Friday, July 09, 2010

Friday, 9th July

'Ladybird' at Torquay

This was a very good day for maintenance on ‘Ladybird’. The morning here at Torquay was very quiet which meant I could do things like repairing the batten pocket of the mainsail, mending the chemical toilet ratchet, strengthening the lower washboard and general things such as charging the ship’s battery, bailing out rainwater that found its way into the stern locker, drying out my wet weather gear. After those things had been done I shopped for a few snack items for when I’m underway.

While I was working on the boat, the owner of a large motor yacht invited me aboard his vessel for a coffee. The name of his yacht is ‘Kanaloa’. She’s extremely smart, and her owner takes pride in her appearance. Prior to introducing himself he had been polishing the stainless steel pulpit and guardrails. The interior of his floating palace was having a ‘deep clean’, not that it needed to be done, because she was immaculate. The coffee was equally superb, made with a machine which the owner said had been more difficult to master than the yacht!

We talked about handling such a large vessel in windy conditions and the manoeuvre of picking up a mooring buoy. Coming alongside a pontoon is not easy when the wind is blowing hard. The draught of the vessel is 4 feet; she’s over 40 feet long and she has a lot of top-hamper. Sometimes the bowthruster has to be used. Her cruising speed is 28 knots, but the ‘driver’ has to be on the lookout for ‘holes’ in the water. She runs off diesel and her twin engines have tanks which when filled to capacity, require the expenditure of £700 by her owner. One person can manage her, except when coming alongside a pontoon when the wind is blowing strongly.

As usual, when I’m in port, I shall go for a walk this evening.

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