Arrival... We're here, but not 'there' yet!
Tue, 25 Sep 12 18:17
Here I come live from Container Base 1 at the Walvis Bay Yacht Club, Namibia.
We collected a heap of parts on our way to the airport including the new rudder from FORMAPLEX (thanks again guys. Class). Simon from COSWORTH dropped off our new improved wiring loom at Heathrow with minutes to spare. He's done it so often that I don't get worried about it anymore. The point is that he does it.
It's always a little hectic just getting to this stage and it doesn't seem to stop once we are here.
We arrived at the desolation of Walvis Bay Airport actually slightly impressed by the new depths plumbed by airline food. Still, we arrived and for me that's more than 99% of what I hope for from air travel. The magic of modern air travel is far from lost on me. But anyway.... it's Rockets we are here for.
First stop was The Raft which is my favourite bar in the world. Great staff, great cold cheap beer, great friends, great food and great floor to ceiling African sunset views out across one of the greatest speed sailing courses on the planet. What's not to like?
It has been around 10 months since we were last here so there was lots to catch up on. It was always going to end up messy whether we liked it or not. yep, it was great to be back.
The next day started around 11... with lots of coffee. We re-grouped after ending up spread around town and began attacking the Container and working from the outside in. In general everything was exactly how we left it. Despite all our efforts to prevent corrosion, Walvis weather had woven its magic wherever possible into every little joint, paint chip or connection it could. It really was a pleasure to start the process of rebuilding the base again. After spending so long in a world of theories and concepts, now we are back to the real hands on stuff.
MEMORIES FROM THE END OF THE LAST SESSION. THAT WAS A BIT BRUTAL... BUT NECESSARY. THAT THIN WHITE LINE ON THE HORIZON TO THE LEFT OF THE CONTAINER IS MADE UP OF FLAMINGOES. AFTER 5 YEARS THEY HAVE FINALLY RETURNED ENMASS.
HERE SHE COMES. GENTLY, GENTLY.
THANKS TO WALLY FOR THE HELPING HAND... GOOD TO SEE A MAN WHO STICKS BY THOSE HE DESTROYS THE NIGHT BEFORE!
So we spent a large part of the day soaking everything in WD-40 and seeing what we could save and what we couldn't. There was a bunch of random items that needed sorting and testing so that we could compile a list to send back to Helena in the UK so she could chase spares. As mentioned, overall everything was pretty good.
It was Sunday so there wasn't much we could get sorted so we retired back to the hospitality of Wally's pad and a lovely home cooked meal.
Monday morning started with a full scale re-enactment of what my head felt like the previous morning i.e. a train crash! A train loaded with Sulphuric Acid ran through the barriers, across the road and nearly onto the beach in front of the yacht club.
LET ME TELL YOU... THERE'S NO TRACKS THERE!!!
So we got on with getting phones, internet, cars etc. sorted... but still no luck with the house yet. Things have changed a lot in the past five years in this little town. It's getting busy... and expensive.
We put the beam onto the fuselage and moused out all the lines. This boat is a weapon. I can't wait to push her that little bit harder again. She'll do the business.
Our new foils are being put together back in the UK and I really appreciate the effort that Dan Emuss is putting into them. They may take a little longer to get ready but I'm sure they will be right. the next hard bit will be getting then down here quickly. Of course they will weigh just over the maximum airline handling limit of 32 kg. We were hoping to check them in as sports equipment but could have one of those shocker, stand-off moments at Heathrow baggage check-in. We need a plan 'B' on that one. If they are under 32 kg then we are fine. trouble is that you don't want to scrimp on the packaging for such an important item... I don't care how bomb-proof it is.
So whilst we are down here, many people are still running around all over the UK and even in the States trying to get things sent to us for our first runs. We're here but we aren't there yet. 'There' being speed-spot only 500 meters away. Mother nature is holding the cards time-wise and every day is valuable to us. There is a couple of real windy days expected soon so we won't get the wing set up just yet.
Yeah, it's great to be back. We like it here.
Thanks to all of you who have helped speed things along. It's appreciated.