The boat has now done 6000 nm in six months. We had some warranty work to be completed, some improvements and some routine maintenance work to be done before the long trip to America in May. All jobs seem to take twice as long here. I am not sure if it is the culture, the practicalities of tiny islands where most things are imported or the heat, but everything moves very slowly. That said everyone is really friendly and we have met a few characters along the way – perhaps we need to be less impatient.
We had the boat hauled out of the water and anti fouled in Antiqua. We also had some skegs fitted to prevent weed getting between the rudder and hull. This had been a problem in the Atlantic. As usual this took a little longer than planned! However we do think the work was well done and are hopeful that we will not need to do this for another year. We did manage to have a great lunch with some distant cousins Barbara and Budgie, catch up with some friends from the rally who were in Antigua, admire the super yachts and do plenty of walking.
After the relaunch we had a quick sail back to Martinique. We were rather pleased with ourselves and used the code zero and achieved 6 knots in 9 knots of wind.
For the rigging a new gooseneck was installed, a boom strap for a gibe preventer and a mast winch.
We have had to run the generator too much to keep the batteries properly charged. This has been a constant frustration but it has to be mentioned that batteries and charging systems are a constant preoccupation among most male cruisers. We have now had installed 720 Wp of solar panels, a new charger controller and Julian has made various monitoring devices which can be displayed on all screens linked to an Arduino computer. All will be pleased to know that in the first day of operation the batteries were kept fully charged while sailing and the washing machine, kettle and microwave were on for some of the time. The generator will now charge the batteries at over 100 amps as opposed to 50 amps previously. Sorry if this is very technical but our little world is very dependent on charged batteries!
TV screen installed and we can now watch films. A period drama on Sunday evening would be just perfect!
Security bars have been made for the fridge. These will prevent the fridge door opening in extreme conditions.
Security bars for the hatches. We haven’t really felt particularly vulnerable but these will allow us to be safe with the hatches open.
The boat has been cleaned, polished and tidied! All in all, it has been a busy few weeks but we feel the boat is now in excellent order and we are ready for America.
We left Martinique today and are heading north to Dominique, Guadalupe and Antiqua. We are meeting Neill here and will set sail for America at the beginning of May.