Thursday, 17 June 2010

Making a splash

Hi again,
Forgot to mention the memorable exit we made from Norsand when we launched last month. We were down the slipway and still sitting on the cradle when Kevin (the yardmaster) asked Gina to throw a bowline so they could turn us around once afloat. Meanwhile Jim was head down in the bilge checking for leaks as one does whenever one has been hauled out for a time. On emerging from the bilge he was bemused to see a dishevelled figure clinging to the side of the slipway. It slowly dawned on him that this was his soul/crew mate! Evidently on throwing the line she overbalanced and simply fell in as we had not replaced the lifelines at the bow - a legacy from having the access ladder there while sitting on the hard. At least there was a reasonable amount of water as we were almost afloat at the time and the only thing lost was a little pride!
But she is a real trooper and, although there were some very anxious people ashore, she came up smiling although the water just there is not the cleanest - to put it mildly! At least the local council hadn't dumped any raw sewerage into the river for some days. They've just spent some $18M on a new sports stadium but still haven't cleaned up the local sewerage problems which is a scandalous state of affairs. In the meantime they get very staunch about boaties doing that and in fact if one is caught making any such discharge in the marina one would be asked to leave immediately. Not that we would do that anyway, but it has happened apparently. There is a certain hypocrisy inherent in this position for sure.
Anyway, Kevin came out in the dinghy for some clean dry clothes and someone gave her a couple of dollars so she could have a shower! Meanwhile we came off the cradle and after checking the gearbox (which had been removed and then re-installed) we waited off the slipway until she was brought out in a dinghy.
All's well that ended well but it's not a place that you would choose to have a swim - that's for sure. 
Cheers again,
J & G (J)


Marina bound

Hi everyone,
Well, we should have been 4-5 days out on the way to Vanuatu by now - we have been watching the Sailmail GRIB weatherfaxes and the window the boats left on last weekend has continued as long as they went westabout around a low that is lurking about between here and Vanuatu. They should have been having good sailing.
But, sadly we are still here as a result of the passing of Jim's mother 2 weeks ago at the grand age of 89 - 7 weeks short of her 90th. birthday. There is still quite a bit to do with all the legal issues that must be dealt with and the sad task of dealing with her possessions. However, we expect to be able to sail towards the end of July and all we have to do then is wait for another weather window. Let's hope they aren't as elusive then as they have been.
Anyway, at least all this didn't happen when we were halfway as turning back into what would be almost certainly headwinds would not have been a good option. And we are constantly tweaking and improving things on the boat so the time is being used usefully.
The downside is that we are probably getting too comfortable with a heater on the boat and the ability to walk ashore and have a meal or buy a bottle of wine for dinner whenever we feel like it!! We must get out of this decadent way of thinking before we venture out again!  Have to face the chick peas and black-eyed beans sometime!
The marina management often posts amusing and jocular  tracts on the inside of the loo doors for what is a captive audience! One that comes to mind is worthy of repetition here:
A woman was visiting a mental asylum and met the Director. She asked how it was determined that a person should be admitted. "Well", said the Director, "we fill a bathtub with water and give the person a spoon, a teacup and a bucket and then ask them to empty the bathtub". "Oh, I get it" said the woman, "a sane person would use the biggest item - the bucket ". "No", said the Director, "a sane person would pull the plug. Would you like a bed by the window?".
We hope this finds you all well and that life is treating you as you would wish.
Jim and Jean (Gina)