It’s been a little while since my last blog but after a nice little vacation back to the UK I am refreshed and raring to go again. I didn’t expect myself to take so long to be able to switch off and stop thinking about Dorade when I went back home. For some reason I spent a few nights lying awake wondering what would be going on without me there, whether she would be burnt to the ground or sunken in the marina, what would I go back to? Anyway after a few days and a couple of phone calls back to Laurel I was satisfied that everything was cool and I started to sleep like a baby. I guess after spending so much time on the old girl the last nine months I have become like a parent would for a child. Worrying and wondering what the offspring must be up to.
So life carried on as normal without me, and Dorade probably didn’t lose any sleep. Laurel was her guardian whilst I was away and everything was in good order when I returned. I flew back into San Jose instead of San Francisco due to the amount of rain and wind which made me think about the race that we were doing the next day. Fortunately the next day the rain stopped just before the race start and we were blessed with perfect sailing conditions for the second race of the Golden Gate mid-winter series.
Owner Matt drove the boat like he had stolen it for the day and everybody had a great time. A very exciting start and a fruity mark rounding kept everybody on their toes but all in all Dorade gave a good performance and after a couple of Dark and Stormy’s at St Francis the team was bonding well. Yacht Spirit of Elvis felt that the fruity mark rounding was a little too much for them and have lodged a protest against us which will be resolved on Thursday evening. I should not say any more regarding this until the hearing on Thursday but as always we sail her hard and will not give an inch if we don’t have to. Which we didn’t!
As always there is a work list to get done and I am happy to say that we are almost at a completion with the electronic up grades on board. We now have the capability to send emails over SSB and also down load GRIB files this way. In addition to this we also have a new upgraded Fleet broad band system and will soon have a hand held sat phone that will give us extra means of sending and receiving data. In addition to these electronic upgrades I have received the new B and G 20/20 High Vision bonded displays that allow zero condensation which has been a problem with the older displays. These will fit to the mast and we have a new bronze mount being fabricated which should be here next week.
On deck we have several carpentry projects starting this week. We have decided to drill out every screw hole and re dowel it as several screws are spinning loosely in their holes. It make sense just to do them all and know when they were all done in the hope it will not need doing again now for several years. This will be completed by the end of today. I managed to find another carpenter to work on the boat last week who has been in the trade for over 50 years. He should probably be in retirement but I am very grateful to have him on board. His name is Lon Woodrum and his wife is Suzie who invited Laurel and I around for fresh crab and a bottle of wine last night which was excellent. I need to find more contractors like them.
Next on the carpentry project list is to fix the last few leaks in the main butterfly hatch. I think we have finally located the source of the leak and we will get this project started on Monday next week. It was coming in through the join in the corners of the hatches through a hairline crack that can hardly be seen, but if you run a finger nail down it you can just feel a crack plus you can see the water damage around it which has probably been going on for years. We are going to cut out the old damaged wood, epoxy and replace it with fresh wood, make perfectly tight seams and use a flexible compound to ensure water tightness. Once this is completed they will need at least half a dozen coats of varnish to finish the job off. The weather doesn’t look fantastic so I am going to get the awning up next week so the rain doesn’t disrupt work too much and hopefully we can get it done in a few days.
There are plenty of other improvement’s we are in the process of doing but for now that is the major stuff. Christmas is coming upon us quickly and this Friday is the St Francis Yacht Club annual boat parade so tomorrow I will be hanging the fairy lights. Pictures will follow.
Saturday and Sunday this week will be a sailing day for us so unfortunately the lights will have to come down straight away. We have some new people coming sailing with us we want to check out and the more time you can get on the water the better. We plan to practice several evolutions with sails going up and down and go through a few safety procedures we never seem to practice in anger. Hopefully everything goes well and everybody has a good time.