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
Friday, June 15, 2012
Tristan de Cunha and Cable Repair
With the Open CPN software using the C-,map chart I saw that there was a small scale chart covering a section of the north island, the principal one. I could see an anchorage and a settlement.
I then brought up MarinePlotter, centered the view of the main island, with position roughly at 37S05 and 12W17, and started drilling down, getting more and more detailed images of the island. The island is the top of a whopping big volcano, hopefully extinct, and the Google images are spectacular. On the northwest of the island I saw the small community named “Edinburgh of the Seven Seas” which seemed to have modern buildings. I could see roads, what looked like boats “parked” next to a road, the cemetery, and a tiny harbor; but the anchorage is just offshore, in about 5 m of water if I snuggle up to the shore.
Having seen the closeup satellite photos of the settlement dispelled any mystery and anxiety of the historic island, and I may well anchor there for a couple of days for some rest, exploration, and modest provisioning. I say “modest” provisioning because I wouldn't want to tax any of the island's scarce resources supplied from overseas. But I would be interested in water, if they can spare it, fresh fish, and whatever other local delights they can supply.
The island is about 2000 nm from Brazil and 1500 nm from Cape Town, making it a very convenient stop. The climate should be hospitable at 37 degrees South in the summer.
This morning the power supply to the boat failed while I was boiling the kettle and making toast. It turned out that the 15 amp plug connecting the shore cable to the boat was fried to a crisp. I knew that the plug was under stress, given that the plastic insulation was steadily getting blacker and blacker. Had I shown more disciplined about running only one thing at a time the plug would have seen me through my stay at MdP. Unfortunately running the heater and the hot water kettle and the toaster concurrently in a 240V system was asking a bit much of the plug.
In the afternoon I walked into town in search of a replacement plug. On the way I ran into Alfredo walking his black poodle and he confirmed that the electrical places that I needed were on Edison Street. I told Alfredo that he has been recommended as the man to see about getting the weather go/no go on my departure for Brazil because of his extensive experience in sailing to Uruguay and he agreed to advise me of a weather window after 21 June.
At the third shop (Casa Blanco on Edison Street) I managed to find plugs, but unfortunately I was able to bring back only 10 amp “female” plugs, rather than15 or 20 amp plugs that I required, and they would not fit into the 20 amp “male” plugs that supplies shore power to the boat. So instead of having the entire boat supplied with 240V, meaning that the 60-amp inverter keeps the batteries charged and all of Pachuca's 240V wall outlets are active, I am now running basically an extension cord from the jetty into the boat. Off this cord I'll be able to supply either the power board that supplies the heater and computers, or the electric jug or the toaster. This means that the batteries will not be charged. This is really not a problem because I expect to remain here only a week or 10 days at the most, and the fully charged batteries should support the refrigerator and lighting until my departure. Besides, I'll probably want to run the engine for an hour or two before I sail out, which will charge up the batteries.
Finally, I sent a query to Sailmail Technical Support explaining my problem of not being able to raise the Brazil weatherfax service. I can get to Brazil OK without weather faxes, but I definitely will need weather faxes from Brazil when crossing the first half of the South Atlantic for Cape Town. (Beyond that I should be able to get useful weather faxes out of South Africa.)
- 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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