These are the voyages of the sailing vessel Pétillant. Her original eight-month mission: to sail from Baltimore to France via Florida and the Bahamas, to successfully navigate the shoals of the French douane, to boldly go where few Maine Coon cats have gone before was completed in 2008. Now she is berthed in Port Medoc and sails costal Spain, France, and the UK during the summer months.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another Day in St. Georges Harbour

Well, this is starting to get old, waiting here with the wind blowing. Our latest info from Jeanneau is that the entire quadrant will not ship until the end of this week, or maybe even early next week. And the word from France is that there is a major trucking strike in progress, shutting down transport of gas and diesel. So we don’t know when we will get this very important part.

We have otherwise been productive, making water, changing fuel filters, and getting all ready for installation of the quadrant. The canvas is all repaired. We discovered some stripped threads in the vent valve for the Racor filter that feeds the main engine, so we have ordered a new one from Defender. They responded quickly to the request, but have taken a day to pick the item off the shelf and pack it, so it is still sitting in Ct., when it should be on a plane on its way to Bermuda. We could probably do without the Racor, but it would not be wise to leave with a filter housing that had a potentially significant leakage path (some training from a former career is influential here). We have also determined that the Raymarine navigation equipment on board is indeed putting out GPS navigational information on the NMEA output connections, so it SHOULD be possible to see these on the VHF and SSB radios. The next part of this task is to make sure we have the correct wires identified, and also to find out what NMEA sentences the radios expect to see. And to push the right button combinations on the radio to see if it needs this "push" to see the GPS info. The work to make the boat work never stops…

We have been having cine evenings here on board. Before we left WV, we recorded a number of films that the local PBS stations broadcast, and we have been enjoying them. First up was “High Noon”, and then last night we watched “Hairspray”, the one by John Waters done in Baltimore. Highly appreciated. We thing we may progress to dominoes tonight. I don’t know when we will get back to SG1, but we have discovered a number of Stargates on Bermuda, and they are in some of the photos on Flickr.

Dinner last night was Breton galettes de sarasin, with oeuf, jambon, et fromage, and simple galettes with butter and sugar for desert. We even have some movies of crewmembers making the galettes. We made enough for dinner last night and breakfast this AM, and were mightily satisfied. We had some nice English scrumpy to accompany them, instead of the traditional cider, but it all went together well.

The weather continues to be unpleasant, blowing out of the SW at 20-25 with gusts to 35. It makes a LOT of electricity, so that we only run the gen-set to heat our hot water, but it is getting tiring. A high is supposed to move in tomorrow and get things settled down a bit. We have seen a few boats leave from the ARC rally, but we don’t know where they are headed – surely not to the NW. The cruise ship also left this morning, with help from a tug to get off the pier.

The weather situation has also affected our internet connectivity. The best signal, with the highest speed, is pretty weak, and when the boat moves a lot, the antenna loses sight of it, or something gets in the way. This is why I haven’t uploaded more photos yet – the connection times out. There is one much stronger signal coming from Bermuda Yacht Services, but the speed is quite slow – they likely have a LOT of people hooked in. And they occasionally won’t accept our connections. We have just found a third AP, which is stronger than #1, so we have some diversity, in case things get really nasty. It is amazing how dependent we are on this technology – before it existed I guess we would all just sit on the pier and wait for the mail boat to come in with letters. And parts would be a REALLY long wait…

We are hoping for better weather this weekend, if only so that a LOT of boats that are here would LEAVE, and we would then have been internet connections….

We will set off the SPOT device later today so that you can see right where we are anchored. We think we will start doing this each day, so that this page does not appear blank. The SPOT shared page evidently drops all position reports that are more than 24 hours old, although they are still available to the subscriber.

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