On the move
03 July 2010 | River Orwell
Anticipated for such a long time - taking Guapa out for the first time in a (very) long while.
Alarm clock set for 06H00 - on a Saturday! Wasn't really necessary - wide awake at first light.
Whole family - including the dog - on the road by 07H15.
We arrived at Fox's just before nine. Yard engineer took me for a guided tour of the new engine. Some snags with the ne prop. They took the boat out for a test and noticed that the pitch might be off. We'll have to call in again to have it adjusted.
Boat was quite clean - less to do for the white tornado clean team.
The new sprayhood looked fabulous too. Very pleased.
We took stores on board and then set about hanking the sails back on. Well, just the main, genoa awaiting the fitting of the new Furling gear on Thursday.
Rigging had helpfully led all the lazyjack lines forward of the mast. Quickly sourced a bosun's chair and dispatched N° 1 child up the mast. Some more faffing about with the reefing lines (more bits of string than I remember) and... job done.
Engine started at the first turn of the ignition - not had that in a long time. Close quarters maneuvering with a new engine and a new prop proved 'interesting'. No panic - crew anticipated very well. Propwalk more pronounced than with the old engine. Skipper reflexes still good.
Gently motor downriver towards our new berth in Shotley. Our newest canine crew wasted no time exploring the boat. Being surrounded by water was a new experience but we knew she was OK when she started begging for food.
We were off Shotley lock in about an hour. Called the marina on VHF and were instructed to proceed straight in. Big motorboat in front of us - tight squeeze. Crew took it in their stride. Parked in our new berth without mishaps.
Walked the dog and sorted 'stuff'. Trip to Fox's, dinner at the club and off home. Great day for one and all - Steps slept most of the way home.
Boating again - very good feeling. Next step; next week - proper sailing.
It looks like Guapa will have to return to the yard for a week (Monday-Friday). Prop pitch is definitely (way) off. And some electrics/electronics need sorting: the new battery charger doesn't. Plugged into shore power we get 220v but batteries aren't charging. Either I'm missing something (new set-up) or something is wrong.
There's also the continuing saga of our autopilot - the only part that hasn't been replaced yet is the hydraulic ram. Guess which part now refuses to play? In one. As luck would have it, I bought a brand, spanking new one on eBay the year before last just because it was dirt cheap and you never know. Looking to get that one fitted asap.
All in all: the good mood persists. Family (and skipper) crew morale improved no end. Steps seemed very at home on the boat, so she'll be along in future too.