Friday 12 June 2015

Dear Genie.. and one for the record books

Warning - the childish and poor attempts at humour in this post are indicative of the author's state of mind.

There's not exactly a lot to do here in Calheta whilst we wait for our new exhaust system so with things getting desperate, desperate measures were required- time to polish the brass.

The brass on Arctic Smoke amounts to a clock and a barometer and an oil lamp. Both the Clock and Barometer are fairly new and gifts from family/a grateful client. Both though have suffered from being mounted next to the mast which goes through the deck and in rough weather leaks salt water on the instruments and corrodes them. Next to them is the old brass oil lamp which had now turned a "beautiful" shade of green.

I turned to the task with Sinbadian wishes..

"OK Amigos what you want - you got three wishes"

1 "A new exhaust system for the boat today"....

The barometer after cleaning and polishing and the clock before...


All after re-installation

"Let me see. Ah no not in stock. Sorry, I'll have to order it from Lisbon. Just a minute. Ah, sorry they are out of stock too. They'll have to order from Holland."

Still our wishes had not being granted so the first mate was dispatched to try his luck with the kettle. There's no "before" shot available but it was a disgrace!

2 "Hm OK. Please deliver to us at the Marina at Calheta."

"Hm, Sorry, no can do, it has to come here first"

3 "OK can you arrange to get it sent on."

"Sorry, no"

Some bloody genie you turned out to be....

Next up (actually we did this first) was to replace the spreader boots on both spreaders. These are bits of plastic tube stuck on to the end of the spreaders to prevent the genoa from chafing on them. You can't see them but they're on the ends of the cross piece in the photo below. We used the new mast climbing gadget again with Tony manning a safety line.

Next up I indulged in a bit of art design. Horta, our intended next main stop in the Azores is famous for it's harbour wall being covered in logos left by all the boats that have passed through. The harbour walls at Porto Santo and Funchal were also similarly covered but whilst I had got round to buying some spray paint I had got no further. A very clumsy Arctic Smoke stencil now exists which, once it has been applied will be revealed in all its glory.

Today I finally removed the outboard motor from the dinghy and deflated it ready for storing back in the locker once we have fitted the new exhaust system.

We did get an impressive sunset the other night....

We've also made some new virtual friends who we hope to meet in the flesh once we get to Horta. John, who designed Angus our wind vane self steering system, emailed to tell me that his cousin lives in Horta and she has emailed to say they would be delighted to meet us when we get there. She and her partner are incredibly well travelled ocean sailors who are committed to the conservation of Wales and Albatrosses. Their web site summarises some of their extraordinary experiences and achievements, including sailing from The Arctic to the Antarctic.

I've not checked but hopefully one advantage of our delayed departure will be some good nights for star gazing.

Now we've got at least another two days to kill. There may be some excitement tonight, a sports car rally is due in at the Marina so we'll probably join the "crowds" to have a look. 

Meanwhile Tony assures me he continues to give thought to modifying the cockpit table so that it can be used without the binacle on which it used to rest before I removed it last year. Mind you he apparently once gave two years thought mending the hinge on his garden gate so I wont hold my breath!

Finally, the record. Another recent email from John informed me that Angus, our Hebredean wind vane, has travelled the furthest of all those he has sold. Mind you I don't expect to hold the record for very long. Chris, who built it for me and who built one for himself has started his cruise from the UK back to New Zealand.

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