew a cunning piece
of handy work that he had that moment completed. He had taken the cardboard
box, assessed the minimum size required to hold the filters and set about
reducing the box to that minimum using just a small knife and some gaffer
tape. The whole crew recognised this as a laudable effort and told him so
with gusto. Mike is given to actions of this nature. He has under his belt a
long career as a deep sea diver, indeed among the skills, and it must be
said idiosyncratic ways he has accrued over those years, (he maintains he
can speak fluent Octopus) is a quite singular habit of altering all manner
of items to make them smaller. This box issue being just one manifestation
of many.
When we spent time kayaking in Greenland last year Mike whittled down the
length of his toothbrush to save weight and bulk and reduced his cooking
spatchula to not much more than a wood shaving. Unfortunately he could then
only brush his front teeth unless he put his whole hand in his mouth and he
tended to lose his spatchula in his stew, but still, one cannot make an
omelette without breaking eggs and today's little episode was positive.

We have on board a new Reeds for 2007, we have used it for just a week or so
and already it is falling apart. I have had Reeds every year since I was a
teenager and this has never happened before, both Trevor and I lament the
passing of quality in this life. At £30 odd a pop we think they should make
the things properly. If anyone out there has fallen foul of the same problem
we aboard Rebel T sympathise. No, but really it is annoying.
I forgot my 12v iPod charger that's annoying too. Dear Anthony, when you
come down to Plymouth kindly bring me one. Thank you.

Originally we had planned to set sail on Friday morning but the weather fax
shows a nasty low coming in on Sunday so we are to leave early tomorrow
morning, 6am in order to carry the tide passed the Needles and on passed
Portland Bill. If all goes well we should arrive Plymouth Friday lunchtime,
there is always Dartmouth, it tends to be a softer option if the SW winds
get boisterous. We will see.

That's about it as it is late now, I was going to mention Mike dropped a
sail batten over the side but that seems small minded in the light of all
his hard work and so I won't.
I also forgot to say that Trevor and Mike rewired the solar panels. We have
fitted a very clever thing called an Outback MPPT. It likes volts not amps
apparently, anyway it had been fitted with the 6 panels in parallel but we
decided that series would be better, it is all to do with big rivers
running slowly and little rivers etc and watts and that, either way it is
Trevor stuff, but now we have got loads of volts and they can push
themselves into the batteries. Not only that, but because they are now in
series this means that if each panel can only manage a few volts, ( we all
have days like that I'm sure) then it all gets bundled up in the Outback and
gets put down the wire as lumps of 12 volts( all the little volts having
been joined up) Anyway when the crew turned it all on again, which meant
taking the sleeping bags off the panels, we had 60 volts. Ed Wildgoose of
Mailasail always talks about Bananas when you ask him about emails and
electric, and for the first time today we had loads of bananas from the

All in all a good day. Rebel is coming together. So once again thank you

Today I have mostly been stressed out, a little bit in the morning then a
big bit about the watermaker, then a really big bit about the solar panels
then a little bit about the sail batten.

Tim Jones was a nice bit in the end, and so was John Channon and his wife
Jill who brought a new batten down within an hour. It was an accident after
all . Dinner was nice, Colette's green curry so I suppose that is what it's
like when you are on an adventure.

Larina has got a new big pink handbag and noticed that all the guys working
on the yachts here have got really nice tans. She doesn't like yellow or
orange jelly babies. I like all jelly babies but my mos' favourite are the
green and black ones eaten together.

I haven't had a Toblerone for ages and I keep thinking about them.

My next log is likely to be written after the event as we will be at sea for
a long time and if I read or stuff I tend to vomit without warning.
Still we will see. Night Night Dear Reader.