Work the problem, People!

I am sorry for the lack of updates but I am sure nobody wishes to read the whining from a grown man aboard his yacht in Portugal. The boat was in a deplorable condition on my arrival on Monday night. Each job the yard did over the winter (and there were many) seemed to leave behind unfinished work. Floorboards displaced, wall panels removed, sink removed (to get to wiring..), spinnaker pole removed from track, and nothing replaced.


In their defense, working on a boat is just like a game of Tetris, always trying to fit the pieces together. There were about 2 dozen black trash bags filled with clothes, sheets, towels, cushions, blankets, foam bed toppers etc…..carefully labeled and placed in the main cabin (where little work was scheduled). But move them they did. Perhaps to follow a wiring run or they were not sure where the big components were located. Whatever. Time to “work the problem, People!” (my favorite line from “Apollo 13” and something my daughters are so sick of hearing). Remembering that this is a Boat, that this is what I pined for all year and that nobody will die on re-entry, I got to it.
So, 3 days later here she is. Floating.

Ahhhhh….Last night, I got more than 3 hours of sleep and with the cool nights here (Yup, cool in southern Portugal, the locals are freezing) it was pure bliss.
A few jobs more to do. I had a complete and thorough rig tuning yesterday (all the wires that hold up the Mast) and the rig looks excellent and strong but unrelated to the rig, while they were at the top of the Mast (65′), they were not able to find a problem with the wind speed/ direction indicator that is not working. The problem is probably electrical someplace at the bottom of the mast or the instrument in the cockpit. I have an electrician hopefully arriving today to help with this vital piece of equipment (on the positive side, our claims of 50 knot gusts can’t be refuted by facts…). Today I am taking on fresh water and scrubbing heads and galley. 2 batteries that died during the winter….should be received and installed this afternoon (critical for large winches and generator start).
First crew arrives today. Mattia from Italy should be here tonight with sister Laurie and Uncle Pete following tomorrow. More about the crew later, time to “work the problem” and get ready for voyaging!

Post Shower Treat. Yes, gelato.



Work the problem, People! — 8 Comments

  1. What an adventure already! Good to hear that you are tackling the issues with such discipline and calm. I hear your father in your narrative….Don’t be in a hurry to set sail!

    • Jocelyn, thanks for the compliment. My Dad sets a great example and I will miss him on this crossing. At 81 he is still here in spirit. Seeing the lights of the North African coast on night watch with my dad beside me ranks as one of my greatest life moments. (Right up there with playing Konsertstuck with a certain scrappy young horn player in high school. One guess who that was!) Warm regards to you, Dan.

  2. HI Dan, So nice to hear that you’re finally back on board, albeit a tad frazzled by the mess. At least we can say that didn’t happen while you were in Gaeta;-) Wish you a marvelous season ahead, and tack once for me if you would, as I’ll still be on the hard for this season I’m afraid. But next year the two ole’ gals will be back on the water after both having done a good deal of maintenance, so when you want to come sailing again in the Med, you don’t need to worry about a boat;-))) Fair winds my friend. Best, Jayne and Aorangi

  3. Oh wow. Glad you could finally get some sleep and some gelato, Dan. And reinforcements are on the way! See you very soon! Love you.

  4. Arghh, what a mess! Another line from “Apollo 13” that comes to mind here is “Houston, we have a problem…!!” Hopefully you’ll get all put back together and won’t need to find a lunar module to scavenge for parts, although I doubt you’d find any ring dings or clevis pins on one of those 😉

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