Masters and Mast-workers
17 June 2014
Tuesday 17 June 2014: Masters and Mast-workers
We are now entering into the less interesting part of the journey for the technically uninclined sector of our vast reader community: repairs and improvements (you can stop reading now). There is a long list of small and less small tasks the need doing before Clio can hit the streets with charter customers.
Before we sailed from Lavrio we had been told that the top part of our anchor light (the one on top of the mast you switch on during the night) was missing when we replaced the anchor light bulb with a LED, using about 1/20th of electricity of the conventional bulb. Luckily we didn't get much rain and the new anchor light kept doing its job admirably. The wind indicator, also on top of the mast, is still not swinging freely, even after the repairs, and we wanted the steam light bulb also replaced by a LED. That means that someone had to get into the mast and do the repair works.
Tolga, our very friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful Gocek base manager (quickly becoming a real friend), knows every single person in Gocek and beyond (we believe). He has a very extensive network of friends and businesses who can do any job that you can imagine on a sailboat. So Namin was the lucky one that got to do the mast-jobs. He is quite amazing in how quickly he can climb a mast, secured in a boson chair, without having to be actually hoisted up. After the masthead jobs done (2 climbs), it turned out that the steaming light (halfway the mast) needed to be re-riveted. During replacing the bulb with the LED light a short-circuit had blown a fuse, which took some time and some help to be found and resolved. In the mean time poor Namid had to climb the mast about 5 times. We were very happy to pay Namid for the hard labour on a hot day; what a luxury to not have to do that ourselves.
Namid was also able to find an original dinghy bench to replace the one we lost in the 'storm and re-anchoring' drama a couple of weeks ago, so we don't have to use an upside-down container anymore to sit on when rowing. And we expect the outboard to be repaired by Tolga's brother.
One 'elective' job is to fix Clio's ongoing and structural electricity shortages by extending the solar panel capacity, and so minimising engine usage to recharge the batteries. After considering many options we chose to go the 'bite the bullet but sell your house' one and get a custom-made stainless steel arch that could hold 5 or 6 panels if need be (for that large flat-screen TV and air-conditioning we so crave on hot days). We already had asked for quotes in Orhaniye but they were a bit high and we still had kept the photos and a rough drawing of what we wanted. One company of Tolga's extensive network was selected and after some bargaining we got a better price and had a dinghy-hoist thrown in to sweeten the deal. And so we committed another top-up mortgage to the good cause, in the fools hope that it would be partly covered by the (quickly becoming elusive) charter returns. We will keep you up-to-date on those exciting (for some) developments.