Thursday, July 24, 2014

Apia: beneath

        I need to buy panty hose.  (I hear a collective gasp, interspersed with ‘Ah, Ha’s’.)  But maybe I’ll settle for yarn.
        As I was approaching Apia, the jib collapsed and backed.  I glanced up at the masthead Windex and it showed the wind from the port quarter as it had been.  I took over from the tiller pilot, gybed the jib, set the tiller pilot. The jib backed again.  And I realized the Windex was stuck and lying to me.  Since then, it has resumed moving, but was again stuck once at the same port quarter angle.  So it may be  back to tying bits of cloth—nylon from stockings or panty hose is good, but I doubt few women are foolish enough to wear them in this climate—or yarn to the shrouds.
        That Windex was new when the mast was installed last year.  I am not pleased.


        As I walked down the dock a couple of evenings ago, two new boats had just come in and their crews were struggling with adaptors to connect to shore power.  Not GANNET’s problem.  By far the smallest boat here is also the most self-contained.


        I thank Kris for identifying Naval Vessel 70 as the  USS HOOPER.   She was named after  Rear Admiral Grace Hopper.  While I would not have recognized her name, I have read of her.  An early computer expert, she is responsible for the term ‘debugging’.  Literally. 

        Dave of Hilo and his as yet unnamed 14’ Paradox recently completed a remarkable 415 mile cruise through the Hawaiian Islands.  He reached Honolulu the evening before I sailed for Apia and I had the pleasure of seeing him again before I did so.
        You really need to see GANNET to realize how small she is.  You really need to see Dave’s boat to  see how much smaller than GANNET she is.
        I am very impressed by Dave’s achievement, including a maximum speed of 9.7 knots.
        You can read more here.  A great and original cruise.  I congratulate him.


        GANNET and I are both pretty much back in shape.
        The above photo is the view beneath the tarp.
The ugly yellow strip below the companionway is residual Velcro adhesive.  There is an Ace Hardware store in Apia, but they have never heard of Acetone, so the adhesive will be there a while.
         In this closer view you can see the drain holes I unwisely blocked.  Also that GANNET, who still overall looks good, is showing signs of having sailed almost 5,000 miles in two months.  Her daily runs add up to 4854.
        Yesterday morning I used epoxy putty to reattach electrical wires that had come loose; and I cancelled an order I had placed to have a tiller pilot shipped to me here because it began to seem that it might take three weeks to arrive and I don’t want to remain in Apia that long. So I expect that I will sail for Tonga late next week, if the wind is not contrary.  At the moment it is.
        I did also hook up the two dead tiller pilots.  They are still dead.
        I have one Raymarine and one old Autohelm left with about 1500 miles to go.
        The Vavau Group of Tongan islands is 300 south of Apia, but I have first to sail 25 miles west to clear this island.  My memory of when I did that in RESURGAM in 1985 is that I was struck by a wall of wind funneling around island’s end.
        Vavau has quiet anchorages and fine snorkeling.  I think this will be my fourth time there.
       I’d like to go down into the water for a change, instead of having water come up onto me.