July 2013. Sorry for the delay in updating the blog. The reality is I have been working almost every day since retirement on finalising systems and jobs to get ready for the off. There has also been a lot of activity from the various contractors and as usual it takes a little coordination to make sure everybody gets access to areas uninterrupted. So what has been going on? Firstly Barry and TLC have been replacing the couple of teak planks that had hairline cracks. It was interesting watching how they did this so if I have to do some repairs on the journey I will know how. There are also three small leaks that we have traced to the bonding between the inner teak planks and the superstructure. TLC have used a Fein tool to dig out the joint so to speak and reseal it.
I can’t understand why, but as if we haven’t replaced enough my wife wanted the saloon floor replaced as it had become dented and scratched over the years. Barry and Paul set about this is double quick time as they knew the urgency and as soon as it was done Barry told me he was prepared to bet that when my wife saw it I would be forced to replace the other floors. Of course he was right. We now have completely new floors.
The “toys” as my mates call them have also been steadily installed and Carl from TLS Electronics has been on board for a couple of weeks and I have been working with him to both understand the systems and be able to fix things if they go wrong. Carl reckons the boat is worth it's weight in copper alone! So what are these finals necessities? The most important is the Satellite communication. I went for the Fleet Broad Band 250 and once the dome was installed on the ScanStrut pole the rest was easy. Last week I made my first telephone call from the boat and downloaded an Atlantic GRIB weather file in seconds. It is great to know I will now be in touch with great long-range graphical weather forecasts at the touch of a button. Everyone asks me if the system will video skype and the answer is yes. BUT…… at the cost of $18.30 per megabyte I will not be skyping from the Atlantic. I have also installed a Single Side Band (SSB) receiver as a back up for downloading weather. Next was the boat alarm. This is a great system and Carl has added an even nosier siren than original so if it goes off all hell breaks loose. There is also a blue flashing strobe on the stern that looks very "Miami Vice" as my wife calls it. The system also has a wire lead that can be used to protect the dingy, outboard and other expensive deck equipment. Finally other “toys” are remote launched Jon Bouy, AIS transponder, engine bay lights, towed generator, second WIFI range extender, LED bow and stern lights, second inverter for the Espresso coffee machine, icemaker and connecting the Fusion HiFi system to the network. However the highlight was the two LED lights Carl put in the back of my wife’s wardrobe. When he demonstrated them the reaction of glee was reward enough for all his efforts. I am sure I will still get a bill. Finally “The Boat Shed” have fitted the new spray hood and will install the Biminis and dingy cover this coming week. Also the twin head sails are due for delivery to take advantage of the twin tele-poles PD rigging fitted. This will give me a fantastic simple downwind rig with the ability to reef at the touch of a button when the squalls hit at night. This “Twistle rig” combined with the Parasailor will be the prefect compromise between speed, safety and comfort.
On the domestic front the house is almost empty and this signals imminent family move to the boat to begin the adventure. The cats have no idea they are about to become “Ship's Cats”