Projects / Maintenance – boat maintenance related news & photos by Cloudy Bay, Hallberg-Rassy 54 sailing yacht, cruising around the world. sailcloudybay.com
Wednesday 14 November, Norfolk VA: Install recently serviced EmpirBus circuit board and dinner with Stuart and Jon.
Restless night, waking up with the wind pushing us against the jetty, squeaky lines and fenders rolling up on the pilings. Glen had to go out and rearrange it all. Bitterly cold. We increased the heating even more, as our feet were still cold under the duvet. Forecasts says 7degC maximum today! OMG, we didn’t sign up for this!
Over breakfast, during Chris Parker’s live webcast, we are rethinking our departure time, contemplating whether we should leave Thursday evening or Friday. Funny how no subscribed boats called in on SSB, everybody tuned to the weather forecast online. Everyone must be in port like us, waiting. Weather was so good these days that no boat went out 🙂 This is the time you are glad not to have joined a rally with a fixed departure date. The SaltyDawg rally is now all over the place with at lest 50% diverted to and hiding in Bermuda. Glen spends a fair bit of time analyzing the data, and our plan remains the same: departure Friday morning.
We say our goodbyes to Pete & Tracy and Ian & Michelle who left early this morning on their way to the Bahamas through the ICW. Seeing them dressed in full sailing gear and wooly hats gives us shivers, and we dread the cold winds we are going to get till we cross the Gulf Stream. After waving them off we dive back down to the warmth of our cozy saloon for the day!
After having enough in front of the laptop, Glen heads out in the cold for few relatively quick jobs. First, clean the hoses that were left on the deck last night after flushing the engine. The Rydlime works well, but it does leave a brown residue which needs to be rinsed off everything it touches.
Then he gets a few things ready for the passage. The dinghy is firmly tied down onto the foredeck and the pole guys are readied for deployment.
We’ve been hiding here in Norfolk from strong winds, and now that we complained so much, looks like we will have light or no winds for our passage to Bermuda. So the bow sprit needs to come out and be put on again. It’s now ready in case we decide to fly the asymmetric.
Frozen cold he comes back below and after a warm cuppa tea turns his attentions to the EmpirBus. The remote switching unit in the forward cabin had a problem on one of its printed circuit boards which left the boom light circuit permanently live (couldn’t be switched off). We had sent the board for repair to Sweden but only recently got it back. Glen is a bit twitchy about these EmpirBus units – too many delicate printer circuit boards (PCBs) for his liking …. and this unit also controls all the hydraulics in the mast and boom so it’s a critical piece of equipment.
But a short while later the PCB is replaced, it’s all back together again and working OK. Whoopy! Now we can continue with the long awaited project to put a LED strip under the boom to replace the 2 original boom lights that kept corroding. To do this, Glen installs a 24->12v step-down transformer. The original lights were 24v but the new LEDs are strictly 12v only. Now we just need a dry day to put the actual LED strip under the boom. We may have boom/cockpit lights again soon … after over a year of their absence.
In the evening we have a dinner appointment. Stuart, Joseph and Caitlin, who visited Cloudy Bay last week, are taking us out. The restaurant is in an old church building and the food is excellent. They are such nice people, feels like we have known them forever. Stuart is the one following our daily blog and he has so many things to ask us. His positive energy regarding our adventures is quite moving. They are all determined we will leave Virginia with a very looked-after feeling. They have succeeded!
In the evening we continue with our luxury of having internet on board, thanks to Gary and Greta our OCC hosts. We research on paints and techniques to apply the varnish and work more on the videos. We are quite determined to do the gunwale varnishing ourselves this time – then we know it will be done properly. Maybe we might regret that though, after preparing and applying 4 coats and still another 4 to go!
We may have been boat bound most of he day but it’s nice to feel we are catching up on so many jobs and admin tasks.