7 Dec 2018

7 December 2018 - St Anne, Martinique

The trials and tribulations continue apace. We are now trying to get our SSB radio to work properly as it appears to be receiving, but not  transmitting. Investigation and Debra researching on the internet has pointed us in the direction of the automatic tuner. We checked the connections and tested the voltage this afternoon, and it would appear that we have a voltage drop between the control unit and the tuner. It may be that the cable that was used (not the proper one) has caused the loss, and this will be our first  modification. We should hear the tuner clicking when we change frequency but this is not happening. This may mean that the (expensive) tuner needs replacing. We're not happy bunnies, to say the least, but we do need the SSB to send and receive emails from you all!

We have been reflecting on the season so far. All we seem to have done is repair the boat and our equipment, and buy provisions for our odyssey. So much work has to go into stocking up our stores and inventorising each storage space so that we know what we have available. Where we are in Martinique we have a few miles of bouncing dinghy ride each way to get supplies from the supermarche and I especially get rather wet on the return journey. That said, we are enjoying the fresh bread and pastries on offer in the boulangerie!

This weekend we are determined to relax and somehow enjoy ourselves. Normally, we would go for a decent walk somewhere, but Debra's toes are still not fully  healed and so that won't be an option but a wander around St Anne is always pleasant.

We might spend the time writing more of book two (23500 words so far).

We had a stowaway on our sail over from St Lucia in the form of a Gecko. Our plan was to capture him in a box and release him into the wilds of Martinique (hoping he could speak Gecko-ese with a French accent!) but we've not been able to find him again. Can they swim? Fly? Was he washed overboard on passage? Or is he in hiding, waiting to crawl inside at some point?!!!

We invested in a manual twintub washing machine last week, (two big buckets large enough to stamp around in, rather like treading grapes, one for washing clothes, one for rinsing), and it was used in anger this week. Very successful as it happens, maybe we should patent it! Good exercise too!!

Hopefully, next week will be easier on the pocket, but we're not holding our breath. The local SSB radio agent returns from France on Wednesday and will hopefully diagnose the problem. The solar panels appear to be doing a good job, something positive to end on!