Friday 2nd October
. On returning to Dubai in August, after our rather damp Cornish sailing experience, we started frying again with temperatures up around 45°C (113°F) and humidity at 70-85%. I attempted to do a few jobs on Morwenna and got as far a painting the battery compartment but with the sweat pouring out of me and onto the paintwork, I was not making a good job of it and gave up for a while.
The equinox is the key - as soon as there are less hours of sunlight heating the place up than night time hours allowing it to cool, the temperatures start to drop nicely. Don't get me wrong - it is still hot; today was 38°C (100°F) but it is amazing how much difference a week makes and how much nicer it is when the outside temperature is more or less blood temperature than when the oven is on.
Over the summer Morwenna's name graphic finally arrived and I took advantage of the 'cool' evenings last week to stick it on. I also started work on upgrading the electrics - changing the stock battery switch for one that can handle dual batteries and adding an automatic charging relay. Next week I will finish the battery upgrade by installing and wiring the two extra batteries and then it will be on to wiring in an additional distribution panel, echo sounder, stereo, etc. I doubt whether I will get it all done by the time we go to Oman next weekend but let's see....
Trying the boat again after a long lay up it always a case of trying to predict what has stopped working in the mean time:
- Battery refitted and charge checked.
- Engine oil level checked.
- Wheels on the trailer and tyres pumped up.
- Trailer brakes - where has all the fluid gone and why? Refill and hope for the best.
- Hack off the rusted screw shackles from the trailer chains. Damn - the nice shiny new stainless ones I bought won't fit. Use a normal shackle instead.
- Raise trailer - damn the jockey wheel is stuck. Bit more force - double damn; its broken. Use car jack and precision reversing. Where am I going to get a new jockey wheel from in Dubai?
A friend had had the boys for a sleep over the previous night and was supposed to be meeting us, along with her two boys, to come out with us. This had deprived me of two of my little helpers, so when lines needed un-snagging and things holding there was nobody to help and it took a bit longer than normal to get the mast up. Still, we were on the water by just before 11am which wasn't too bad considering the number of minor issues discovered; only 25mins late. We picked up Sheila and the crew from DOSC and set off in a pleasant NW F3 on a beam reach up towards Safa Island, trotting along at 3-4knots. After a mere 20 minutes it was time to take in the sails and head for lunch at the anchorage. In the heat of the day a refreshing swim was definitely required and the gang of boys set about exploring, sand castle digging, swimming and halyard swinging just as boys of 7 to 9 should. The parents had a good gossip too!
After a long lunch we got sailing again just before 3pm and headed back to DOSC, first finding some sea room on a close reach and then bearing away to a broad reach to return in 30 minutes. After finding so many problems with the trailer it was satisfying to find no problems with the little ship itself. She should be ready for her trip down to Muscat next weekend.
Distance today: 5.76NM, Distance in Morwenna: 199.4NM