Wed 7th Oct '09
For several days, the winds have been non-existent - just a short time of onshore breeze mid-afternoon dying away to nothing until the next mid-afternoon. The result - a delayed departure - presently projected toThursday early evening - IF the wind doesn't die away.... I can't sail anywhere without wind ... not even away from the marina! Motoring isn't an option - a) I don't want to, b) I haven't enough fuel for anything except occasional use of my little diesel generator over the next 6-7 months when my solar &/or wind input is too low... so unless there's decent wind tomorrow, I may have to delay yet again to Friday - but hopefully not.
I seem to have got myself a great team of supportive helpers here in Puerto Calero .... Peter (from Holland) has put me in touch with many useful people to resolve whatever my current problem happened to be, Suzanne (from Michigan) has done brilliant work helping to organize my provisioning/stowing/listing (I've never been so well organized!!) and any other job I threw at her, Sally (from UK) has cheerfully ferried me around from place to place for shopping and trying to solve my ongoing gas bottle problem as well as helping with laundry, her husband Paul has spent a lot of time helping me with several boat jobs - including dealing with Kiss generator, re-stowing anchor rodes, fixing closures on lazarette lids, replacing metal washer(s) on loose rodkicker-to-mast joint with larger nylon washer (manufactured several times over in minutely varying thicknesses by Wes from San Diego), Jan (from UK) who has spent several hours sorting out the electrics, watermaker wiring & instruments (although even he couldn't fix my Furuno weather fax problem - doesn't look as though it's receiving via its own preamp & aerial - so one or t'other is faulty possibly), Norman (from UK) who supplied 10 dozen fresh eggs, cleaned the hull and changed the prop zinc, Walter (from Germany) who gave me a lot of music for my time offshore and Mel Symes, Daniel Calero and others at Pto. Calero Marina who tried to help me resolve problems whilst here. Many grateful thanks to all of them!
I've spent more time clearing away & fixing items in place, with lots of lacing eyes, string and bungy being used up! The diesel leak was finally dealt with by the yard here and several shackles spliced onto ends of lines by Olivier (from France) - he's done a far better job than I could have done!
Lots of time has been wasted on trying to sort out a regularly-malfunctioning Iridium connection to my laptops. Whilst here, the XP laptop has occasionally connected, the Vista one never... computers!! Today, the serial/USB adaptor completely gave up the ghost - so we've been chasing aound trying to find a new one - found tonight and about to be tested. I hope it works and keeps on working - otherwise I'll have no data transfer for emails and weather info when out of SSB radio range.... Unfortunately, the shop only had one - it would have been nice to have been able to buy a back-up.
So tonight I had a farewell 'tapas' meal with my new-found friends under a waning moon beside the flat calm water.... coming back to the boat to write this long-overdue update before getting to sleep... We'll see what tomorrow brings.... and whether or not I manage to sail away.... I'll keep you posted!
Thurs 8th Oct '09
With no wind still, departure delayed yet again to Friday - but then I MUST leave!!
Good news on several fronts today - with one of the most important being that the new serial/USB adaptor I bought yesterday seems to have solved the problem of the useless laptop-to-Iridium (satellite telephone) connection - both laptops (including the **!@** Vista one) immediately 'saw' the modem connection to Iridium with no hint of hassle - brilliant news, but highly annoying - I've wasted so much time and effort over the last two months - seemingly because of a faulty adaptor from the Iridium telephone supplier (being replaced, with apologies, under warranty - but no substitute for so much hassle and lost time) Sally picked up a spare one for me tonight.... George (from Bavaria) from the diveshop also came along and checked over my Vista laptop settings. He found & fixed a few small problems and then we got the remote screen, mouse and keyboard configured (- I'd pretty well abandoned all thought of sorting that out, with so many other distractions up to now) - another good job done since my laptop can now be stowed away securely out of harm's way in big seas, but still in use remotely - we're getting really 'techie'!!.
Peter spent a long time emptying & totally cleaning out the gas locker of acccumulated rust & then cleaning and greasing the bases of all the gas bottles in an effort to prevent future rusting. Paul popped by and pointed out an easier change-over of the in-line butane bottles - useful! (But still no sign of the elusive Kiss wind-generator torsion spring...) Suzanne spent several hours equipping me with fishing rod and lures - she's determined that this useless fisherwoman will manage to catch fish very soon as she sails around!!
Evening was mainly spent relaxing and chatting - I won't be able to do that for some time!! This should be my last shoreside night for a long time - so I'm going to enjoy sleeping in my spacious aft cabin tonight. In future, it'll be my passagemaking bunk in the saloon or huddled in the cockpit.