This blog is about planning and preparation for a circumnavigation of the world in a 39-foot sail boat followed, hopefully, by a diary of the actual circumnavigation. You can track the progress of Pachuca by visiting http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=VNW5980
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
HF Radio Work and Victualing Started
I then carried my dirty laundry in the duffel bag, dropped it off at the lavadora, then walked over to Toledo, the large grocery store, to bring back a load of provisions for the boat. Back at the boat the task of storing the provisions was not as simple as cramming them into the cabin lockers. I decided to take the opportunity to audit my supplies and clean out the storage lockers. I had worked hard to keep the spreadsheet up to date as I drew out supplies during the passage from La Paz, but the audit revealed that a few inaccuracies had crept in, usually meaning that I had less than the spread sheet indicated.
I completely emptied the entire starboard cabin locker which created a serious mess in the cabin, cleaned out the locker with a solution of detergent and bleach in warm water, then began storing items and recording them as I went along. I must say that everything in the hold had fared amazingly well, given the rough weather on the run to the Horn. In general no cans were rusty, no labels had come off, and vulnerable items such as the flour and oat meal had survived with no damage. However, the bottom of he locker had gotten wet because the large amount of water going into the shallow bilge would find its way across the relatively flat bottom of the hull into the lockers as the boat rolled. I'm hoping that my plan to fit that vinyl curtain over the opening to the lazarette will avoid this in the future. Tomorrow I will give the port locker the same treatment and when I am finished with that I'll have a very accurate picture of what supplies I have where.
Last night I recalled another reason for testing the communications equipment: the backstay had been replaced which meant that the HF antenna between the two new isolators was new. To gain more confidence I tuned in to BBC short wave radio at 9 AM and listened to the news then a report on the Greek financial crisis over coffee and toast. Also, the test message that I had sent out via Sailmail arrived at my Gmail address OK. At this point I am satisfied that Pachuca's communications system is ready for sea.
And I had a scare with the Toshiba laptop, my first line computer. For two days the battery was down to 7% but while the machine was connected to the wall plug the reported status was “Plugged in but not charging.” The battery would simply not charge. The battery could not have degenerated so much so quickly. Perhaps, I thought, the battery is really at 100% and the system is confused. So I ran the laptop solely on battery and 5 minutes later it shut down with only 4% power, so the battery was indeed almost drained. But why wouldn't it charge? It really is important that the machine be able to support itself on batteries because there are times when I must disconnect it from the inverter when out at sea if I suspect that a ground loop is interfering with the Pactor communications. What would Stephen do? I asked myself, and instantly I knew the answer. I removed the laptops battery, counted to 5, then plugged it back in, and the machine began charging as though nothing had happened. Go figure.
- Departure Date (maybe)
- On The Mend
- Another Delay
- Electronics Fixed, Painting Rutland Tail
- Internet Problem, Mini Tour, Blunder of the Year
- Electronics and LPG
- Glitch and Probable Delay
- Connected Again
- More Preparation
- More Preparation and Internet Problems
- The New Me
- Tristan de Cunha and Cable Repair
- Test Message
- HF Radio Work and Victualing Started
- Lunch with Jorge, Electronic Systems Checked Out
- Anchors Ready, Fuel Tapped
- Fuelling, Boat Orientation, Laptops
- Staysail Deck Fittings
- Mainsail Ready
- Headsail Commissioned and Other Progress
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