Flying visit at the boat
It was dark and raining when I drove on the M1 highway from Dublin Airport up to Carlingford. Again and again I was hit with contempt by watching irish drivers taking over without paying any attention to their driving, just to realize each time that it was the passanger sitting in the left front seat, not the driver. I guess it is ok not to pay attention then. The rental car had automatic transmission. This was nice, as I had a little less to be focused on in these situations where I had to concentrate to stay in the left side of the road, find my way and orienting correctly with all the traffic.
It was never the plan to be here now, as next trip to the boat is during Easter, so this was an extra trip. And a quick one indeed. Arriving at the boat at 10pm, and leaving again at 12:30pm next day left me with 6 hours to finish my to do list; and 7 hours of sleep with a pyjamas comprised of long underwear, socks, pants, sweatshirt, full thermal body suit, and a cap. With 6 degrees C/42 degrees F, it was just enough to keep me warm for a good nights sleep.
With the boat this far away, and with nothing more than holidays available, we have to plan carefully and be efficient when we are at the boat to do maintenance. We have to avoid situations where we miss equipment or material and can’t get hold of it within the limited timeframe we have. This is a clear disadvantage of not having the boat at home, and also the reason we are sailing it home to Denmark for the big makeover.
We have a lot scheduled to do on the boat this easter. The big jobs are antifouling, unstepping the mast to change wiring, engine light and running rig, change at least 3 seacocks and through hulls which are more than due. The rest can wait, even though they are not made in bronze and have to be changed during summer when the boat is home. The 3 we are definitely changing show clear signs of corrosion, so they are a must.
With a tight schedule for Easter I will not have time to go and buy seacocks and through hulls, so this has to be done before, bringing them with me here from Denmark. However, I have to be sure to bring the right size, fittings etc., so this had to be measured at this flying visit, and it was one of the main reasons to go this weekend.
Anchor chain as Christmas gift
The boat has become a high priority for us, so even the Christmas gifts this year were of the maritime kind to be able to afford as much as possible. So June’s and mine Christmas gift to each other was 80 m 10 mm anchor chain. We will order it online in Ireland and collect it when driving to the boat from the airport next time we are here. Again, we have to be sure to order the right chain that fit on the gypsy. So the other goal of visiting the boat was to measure up which chain we have today. Apparently, it is a 10 mm DIN 766 chain.
There are 2 standards, DIN and ISO, and for the 10 mm chain these 2 standards deviates as the chain pitch are 2 mm shorter on DIN 766 chains. This means we have to buy a DIN 766 chain in order to use it on our windlass.
Our windlass is old and manual. The few anchorages we have done so far have left me without doubt: We have to get an electrical windlass. This means both changing the chain and the windlass, so the question is if it is better switching to an ISO chain, or stay with a DIN chain. As far as I can see from reading about these standards, there really is no practical difference. Maybe the ISO chain has a higher availability, which could come in handy. We need to decide on this before buying the chain, and if we change to ISO, it should wait until we also change the windlass. Right know we are in thinking-mode. At easter we have made up our minds, so I will be back with the conclusion then.
I had another less positive reason to travel to the boat as well. We have had a break-in and our dinghy and outboard engine was stolen. Even though the harbor master had sealed of the boat again it was nice to get eyes on and install a new lock. It wasn’t until a few hours into the morning, I realized they had taken my tool set as well, when I needed a screwdriver. Until then I had only been using a drill and the riveter. Luckily I could borrow one from the harbor office, and then I need to get a new tool set for the next visit.
While at the boat, June was busy at home making storage pockets to be used at the berths in the cabin, and other places. They will be used for holding a phone, a pair of glasses or a book. Behind the stairs down into the cabin there will be pockets for flip flops and other shoes. We will show some pictures of this when they have been mounted.
I succeeded finishing my to-do list within the 6 hours, which also included talking to Darren about how the mast is unstepped and stepped again. On our journey from Torrevieja in Spain to Carlingford in Ireland we have not yet seen a mast crane as those we know from Denmark, which are often self-operated. It has mostly been mobile cranes not operated by an amateur, and this is also the case here in Carlingford. It has been broken, but now it is fixed. A crane operator will come and lift of the mast in a way so we don’t need a person at the bottom of the mast keeping it vertical, so I will be able to unstep the mast without other help than the man operating the crane. But I will get back to all that during Easter. By then, it will hopefully be a bit warmer and more dry.