The ship's blog for SV Nelleke out of Shelburne, NS

8-11 days to go and we’re almost swimming in the downpours!!

Holy snappin', what a night! The dinner party that Barb prepared went extremely well, of course, but our friends, who are smokers, were getting up periodically to stand out in the rain in the cockpit under the bimini to take a puff, and the boat was quivering at the dock, trying to sail in the 30 knot winds. Although the Weathernetwork.com weather gods were only calling for 25 kph winds, Clearpoint predicted 30+ knots and they were right. Nelleke was straining at the dock lines and bouncing about in the swell that was able to come around the breakwater. It almost felt like we were at sea and, indeed, I almost wish that we were at a mooring as I lay there in the bunk and listened to the dock lines groaning under the strain. But, come morning, there was no damage except everything was soaked on deck. Good ol' Nelleke!

Funny about sharing your life with an older boat; I have heard it said that modern fibreglass boats are like submarines once they are all battened down, and to a large extent I agree with that. However, with age, deck fittings can loosen and with the additions that various owners put on, there are unexpected leaks that spring up. One of the advantages about spending as much time aboard as we do is that you are there whenever there is a rainstorm and you can actually trace down the source of the leaks. Then the challenge then becomes merely one of plugging them. So far there has been enough rain that I think we have found them all. There is still a little more plugging to be done but, all in all, I think that we have located the source of most of them.

Our original plan had been to depart on or about the middle of the month or the 15th, but we were kind of hoping that we'd get away a little earlier if possible. With the weather and work delays it now looks like we'll be lucky to make our original date. No worries though. We have the time to make Newport, it's just that I like as much flex in the schedule as I can get, just in case.

Even on a crappy day like this there can be bad news, good news and really good news, and even the bad news isn't really all that horrible. The bad was that as I was heading over to CMC to pick up the radar and test our chart plotter in the presence of the technician, I got a call from them telling me that the Navy had an electronics problem with one of their gyros that was keeping one of the ships alongside and preventing them from steaming to sea. That meant that there was no one at the store. Oh well, perhaps tomorrow, so I set of to the welder's shop. I had spoken to him in the early morning so he was expecting me and good thing, for as I got there I found that he had gone back to the original plan for a two panel support which was not what I wanted. Being there to stop him was the good news for if I had stopped off at CMC I wouldn't have go there in time. Then, I was able to get the solar panel out of the car and into his hands to make sure that it fitted so Barb now has her Dad's car back in its entirety and I am not worried about putting something on the panel and breaking it. The welder came out to the boat at the end of the dayto fit it. He'll be back tomorrow to install and if the rain clears like it's supposed to he will also weld on the secondary bow roller. So, you see? Progress in spite of myself.

Poor Barb is having some serious problems with her almost new HP laptop. At the absolutely worst time it decides to conk out and presents her with the dreaded blue screen from which it can only be powered down and restarted. If this only happens once, perhaps it's not so bad, but it is happening to her several times a day and of course it will only do this just before we are due to leave for our winter trip. She has a 3 year warrantee on it but they won't have it fixed before we leave so we'll have to have it couriered down to us in Newport.

Besides that we have been ticking off the smaller items from the job list. We're getting there.