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The Sailboat Cruiser ~ Your Monthly Newsletter, Issue #59 for August 2020
August 02, 2020
The Sailboat Cruiser
The Sailboat Cruiser is the free monthly (OK, monthly-ish) newsletter of sailboat-cruising.com and sets out to bring you the news, views and general musings of, well, me - Dick McClary, a sailboat cruiser and creator/owner of sailboat-cruising.com.
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Newsletter #59 - August 2020
What's in This Issue:
Eastern Caribbean , looking as though it had every intention of becoming a full-blown hurricane.
With memories of the destruction to life and property dealt by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, this naturally caused a great deal of anxiety with local residents and the cruising community alike.
Predictably, the more sheltered anchorages along the south coast of Grenada - Prickly Bay, Mount Hartman Bay, Hog Island and Clarkes Court Bay - rapidly filled with cruising yachts.
But Covid-19 restrictions are stll in place in Grenada. As a result, many yachts and their crews are held in quarantine in less protected anchorages, notably outside St Georges Harbour which together with its exposed location and renowned poor holding is definitely not the place to be in a hurricane.
This put the Grenada Government - whose priority lay in proctecting the resident population fron the virus - in something of a quandary; they couldn't demand that these hapless cruisers stay put in such a vulnerable location nor could they allow them ashore until they'd completed their 14 day quarantine period.
The obvious compromise was that they be allowed to move to more sheltered anchorages but to stay aboard their boats and take their chances - hurricane or no hurricane. And that's what happened.
The morning of Friday 24th July saw Gonzalo - still a tropical storm, promising 50knot sustained windspeeds - now barrelling towards Carriacou, a small island to the north of Grenada.
Carriacou has one of the best hurricane holes in the Eastern Caribbean, a well protected mangrove swamp in the northwest corner of Tyrrel Bay and it was to here all wise cruisers migrated burying their bows deep into the mangroves.Gonzalo never made it to a full hurricane, nor did it arrive on land. The following morning it had lost much of its power, swerved south and passed harmlessly between Grenada and Trinidad before fizzling out altogether.
None of the forecast models predicted that.
All this was of more than passing interest to Mary and I of course, with our boat 'Alacazam' laid up ashore in Spice Island Boatyard in Grenada, whilst we run the Covid-19 gauntlet back here in the UK keeping an anxious eye on
NOAA hurricane forecasts.
"You need a 'Knots for Sailors' page".
Conscious of the complexity of the artwork this would involve, and the indolence that comes with advancing age, I'd so far turned a blind ear - or is it a deaf eye - to such proposals.
But with time on my hands during the 14 day UK-based self-isolation period I decided to have a crack at it. And once I realised that the trick was to tie the knot first and take pics during the untying process it all became much more straightforward.
You can see the results of my labours at the somewhat unimaginatively entitled page
After about five minutes or so, the electrician said "Here it is", wriggling a cable connection around which had been perfectly alright when I tested it.
Apparently, due to the vibration of the engine, the connection was doing intermittently what it was supposed to be doing all the time. My old friend Sheldon, the electrician, cut it off.
"Seen these?" said Shelden.
"Yes, lots of them" I replied, somewhat puzzled, as it looked like a perfectly ordinary electrical crimp connector to me.
He made a good job of the connection, crimping it with the proper tool. Then he gave it the heatgun treatment, whereon the plastic covering shrunk tightly around the connection.
For someone like me who normally makes the connection before remembering to slide on a length of heat-shrink tubing, this seemed like a good idea.
"They're Solder/HeatShrink Connectors" explained Sheldon.
"They contain an adhesive sealant which melts round the connection, followed by the contraction of the outer covering which makes the whole thing watertight. No amount of vibration will shake that loose."
I hope he's right I thought, as I made a mental note to get a selection of them for my
Electrical Spares Kit.
With the latter kind we cruisers always use two separate mooring lines to provide back-up if and when one of them chafes through. We don't wait for them to chafe right through of course, but replace one as soon as it shows signs of wear.
On some buoys of this kind, the ring can develop some surface corrosion which is really bad news for your line. Replacing lines on a regular basis is an expensive hobby and best avoided. And here's how...
By splicing a length of chain into the middle of your mooring line.
Cheap and simple to make up, I can't think of one single reason not to have one aboard.
It's very similar, but the Beneteau 57 has several portlights in the hull side and doesn't have a hard dodger.
And the Mystery Boat is a cutter, whilst the Beneteau has a fractional rig.
So I'm going to leave it for another month.
Any other ideas anyone?
If so, please let me know
by clicking here...
But we do have:
Don't forget...If you're thinking of looking at a secondhand sailboat, or just want to be aware of what to look for - and when to walk away no matter what - then you really ought to take a look at my eBook 'How to Avoid Buying the Wrong Sailboat'
Among other items this month, we have:
And finally...If you know anyone who might be interested in the contents of this newsletter, please forward it to them. It's not secret!
And this newsletter can be a two-way thing. If you've read anything you'd like to comment on, or perhaps there's an event you'd like to see announced in a future newsletter, then please let me know.
See you next month!
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