Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Rooted to Ramsgate

All went well on Friday. In the morning, I signed off the June issue of Cruising magazine, and did a final boat and home grocery shop at Morrisons. In the afternoon I drove to Norwich to have a root canal filling – the less said the better really, but once it was done the tooth pain eased, although it did leave me feeling quite knackered. Just as well I had already decided not to try to sail with the lads down to Ramsgate. And in the evening we met Louis, our crew from Halcyon Yacht Deliveries, at Ipswich station and Sam & I managed to have dinner with our three crew on Friday evening in the lightship. All three are in their 20s, smoke, drink and are allergic to offices, so looks like they will get on well.

They had a relatively quiet trip down to Ramsgate on Saturday, mostly motoring, and decided to hold tight for a couple of nights until the winds passed through. Unfortunately it looks as though the winds will now be followed by more winds with no let-up until Friday, although a possible brief window on Wednesday.
Ramsgate looking a bit dismal on Monday. It's worse today (Tuesday).

One of our two autopilots burned out on the way down to Ramsgate and the other one kept tripping the switch. Dedicated readers of this blog may be aware that we have had regular autopilot problems since 2006 when we waited a week in Vilagarcia for a new one to be sent out by Seamark Nunn. We eventually had the old one repaired, and alternated them, but then found our new cockpit speakers (fitted 2011) caused both of them to steer us in a series of S-bends. Our electrician Phil removed the problem speaker last year but they were still not really sailing in a straight line; Ben fixed one by soldering it together but it was clearly on its last legs anyway.

I had the bright idea that we could replace the Raymarine Autohelm 2000+, which is undersized for our boat, by a Simrad TP32 which is theoretically tough enough. Unfortunately I couldn't get hold of the Simrad over the holiday weekend, but Fox's at Ipswich did have a replacement Autohelm. So yesterday I abandoned poor Sam and drove to Ramsgate to deliver the new Autohelm, plus a bag of food that we somehow managed to leave behind. The really frustrating thing is that I didn't want to drive down today (Tuesday) because Sam was due to go sailing at SYH – now cancelled because of the rubbish weather. So probably I could have got the Simrad. At least the Autohelm doesn't require any re-wiring.

Sam and I are due to go out by ferry on June 5/6 and it now looks as though we may get to Brittany before our boat does. Postponing the ferry doesn't look like a good option as there is no availability until June 9 and then it would cost us at least an extra £100. So we may end up staying somewhere for a couple of nights in hotels in Brittany. There are worse ways to spend a few days!

Today is my birthday. Here is one of my favourite cards. Do all senior railcards have boats on, or do National Rail somehow know about my interests?

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