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19th August 2017 - Victoria, B.C., Canada

Saturday 19th August 2017 -  Victoria, B.C., Canada

The weather has been wonderful since arriving back here at the Royal Victoria Y.C. on Monday 14th August at the end of my journey north that started from Zihuatanejo,  Mexico, after enjoying their Guitar Fest in March.   It has been a real mix of being partly in 'ambling mode', with lots of stops on the way, seeing places, a touch of cruising in May in the southern Sea of Cortez from La Paz, meeting people ….and often getting boat jobs done.  But far too often, we’ve been in 'bash' mode - trying to head north in so-called 'weather windows' that usually resulted in motoring against mainly light winds (with occasional stronger headwinds and rough seas) or in calms, with frequent stops to await the next 'weather window' - mostly a matter of trying to avoid the strong northerlies that are so prevalent on the West coast of North America in the summer.

Jobs are still ongoing and any boat in constant use invariably has breakdowns and repairs adding in to the previous list.   I’m presently re-wiring the solar panels’ circuits with tinned wire (the untinned wire I found in use in part of the circuits is totally black with oxidation).  I replaced my Icom tuner on Thursday (my 75th birthday present to myself!) - many thanks to Icom America for their wonderful support.  They’re sending a new control cable with fresh connectors so I can connect the tuner to my Icom M801E radio.  I looked to see why one of my autopilots is not driving the rudder at all - the drive arm (ram) probably needs attention/servicing.   I have to investigate further a small fuel transfer pump problem - likely to be an impellor that needs changing, all bungies on deck, holding blocks etc in place, need replacing - and there are many other items still on the list to be dealt with, as well as items still to be bought - mainly spares to carry onboard.

Items already dealt with on my way north have included:

VHF radio malfunction - many thanks to Navico/Simrad in Ensenada for their generous support in replacing the system;

sail shape improved by moving reefing lines aft on boom - simple but effective - thanks to Mark Butler in San Diego for his help;

water maker thoroughly serviced in Sausalito - now functioning well and in 'pickle' for time being;

thorough cleaning and/or renewing of bilge, pumps, sensors and hoses in Sausalito;

engine serviced and oil changed in Ensenada and Sausalito;

diesel generator impellor changed in Ensenada (spare impellor I’d made use of was too old and so wasn’t working properly, causing overheating);

improved a new storm screen fixing in the cockpit in La Paz, making it easier to use or stow away;

dealt with poor switch connections on the Superwind wind generator circuit in San Francisco - now working fine;

replaced a faulty fuse holder and re-made connections on solar panels’ circuit in San Diego - one circuit kept 'blowing' its fuse - behaving fine now;

shortened pennants on staysail in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (luff was too long so couldn’t be adequately tensioned) - need to get a new sail since this one was used so much in the Southern Ocean and it also suffered when lying to a storm last October;

dealt with erratic wind display - after remaking all connections, seems the top mast connection was slightly corroded - needs further cleaning and corrosion protection, although eventually behaved fine on trip here from San Francisco;

I’m finding there are never enough hours in the day to get done what I expect to - but it’s nice to be in friendly company - the Royal Victoria Y.C. have made me very welcome and are keen to help me in whatever way they can, which is very much appreciated.  There are always suggestions of someone useful to consult when I’m not sure how to tackle a problem or offers of practical help.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates