21 Jan 2015

[Captains Blog] Le Marin, Martinique

Back in Le Marin (having shoe-horned Tumi in reverse into a tiny space in between mooring buoys, yet again), we have been focusing on getting the new solar panels fitted and sorting out some of the running rigging. Since we got Tumi, we have had a single continuous line system for the main sheet. This means that we can alter the main sheet from either side of the cockpit as long as one of the cam cleats are locked off. In reality, we only ever used the line from the starboard side, and so what use was the port side line? Nothing! I decided to cut it down to a single side use, and so I got a spare line from the sail locker (bought at a boat jumble in Newton Abbot several years ago and never used to date) and put a tow end on it so I could pull it through the pulleys behind the line I was taking out. Plenty of spare, and bingo, we had a long line to use elsewhere. But where? We have been planning to have a "Wingaker" sail for a while, and that would need a halyard to haul it up to the top of the mast. Well, we measured the old mainsheet and it would just work, so I recycled the blocks (pulleys) that were now obsolete from the port side mainsheet and used one for the Wingaker halyard. That meant me going up to the top of the mast this afternoon, but hey ho, we have electric winches. Sadly, I think my bulk was too much for the winch to deal with and the circuit tripped which left Debra winching by hand. Eventually I got to the top of the mast and pulled the new halyard up from below, fed inside the mast and back down again. We now have everything in place to launch the Wingaker once we get around to ordering one.

Where was I? Oh yes, the solar panels should have been fitted today. However, this is the Caribbean, and no, they weren't. Kashmir, the guy who was supposed to fit them had some difficulty garnering the right diameter steel for the job and had to travel quite a way to find some, which (despite having been given a month's notice) meant that the job wasn't done. We have to leave the marina tomorrow, and so we have booked to come back to the marina on Monday for 3 days to get the job done (at Kashmir's expense, I hasten to add). We had removed the wind generator in preparation for it being welded onto the new arch, so that has had to be reattached to Tumi to give us some extra amps when we are at anchor over the next few days. It does give us a chance to explore the island now, so we will be hiring a car to see the sights, and also do some biking to a beach that appeals to us as well. Every cloud has its silver lining....