In my rocking chair

Rich Carey
Fri 13 Apr 2018 03:09
Yes I have a rocking chair aboard. Of course, I'm retired. It's like your normal folding camping chair, but with a clever suspended rocking system. I'm tapping this update, rocking on the roof of x86, in the dark, overlooking the capital of the Galapagos - while listening to the bizzare sounds of the hundreds of seals swimming around this bay.

It was an excellent day, and I didn't even leave the boat. I spend the whole of it doing boat jobs. The 'excellent' part was that I made a list of jobs at 07:30 this morning, and by 15:00 I'd done the toughest 3 on the list (of 6). There was some good fortune involved.

1. Refuel. There are no Marina's, no fuel docks - they call it 'jerry jug lugging' and it's hot, sweaty, time consuming work. Or not. I'd emailed my agent earlier, enquiring how I might sweat mightily, in this endevor. I think she appreciated the email a lot, as the language barrier on our one previous meeting had been acute (and fraught), but this time Google stepped up. I used Google translate to recount from my side the ' incident of the wagging fingers', and my amazement that she'd still got the officialdom plethora aboard, and x86 approved!
She must have liked my praise, as she personally turned up in a water taxi, picked up my cans, had them filled and sent back full, in an hour - freaking brilliant! In truth I did spend an hour siphoning into the main tanks, to empty them for filling - no small feat with boats shooting past and rocking me crazy - so it wasn't like I did nothing! But hay - fueled me happy :-)

2. Refill the sub aqua bottles. My mini-b sub aqua gear uses small (30 minutes) bottles. It came with one, I'd bought one more. Being small, you have to be diligent in keeping up with filling them. I was down to a half of one. They're important, as should be noted is my not infrequent 'prop wrap' reports. So, I had two, to lug (they're heavy), to town and find someone to fill them. Ah, ha - brain wave. The tender from a tourist dive boat went past, and I hailed it over. Half an hour later, I had my two bottles deliverd back (for a not so small fee of course). Full me happy :-)

3. Fix the 3rd reef. Ok, those first two jobs were critical, but didn't exactly tax me too much to get done. This one did - 6 hours did. The reefing line had sawn through on the ARC Atlantic crossing, and it was such a major job to repair that I'd not yet done it. Now the next big hop is here, there's no avoiding the need for the work. The repair required the dissembling of the boom from the mast, and it's a doozy! It took four hours to get the various pieces suspended, so that I could swing the boom off the mast. Then I could feed through the new reefing line. Then an hour to put it all back together. Then an hour to put away the 273 different tools, ropes, and slings it had taken!  Sun burnt, cream crackered, but job jobbed.

So 3 big jobs out of the way. Two turned out to be a doddle, one was exactly as tough as expected.

So what's left ( I mentioned 6 jobs):

1. Service the steering gear. I know very little about it, but that's been the case with everything on x86, so nothing new there. The steering gear works hard, and while it's given no particular cause for concern - hmm. I know now, to heed any and every tiny sign - and I've had a few tiny's. Little squeaks, small rattles, some small wear marks, wear fillings, etc. Time to give the system some love and respect.
If I can't do much (parts), it's not an issue, as I'm not thinking 'imminent failure', and I have the Hydrovane :-).

2. Bed. My saloon bed base needs fixing. I live 'upstairs' all the time when sailing solo, so this bed is important. The baseboard is cheap, and it's broken, so I have to fix it, or sleep on the floor!

3. Main toilet. For f**k sake, give me a break. Yep, it's starting to play up, already. Like everything else, if you get a hint, take a hint, and the darn thing is talking. After all my work in this area, I like to think that I'm a bit of a 'toilet whisperer' and it's obvious that there's a fair size 'chat' coming up! It's time I got my eco dry toilets ordered - enough already!

In other news (photos):

I got out my 'lightening' fall back gear. This is a computer, AIS unit, and GPS receive that I keep in the oven, in case of lightening strike. If you get hit, pretty much anything with a 'chip' in it (that's plugged in), is toast. The 'faraday cage' is belt and braces. I got the new Pacific island charts loaded, checked it all out thoroughly, and popped it back in the oven :-)

I continue with my garbage disposal schema. This is not just for 'Galapagos', it's for keeping down the otherwise huge amount of bags of garbage you accumulate. Here shown, is 10 days worth!

I 'fenced' off the steps to stop the wildlife taking over. A giant one was aboard last night, and left a giant poop for me to deal with this morning! Enough already. However, note (photo), that my defences still need work. These guys are a plague!

All's a bit Seal smelly, on x86!

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