Time flies!………
Another week has passed and we are still here in Santa Cruz.
The weather has not been conducive to sailing on down to La Gomera. We have had some strong winds and rain showers and the sea has been choppy, so we have used our time readying the boat.

The sewing machine has been put to good use and we now have a new dinghy engine lifting strap ……. replacing the climbing rope that I’d strung around after the previous strap degraded in the sunlight.

The new lifting strap.... colour coordinated with the logo!

The new lifting strap…. colour coordinated with the logo!

We also have a wind chute for the forward hatch, which I made out of the old mainsail from our first boat, St John II. We worked out that the material is over 50 years old!  After a lot of designing as I went along ……. I think it’s termed ‘an Organic Process’ …… I finally came up with the design in the photo and it seems to work!

The wind catcher in place and working. Not to be confused with the motor boat behind!!

The wind catcher in place and working. Not to be confused with the motor boat behind!!

I also managed to make three vegetable hammocks to string from the mast, across the lower dining area, so that we can keep fruit and veg, and anything else we want to keep safe, up and out of the way during the crossing.

3 hammocks waiting for their hooks.

3 hammocks waiting for their hooks.

First one hooked up!

First one hooked up!

All week, Marcus has been preoccupied with, and initiated into, the ‘dark art’ of electronics.

He started with trying to get the new Garmin GPS linked to the charts that we have on the lap top. By linking them up we can get a little boat shape overlayed onto the chart on the screen, showing our actual position.
Like all electronics, it’s never a simple job. Luckily Magnus was still around to help work out how to get the wiring configured. Once installed, the whole display went haywire……luckily Bobby, a Serbian on a Contessa 32, and especially Marcel, a French man, who we first met in Bayonne on ‘Blue Gin’, were sympathetic to our lack of computer literacy and both came aboard to get the lap top and the GPS to talk to each other sensibly! So many languages…Serbian, Swedish, English, French and Binary Code!!

The result is a totally independent set of back up charts for the whole world, linked to a self contained GPS that we can unplug and stash in the oven, along with the lap top, should we be caught in lightning…….the oven works as a Faraday Cage rather than producing an updated version of a TV dinner!!

The GPS mounted and attached to the laptop.

The GPS mounted and attached to the laptop.

Flushed with success and ready for another round in the ring with Electronics, Marcus bit the bullet and decided to take Kevin up on his offer to sell his Pactor Modem to us.

Kevin and Irene live on board their HR 42, here in the marina and are not going to be needing long distance weather again, so when they heard we were trying to decide whether to recommission the Sailor satellite internet, or buy a Pactor Modem, Kevin offered to sell us his…..By way of a simple explanation, this little box of tricks allows our long distance radio to receive weather forecasts when we are more than 200 miles from land, so it’s a very important bit of kit, but because the modem is a few years old, it took 3 days of  testing and wiring….rewiring and retesting before it was successfully installed.

The Pactor Modem resting before it was mounted in the cupboard.

The Pactor Modem resting before it was mounted in the cupboard.

Once again the help, advice, expertise and time were willingly supplied in the guise of Alan on ‘Ticketeeboo’ , a Discovery 55…….(Marcus’ dream boat).
Alan spent hours with Marcus on his boat and ours until he had updated the connections and got it all working. We had a ‘thank you’ dinner with Alan and Sue on Saturday night, sharing a bit of Marcus’ expertise with them. They are a lovely couple, down to earth, knowledgeable and good company.

Writing this, I realise what a very productive time we’ve had this week. Our ‘Jobs To Do’ list is finally showing signs of shrinkage. Usually we tick one job off the top and add three to the bottom! We still have things to do, but some of those are waiting until Dan and Jenni arrive on Monday…….we don’t want them thinking they’re on holiday!!

1 Comment

  1. I feel somewhat redundant now! all those whizz kids around you. 😉 Where did you get the charts for your lappy from, i need a set of those and the software?

    Love as always us
    xx

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