Thursday, March 20, 2008

How many miles still to do?

Considering we have bought a new sailing boat, I seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time in the car on motorways! Over 1000 miles clocked up so far (and over 24 hours of driving / sitting in traffic) and so far, I've only been on Talia once when she was off her mooring and that was only for a couple of hours.

Still, the latest trip means the Eberspacher is serviced & seems to be behaving itself, the remains of the shelf around the bed are now in the garage at home, water tanks & fuel tank are filled, new toolkit is stashed, the anchor chain & rode are now neatly flaked into a flexible bucket and numerous other little jobs have been accomplished. The old adage that "there is always something to fix on boats" proved to be true again - arriving in the dark, I opened the engine cover to switch on the battery and the cover came away in my hand. After nearly 20 years, the plywood had rotted through at the hinge! So another thing to attend to when we come back at Easter. I can make a temporary repair but I think ultimately I will be making a completely new cover, complete with design changes (the cover also serves as a cockpit table when lifted open).

The following morning saw me halfway up the mast, tying off a halyard to the baby stay that had clattered and banged all night. The lower portion of the halyard had been taped to the stay and with the prevailing wind direction, that had proved to be sufficient. However, with the change of wind direction, it needed to be secured further. I can't say I recommend being up a mast trying to tie things up one-handed in F6 winds - at one point I had to 'hop' round the mast from front to back so I could face the stay and see what I was doing, whilst using the mast for support and hanging on with the other hand. At least mast steps make the job easier.

I got the outboard going this week so that needs to be taken over (I wasn't attempting to get that on board by myself - drowned outboards don't tend to work too well!) and I need to service the other one for storage as I haven't got it running yet.

So having got back at about 6:30pm last night, we will be setting off again some time this evening, no doubt to join thousands of other people in traffic queues, wanting to go somewhere for the Easter break. Since we are going to Talia via train for our delivery trip (to avoid leaving a car stranded in East Anglia!), we need to try and take everything we need in terms of clothes, charts, non-perishable food etc for that trip this weekend so I have yet another shopping list as long as my arm, plus another room full of 'stuff' to pack into the car....

So my carbon footprint for Talia is currently about the equivalent of driving to Edinburgh and back and it's not over yet. If all goes well, this will be the last round-trip to East Anglia - once she is safely in the Solent, the travelling should be a lot easier and our sailing hours vs car hours should get back into the right proportion :-)