A Girl in Every Port?

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 6 Feb 2014 11:26
Position: Alongside Tokunoshima
Wind: South, F4 moderate breeze
Weather: overcast, cool, some showers

I had a very enjoyable time last night with Saori, Murray and Murray's wife, Yoko. Murray and I shared a very palatable bottle (or was it two?) of a Spanish red and the respective stories of our lives. I have to say however that the unexpected highlight of the evening, or perhaps more accurately the most entertaining part of the evening, was being joined by the restaurateur and two young ladies, one of whom, if I understood things correctly, was the restaurateur's daughter. The other young lady, after having my background explained to her (she could not speak any English, nor I of course any Japanese), asked me whether I have a girlfriend in every port, and whether she could be my Tukunoshima girlfriend. Of course it would have been very impolite to have refused, and we sealed the commitment with a nice little hug. Despite the communication problems she was both very sweet and very funny, and, it must be admitted perhaps also a little drunk. Nonetheless I am pleased to report that the commitment lasted the best part of an hour, the relationship coming to a sad, but undoubtedly an inevitable end when the two ladies left the restaurant. I think it is safe to say that my bachelor status is very likely to remain in tact for some time to come.
It has been threatening rain today, thus painting was not an option, so the daily maintenance task that I chose was to try and fix the leak in the cockpit sole. This, as I expected, turned into an all day job, but I am very pleased to say that I think the leak is fixed. It turned out that a bronze bolt holding the binnacle to the cockpit sole had sheered. It took me quite some time to remove the stub that remained, breaking a number of drill bits in the process, but now I have replaced the bronze bolt with a stainless one, and have also added an additional bolt to the forward side of the binnacle's base. Now that the binnacle is more firmly secure it should no longer be able to move and thereby break the seal between its base and the cockpit sole. I have sealed up the join with silicon and tomorrow when the silicone is mostly cured I will test the seal with a hose. I shall be very pleased if I have in fact fixed this leak, for in rough weather when seas break into the cockpit, or in heavy rain, the leak has become quite bad and has been causing the steering chain directly under the binnacle to rust, as well as causing corrosion in the hull under the cockpit. The longer term objective of achieving dry bilges in all weather conditions remains elusive, but I feel confident that it is achievable and that I am getting ever closer to it.
Tomorrow, weather permitting, I hope to show my appreciation for the hospitality that I have received from my new friends by taking them for a short sail. Rain is forecast, but my fingers are crossed that it will only be the odd very light shower, as it has been today.
All is well.