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Guernsey report 6 - chain onboard ... at last!! ...floorboard arrived & is cut..

Anchor chain arrived last week ..and then had to wait while I had  a shelf glassed in to the chain locker.  Wed's task was biking to DSV freight terminal with an angle grinder to cut the chain into 3 pieces - 100m for main anchor, 25m for secondary (plus 100 m multiplait) and 5m, which I worked out weighed just over 7kg or 15lbs, for the end of the Jordan series drogue to keep it well below the sea surface when deployed.   It was quite difficult getting the chain off the pieces of thick wire it had been looped onto for the galvanizing process but helpful guys at DSV took time out to extricate the chain to measure it and then insisted on cutting it  for me - not easy. Talk about fireworks!! Being high tensile chain meant it was more difficult to cut than ordinary chain but my kind helper made short work of the four cuts - I was amazed he didn't end up with his jeans on fire but he seemed oblivious to the stream of hot sparks landing on him.... I was quite pleased to be well out of the line of fire!  

Plan then was to deliver it to nearby fuel dock Fri morning where I'd come to fuel up at high water around midday and get help to load the chain onto 'Nereida' ... which is more-or-less what happened, except that the replacement floorboarding had arrived in the meantime - more problems.... I had hoped it would be a simple matter of making two long cuts to trim it to size, and had already been investigating where I could do that, but found that more intricate cutting was needed than I could manage.    At one point it seemed everyone was looking out for good 'chippies' to help me at short notice... ! (It's the long August Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK so timing for work to be done has been getting difficult).  Mike, one of the Guernsey Harbour Dockmasters, very kindly came to the rescue, offering me the use of the Harbour facilities, & by late Fri morning, Neil, the Harbour 'chippie', had cut the board beautifully, along with a replacement headlining board and an aluminium strut .

   By the time that was done, we were OK to get out over the sill at the marina entrance but not to get back in after the refuelling and chain manoeuvres- which took 4 of us: two lads high up on the pier above the fuel dock, myself receiving the chain as it was fed down & helper Nicholas flaking the chain onto the deck...!!  (It still has to be marked and attached to the anchors)   So I stayed at the fuel dock overnight and then moved onto a waiting pontoon until high water near 2pm Saturday - when I gingerly crept over the sill, half expecting to touch... relieved to say, I didn't, although I should have done!



Early Friday morning, I removed the speed transducer - the impellor was badly fouled with weed and eggs!


I took some time cleaning it (see the glistening eggs down  in the basin)  so was very disappointed on Saturday when I took 'Nereida' outside the harbour to calibrate the fluxgate compass and speed display and found a 0.0 knots being registered.  I checked the impellor again later - it spins freely, SOG is being shown on the instrument but the boatspeed stubbornly refuses to show itself - another problem to resolve. (I don't like not having a working log when at sea!)

Whilst at the fuel dock, Nicholas was delighted to climb up the mast (his first time!) so I could calibrate the wind vane which was slightly out - so that's off my joblist.

 "Little things please little minds"!  -  Last weekend I tracked down some steel screw eyes in a shop here - and fitted one above the waste bin along with some string and, after a bit of trial & error, now open the bin lid by opening the locker door... something I'd been wanting to do for months!

One thing I've spent a lot of time on this week has been trying to overcome the problems I've had getting my newly-activated Iridium phone to 'talk' to my laptops.  I thought all I had to do was to register the phone, get a number and 'hey presto!' .... I should have known better!!  It's taken a LOT of my time, getting very frustrated over several days (& nights) - and only the XP laptop has been more-or-less sorted out, with the Vista one unusable for Iridium usage - that's a real bummer and not something that looks as though it can easily be resolved unless I find a computer 'whizz kid' hereabouts - over a long Holiday weekend?.... no!

Saturday afternoon and evening was spent dealing with the headlining - drilling, cutting, sticking on the vinyl covering, rewiring and fixing the light fitting and finally, with great difficulty, screwing it back into place.  It took six hours!  Before that, I mended the door-catch which I'd found virtually impossible to open once closed.  Later in the evening, I put a first coat of varnish on the new floorboard edge - once it has a second coat, I'll be able to screw it in place, but must first finish fixing the aluminium strut below it which Najad have sent along for reinforcement.  Then I'll be able to concentrate on marking and attaching the anchor chain.... & then I'll be able to get back to my original list of jobs to be finished before I sail away....!!

At one point in the evening, there was a series of loud explosions.... a firework display from the mediaeval Castle Cornet at the Harbour entrance:

You can just make out the position of the marina sill in the foreground and up on the right is a (red) light indicating it's unsafe to try to enter!!

When leaving DSV earlier in the week, I found a group of people in a shed nearby decorating a flower float, ready for the flower festival the next day:

Maybe this coming week, I'll be sailing away from this lovely old harbour-front church!

Written by : Mike

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