Tuesday 25 October 2016

Back in the water at last and flying home

After an increasingly tortuous saga trying to import my 'special' anti-fouling from Germany, I gave up and got a refund. The suppliers estimated 4 days to get it to me. After two weeks it had still not arrived and I was informed that it was held up at Customs for the second time. This time they were demanding reference numbers and other info that the supplier new nothing about and neither did I!

Fortunately Chris had a half a can of basic anti-fouling that he had used to patch his anti-fouling (the same type as mine) and so I bought that from him and painted it on.

As you can see AS now has a touch of measles on her bottom, but not many people will notice!

I used the time whilst waiting to work through my list of other jobs. The stand out ones being: the fitting of a stand pipe around the rudder shaft in case of leaks through the rudder bearing (i might have mentioned that already); painting the decks; fitting the extra internal bilge pump (with a lot of help from Chris); completing the re-fitting the windows (also delayed waiting for a delivery of butyl tape and also with a lot of help from Chris; finishing off the installation of the electric bilge pump that Tony and I started last year; repairing the tiller (that was Chris); repairing the cockpit floor/come table and a host of other bits and pieces.

Above show the revised pipe layout for the new bilge pump following Chris' timely intervention. The white pipe is from the new pump, the clear from the existing one and both rise well above the water line to ensure water cannot get syphoned in when the boat heals over.

Re-launch day was on Saturday and it was a big relief to get back in the water, not least because it was extremely expensive being out in the yard. I could have spent a lot less time there if I hadn't waited around for the anti-fouling that never arrived!

The washing consists of two pairs of foul weather gear that had not been done since last year!

Above, Chris waits to tuck in to a celebration lunch on the newly repaired cockpit table. As you can see the repainting was not quite finished at that point but it is now.

Once back in the water I undertook a very basic engine service and commenced a major re-stowage programme to re-distribute the weight around the boat. She had been significantly down by the stern evidenced by the severe weed growth above the water-line prior to hauling her out. I move 40 litres of water in two jerry cans from the quarter berth to under the forward bunks, moved the No 2 anchor from the stern to the bow locker and moved the dinghy from a cockpit locker to stowage on deck (although currently it s now in the cabin). I will also stow the 2nd genoa on deck rather than in the stern locker).

Despite working almost non-stop for four weeks I still have a long list of snagging jobs to do on my return before we can head off, but at least all the major work is now complete. I probably need another couple of days to finish off the jobs and of course will need to provision for the passage to Cape Verde and the Caribbean. Our aimed for departure date (subject to the weather) of 15th November is just about achievable therefore.

It looks like Chris and I will sail in company to CV. I've got lots of admin to complete before then too such as sorting out insurance and visas and compiling a provisioning list.

Right now I'm waiting for my flight home from Gran Canaria. Ursula had her baby yesterday and so I'm looking forward to meeting the new arrival tomorrow.

Next post is likely to be mid November prior to departure for CV.

I hope all my sailing friends old and new are enjoying fair winds and good times and all my land based friends are enjoying similar good fortune.

The below are the last of Tony's ducks waiting to be released!

Thursday 13 October 2016

Two weeks in and ....

... things are progressing very slowly...

The good news is that my friend Chris arrived on his junk rigged boat last Thursday having sailed down from Sines in Portugal. He's come to help me with the work on the boat which is a great help. Having built his own boats in the past he knows whats what when it comes to boats. The only down side is that means he's spotted jobs that need doing that I had overlooked. It's clearly good to get them done but it does mean that my list of jobs was even longer than I had reckoned.

Prior to his arrival I had installed the pipework needed to fit a bilge pump below decks and had re-sited the cockpit pump and was feeling rather pleased with myself. I still had to find and fit a pump but...Anyway here's pipes and the end result in the cockpit.

The grey bit is the cover for the pump and the brown bit is where it used to be before I moved it, which I had to do because it fouled the tiller.

Anyway Chris reminded me that I still needed to fit a standpipe around the rudder shaft so that in the event of the rudder bearing leaking, the water would be contained in the pipe and not sink the boat. That however meant removing the pump and pipe work in order that I could access the space under the cockpit floor in order to remove the old steering quadrant (left over from the old wheel steering the boat used to have). Something I finally managed to achieve yesterday. Tomorrow I need to go in search of some plastic pipe from which to make the standpipe.

