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  august 2010


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01/08/10   Another 'tot' today .....the Battle of the Nile, 1798......the first of Nelson's three major victories and the one which prevented Napoleon capturing Egypt and thus advancing to India.  During this battle, the French flagship L'Orient caught fire and blew up in spectacular fashion.  The Flag-Captain of the L'Orient had taken Casabianca (his young son) to sea with him and it is the death of this small boy who "stood on the burning deck" that is commemorated in the well known poem.  The coffin in which Nelson lies was made from the mainmast of the L'Orient.

02/08/10  Happy Anniversary to Clive and Babs!........reason enough for another tot!!

Here they are on 'their' day (before colour film was invented ).  The little oick in shorts is me......and I'm still in shorts to this day!






04/08/10  Today is the birthday of long time friend Kate in London and I expect she will be celebrating with daughter Emma - so have a great day Kate!  Here in Cochin, we not only have to deal with rats, cockroaches and fungal growth on the boat but humongous spiders in the cockpit too!  This one was just too big to let alone and it had to be despatched with the aid of a flip-flop.

06/08/10  Happy Birthday to Leah onboard Storm Dodger moored next door to me.

09/08/10  It seems to be a month of congratulations......today is my friend M'Leia's birthday in Australia and although we have again lost contact with each other, I hope she has a great day.  Many Happy Returns.

Roger is back from the UK, bringing with him my spare heat exchanger hoses to replace the one kindly lent to me by Marco and Francesca onboard Easy 'n Free, and to keep another spare onboard.....Sod's Law now kicks in and the hose will never need replacing again!!

10/08/10  Now getting on with the numerous jobs that need doing before heading out to sea again.....sourcing charts, oil, filters etc., etc.   Graham (eeyore), Astrid and myself went into town for bits and pieces and had our lunch in The Grand Hotel - recommended to me by Dhanya (my crew member from Goa),  in a recent e-mail.  The food was excellent, the hotel excellent, the prices excellent.  I had grilled tenderloin steak in pepper sauce with carrots, cauliflower, runner beans and chips - all for the princely sum of 3 GBP.......why, oh why didn't she mention this place two months ago!!!  Two cute little Indian girls on the adjacent table caught our attention;  one a carbon copy of the other as you can see from the photo on the right.  All together now.......aaawwww!!

13/08/10  Internet connection here is useless, more times down than operational.....it really is a joke....you pay for air time and get zilch.  C'mon India, get your act together!!!   I went to the top of my mast again and removed the wind instrument in an attempt to fix the problem noted on the 23rd May - prior to that date, the wind direction vane was sticking at one spot and not showing true readings whilst the wind speed was showing correctly.  Since then, the wind direction is correct but the wind speed is showing zero?  Despite cleaning the connections today, I still have the same fault and will need to go back up and remove the socket for cleaning and re-wiring.  I also went to the top of Roger's mast and re-fitted his wind vane which he'd removed yesterday.

15/08/10  The sixty-fifth anniversary of VJ Day, although Japan didn't officially sign the surrender papers until the 2nd September.  My Father was in Asia then, having fought in the north of India at Kohima and down through Burma (now Myanmar) - feels a bit odd to be here all these years later.

18/08/10  The last week has been taken up with work on the boat;  filling with diesel, bilge pump electrics, rivetting a reefing point which had come adrift on the boom and deck cleaning.  I've had a diver underneath to clean the worst of the slime and weed off.    My guestbook is presently inaccessible - a problem with the guestbook server which I cannot fix and they are not answering my e-mails.  I'm also 'talking' to various individuals who may be taken onboard as crew for my next 'leg' to Malaysia, but time restraints may prevent such crew being available.  Yesterday, I went to the dentist to have a filling replaced which fell out in Mumbai - no anaesthetic here, just drill it and fill it!  I also lost a tooth in Mumbai....well, that's not quite right, I didn't 'lose' it, I pulled it out myself because it had been giving me trouble since Yemen! 

