Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's not over until it's over !

First we repaired Firmin, the windvane. We felt good. Then we had the shipyard work on the leaks, particularly the one where the mast goes through the deck. They worked three days on it. They lifted the deck plate, cleaned it real good, cleaned in fact everything about this deck plate, then they caulked it fresh with a good compound, then they hosed it down with high pressure water, no leaks. We felt good.
Then I find water in the bilge. Traced the source. Find that the dummy plug for the speedometer had an o'ring missing. Put the real speedometer sensor in place. It does not leak. Felt good. Went to lunch. Went back from lunch and found water again smelling urine. Did not feel good. We checked out the heads, found that the outlet was blocked, took it out. Found that it had holes in it and was bloked by calcaire. Cleared it. Went to town to find a similar hose. Put it back in place. Tried the head. It works OK and does not leak. Felt good.
That's where we are right now. For the first time we had dinner on board, convinced that at last, we got the better of the leaks. The drain from the chain locker is now clear, the sensor of the speedometer does not leak, the forward head works fine and does not leak. The passage of the mast through the deck at last seems to be watertight. But we know that only at sea we shall know the truth.
Meanwhile, we have been roaming the streets of Port Louis extensively looking for a hinge, an o'ring, a replacement hose for the head, etc . . . and we are beginning to know the town quite well.
The striking thing about it is the mixture of ethnicities, of cultures, of religions, all that in harmony and with everybody having one thing in common, the french language. I must say that it is quite astonishing to go to a chinese shop, with everything written in chinese, and hear the chinese shopkeeper talk to you in perfect french, just with a touch of Mauritius accent. And it is the same with a hindu waiter, or a blackman from Madagascar, or a white man coming from God knows where. Like in Rodrigues, almost every public sign is in english, but everybody speaks french. Strange !
It is very definitely a lovely place. Saturday we plan on visiting the southern part of the island, especially Mahebourg which would have been the capital if the french had had their way. This week end, there is celebration out there to commemorate the naval battle of Grand Port where the french navy had one of their very rare success against the british navy, 150 years ago.
We are still set to leave on Monday, although the weather looks like there is not going to be a lot of wind. We only have 120 miles to go, but the iron sail might have to come into play.

1 comment:

Crows Nest said...

Bernard- Check out the model boats in Mauritius they are good and cheap!