Together we’ve done the final touches to the edna and now she sails like a dream. Its taken two months longer than expected, probably cost close to double what I thought I would spend but it’s been a brilliant experience and I’m sure its all going to be worth it in the long run. The boat will change our business, already the new opportunities are becoming clear to us.
Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been out sailing back and forwards to Caberaciera, trying things out and making adjustments. The first thing we had to do was load sacks with about 400kg of sand into the hull to bring the boat down in the water about a foot. The new sail looks great and performs well although we are having problems hoisting the sal de mar high enough up the mast so we can shift it from one side to the other when tacking. I hope to fix this with another pulley that I’m getting made to help with the lift.
I’ve learned quite a bit about ropes, particularly where not to buy them from. Pulleys I already knew a bit about from my early days as a fitter and so I was pretty pleased to be able to get a system knocked up from the same old ironwood roof beams the rudder and part of the keel came from. I worked out my lifting needs, took a few photos of old pulley blocks in the museum and asked Babalee the boat builder to reproduce them, and sure enough, five days later there they were. Admittedly a little bit rough looking but perfectly functional and in their way really quite attractive.
Getting a backup motor has been a bit of a headache and I’m still not sure whether its better to buy a new Mercury 40hp that’s available here or wait till I can drive up from South Africa with a new Yamaha 60hp. The biggest problem people have up here is with the fuel, which somehow always manages to be contaminated with water and dirt. The Mercury has the advantage of being fitted with tried and trusted carburetors, whereas the Yamahas all come with the more sophisticated EFI system
We still haven’t been out on the open see in the Edna, either because we’ve been too busy working or because the wind’s been too strong to go out there in a boat we are still coming to terms with. Abdul the marinheiro is doing a good job of handling the Edna in rough conditions but Ayuba who is meant to be the cook and everything else food and drinks has decided he’s not cut out for a life at sea, so I’m not sure how that will work out.