19/08/10  A day in the life of.......up at 6am, shower, read the paper over coffee, then walk to Bolgatty bridge and take a tuk-tuk to Vypin.  Catch the 9.00am ferry to Fort Cochin, then walk to the dentists for a clean and polish, visit bank for cash, find a barber and get a haircut and head massage (cost 25 rupees.....about 35 pence in UK money - take note The Hair Company!), walk back to ferry and cross back to Vypin.  Get a tuk-tuk back to Bolgatty and the boat, have late breakfast, collect passport and catch the 12.30 ferry to Ernakulam.  Find photo studio and have more passport photographs taken to give away at various immigration offices, then find copy shop to have passport copies made for same reason.  Shop for stowage boxes suitable for soft drinks, have late lunch and walk back to ferry, cross back to Bolgatty and onboard again by 4.30pm.  Remove gas bottle for refilling, stow various ropes away, check e-mails and finally sit down to update this and relax!

21/08/10  Still unable to get the wind instrument to record wind speed, despite several trips to the top of the mast.  Tidied away some other bits and pieces before going into town for essentials - no shops open tomorrow as it's Sunday and none open on Monday either because it's Atham - the first day of Onam

23/08/10  A day spent sail sewing!   The uv strip along the foot of my genoa had suffered stitch failure whilst in storage, so I've been repairing that for most of the day.  Yesterday it was the sprayhood that needed stitching!  Another trip to the top of the mast has produced temporary results in the wind instrument department, and it is now working.  Also started a new guestbook (I hope) but I am unable to save the messages from the 'old book.'

24/08/10  A disastrous start to the day.   First thing this morning, I hoisted the genoa without any major difficulty but when I tried to furl it.....it wouldn't!  For some reason the foil is jamming on the forestay - probably dissimilar metal (aluminium and stainless steel) corrosion somewhere along the length of the forestay.   Then a frustrating wait for UK time to 'catch up' and allow me to speak to Rotostay (the makers) but the guy I need to speak to is on holiday until the 7th September!   I have little option but to take down the forestay - not in itself an easy task, then something or other is almost guaranteed to be broken (or break) and I will have to await parts from the UK.  With our sailing date just three days away, it is virtually an impossible task.

26/08/10  A couple of days of fruitless work on the forestay reefing gear by myself, Tony of Full Flight, Roger from Storm Dodger and Graham of eeyore with advice and suggestions from others in the marina.  All the work has been to no avail and the gear is still not working, nor are we any nearer to discovering why.  I now need to take the forestay and all the furling gear off the boat and see if we can discover anything new.  I am also unable to update this website due to the server discontinuing to support FrontPage extensions.  It may be possible to update it later by use of FTP (file transfer protocol) but I haven't the time to mess about with it at the moment and it will have to wait until a much later date.

27/08/10  First thing this morning;  slackened off the backstays and forestay, rigged a temporary halyard to the bow to support the mast and went aloft to unshackle the forestay.  Once lowered down and on the pontoon, we discovered a partially seized top bearing which we hope is the problem as a new SKF bearing is possibly available here in India.  The reefing gear is unusual in that when furling or unfurling, the whole forestay turns with the foil on upper and lower bearings - unlike normal furling systems where the foil turns around the forestay.

28/08/10  New bearing fitted to the top end of the furling gear and the foil shortened by about 10 cm to get rid of a broken piece caused by salt water corrosion - back to the top of the mast and haul up the forestay and furler complete, then reconnect to the mast and deck.  Now having additional problems with the electrical deck connections and some lights and instruments not working.......this is what comes of standing still in rainy conditions for so long!

29/08/10  All the rigging re-tensioned, the air conditioner de-commissioned and sold to an Indian guy, then the rest of the day spent putting on sails and trying to solve the electrical malfunctions at the deck sockets - with only partial success.

30/08/10  Spent the day trailing around the various offices to check out of India - a time consuming and patience testing occupation!

31/08/10  Day 1.....After a hectic morning, and a somewhat rushed departure - Sandeep, who crewed for me from Mumbai to Goa, in a last minute decision, agreed to crew for me on the voyage from India to Malaysia and we slipped the moorings at 1400 and sailed from Cochin in company with eeyore, Full Flight and Storm Dodger.  Little did I know at this time what a blessing it would be to have an extra hand onboard!   After motoring out of the harbour, we hoisted all sail for the first two hours or so, then had to re-start the engine as the winds died to under 5 knots.  The other three boats disappeared over the horizon and we were alone!   42 miles covered by midnight - future mileages will be from midnight to midnight.  


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