2016 Preparations Before Leaving
Monday, April 18, 2016
We are in spring here at Marina di Ragusa, a plethora of activity is going on around the marina, some boats already left a week ago people have been flying in from all parts of the world to get the boat ready for the coming months of cruising.
The boatyard is busy with boats hauling out for a quick clean up or a check and replace of shaft seals, inspecting seacocks, rudder posts and anything else that is usually under water, maybe a new coat of antifouling paint would help too. Other boats are being launched and sent to their slips for final on deck inspection getting stored gear and mounting it where it will be more useful, provisioning before heading away, making sure to stock up on excellent but cheap Sicilian wine.
We are getting close, all repairs are complete, the hardest one was the wind instrument, had to take the trip 4 times up the mast as the cable was getting stuck somewhere then I decided to change the messenger to a lighter nylon line and this worked, did the modification on deck and then up again to help Lillian pull the cable down but again it was getting stuck, we tried soap to no avail, in the meantime sitting all crunched up in a boson’s chair is not a very comfortable situation and I had to be brought down for a rest. Later in the day I was hauled up for the third time, pulled the cable out from the top cleaned of the soap, cut the seven cables so that one was shorter then the next to have a fine taper, re-taped it very careful not to leave any tape protruding sideways. Asked Lillian to pull from the bottom one more time, she did and the cable came out the bottom as it is supposed to do.
With Lillian’s shoulder not healed yet, I decided to use the windlass to haul me up, so I asked my friend Roy to come and help me and to show Lillian how it is done. After watching Roy doing this Lillian decided that if I need to go up she could do it for me and so she hauled me up three times in one day until the job was complete, I think it was more tiring for me squashed in the boson’s chair. You might say that this is not safe to do. I would agree if using a self-tailing winch because it is harder to release the line from it and also because it is much faster than a windlass, when using a windlass, we also have a separate safety line attached to me, and if by any chance the windlass does not stop for any reason when it is supposed to, all that has to be done is let the tension of the line and the drum just spins without any consequences and since the clutch on the mast is closed the line cannot run free and drop me to the deck.
Fuel filters have been changed, bilges cleaned, a leaking watermaker fitting replaced, mildew from external teak removed, engine room organized, wind, instrument tested and calibrated, genoa raised, new dodger and bimini fitted properly, new instrument cover looks great, all we are waiting for is the new mainsail, I did go to see the work in progress, it looks great and must say that Paolo and his wife Laura are doing a great job at SiSail part of OneSail™, they are true professionals.
Our plans change by the minute, but as of now we are going to spend a few weeks in Malta, then off to Greece, yes Greece for the fourth time but we love it there, then on to Turkey to restart the clock EU clock being a non EU boat. On the way there we plan to visit Crete and on the way back the southern Peloponnese, I will write all about our 2016 anchorages in the fall.
Until then we wish a wonderful summer to everyone and a safe with fair winds to our sailing friends around the world.
Mario & Lillian Borg