ACROSS THE TOP - UPDATE
For those who helped and for anyone who is/was, interested: Here's where we are at.
Arrived at the boat in Seychelles
in early May to find a sad, unloved little craft that had part sunk at the dock
hose failure on stbd side.) Not a brilliant start to one's day.
People who had been looking after the boat at the dock
for the owner (who lives in Oz) had done as good as they could and had replaced the hoses and the drowned alternators on the stbd engine
etc, etc but she was still in a bit of a state.
It took myself and gallant crew a week to sort out and we did managed to get a bit of "tourism" in as well. Seychelles
is absolutely gorgeous but goodness me, it aint cheap!!
The intention was to bash straight across to Bali but 3 days out, in not particularly horrible weather
(it was a bit lumpy, but bearable) during a perfectly normal controlled gybe - the gooseneck broke!! Since it was 2.00am, I decided to drop the main until daylight and just gill around a bit until I could jury-rig it. Daylight came and just glancing up at the top of the mast
, as one does, I noticed that the port cap shroud
was "stranding". Getting the binoculars onto it, I could count 7 loose strands out of the 19. Not good, thinks I. Anyway, having rigged the topping lift
and 2 spare halliards as temporary stays, I was pretty happy that the mast
wasnt going to fall down and, reviewing the situation, decided that I was closer to Maldives
than going back to expensive Seychelles. It took about a week to limp up to Male under small sails
where I contacted the owner.
Long story short, after discussion with Z spars UK (brilliant support from them by the way), it was decided to ship in some spare shroud
wire, Norseman terminals and a gooseneck fitting.
This all eventually arrived and we measured and cut and fitted. Talking about that though: Have you ever tried to cut 10mm 19 strand wire with the bolt croppers that you have onboard? Try it - you will be frightened about actually how difficult it is - just imagine having to cut away rigging
in some nasty stuff in a hurry!
was not a happy place: I'm sure there are beautiful bits but we were anchored off Hulumale (where the airport
is) - a ferry
ride into Male itself which is the commercial
centre and capital - ghastly place! Oh yes - did I mention that being Muslim, it is totally dry? Not good.
Apart from the rig, although I had been told that the fuel tank
had been cleaned....it hadnt! (Trust - but verify, as (I think), Ronald Reagan once said). So I had spent many a happy hour in either or both engine
rooms trying to coax fuel
through. The electrics were a total mess (I'm not sure I have them totaly worked out, even at this stage!) and every hatch
leaked. So although it took 2 weeks for the parts
to arrive, there was lots to be done on board in terms of repair, refit
and general clean-up.
We got out of Maldives and decided that the best thing now, being much further North than originally intended, was to go across to Langkawi then down the Malacca Straits and across to Bali to pick up the programme.
Har, Har, 2 days out of Male, strong smell of propane
and all of a sudden, no cooking
gas. Well - I do like my bacon-and-eggs for brekkie and the thought of no hot coffee for a week or so was just too much to bear. Being now closer to Sri Lanka than any where else, we decided to divert to fix the gas and all the other various little problems that had, meanwhile, cropped up.
Sri Lanka was, how can I put it, interesting?? But we got done what had to be done then had a lovely fast passage
with the SW Monsoon across to Langkawi.
If all goes well here with the few defects that I have left to sort out, after re-provisioning, I should get out of here on Monday night/Tuesday morning.
I am just now trying to sort out in my brain whether its worth going Bali-Darwin and onwards or staying in the South China
Sea and dropping down to Oz on the East Coast
from somewhere like East Timor......Tony