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Date: 14 Jan 2011 03:53:00
Title: Sails and Hertz

Thursday night

Before we'd even gone out for usual French cafe breakfast, I had a phone call from the air-conditioning people to say that they weren't going to come for their appointment this afternoon as they were waiting for a replacement pump to arrive from the USA, supposedly tomorrow morning. That's good service but I expressed my concern that I'd be waiting for the pump to arrive and then we'd all find out that it wasn't that which was causing the problems. The guy I spoke to, Keith, assured me that it must be the pump and that my experiments with the varying power supplies confirmed it. He seemed to know what he was talking about so I left it at that.

After a couple of lovely croissants, Kali and I got a taxi down to the sail loft on the Dutch side. They've certainly cut a good strip off the leach so it'll be interesting to see what it looks like and how it performs. I got an email from Nick Pochin, another Discovery 55 owner, this morning saying that he's had difficulties with furling his mainsail and has adopted a similar solution so I'm not alone. While James was putting some tell-tails on the leach for us, Kali and I did a bit more shopping in the huge chandlery opposite the loft. Then it was time to pay up and head off back to Saxon Blue. The bill for the work on the sail is just over 500 US Dollars which seems like very good value to me - I think I'd struggle to get it washed for that in the UK.

We put the bagged-up sail on the aft deck where it's still sitting as it's too windy to be playing around trying to mount it again. Hopefully, we'll be able to do that in the morning when the wind is sometimes less. Andrea wanted to show Kali the shops and restaurants at the other Marigot marina so we walked over there for lunch and chose a nice looking French place to eat. The food was excellent - we each had a massive salad and Kali and I shared a small lobster, cooked on the grill. Andrea didn't fancy lobster but made up for it with a tiramisu so she's the naughty one, really.

As we walked back into the marina, I saw a figure get off the stern of Saxon Blue and back onto the dock. I was a bit concerned until I recalled that I'd seen some guys yesterday wearing the same colour t-shirt who'd been from the air-conditioning company. We grabbed him on the way out and it was Keith who'd been working on another boat and had come to see what he was letting himself in for tomorrow when the pump is supposed to turn up. I showed him our existing pump and he immediately pointed out to me that it is rated at 240 volt 60 hertz. No wonder it works properly on the shore power here and not on our generator, then. We carried on investigating after that and discovered that our entire system is 60 hertz. At least it's consistent! Goodness knows what went on when it was fitted as it's not easy to get anything other than 50 hertz in Europe. Keith went away to get some advice from the manufacturers but at least it feels like we're getting somewhere with working out what's wrong with it.

Andrea and I then went back to Fort Louis to do some Janeway filming. It was lovely up there looking out over the bay and I hope the shots are OK but the camera was getting buffetted by the wind all the time so there might be some visible vibration. We trotted back down the hill and went out in the tender for a swim. Andrea is getting much more used to swimming out of her depth and I'm getting better at equalising the pressure in my ears when I dive down to the seabed so we both had a good time. Then it was back to the marina for a shower and a read before dinner. I fell asleep once I'd eaten but luckily Andrea woke me up to do this blog. I don't think it'll be long before I'm giving it zeds in bed, though.

Harvey

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