Runs 43-44. the wind comes, the wind goes... so do the spray deflectors!!!
Thu, 22 May 08 18:50
We arose early this morning as the miraculous Mr 'M's time was up with us and we had to post him off to the airport. I finally got a great little boat builder down here at the Walvis bay 'coal-face'... and didn't break the boat once! Typical.
Helena and I returned to the slightly emptier container and pushed on with the joblist. Within an hour I was back in the mixing pots doing odd little jobs. We put the newly skinned wing back on Sailrocket and wheeled her into the hangar away from the UV rays. I gave the wing a thorough inspection and she seemed in pretty good shape considering the hard life we have given her to date.
Today marked three more months for us in Namibia on this latest trip. We were due to fly back but chose to stick around until we get some definitive results. We have now done 21 runs with no mishaps. Today was shaping up to be a great day. The newly logo'd Musto tops came back from Gino and the folks at DREAMWORLD in Walvis Bay... and we wear them with pride. The day looked great and we ran around all over the place looking for a good hand to replace Mr 'M' for the days sailing. In the end we were all standing around in drysuits... but couldn't go anywhere as we were too short staffed. As a last ditch effort I called a mate Gary who runs the best bar in town and he put me onto 'Sammy'... short for Samson. It was Samson's day off from running the bar and a couple of weeks earlier we drove a 2000 km round trip to go to Samson's traditional wedding way up in the North near Angola. We had his awesome smiling 'dial' in a drysuit in ten minutes... and we were off to 'speed-spot' once more.
The day just seemed to get better and better. I wanted to set a new best speed and a good 40+ average so that I could call Mr 'M' whilst he waited in the airport for his flight back to the UK. With this in mind I swung VESTAS SAILROCKET out onto the course for the 43rd time. As I rounded up onto the course I noted that she had adopted a rather nose down attitude and was stubbornly refusing to 'pop' up onto the plane. I tried all the tricks but she just mushed along. The spray deflector which hadn't hindered us on lighter days was now acting like a drogue. I had no option but to abandon the run somewhat disheartened. Our spray issues have not been resolved. Fortunately we had only stuck it on with Sika-Flex and I could cut it off with a piece of fine line.
VISIBLY NOSE DOWN ON RUN 43
We took VESTAS SAILROCKET back up to the top of the course but as luck would have it... the wind was dying out. And die out it did. So run 44 went by in a low riding mode... so low in fact that I sailed the good ship all the way across the lagoon to the Yacht Club and parked it on the beach out front.
COMING INTO THE WALVIS BAY YACHT CLUB... PURE AFRICA
Ho-Hum. No joy there. We were a little late onto the water due to being a man down. We should be back up to strength as of Saturday when we will gain another local team member.
Overall the boat and team gets stronger by the day as the detail work gets attended to daily. The spray deflector did work... but it wasn't perfect. We still have it with us... but I will try some side skirts on the forward planing surface next... and a new forward planing surface after that. Let's see what tomorrow brings.