Wind taken out of the Skippers Sails

So, the Christmas break is over and today the boatyard opened for business after two weeks of holiday. As is the way with every boatyard in the world, you leave your boat in their care for ten months with a list of jobs to do in your absence, and they leave it until the last minute to start any of them. Consequently when I arrived a few days ago in the hope that everything had been done, and it was just a matter of stepping on board and having the boat launched, I discovered that only about 70% of the work had been completed.

So when I arrived at the yard today, I was ready to do battle. The wind was taken out of my sails by Jason, the yard owner, ambushing me just as I arrived, wringing his hands and apologising profusely that the boat had been left open for ten days, having a look at the water damage and assuring me it would be sorted. As Jason left there was a queue of other people who sprang into action on the unfinished tasks. Terry, the young electrician who had most to do to get me sea-worthy wiring up all the new wind generators, solar panels, radar, chartplotter etc (and the late start was not of his making so there was no point in having a go at him), went through the list of outstanding work and said it would all be completed by Wednesday, so we could re-schedule our launch for Thursday – just two days after our original plans. A lot better than I was expecting.

The sails have been bent (put up and furled). The diesel tank has been drained and cleaned and the “polished” diesel pumped back into the tank. (If you recall, I had the most monumental diesel bug infestation last year which plagued me for our entire Amazonian cruise. The amount of gunge in the bottom of the tank was incredible). And whilst all that was going on, I rigged the boat (put up all the numerous bits of string that I had stowed last year) and cleaned the dinghy. The dinghy had been disgustingly dirty. As a utilitarian mode of transport on an Expedition Vessel, you can get away with it, but now we are back in the land of the Lotus-Eaters in our re-constituted Luxury Cruising Yacht, standards are higher. So all in all a very productive day.

My God, this is boring. I don’t how you can be bothered to read all this stuff, so I’ll sign off until I’ve got something interesting to report.


Tim Barker is a sailor and occasional adventurer. Since 2004, Mina2, his Oyster 485 yacht, and he (with the Downstairs Skipper and a wonderful bunch of friends) have sailed from the Arctic to the Antarctic and many places in between. Come join their adventures and read Tim's award winning blogs and journals from the comfort of your own computer screen.

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