|Assembling the Fittings|
|Daniel wiring down the shrouds|
An issue had been the weather, and I got lucky in that Daniel's partner back in San Fernando had judged things would be clear until Wednesday and it was decided to make the trip to MdP. The team worked into the early night then resumed work before 9 AM. They approached the boat from the outer part of the jetty and Daniel told me that they had slept in the boat of a friend of his. They asked me the age of the forestay and I told them that it was only about 3 years old. They seemed surprised that I wanted to swap it out. Although I had full confidence in the work that Port Townsend Rigging had done I figured that setting off for Australia with a new forestay was better than setting off with a 3 year old one. Besides, the forestay would have had a hard time during the rounding in the Horn. Ultimately my motivation was simple and visceral: I had had a gut full of nursing a crippled rigging in rough weather 2000 miles from help and I wanted to avoid a repetition at all costs. ... been there and done that with the heroics of broken rigging and sails.
|Daniel, Pato in middle, rigger at right|
|Brenda meeting Pato|
The work went very well, but there were several hitches. The big one is that the backstay insulators for my HF radio are of a different thread to the fittings that were brought from BA. The backstay was taken back to San Fernando and the new one will be shipped out in a few days. Another hitch concerned the diameter of the running backstay lines. Those lines will also be shipped in a few days, as well as the new topping lift line. Daniel advocated a different way of setting up the running backstays, using a second block which will provide more purchase and spread the load to two deck fittings. With this new setup and proper low-stretch ones. I expect to have a properly functioning running backstay system for my return to Australia. The new topping lift provides another improvement Daniel suggested that we make it the same diameter as the main halyard to act as a backup in case something happens to the main halyard. Great suggestion. There was also a problem of the rear anchor point for the turnbuckles of the new rail wires. The U-shaped attachments are lot quite large enough to take the turnbuckles, so somebody will be sent to cut off the old attachment points and set up new ones.
|Inner Forestay for Staysail|
In the late morning Daniel spent some time with me to go over the items that would be put in the invoice and provide some pointers on how to tune the rig. He told me that everything that he fitted was the best available anywhere: Navtec and Gibbs fittings, 316 grade stainless steel wire out of the USA. He startled me by saying that he would guarantee the equipment for 14 years. "Fourteen years?" I asked incredulously. Yes, I had heard correctly.
Brenda had gone off to visit the nature reserve on the other side of the fishing harbor. It was a successful outing where she saw 9 new birds, which she found very satisfying.
Soon Pato showed up and it was the first time that I had seen him in a month, when he had set off for Las Palmas. Pato seems to know everyone, and they were all glad to see him, including me. Daniel discussed the remaining issues with Pato and it looks like between us we'll manage to put up the backstay, running backstays, and railing.
At this point I must correct a misconception that I had about the rigging. It is the cap and lower shrouds that have the 10mm wire, and the intermediate shroud that has the 8mm wire. This means that it had been the intermediate (D2) shroud that had been replaced in Hawaii, not the cap shroud. (Daniel reported that the D2 wire was in fact 7mm in diameter, and it is now 8mm in diameter.) So it looks like all of the rigging is of 10mm wire except for the intermediate (D2) shroud and the inner forestay.
|Wetlands Reserve Brenda Visited|
Martin of North Sail had passed the new headsail to Daniel in San Fernado so that it arrived along with the rigging team. I haven't been able to take it out of the bag and we won't be able to hoist it until the rigging work is completed. However, from the weight of the sail and the feel of the cloth it appears to be the heavy duty sail that I was hoping to get. The description of the sail is "135% Dacron Ocean Genoa #2 Crucero 9.55oz Ocean". The cost of the sail was $3921 USD, which I consider very good value.