06 May, 2012

Time to fly north again 2012

The leaves are turning a wonderful red and the nights are getting cold so it is time to plan to leave the Southern Hemisphere and return to the summer of the north.  The birds left a few weeks ago but I have to wait because this year is going to be long but late in starting – I'm crossing the Atlantic.

I fly out of Sydney on 3 July via Dubai to Paris France.  Our family always make that distinction of France because we once visited Parys pronounced the same as the one in France but this Parys is on the Vaal River in Northern Free State province of South Africa. It may have a replica of the Eiffel tower and have a river running through it BUT it does not have the vibrant culture, people or surroundings of France.  I will not be returning to Parys but Paris ...yes.

After a few days in Paris I travel by TGV to Arles and then take the bus to Port St Louis du Rhone and Navy Service where Malua has spent the winter.  Hopefully I winterised the boat well and I wont find any freeze burst pipes.  The winter has been cold this year.  A friend had sheet ice round his boat in one of the canals.  The task of getting Malua ready for the Atlantic crossing will start and last about three weeks.

The To-Do list is not dissimilar to last year although I am going to add a few extras pieces of essential/safety equipment.  I started purchasing these items at the start of the year and have now assembled them here or have arrange to have some items sent to France or the UK.

The major items will be discussed over the next few weeks but just to wet your appetite they are: stand alone AIS, wind generator, intelligent regulator, excess voltage heatsink, new osmosis membrane for watermaler, EPIRB, underwater camera and many other items.

Of the major jobs on the To-Do list is to patch up the keel, install the wind generator on a stainless steel pole, anti-foul the bottom , reinstall the Fleming windvane, replace a few parts in the refrigerator/freezer, get the SSB sailmail working and finally secure all the items around the saloon which may fly about under robust sailing conditions.

This work list should keep me busy if the s/s pole can be made according to my design but one knows the French tradesmen – “I am too busy to take on more work.”  but I have been waiting four months for you to complete my job!  “Sorry come back in a month”.  It has started already but I cant wait to get back on the boat.

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