Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Parties, mast-work and food

The preparations continue apace here so yesterday saw Fergus up the mast adding plumbing insulation foam to the aft shrouds (the wires supporting the mast) to stop the mainsail chafing on them when we sail downwind and adding more plumbing supplies (plastic pipe) to the guardrails. "Chafe is your enemy" at sea - a rope touching a stainless steel wire can be damaged in a matter of hours if not protected from wear.

With this in mind we have added a second spinnaker halyard (the rope which hauls the sail to the top of the mast) and will fly the spinnaker with both attached so if one halyard chafes and fails, the Parasailor won't fall into the sea. Also at the mast our replacement mainsail car arrived yesterday and was refitted (with some frustration at the terrible design of the mast gate which is almost impossible to refit without dropping the stainless screws -  at one stage the skipper was heard to shout "Stupid Boat!!" Sorry, Maunie, he meant "Stupid Mast").

The partying continues in between the work. Wednesday night was the 'Masked Ball' which saw quite a range of different fancy dress; some crews clearly have too much time on their hands. On Maunie we had the sewing machine out for other minor jobs so some airline sleep masks were modified:

It was a good evening though Di found that climbing off the boat in her long dress wasn't too easy!

Last night we opted to stay aboard for supper and Fergus produced an excellent tuna and bacon pasta, thereby disproving his previous claims of culinary ineptitude; Helen and the family will be able to look forward to some great cooking from him on his return.

As we write, Rich and Di are heading off to the market for fresh fruit and veg whilst Graham and Fergus are setting about a hatch which leaks in heavy rain. Hopefully by this afternoon we can relax a bit and get prepared, mentally, for the voyage ahead. 

A final bit of news: The boat handicap ratings were announced yesterday. In our division there is a wide range of boat sizes and types so we are each given a handicap rating which adjusts our actual sailing time at the end to produce the final placings. Large boats have a rating of greater than 1 ( a boat with a 1.21 rating, for example, will have its actual time in multiplied by 1.21 to give the corrected time) whilst smaller boats have a rating less than one. The ratings are calculated using a formula which takes into account sail area, boat length, weight and beam. According to this, Maunie will be the slowest boat in our division, with a rating of 0.962. We take this as something of a challenge!

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