Back on the water

Published on 11 February 2024 at 14:28

We're back in the water! 


The boat was lifted on Wednesday lunchtime, we soon identified some loose GRP around the outside of the upper rudder bearing. The boatyard were amazingly efficient, by early Thursday morning they had cleaned the whole hull, partially dropped the rudder to give access to this particular area, and ground back the loose material to confirm this was not a structural issue but was probably the cause of the leak. By the end of Thursday they had repaired it, and on Friday lunchtime we were relaunched. Happily the leak seems to have been cured, so far (and touching wood!). 


And we have finally been able to source a suitable replacement controller for the solar panels (a much less efficientprocess - it'staken weeks!!), and install and programme that so our solar panels are finally working again. They haven't been so critical whilst we have been regularly visiting marinas where we can connect to shore power - but crucial for longer distances to ensure we have power for navigation instruments and the autohelm, and the water maker, winches, bow thruster as well as domestic things like the fridge and freezer. We could use the generator- but without solar would have to run it 7-8 hours a day which is not good!


We've also been able to replace a troublesome seacock


So we have a watertight boat, with working solar panels and a very clean bottom so we're finally ready to go again, and keen to get offshore asap


Today has been all about provisioning- the fridge and freezer don't work whilst the boat is out of the water so we had had to transfer everything (and there is a lot!) to an airbnb, and now transfer it back again. And we had to shop to ensure our stocks of everything are high - the latest briefing said that as we sail out of Panama the boat will be sailing out of the last civilization it will see until it reaches Australia. A slight exaggeration I am sure, but not too far from the truth. Certainly we would find it a lot more difficult if we needed the type of work we've just had done anywhere between here and Australia, and we won't see any more big cities or supermarkets (except possibly Galapagos) - we will be very much more on our own from this point onwards.


Tomorrow we have to clear customs (quite bureaucratic to both enter and leave each different country) then we will hopefully be sailing to Las Perlas. They are actually still part of Panama but without customs so we are allowed to clear customs then still visit them as long as we don't come back to the mainland again. 


Can't wait to get the sails up again!!





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Mark Kirby
4 months ago

Glad you have that troublesome seacock fixed and a clean bottom Bill. Godspeed!

4 months ago

Hopefully that’s the end of your leaking problems. There are places to provision in Galapagos - there is a whole fleet of boats taking tourists around and I was amazed at how much stuff came on board as they provisioned our boat for the following week on our last night.

4 months ago

Wow. Just caught up with everything. Although unplanned I am sure the stay in a “proper” bed was welcome. Glad that the leak is all fixed and I am sure when reprovisioning you managed to fill the black book correctly. Good luck on your next stage x x

Sarah Barnes
4 months ago

Blimey, that ring bit sure looked well damaged! So chuffed you’re back in the water and moving on! Where is the main fleet now compared to your position? Looks like you managed to relieve your stresses with wine and gin :) Happy, safe sailing xx