Regular readers will recall that one of the spares we bought back from our trip to Florida was a new wind speed instrument for the top of the mast. The last one had given up the ghost after spending 17 year perched high above our decks, survived 9 Atlantic crossings, a couple of near hurricanes and 4 tropical rainy seasons. Can't really complain can we!
So finally a couple of days ago TBH and I got up early, to beat the heat of the day, he donned the required bosun's chair and I slowly but steadily hauled him up the mast carrying the new part. No luxury of electric winches on our boat so its a mix of grunt and girl power!
Eight minutes later he is in position and horrified to find that the entire fitting has corroded to such a degree that it looks as though we will need to step the mast in order to install the new part. Bloody typical isn't it, nothing is ever straight forward on a boat. After a quick fix to ensure the top of the mast is weatherproof he was resigned as he descended and we chatted about where and when we would next be able to lower the mast. We decided to wait until we reach St Marten's, where we already plan some pretty major updating. Then in the middle of the night he sat bolt upright and announced he had worked out how to mend it in situ... wonderful, I just need to haul him up again...!
Anyway it has served to begin focusing our thoughts on what we need to do to prepare the boat and ourselves for the next stage of our journey. We need to renew the upholstery in the saloon , the current leather is now 17 years old and well, to put it bluntly, past its prime. We want to install heating ready for some cold weather sailing and there is the usual long list of repairs to deal with. Still the excitement of looking at sailing routes and destinations is making up for all that! So little time, so many places to see...
I feel excitement mixed with a deal of trepidation as the planning begins again. Still we will be here for a while yet so no great hurry is there!