Monday, 21 March 2016

Pasito Blanco, Day 7 - win some lose some and a nasty turn



The good news is that I managed to repair Angus yesterday and to re-site his blocks to more appropriate positions and with permanent fixings. It was a rather laborious task and therefore took most of the day. The carbon fibre connecting tube (that connects the wind vane part to the paddle part that stick in the water) had split earlier in the summer and we had sailed from Horta to the Canaries with it taped up with gaffa tape.

The tube connects the two parts via a system of bolts and linkages at each end of the tube. These are secured into the tube by being screwed/glued into a piece of wooden dowel which is also glued in. This dowel has to be drilled out to receive the bolt. Drilling a 6mm hole through a 10mm dowel straight and parallel is all but impossible unless you have a drill press to hold everything straight. Needless to say I didn't have one with me. So I had to grind the old dowels out of the old tube with a hand file. A lengthy and messy business. However, I got it done. Then I had a bit of luck. I glued the dowels in and then the link bolts into the dowels using separate epoxy glue mixes. The first one went according to plan and the expoxy set in the 5 minutes stipulated. The second mix for the link bolts seemed to be a bit light on the hardener but I went ahead anyway. Then I tried to re-assemble the whole lot only to find that one of the end fittings had to be at right angles to the other and I had glued them in on the same plane. My lucky break was the the epoxy had not set and I was therefore able to rotate one of the ends through 90 degrees. The fact that it then took me another couple of hours to figure out how everything went back together is by the by. Eventually it was all done and I was able to re-site the blocks for the tiller lines.

After that I took a little walk and took a couple of photos..





Today I had the afternoon off. Agustin and Sonya were taking me for lunch.



As I was pondering which job to this morning I idly thought I should check the windless - the big winch at the front of the boat used to get the anchor up. A rather essential piece of equipment. Last used as I recall when Tony and I anchored in Horta in June last year (when the anchor got stuck under a chain on the sea bed and we had to hire a diver to free it). Anyway it was completely seized up. I spent a few hours trying the free it and then another hour removing it before getting cleaned up for lunch which was most enjoyable. Tomorrow I'll take it to the engineering shop in the boat yard and see if they can free it up for me.

After a lovely lunch in Arguineguin with Agustin and Sonya, Agustin took me to the local chandlers and I was able to buy the line I needed to replace the main out-haul. Once back on the boat I fitted it. I also met Nigel another OCC member, from Juliet a Vancouver 32 currently in the yard but due to be re-launched within the next couple of days. He had just flown in from the UK. He was on board nearby, the night of the gale that bashed AS into the pontoon and damaged her bow. The same thing happened to Juliet which is why she was out for repairs. We arranged to eat together at the Yacht Club tomorrow evening.

The nasty turn occurred during the early hours of Saturday morning. I woke with violent stomach cramps that got steadily worse over the next 30 minutes and then it felt like my head was going to explode - it felt a little like someone was using a road drill on my skull combined with an intense downward pressure - I wanted to pass out but couldn't escape the excruciating pain. Eventually it subsided and I thought I had better get on the loo. Thank goodness I had discovered that the sea-cock was OK after all. I need say no more. It's self evident that I lived to tell the tale. I had clearly given myself a very nasty dose of food poisoning by re-heating the spag bol I had made the night before. Sharon did warn me on the phone but....Never again.