Aannsha’s Blog #25 – Mast, Davits, Solar, Water & Bangle

What a busy week it’s been since I last wrote!

“Raise the Mainsail!”

Mast and boom

We can legitimately shout that now, as we have our mast and sails back! Well, technically, as we’ve got in-mast furling I suppose it should be “Unfurl the Mainsail!” but that doesn’t have the same piratey ring to it, does it? And we won’t be sailing anywhere just yet, as we’ve still got lots of little and medium-sized jobs that will be attended to when we’re hauled out and on the hard next week for the anti-fouling. However, not let’s not have our gusto dampened by dreary facts just yet; let us don our imaginary pirate breeches, doublets and parrots, and swagger like Jack Sparrow as we enthusiastically holler “Raise the Mainsail!”

The mast was re-installed a few days ago with sturdy new standing rigging (strong wires that hold the mast upright). That process was hitch-free. Jose drove our boat to the work yard on the other side of the marina where there was a massive crane waiting for us, all ready with the mast and new standing rigging hanging precariously from a great height.

The team of guys made the installation process look easy as they reattached the mast and boom, forestay and genoa, and ran all the lines back to the cockpit. When they were done, our boat looked like a proper yacht again!

Once we do leave however, we’re going to have to return to the marina after a month’s sailing, as they will need to readjust and tighten the standing rigging, which will stretch and settle under the strain of wind-filled sails. This means we’ll be altering our plans to sail directly up to Port Grimaud in France – where Barry and I first lived and worked abroad in the early 1980s. Instead, we’ll head over to the Balearic Islands, and visit Mallorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. One of Barry’s DJ mates of old, Des Mitchell, lives and works there half of the year, and I think the excuse to sail over and meet up with him offsets Barry’s frustration at having to forestall our plans. I’m looking forward to meeting Des too – apparently he’s a bit of a legend in the DJ-ing world. You can read about him in Barry’s blog #27.

“Lower the dinghy!”

Now we have our fabulous shiny stainless steel arch fixed to the transom (back end of the boat), we have a whole new array of exciting and essential additions available to us.

Solar panels being installed

The first being the solar panels, four of which we now have firmly attached to the top of the arch. These will provide us with 600 watts of freely made electricity thanks to the sun and the amazing technology available to us. We also have a cool new dinghy/tender that is hanging securely from the davits (stainless steel posts set at an angle off the back of the arch) and an outboard engine fixed to its own little winch system. The installation of the tender took a bit of tweaking, but it’s a good fit on the davits and we can’t wait to get in and test her in the water!

Once we set out on our travels, we’ll be able to power most of the electrical devices on board (and we do have lots – laptops, chargers for phones and camera batteries) as well as the necessary lights, fridge and navigation systems.

The wiring is being hooked up today and Baz and I are pretty curious to see just how much usable juice these four panels will provide.

Having the tender means that we’ll be able to travel from our mooring/anchorage to shore, dive sites and back to the boat with ease. We’ve ensured the dinghy is large enough for our diving equipment as well as the two of us (and guest/s) and that