Friday, March 24, 2006

Miggy takes to the air

No Miggy has not defected from sailing to flying, she has become a radio star!!. Those who can receive BBC Radio Solent 96.1 FM (also available on the BBC website) and get up earlyish may have heard her talking to Julian Clegg at o650 on the 14th of March about the planning of our trip. She is going to be a regular 'Sea Dog' on the program talking to Julian by phone from wherever we are about the joys of our voyage to the Mediterranean. Her next scheduled appearance is at 0650 on the 5th of April - the day before we set off!!. The one after is on the 22nd of April.

Miggy retired from work yesterday after 32 years service as a Nurse. She was given a good send off by most of Christchurch Hospital and is looking forward to a life of leisure although is somewhat sad about leaving her colleagues and patients.

The starter motor has been repaired at great (unexpected) expense - how unlucky can you get! Less beers in Cherbourg.

Warranty repair work has just been completed by Sea Ventures, the local Jeanneau agent, 8 months after delivery of the boat. I make no further comment.

We are now loading final bits and pieces on the boat. How it fits in we have no idea. We are taking very little food as we hope to buy fresh produce from local markets on our way down the coast. Imagine hot fresh bread every (or nearly every) morning.

We have not eaten out so much in so short a period. Friends are kind enough to have us to supper and family are visiting or being visited to say adieu for the time being. We went to see Neal's family in Kent a couple of Sunday's ago, Miggy's second cousin, Marion, in York last weekend, Susie and Johnny last Monday, David and Betsy, Miggy's Mum and Dad, are coming to see us this weekend and Beryl and Gerry, Neal's stepmum, are visiting the Sunday before we leave. It's great to see them all but we have to reassure them that these are not final goodbyes but that we are merely going on a long holiday where we can be in touch through all the modern gismos.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bella was hauled out of the water on the 27th of February and during the following week we had perfect weather, if not a bit cold, for antifouling her bottom and polishing her topsides. That was a success. The disasters started on her being relaunched on the 6th of March. Firstly we noted that there was a leak through one of the bolts securing the sacrificial anode to the hull. She therefore had to be hauled out of the water again on the 8th of March to cure the leak by applying more sealant. As the anode had to be removed from the hull we took the opportunity of fitting a new one. On the way from our berth in the Marina to the hoist, a distance of about 200 metres Neal noticed smoke coming from below. A glance into the engine compartment revealed a fire at the bottom of the engine which he had to put out with a dry powder fire extinguisher. They make a hell of a mess. An Engineer was called who diagnosed that the starter motor had burned out due to the fact that the ignition key had been wedged in the 'start' position by another key on the bunch. The Engineer had only experienced this situation twice in his long career - How unlucky can you get?? A new starter motor will be fitted in the near future.

Otherwise all is well and things are on target for our 6th of April departure. Miggy now has the final decision to make about the clothes she is going to take to match her wardrobe to the available amount of storage which is not much!

Arrangements are in hand for a party aat the Royal Lymington Yacht Club to mark Neal's 60th birthday and our departure. We have forty eight friends coming all of whom have had a marked influence on our lives for the pst twenty odd years here in Lymington. Neal has been told to be relatively sober when he delivers a speech to the assembled company!

We have a busy time in the weeks ahead before we leave visiting or being visited by family and dining out with friends and family. Miggy is looking forward immensely to retiring from work on
the 23rd of March although she is sad about no longer caring for her patients.

We will write again at or about the time of our departure.