Thursday 10th August 2017
Deepest thanks to Icom America - specifically to Dwayne Black who kindly enabled a replacement tuner (AT140) and control cable for my SSB/HF M801E radio to be provided, to ex-Brit Kevin who took a time carefully checking over my old tuner in detail, trying to find a faulty component.... and to cheerful, helpful Mary who made sure everything ran smoothly.
Many thanks also to my ham radio friend Eric, WA7LNH, who was my 'chauffeur' for the day - collecting me from the marina to take me in to Icom America's headquarters in Kirkland, not too far from Everett. Eric, a keen ham radio operator (and DX-er), was as interested as I was to see the radio museum displays in the relatively new and very pleasant HQ building before we left to return to 'Nereida' with the new tuner.
Eric was one of the USA 'hams' that I first made contact with on 16th February 2017 when I was passing well south of S. Africa as I made my way east through the Southern Ocean, eventually heading back to Victoria to complete my solo nonstop circumnavigation - and I was in radio contact with at least him and/or others daily for the remaining five months of that journey! Without those contacts, that voyage would have been far more lonely and difficult. Another bonus of having the radio was that, when my computers both became useless, the ham radio community came to my rescue and enabled 'emails' via voice contact - 1,000 emails were dealt with over two months - that was great!
I'm looking forward to installing the tuner but a slight hiccup lies in a slightly different connector needed to make that happen but that's a minor problem and one which will be sorted out within a few days. although I clearly can't use the radio in the meantime. So thanks to XGate for enabling me to use an Aurora terminal to send this update via the Iridium satellite network while underway. (Actually, another radio friend, Walt KM6MQ, was recently very generous in giving me a back up tuner when I stopped overnight in Los Angeles. I must find the time now to look at that in detail to see how to connect it up. It's not an automatic tuner, like the Icom AT140/141, but a good one nonetheless. No point in having back ups on board if I don't know how to make use of them!)
Friday 11th August From Everett to Port Townsend - AP is back working again!!
Having looked over the Commissioning instructions for the malfunctioning autopilot units last night, I saw that it was possible that the problem I had during our approach overnight to Cape Flattery might have been a passing glitch which might be easily fixed - so I changed back to the original autopilot motor and drive unit, hoping that it might work. To my delight, when I tested it out on leaving Everett this morning.... it did!! Yippee!!
It's a bright sunny day, although there's a bank of sea-fog ahead as we head up Admiralty Inlet around midday, enjoying a good ebb tide which is boosting our speed past long, convoluted Whidbey Island.
I'm hoping the fog might lift by the time we reach it or, at least, be thin - but, if not, radar works well to 'see' other boats and land around and the plotter shows vessels on AIS and we transmit to them - so we can stay pretty safe!
ETA Pt Townsend is early afternoon so I'll be able to pick up a couple of boat items I've had sent there, browse around the hardware store for a few other boat items and also meet some friends later on.
Tomorrow, we'll make for Friday Harbor, always a pleasant stop on San Juan Island.