By far the worst job so far has been tackling the windows that were leaking badly. A really horrible messy job which along with the need to remove all the gear from the lockers to undertake the work on the rudder and other jobs, has turned the boat into a building site.....

A window back in with loads of black gunge oozing out... followed by a window aperture and a window and a pretty faithful indication of what the cockpit looks like after a day's labour and a load of stuff temporarily stored on the front of the boat.

As you can see - plain sailing is some considerable way off!

Chris has fixed a number of other things and has a number more to do. Many jobs could be done once the boat is back in the water but we are being held up waiting deliveries including anti-fouling, more black gooey stuff for sealing the windows and treatment for the iron keel. Getting things delivered here is an absolute nightmare. At this rate I'll be lucky to get the boat back in the water by this time next week. Apart from the fact that I fly home on 25/10 and must get her back in by then (and ideally ready to sail), it's much more expensive having the boat out of the water than in it!

Sunday 2 October 2016

Update: Stings, Pox and Other Issues

Apologies for style and presentation but techy issues mean having to write a lost of this on my phone.

Arrived on Tuesday evening. First job on Wednesday was to get in the water and check prop to ensure not too fouled. It was ok but cleaned it up a bit anyway. Age catching up; could not not stay under for more than 30 seconds. Noticed tingling on thighs and chest and arm pits. Turned into burning sensation. Rash developed.

No jelly fish. Then noticed tentacle growths on morning lines that I had been hanging on to. They were clearly stinging blighters.

Met Murray from Irish Eyes. Enjoyed a dinner at the yacht club and he helped me get AS ashore. Another retired GP. He's now flown to Baltic to sail with a pal there. Returns January.

Bit of a panic getting AS ashore. There was a delay at the yard so tried to turn engine off to wait but cut out switch did not cut out. Decompressed instead but then no power to panel so could not start. Thankfully engine still warm enough to hand crank start. But now got to figure out what's gone wrong!

Under water growth on AS strange. Low down only slime but where sunlight gets through say 2 feet below water line (and above where swell laps) heavy thin tubular growth like what stung me. Very clingy. Yard pressure washer excellent but had to scrape too. Unfortunately patches of expensive anti-fouling came off too so have had to order more.

Even more disappointing was discovery of osmosis blisters above water line where the growth was.

Perhaps microscopic punctures from creatures let water in? Consulted Chris who advised no immediate measures required but will have to address on return. Could be expensive:(

Chris en-route fro Sines. Should arrive here later next week to help with jobs. That will be a great help. Re bedding leaky windows which locals failed to do plus preparing prow where scraped on pontoon during gales last year when mooring line snapped. Oh and the engine electrics too!

Finding stuff/ tools took ages after so long away. Some stuff thought was here but not like the anti-fouling and treatment for the iron keel. Had to ask Sharon to post me the latter.

Saturday completed clean off of hull and prop. Took ages. The remnants of growth above the water line particularly stubborn.

Also started re-siting of bilge pump in cockpit to avoid fouling with tiller (which I added before departure from Chatham) but only realised could not use whilst tiller in use after departure.

Have now planned installation of internal bilge pump and need to go off and buy all the bits on Monday

Boat a real mess at present with gear everywhere and at least one covering of African dust. Not very pretty.

Today, Sunday. Realised that I needed to grease the rudder bearings. Guess what? The newly sited bilge pump had to come out in order for me to squeeze into the cockpit locker and contort my body so that I could JUST reach the lock nuts on the bearing assembly in order to part it and grease and then re-assemble. 

Then reinstalled the bilge pump (not connected) and blanked off the old aperture. 

The angle of the pipe to the pump now too sharp so will need to buy right angle connector. Also reinstalled the windless which I removed in March and took to the local workshop because it had seized up. They fixed it. The work cost me 50 euros which was fair enough but then I had to pay another 50 for storage which I thought was a bit steep especially given there had previously been no mention of storage charges.

Tomorrow will take bus into Arguineguin to go to the chandlery. Will probably need to order most of stuff I need - the main things are a new bilge pump to fit down below (currently not one fitted and I should really be able to pump below in storm conditions) and all the necessary pipe work and connectors. Also bits and pieces needed to apply the anti-fouling.

Given it's Sunday I've hit the sailor's traditional tonic - Rum. Have discovered that rum, ice, grapefruit juice, squeeze of lime and a dash of Allspice makes a pretty good sundowner! Cheers.