Friday, 7 February 2014

Falmouth harbour mast step blues!

We are still in Falmouth Harbour but our mast is now off and we are waiting for the new mast step to be fabricated. When the mast came off it revealed that the mast step had been badly corroded but it did not look like the mast had been too badly affected. The boat looks sad without its main mast but John decided that he would take off the mast step in an effort to keep costs down. It was attached to the deck with seven screws, two came off with the impact screwdriver after a bit of a fight but the others were complete swines!!
                              The expensive jigsaw puzzle that was our mast step!

 When he thought that one of them had started to spin in the plate that is embedded in the saloon ceiling we had to take a section of the headlining off. This was a real low moment for the two of us. That headlining had been put on in Gibraltar in 2008/9 as part of our refurbishment it was with very heavy hearts that we ripped it off! However the plate is now off and has been delivered to Steve Miller at Marine Power Services who assured us he had seen worse and went through with us exactly how he was going to fabricate the new step. I think it made both of us feel better that things were finally moving forward. He told us that the material would not be in the country til Tuesday but I for one would rather he was upfront about time frames rather than give us unrealistic ones that he was unable to keep. He seems like a good guy to do business with.
The mast came off with apparent ease John had lubricated all the fittings we had taken off the boom and all the sails and disconnected the electrics so the lads at Antigua Rigging just had to disconnect the triadic stay and connect the mast to the crane. They went up both the Main and the Mizzen with no safety line.. ‘we don’t use safety lines’ but they did use their halyards for the job.

We also has a bit of a near disaster when we were sorting out the problem with the anti siphon valve. John discovered that we did not actually have one which could have been part of the reason the problems we had on the way over. So he has extended the loop and put in an anti siphon valve but to do this we needed to buy some more hose of the right size so he snipped a bit of the existing hose off to take to Budget Marine and left the hose wedged but not connected in the locker. We bought the hose but it was late and getting dark when we got back to the boat so it was a job for the morning. When John got up he was surprised to see that the bilge float was right up to the wheel in the cockpit. On further investigation he found that the engine room was floating and all of the underfloor lockers were as well!! The hose which he had not connected had dropped down and had been siphoning sea water into the bilge all night!! So we had to clear out and clear out all the lockers wash everything down with fresh water and then put the contents back again. However the good news was we discovered it early and John connected up the extra hose fitted the anti siphon valve and hopefully the problem has been solved.

Any way in the words of the song  …. ‘Things can only get better!’ so fingers crossed that in 2/3 weeks we will be out of here and on our way South. We had planned to go North and cruise around Cuba but I think that will have to wait so we have decided to go South and hopefully at some stage we will meet up with our friend Ben on Vieux Marlin who crossed just before us.
Our friend ben is from Sicily and is called Mauro ..... has he found himself a new vocation!!! This is an excellent Pizza place by the way!

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