Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sweet and sour

The year had started so well . . . . On the 4th, different story. This damn knee is bothering me again, whether because of the bike ride, or the round of golf, or both, but I really feel lousy. And it went on all day on the 5th, so I just rested and produced absolutely nothing. I did not event do my spanish lesson !
On the 5th, it was all hands on deck to prepare for unstepping the mast. It started very well and fast. Take the main out, undo the bottle screws on the shrouds, remove the lifelines. Then, it came to prepare the connections at the foot of the mast. The riggers being intent on cutting the radar cable and wind instruments, I told them that I was going one to email Tom, previous owner of the boat, whom I know is very fast in answering me, and two, I was going to remove the drawer box on the side of the companionway where I suspected the cable was going through that space. Alas ! Before I could say Jack Robinson (as they say in english, b
ut I would have said before I could say Tom Diekmann), the cable was cut. And within mi
nutes, Tom's reply came at lightning speed, telling me where the dry box was (as I suspected insid
e the companion way space). Too late. And Tom's diagnostic was frightening "If you cut the radar cable, just throw away the radar and start over. It is phase matched."
I hope that this time, Tom will be a little off (has not happened so far) and the tech
nicians will be able to splice the cable back and that the radar will work. We'll see . . . .
After that incident, we went down the river to a yard (Dockland 5) where a crane was waiting to remove the mast. I am changing the whole rigging and fittings except for the "stay lock" fittings which are still in perfect condition. I am also getting a spinnaker boom to replace the whisker pole so that I have the option to use it either way. I found, at the cost of the whisker pole, that with more than 12 knots of apparent wind and with the wind on the hind quarter, the windvane works best with the gennaker rigged as a spinnak
er on the pole.
I am also changing all the lif
elines for the sake of safety.
After Dockland 5, I went back to Riverside Yard where I am supposed to haul out. Unfortunately, there was some misunderstanding between the rigger and the yard, and the new date is now 7th. That's one day wasted, but for the time being, I can afford it.
So on the 7th around noon because of the tide, we hauled out and found some blisters on the hull, more on the keel, most of them on the port side. This can be fixed temporarily, but once I get back to the States, I think it will be prudent to remove all the paint down to the fiberglass, let it dry, and repaint.
Again for the sake of safety, I am going to drop the rudder to make sure everything is clean and well lubricated and possibly pull the shaft. I am not sure I want to do that as there does not seem to be a lot of damage on the cutlass bearing and it might be sufficient just to remove it.
All that has to start happening tomorrow morning, but except for the rigger and the painter, I am not sure how fast the mechanics are prepared to complete the work. I will prioritize here what has to be done out of the water, and if need be, complete the work in Australia, in the water.

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