UK Report - 1st October 2012
I'm presently on my way back to the boat in Oak Bay marina, at the S end of Vancouver Island, B.C., after nearly three busy weeks in the U.K. - with frequent visits to Southampton over the 10-day Boat Show there, trying to deal with a long list of people & companies to see, some regarding replacements/repairs/new items needed for 'Nereida'. I think I've done almost everything I'd hoped to, although there's bound to be something I've overlooked - hopefully minor! I've lots of bits and pieces in my heavy luggage now, as I my return to Victoria via Seattle and the fast 'Clipper' ferry from one waterfront to the other, through Puget Sound and the Juan de Fuca Strait at 30 knots - faster over the water than I'm used to!
I had an enjoyable interview with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston live on BBC Radio Solent's 'The H2O Show' one Friday evening - in lieu of the interview that we tried to have soon after my landfall on completion of my solo RTW in Victoria on 1st August - which was abandoned after a 'technical hitch'(!). I was also taken by taxi into central London for a live studio interview one Tuesday evening on ITV's 'London Tonight' news programme - always fascinating to see how these things are produced! And nice to be reading a book, rather than driving myself through the slow-moving, congested, London rush-hour traffic on my way there and back!
With my forthcoming nonstop circumnavigation in mind - expected to take 8 months from mid-October until June next year - I had plenty of paperwork to deal with, as well as catching up with family and friends...
Weather has been excellent, apart from a very rainy last Sunday at the Boat Show - but that was forecast days ahead, so I shouldn't complain...!
Oak Bay, B.C. - 6th October 2012 Thanksgiving Day on Sunday 7th October in Canada
This is a long holiday weekend here -and the weather couldn't be better - glorious sunny days ever since I got back!!
The boat is in chaos after all the work done inside, as well as work done on deck which also needed access from down below...
Glenn worked hard in my absence dealing with several problem areas (loose windlass bolts, altered position of battery box to take new batteries which were higher tha the old ones, re-caulking of chain-plates, renewing corroded electrical fittings in forepeak where seawater had leaked in via fittings in the chain locker, etc etc) but now I'm trying to clear up and fix other things - in between chatting to people who come by occasionally. The aft cabin is slowly being sorted out - new filters in the serviced watermaker system, new battery cables organised and fitted today for the extra Surette AGM battery, rudder post key banged back down into its proper place... and with it, after loosening a couple of nuts, the clamp that holds the lever arm which takes the rudder reference unit and autopilot ram that pushes and pulls the rudder to steer... The AIS display has been playing up - I'm hoping to find simply a loose wire when I check that out tomorrow, or soon after, along with the Pactor modem connections to the radio - that hasn't been tuned automatically, as it should be, for quite a time, so needs investigating... anotherloose (or undone) connection, hopefully! I've taken apart and cleaned off the salt deposit on the sheaves of the mainsheet traveller system - but one set has defeated me so farand needs further effort to release - aluminium & steel metal parts in contact always cause a problem sooner or later!!
Last Thursday, Carol Hasse kindly brought over my newly-repaired/serviced sails, thus saving me a trip over to Pt Townsend, so those are now waiting to be hoisted - but first I need to deal with the mainsail battens. The shorepower connection has been regularly tripping out on board - word has it that the supply here is not too reliable - certainly, I had no such problem in Canoe Cove... My thoughts are that it won't be of importance once I'm at sea... Local boater David King, who came by for a chat with his wife Kerry the other day, kindly took me into Victoria to Trotac where owner Campbell and Lance have been very helpful over my time here. I'd hoped to sail over to Roche Hbr on Thanksgiving Monday, but my finally-serviced liferaft is not due to be ready until Tuesday so I must wait for that to arrive before leaving Canada and checking into the States - it's all about my tax exempt status for boat work done for me while here in Canada...! But the short trip will also give me a chance to check everything out before I leave Victoria once the boat is all ready - I'd been hoping for next Sunday 14th October but I have serious doubts as to whether I'll be ready by then - I'll just keep working and see how the time goes. I'm certainly not leaving until I'm ready, with the boat shipshape and tidy for passagemaking and all vital systems working! Just now, there's no wind anyway & it's forecast to remain so for the next week, so I've not lost any weather window so far.
I'd best get back to work..... Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!!