Good news is that we have had the weather with us
and that progress on the underside of the hull is nearly complete, the bum is
scrubbed back to copper ready for the anti foul, the new echo sounder (
Raymarine type ) location hole is bored through the hull and prepped, the rudder
touch ups are complete, Lyn has started on the ding filling to the top sides,
all very easy from the continues scaffold all around the boat, this is going to
make life so much easier for lyns top coats and for blocking down the hull one
she has completed the filling and sanding of the small dings and scrapes we have
collected on our 14,000 nm journey.
On the mechanical front the battery box aft has
been removed along with the gas locker ready for the generator removal, the
steering gear aft has also been removed, the play in the top bearings of the
Whitlock box were excessive, it took a whole day of easing to get the thing
apart, the bearings have broken up this coupled with the excessive play in the
rose joints approx 5 to 10mm overal was a classic case of materials used not up
to the job .. as the brochure/ manual says , may need adjustment !
occasionally . . . . .
Anyway I'm off to find an engineering shop to get
this sorted as the bearing outer parts have to be pressed out and I'm in the
process of redesigning the arm as you cant remove it to replace the bearing as
its welded inside and out to the pivot pin, I guess they had trouble in the past
and welded the quadrant to the shaft , the manual shows it as being
removable, not so and mods will sort out this problem .
On the home front, the new government here have
discovered 400 spin doctors or PR consultants in departments of the gov, they
recon you cant put a positive spin on this mess so have fired the bull shitters
off , god knows how many sit in UK gov , probably in the thousands. for our
small county type gov that's a big saving mind you its still only 40 p a
litre for diesel here, we have more direct taxation here as opposed to stealth
tax type collection, beer is still cheaper and as you cant smoke anywhere in
public you don't see many people with the C stick in there mouths anywhere
apart from there designated smoko holes .
The annual gathering of yachties is beginning to
assemble ready for the big off to Tonga, Fiji or New Caledonia in the autumn, by
next month this place will be buzzing again with the boat yards full and
every body getting there last minuet bits ready for the big off up north, all
those with major works to complete should be near completion as the weather
window to escape north is short , from May to mid June, after that the door is
shut you need to be above Lat 25 deg south by then, it will be
sad to see many friends we have made on the trip from Panama going, and as we(
Class of 09 ) were the last yachies to use the old Panama yacht club
and wait on the old anchorage , we I suppose feel that its the end of
an era in yachting terms and were glad that we experienced it, for good or bad
it certainly was a wright of passage .
Anyway you guys in the northern hem you will be
experiencing spring at last, for those who sail it will be the first weekends
out in the Solent which on a cold crisp sunny spring morning is a great feeling
and one to savour just as much as any other exotic tale I have told in the last
year or so .
On the Hard at Opua NZ .... the