Good News, Bad News............

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Mon 31 Jul 2006 18:09

Isle de St Martin


First of all the good news. We found the Twinning’s English Breakfast Tea! Loads of it. I think we could probably start a floating tea room with what we have on the boat. SO much better than the Lipton’s Yellow label we bought locally.


After several cuppas, we finally managed to drag ourselves away from Monte Real Club de Yates in Bayona. A very safe and civilised spot. It was another beautiful day. Flat seas, a gentle Westerly breeze. So for the first time since leaving Lagos we decided to sail over to the Islas de Cies. A massive 10 miles away. Actually it is a lot closer to Bayona, but we did rather fanny about and ended up travelling twice the distance we needed to. The next good bit of news was that we put up the main sail for the first time since it was repaired. Because it had been fitted to the mandrill by hand, it did not line up properly the first time. So the luff tape got jammed in the groove, and we had to bring it down manually. Well I needed the exercise anyway! We then applied copious quantities of silicon lubricant to the luff tape and had anther go. Slid  up like a dream this time, and later on when the wind faded to nothing, it rolled away perfectly. Whew!


Now the bad news. The main distribution, mast head amplifier box failed. This also happened last year going across Biscay. I suspect that it is the power supply amplifier, and if it is, I have a spare on board. Just need a clever chappie to fit it! This is an 8 leg chip and needs the right tools to take off the dud unit from the PCB and fit the new one. I don’t carry that onboard (another toy to add to the list), I will have to pay someone to do it.


In the meantime we have no Navtex, no Weatherfax and most importantly, we have no main VHF radio. As those of you who have had the pleasure of being on Rallies with us will know. I do like my VHF radio. Putting aside the safety issues, it is GOOD TO TALK.


We are currently anchored off a delightful, (also most) peaceful beach on the east side of Isle de St Martin in the Islas de Cies group. Our current position is 42 degrees 12 mins North, 8 degrees 54 mins West.  This Island is a nature reserve, and visitors are not allowed to land. This of course is a load of tosh as far as the locals are concerned, and there must have been at least 50 people sunbathing on the beach this afternoon. So we dragged out the dingy, and went ashore for a stroll. It was a real treat to hear all the song birds in full voice in the trees near to the foreshore. There is also a large colony of Herring Gulls on the cliffs, so it is quite noisy. Nicely so.  We have missed the bird song on this trip after the virtual aviary we have at home.


It is a little, “rolly” at the moment, so the plan is to wait for high water and then mooch in closer to the beach and so hopefully get out of the swell. Then dinner and a good nights kip.  We will then “tour” the other two islands in the group (that are joined by a sand spit), after which we shall return to Bayona to get the mast head amplifier fixed. Fingers crossed it will be a straight forward repair, and we shall be able to get on our way within 24 hours. It is crucial we get this sorted before we leave the Rias, and I think that Bayona is the only spot where we will find a suitable company to fix this unit.


The other bit of news is that we passed the 1600nm mark on our trip so far, today.


Onwards and upwards.




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