More Engine Nonsense

Alongside Ushuaia
Weather: Mostly sunny, calm, mild.

Today I pulled the head of the engine once again (I am getting quite good at this) and replaced the head gasket. I am glad I did as there was a lot of junk (water and dirty fuel) in the cylinders.  I won’t be getting the injection pump back until sometime tomorrow so we won’t be able to try starting the engine until that is refitted. I must confess I am not feeling optimistic, once I had replaced the head I turned the engine over by hand and was disappointed to feel very little compression in any of the cylinders, not sure what to do next. I will replace the injection pump tomorrow or more likely Sunday and worry about what next then.

Meanwhile I hear of another young lady sailing solo non-stop around the world, Abby. http://www.abbysunderland.com/ She is five months Jessica Watson’s junior but is a several months behind Jessica in her departure date, she will be rounding the Horn in the next few days, it will be interesting to see whether she actually becomes the youngest person to complete a non-stop solo circumnavigation. She is sailing an Open 40, a fast boat, she should certainly get round a lot quicker than Jessica. As I have said previously I have concerns about this particular record, I think for fairly obvious reasons. I met Abby’s father today, he is down here to charter a boat to rendezvous with Abby as she rounds the Horn. He seems quite a decent chap, I tactfully mentioned my objections which I think he spoke to sensibly. Obviously Abby has lots of sailing experience and it sounds like she is as up to the challenge as much as anyone. An Open 40 sure is a lot of boat for a 16 year old lass to handle though. I continue to have my reservations about such records but the last thing I want is for governments to be further eroding our ever diminishing freedoms. To be honest I do not think single handed sailing is particularly responsible either but I would hate for authorities to ban it, which under the International Regulations for Prevention of Collision at Sea, they would be quite entitled to do. On the other hand (my favourite _expression_) the poor old Americans are totally paranoid about government intervention in their liberties, look at the recent health insurance reforms. I think conservative Americans seem to have difficulty recognising the difference between a caring, just society and freedom. OK I’ll step down from my soapbox now.

Still no sign of the mainsail. It was supposed to be delivered here this afternoon.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

Bloody Aussies (did I say that, I’ve been hanging around this one too long), for such a small nation (population wise) it is amazing the number of them you meet in all corners of this small planet. In fact Abby’s father seems to be more Australian than American, born English, lived in Australia for many years, then sensibly married a American (now eight children with Abby number two). Some of my best friends are English so I won‘t hold that against him, but the Australian part worries me.

And let me share with you the secret to a long and healthy life, it’s simple …. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.