Friends, Family, and Sylph

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 17 Dec 2018 11:35

Position: 34 49.02 S  138 30.35 E
Alongside Marina Adelaide
Weather: sunny, warm

I have been rather remiss in not updating my blog sooner. I thought I had reported my arrival in Adelaide but it would seem that I had not.  Anyway, we are here.  I have caught up with Msrk Sinclair who, since my arrival, has decided to retire from the Golden Globe Race and get on with his life ashore.  I think given his circumstances his decision is entirely reasonable.  He has satisfied his desire to compete in a long-haul single-handed race but, while all the other competitors are heading home as they pass Australia, Mark will be getting further and further away. That, I reckon, would be pretty tough, especially as he would no longer have been competing in the Golden Globe but would have dropped down to the Chichester class. Also, as Mark has pointed out, his run for Cape Horn is getting a little late in the season. Mark is not great risk taker when it comes to sailing so I think his decision is right for him.

Having paid Mark my respects, I then caught up with my family living in Adelaide, which has been excellent. So, having met my very pleasant personal obligations, it is now time to give Sylph some attention.  The cable locker is a bit of problem area on Sylph with salty wet chain providing a corrosive environment for the hull.  I have also had a few leaks over the years, one at a cable gland passing through the gunwale for the sidelights located on the pulpit and the chain-pipe cap has leaked a fair bit in the past. These days when I am going for more than a day sail, I always disconnect the anchor and stow the chain so that the cap can be made totally watertight.  The cable locker is a lot drier these days, but it has suffered from over twenty years of hard sailing.

 Thus, this morning I unbolted the anchor winch from the foredeck, broke out the angle grinder and, with a bit of wince and a grimace, cut a hole in the foredeck where the deck plating was thin so as to give access to the cable locker.  The rest of the day has been spent removing the anchor chain and cleaning and de-rusting. There is considerable wastage on one plate on the starboard side with two small holes about six inches above the waterline.  The plate will need to be replaced; however, Sylph will have to be hauled out to do that. So the decision I have to make in the next day or so is whether to haul out early or just to patch it to keep it going for a few more months.  I’ll sleep on it.

All is well.