Saturday, 25 May 2013

CAPE TOWN. TIMES UP! 26th May 2013

We arrived into Cape Town for a week stop over and now a month has come and gone. Where does the time go. The jobs consumed most of it. Not a lot of important jobs except freezer re gas and Watermaker repair but it seemed opportune to do several improvements to make the next passage more comfortable and safer. 
 We decided to install a Profurl furler on the Staysail. It has been on hanks on the foredeck, however in heavy weather, when you need it most, you feel very disinclined to go forward to hoist it and even more reluctant to take it down if the weather deteriorates. This should end that dilemma.
Trevor and his team from TS Rigging did a good job for a good price. 
We also decided that it was time to install a full AIS system. We have had a Standard Horizon Matrix GX2100 VHF Radio, for a couple of years and can see AIS targets with it but we do not send out our own signal so cannot be seen by other vessels equipped with receivers.
New Profurl furler with modified staysail to fit.
We purchased a Digital Yacht AIT2000 B Class Transponder from Andrew at Global Marine Systems. His service was very good and in spite of a major meltdown of my Sony Vaio desktop and the AIS transponder... almost simultaneously.... he replaced the unit with some modifications. The computer is however cactus so I am a little short of photos until I get a drive case for the old hard drive. The unit seems to work very effectivly here in the manina. Its yet to be seen how we go outside.
We also bought a Fog Horn. You would not beleive the fog they get here. To thick for a dog to bark in. Horn pretty essential. So now we have Radar... well with reservation because it is part of the very defective and untrustworthy Furuno MFD ChartPlotter. That peice of equipment goes close to being the bigest waste of money on the boat!!. However if it works we have radar, AIS and a horn for Fog!

The Digital Yacht AIS running in Linux on Open CPN

Oh dear the Sony Vaio saga was a pain. Its the computer we use for internet at sea linked to the Iridium satellite phone and to the Pactor modem for email through the HF radio. There is a fair bit of software and set up involved in re connecting all these instruments and the single neuron I have reserved for this process was well strained by the complexities of software, hardware and having a "new" old DELL latitude to set up. The Dell came from Gumtree for $100 and im keeping my fingers crossed that it lasts the journey. There was not time to specify and purchase a new replacement for the Sony. It has been the second most expensive waste of money on the boat. It has been a totally hopeless machine since we purchased it just over 3 years ago. The first mother board went after 14 months @$600 and now the second one has gone is suspicious circumstances.

Cape Winelands
The propeller shaft project was aborted because the cost was spiralling. They wanted us to haul out to fit it but if we hauled out we also needed to anti foul and perform all the tasks which have to be done out of the water at the same time. It is expensive to haul out here at almost $1000 A. The most expensive we have come across. We also didn’t want that delay. So we put the old shaft back and have the new one half finished in the saloon. The old shaft is worn but not terminal.

We had a major breakthrough with the Sailmail HF radio program by dint of the perseverance and dedication of Robert Ravensberg we discovered by process of elimination that the software was faulty. His computer worked fine with all our gear but even the new one I bought and loaded with my software wouldn’t work. I then downloaded the Airmail software from the internet and suddenly all the computers worked!. It took a long time to nail that problem. Its been bugging us for two years now. We kept being told it was the HF radio installation. Something to do with the Antenna. Well Robert was convinced that it wasn’t the problem and he came to the boat at least 4 times before we sorted it. He has become a firm friend and generously drove us to the Winelands on Sunday in superb weather to show us some of his favorite wineries and the Fabulous Fairiew goat Cheese and Winery.
We had a great day in great company.
There are a lot more stories to tell and people to thank but times up!. A weather window has presented itself and we are making a run for it to Luderitz in Namibia. We hope to clear out and leave tomorrow.
The next posts will be via sailmail and will therefore not include photos untill we have internet again.
Tune in from time to time to check on our progress towards the UK.

CapeTownAndWinelands Photos