Laid up but not laid-back!

It’s Autumn and it’s lovely to see a murmuration of starlings …. except when they choose to roost en masse on a forest of masts with consequent droppings all over the decks! A yacht like mine is not intended to have poop deck!

A forest of masts

On 17th October Thalmia was lifted out onto Topsham Quay by Trout’s Boatyard. Carefully handled by them and jet washed she was then stripped of sails, halyards, cushions and almost all loose items. She’s now ready for routine servicing and fettling. Last week for example I poured white vinegar into the pump that works the heads (mariners term for the loo!) – the idea is that it will break down the build up of limescale and prevent a blockage! Not something I want to sort out in a tranquil anchorage in a Scottish loch! Also been curing rust (nothing serious!) cleaning, waxing and varnishing. Topsham Quay has again become a regular weekly destination – my winter man shed!

Preparations for next year include fitting an AIS transponder (Automatic Identification System) which will broadcast my position to other vessels and anyone else who wants to know where I am (via an app). Also a diesel heater to warm my toes and dry my clothes (I may have to accept some bad weather along the way!) Thanks to Trout’s Boatyard who tackle the jobs beyond my DIY competence!

At home my planning for the trip proceeds with numerous charts and pilot books which currently cover the dining table (sorry Ruth!). Reading others experiences are making me aware of all the preparations I need to make. It takes some imagination to keep positive with the recent cold wet weather but my levels of enthusiasm grow as I anticipate cruising some of the superb coastline we are blessed with. I’ll post again in the new year to keep you informed of my progress – thank you for following Thalmia and me!

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