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February update (with photos) from the Najad yard in Sweden - it was cold here!

The snow is finally melting here...! Photos show a free ferry between Orust and Lysekil en route to Smögen from Henån...

The boat has been busy with several people working simultaneously on different things.... including various electrical installations involving wiring for onboard power, instruments and shorepower. Finnish Timo has fabricated some beautiful steelwork on the stern to incorporate the pushpit and take radar, various antennae, 'Kiss' wind generator and pivoting solar panels, as well as sturdy 'eyes' for a Jordan series drogue bridle to be shackled off the stern quarters. The engine and propellor-shaft installation is in full swing with Naim having done some great glass-fibre work where needed, the diesel generator installation is half done... autopilot installation is under way and lots of other 'bits and bobs' are being completed - it's a boat! It's like building a house with the added complications of sails, rigging, instruments, etc... often with difficult access!! The only downside to progress is ... it's too slow for impatient me!! Looks as though the boat won't be ready to be delivered until the end of March.... but I can't complain at the enthusiasm and friendliness of everyone here - who all seem to take a great pride in the quality of their work and seem to be delighted to be working with me on a 'rather different' boat that's going to go places.

Earlier this month, I visited Smögen again (in thick snow) to discuss a furling staysail with 'Dallas' (Lennart Dahlstrom) of UK-Syversen (the Swedish UK-Halsey) - he's again being very helpful on price and full of useful expertise - I'm looking forward to my new sails!  I'm trying to make everything on board 'user-friendly' ... but after much agonising and discussions with Claes and Frederik (Najad rigging experts), I decided to 'bite the bullet' and place the inner forestay in a better position on the mast - by the 2nd spreaders ... meaning I'll have to work with running backstays (I was trying to avoid those, hoping to keep things simple & never having used them before!)... So long as I don't get involved with fast tacking too often, and avoid unintentional gybes, I should manage OK .... but I'll have to make sure I can release them quickly....!!  Another new thing to learn about & keep life interesting whilst sailing on the new boat.....!  But the end-result is the mast will be more secure in strong winds & heavy seas.... which has to be a bonus.

We had a bit of excitement mid-February, when  Kajsa Wedberg, a journalist with the local newspaper Bohusläningen in Uddevalla, together with a very enthusiastic photographer, came to interview me at Najadvarvet & to see the boat under construction. They're doing a Boat Feature in April, it seems, so several guys working on board will get their names (and maybe photos!) in print.

Every few days, I've been taking photos of the boat installation details - as things get covered up, I'll forget what's underneath, so the photos will be useful in the future. It also means I've a record of all the labels while they're fresh and readable!!

I was delighted when Lori of Garmin Europe offered to replace my lost handheld GPS unit - it's a great little unit with its own charting, barometer and compass (they're also replacing a damaged Indian Ocean 'chip') - thank you, Lori! It will be a very useful 'back-up' or for emergency use in my 'grab bag' - but it's excellent in its own right for navigating and will connect into my laptop for independent GPS input to there & also for entering routeing into the Garmin. I'm always happy to have backups...!

At the Stenungsbaden Y.C. (the hotel where I'm staying), all the staff are being so very friendly & helpful to me - they can't do enough, it seems!! Makes it a very pleasant place to be staying whilst I'm busy here with the boat. And I've finally got a touch of Swedish going ... at least now I can greet people and ask how they are... "God kväll, hur mår du??" (Good evening, how are you?) - and respond if they ask me... "Jag mår bra, tack" (I'm fine, thanks). I never feel comfortable being in a country for any length of time without making some effort to speak the language, however minimally or badly!

The Marketing Manager Karin took me over recently to show me the lovely conference centre Villa J.C.Stevens here in the hotel grounds. Its theme is past America's Cup winners, with the Swedish entry in 1992, 'Tre Kronor', having been based here in Stenungsund and the hotel everywhere covered in references to, and pictures of, past America's Cup racing and boats! Keeps reminding me of the San Diego Y.C. with its America's Cup connections also!


More photos can be seen by going to Flickr using the link below - which finally seems to be working!  (If it doesn't, go to Flickr.com, enter 'svNereida'  in the 'People' search and then you can open the 'Sweden 2008-09' folder.)
Here's the link:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/nereida/sets/72157614835272846/  - if you're lucky, it'll behave when you try it.....!  Once in the 'Sweden' folder, clicking on 'Detail' will display titles & clicking on 'Map' will show (pink blobs) where the photos were taken - technology!

Written by : Mike

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