A Maintenance Day

Position: 51 55.56 N 010 18.93 W
At anchor Valentia Harbour
Wind: East sou'east, light breeze
Weather: mainly sunny Seas: calm, bit of a ripple

Yesterday evening the wind picked up fresh from the south for a while and had us down to 80% jib and a reef in the main, once more a headwind. I decided to head into the shelter of Dingle Bay for a while and see what would develop. The fresh wind was only short lived and we were soon under full sail again. I was contemplating options, whether to stay at sea for the night or find an anchoragewhen at 9.45 pm I tacked to make for Bray Head and out to sea but, as we hardened up on to the wind, there right ahead of us a bright lighthouse flashed marking the entrance to Valentia Bay. Well, I thought, this looks a pretty obvious hint, so we continued short tacking closer towards it, enjoying the evening breeze and the scenery as it slowly transmuted into shades of blackness. The entrance to Valentia Harbour is very narrow, only about 400 yards, the wind and tide was against us so I eventually gave up on the idea of trying to sail through in the dark and started the engine, dropped the sails and motored the short distance to a secure anchorage less than a mile up channel. At 11 pm we were swinging to our trusty CQR, all dark, still and quiet. Time to turn in.

This morning once more the raucous cries of Bob the Cat aroused me. I actually think he is just bored and wants attention. After breakfast and playing with BC for a bit, I resumed option contemplation, looking around the boat I decided for a maintenance day. A minor problem which has been annoying me is the satellite phone reception which fades out much more than it fades in. I suspect a connection problem between the antenna and the phone or that the antenna location is poor, or most likely both. Well I have spent the morning fiddling around with the coaxial cable connectors and the reception does appear to have improved, though I am not altogether optimistic. Time will tell.

Another problem that I have tolerated for far too long is an irregular throttle response in the engine. I suspect the governor, most likely a large job, but this afternoon will do some trouble shooting and see if I can narrow down the problem, at east eliminate the simpler possibilities before moving onto the worst case scenario of having to remove the timing case cover, definitely something I shall be putting off to another day.

That's all for now, hopefully when I hit the send button, this message will go with all due speed to you.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

Sun is shining, the boat is still, no water threatening to engulf me, so I am exploring a warm, sunny nook in the cockpit .. Zzzzz.