|Pato Fitting the Rope Around the Halyard|
In the afternoon I visited the hardware store to pick up the filled gas cylinders and I was told that due to a truck strike of some sort I wouldn't be able to pick them up before Thursday afternoon, or Friday morning if I wished. I told the man fine, but Friday was the final possible day because I expected to sail out of MdP on the weekend. That was another example of why not wait until the last minute to get things done.
After looking at the marine weather forecasts for the last two days it looked like Sunday the 24th would be a good day to go. I made a final check list of things to do and decided that tomorrow, Thursday, I would make the go/no-go decision about Sunday. For today my tasks included running the engine and checking the gear and propeller drive. While the engine was running I decided to check out the boat's electronics system. I had run the radar several weeks earlier but had not tested the entire Seatalk network in months.
To my disappointment the Raymarine electronic system exhibited all of the symptoms that had been the result of a fault in the autopilot controller. The controller displayed “Seatalk Failure”. Although the depth and wind instruments were on and working OK, their data was not showing up on the C120 chart plotter. The chart plotter would intermittently lose the boat's position. The radar was working fine, though when I overlayed it with the chart its display would intermittently disappear then reappear. When the radar was displayed in its own dedicated window the display was continuous.
So at this point I have radar, AIS, depth and wind data at the cockpit, but I have no autopilot and the depth and wind data cannot be monitored on the C120.
The autopilot display had been sealed with silicone and I had placed a high quality plastic bag over it and the GPS at the binnacle, and the normal canvas cover over the lot. Not one drop of water could have touched the display since we installed it after the repair.
Tomorrow I will visit the electronics company to report my problems. Even though they are very fast workers I must be prepared to wait until next week for this problem to be resolved one way or the other.
Fortunately the day ended on a high note. Pato Salas had returned on the 19th as planned and to my surprise I saw him at the club in the afternoon. He had been part of a crew racing a maxi yacht in the Mediterranean. This afternoon he climbed up the mast and addressed something that can be a problem. Apparently it is possible for the jib halyard to wrap around the winding mechanism at the top of the head stay when it is slack during, say, a sail drop. The can put torque on the wire causing damage. This struck a cord with me because the head stay was so damaged at the top swage when I arrived in Hawaii that it had to be swapped out, even though it was only about 3 years old.
Today he arrived with a special high-strength rope with a tough abrasion resistant covering that he had prepared for the job, which was to pass the rope from one cap shroud, between the halyard and the head stay, to the other cap shroud. I watched what he was doing with binoculars and I could see that he was working carefully to make sure that the tension and knotting were correct. When he got back down to the deck I thanked him telling me about the problem, which nobody else had told me about, and going to the trouble to remedy it. Pato wants to make sure that I have no problem with the work done on this boat, not just as the professional representative of North Sails, but as a friend; and I greatly appreciate that.