Our 2002 Hylas 46

Friday, November 10, 2017

Our 2017 / 2018 Winter Sailing Season Starts

Our winter season is now OFFICIALLY under way. We arrived in Antigua on Oct 29th. We had in tow with us 450lbs of baggage. Yup we travel light! As many of you know and helped, we packed up 3 HUGE bins of humanitarian aid for the folks of both Barbuda and Dominica. In the end I have to thank Air Canada for picking up the tab for all the aid bins and then some. Their request process is terribly overburden some and it was 4 weeks of effort but it did pay  off in the end. Upon our arrival even the customs and immigration folks were very appreciative of the efforts that you and we went to in providing aid – thanks Mom for your generous donation!

The number one item after arriving was to check on Ambition and confirm that she made it through one of the very worst hurricane seasons in the Caribbean completely unscathed.  It is almost unbelievable to me that less than 40 miles away on the island of Barbuda (part of Antigua) Hurricane Irma completely devastated the island and its 2000 now homeless inhabitants and in Antigua nothing!. All the residents of Barbuda were evacuated after the hurricane to Antigua and are still living  and going to school here. It will be many many months before they get back to their island. Very sad indeed and the Antiguans feel VERY blessed to have missed the wrath.

For our first 4 days, we stayed in a AIRBNB villa in Jolly Harbour while we prepared Ambition for launch. Our arrival in 85F and humid temperatures is a struggle but still much better than dealing with the cold! We knocked off all the “must do before launch” items in plenty of time and Ambition splashed down on Oct 31st – wow so good to see her back in the water.

Next task was to get all our luggage on board including all the boat parts and project items that we gathered during the summer. Yes as you might have imagined – out came my project plan appropriately titled “Ambition Winter prep 2017”!!!  Once a Project Manager always a project manager!

Race Day!
After 10 LONG days of work our interior project plan is 93% complete and outside we are at 75%. GREAT progress and Maryse has spent hours polishing stainless, fiberglass and cleaning woodwork, treating canvas for waterproofing not to mention getting everything stored in its rightful place onboard.  Best crew ever!

A small stingray swims past at the dock

Retrieving the dinghies from storage!

One job that should have taken me just 15 minutes to complete was the reinstallation of the three blades on the wind generator that makes electricity for free! Well the post that holds the generator is hinged to facilitate the servicing. Blades all attached – all is good … or so I thought! Well about 20 minutes later Maryse yelled that she smelled smoke like an electrical fire on board … this is never a good thing! An all hands or I should say noses try to locate the problem …. nothing found – not good either. Now would be a good time to test the on / off switch for the wind generator – huummm it is warm and doesn’t work????? Kind of answers the electrical smell …. but after I removed the switch – it was melted … another no good sign!!! Turns out that that when I tilted the pole forward, I stripped the insulation off the wire and shorted out the whole system. Well – after 5 hours of shopping for new wire and switches, running the 20 feet of wire through the small spaces and redoing the connections we are now finished with the 15 minute job. This is my life of boat projects!

Smelly melted switch

One of  our major tasks was to prepare the basic work for the installation of our new water maker.  This involves removing all the salon cushions to gain access to the inside of the boat. A couple of pictures of one of our electrical panels to connect the new wiring – thanks Richard! Now the 40 feet of ¾” tubing is run below the floor to connect various parts together!

Electrical panel - a work in progress!

Water maker parts and pieces

tools tools and stuff everywhere
We have reached a point where can now actually drop the dock lines and head out of Jolly Harbour and change our view just a little – not going too far away – just 15 miles around the coast to Falmouth Harbour. Here we will complete the installation of our MAJOR new addition to Ambition – a Spectra water maker – this will allow us to convert salt water to drinking water. What a real luxury to have the ability to be autonomous for fresh water and for washing the salt off the boat. Ambition will be soooo happy!  Thank you ever so much James and Chantal for making this all come together – you are awesome friends. 

Starting to look like a sailboat again!

Even this side looks good! 

1 comment:

  1. Great work guys you must feel good when it's done . Enjoy the fresh water !!