Friday 1 February, St. Martin day 5: Fantastic yacht services, busy day getting things done.
Alarm is set for 7am but for some reason, without Oana here, I don’t sleep well and am up before the alarm. I sense it will be a full-on day. Officially I can only dock here, on the FKG dock, for just today then it’s back out on anchor where services are reluctant to come out to.
First thing, stop the fridges and freezer and get all the cold food to the refrigeration company who will lend me space in their fridge/freezer. By 8am 2 of the 3 fridges are on vacuum which will take 3 hours to remove all gas and air from them.
Next the cutter furlex hoses. I show the guy how I want the new hoses slightly shorter and he takes them away.
Then the riggers come and look closely at the goose-neck. I had already dismantled last evening so it’s easy for them to see what to do. And off they go with the parts into the machine shop.
Perfect timing, Andrew the electronics engineer, arrives at midday. He is already armed with a new Furuno GPS antenna and a long length of cable. Sure enough, when the new antenna is plugged in, the AIS “internal” GPS works just fine. Our AIS is a class-A which is commercial standard. This means it should always have 2 GPS signals, in case one goes down. So it’s been working just fine on its alternative GPS from the Raymarine, but we also need to fix the second one. With the problem pinned down, Andrew leaves and I set about the unenviable task of removing the dud antenna from the radar pole. It’s always difficult and very time consuming to thread any cable through this pole. Once the old GPS is removed I check the cable and all seems OK. So I put the antenna back on and … damn it, it works! But it only takes me 30 seconds to decide to renew both the antenna and cable entirely, anyway. I only want to do this once! The old cable and antenna are 10 years old now so best to renew I think. AIS is so important to us for safety.
It’s quite tricky unthreading the old cable and pulling the new one by myself. But eventually, 3 hours later and a lot of sweat, it’s done. And I was very lucky, the new cable only has 30cm to spare!
While doing this, the hydraulic hoses come back to re-check the lengths again before crimping the ends, and the 3rd fridge is put on vacuum while the other 2 get refilled with refrigerant.
Lots of stuff going on! And needless to say the boat is a total mess. The foredeck around the Furlex is a mess, the aft deck has everything out from the aft locker so I can run the cable, the boom is unattached from the mast and hanging in midair suspended at each end. Inside, the floorboards are up for the fridges, the navigation area is dismantled to get at the AIS and … (psss don’t tell Oana) in the aft cabin Oana’s neatly folded cloths are all over the bed because the cable ran through her lockers. For sure she will notice they are not “perfectly” folded in her cupboards any more when she returns.
Just before 5pm I go see the machine shop for progress on the goose neck. It’s all done! New bolts machines and new shim-washers made. These guys work fast!
So by late evening the hydraulic hoses are installed and checked, the staysail back up and furled away and foredeck tidy again. The boom is back on and much more solid at the goose neck now. In fact the new bolts had to be hammered in place they fitted so tightly. The cabling in the aft locker is all tidy again and contents back in the locker. Down below it’s also tidy again (except Oana’s cloths that I just can’t seem to fold as neatly as they were! Uh-oh, I’ll be in deep do-do on that one).
The floor in still up over the fridges because they want to check pressures again in the morning.
After a very welcome shower I have a whisky and write the blog listening to the music and party atmosphere in Langoonies which is crowded this evening.
Early night for me, I have to vacate the dock by 9:30 am tomorrow. The only item left is the vang … they are a bit slow on that one. Hopefully I’ll get that back soon.
A very busy but very productive day. Maybe I’ll take the weekend off to recover!