28th August - 4th September
Work has gone far more slowly than I'd planned, with a major hiccup in dealing with the Sigmar heater when a lot of fuel siphoned out of the main tank into my bilges... now dealt with and the fuel feed and tank venting system improved to prevent a recurrence - but not pleasant and wasted two days... Heater finally finished with and working fine.
My servicing of winches is almost complete, although a winch part bouncing into the water one evening wasn't exactly welcomed...! Luckily disaster was averted because I had a similar gear cog wheel in my spares....! Once I'd got the centre hole slightly enlarged, we were back in business....
Cleaned and oiled my tools and found someone to adjust the settee cushions and velcro fixings to make them more practical..
Secondary alternator alignment turned into a simple 'fix' by adjusting drive pulley position with a spacer. A new 'Kiss' wind generator arrived from Trinidad - it's a great generator - silent but powerful, very simple in design & designed to be easy to mend with readily-obtainable parts anywhere (not that I needed to do much over the ten years I had it!). Main engine has developed an oil leak from its front seal - being replaced under warranty - but had to contact Cape Town to get new engine registration sorted out - the ten hours' time difference makes for difficult phonecall timing - I had to set an alarm to get up in the middle of the night...!
Hauled out on Wednesday - prop anode had totally disappeared, screws included!! Berthing here is becoming a problem since they're renewing many of the marina docks in the next few weeks.
Internet is also a bit of a problem - I'm having either to go to the local supermarket or the riggers nearby to get wi-fi access.
Invited out two evenings by local boaters - both very enjoyable, sociable evenings - made a nice change from working on boat!
'Hams' Aaron and Owen came with the suppressors Aaron had made up to instal in the power leads close to the autopilot hydraulic pumps... They seemed to make a definite difference in the RF noise heard over the SSB radio - I'll know for sure when I get back out to sea since there's a lot of noise in the marina here. I could make another suppressor for the fridge noise with the bits Aaron left with me - just a bit of soldering needed.
Visited Port Townsend Sails to discuss the sails Carol Hasse had taken away to be looked at in her loft after our sail last week to see how they performed in action. All three are in need of repair but the mains'l is particularly bad with UV degradation and chafe, closely followed by the stays'l. I've decided to dispense with my 'stack-pack' sail cover system for my RTW attempt - the lazyjacks have been an ongoing nuisance in strong winds, especially when tangling with the battens or going downwind, and are best made more easily movable to the mast. Also, the sail cover on either side of the boom has made it frequently impossible to see what's going on when I'm reefing so, since I shan't need a sailcover whilst solidly on passage for 7 months or so from October, it's best got rid of. I'm also adding cheek blocks to the boom for reefs 2 & 3 which should make it easier to reef and give a flatter foot to the mains'l - a good thing in strong winds.
Single-hander Seattle friend Harry ('Rhiannon'), last seen when leaving St Helena in April 2008, came over from Everett to visit... We enjoyed the live Friday night music and a tasty burrito in the Pt Townsend Brewery garden nearby....
Saturday started a long holiday weekend here (Monday 6th September is Labour Day in USA and Canada). I started the day off in relaxed fashion, after deliberately sleeping in for a change, with a visit to the locally-famous 'Blue Moose' cafe for a leisurely cooked breakfast accompanied by reading a novel before spending a lot of time chasing around getting extra bits and pieces for my toolbox. Also bought quite a few clip-on ferrites for further noise suppression in instrument cables and some brush-on liquid which I painted over Aaron's soldered joints to protect the electrical connections from corrosion.
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, I'll be trying to get as much work done myself as possible as well as organizing people here to get on with work while I make a short visit to UK where I'll get to the Southampton Boat Show on Friday and Saturday. That will be useful for discussions with people to get a few more boat problems resolved, I hope, before returning to Port Townsend the following weekend, planning to finish off boat jobs in readiness for my October start from Victoria.