Saturday, 7 November 2015

Richards Bay Day 6

Hi everyone,
Our first week in South Africa has been exciting and busy.  The former has been to do with southerly busters and broken marinas, but also to do with just being in Africa.  The latter has been to do with getting boat jobs done.

On Wednesday and Thursday the marina jetty was hauled back into its correct location, new mooring chains fitted and the walkway reassembled.  The SA Police did the diving work.

Concertina'd jetty before the move
Hawser from jetty to tug (view from Zen Again)
Jetty back "on station"
Divers preparing to refloat sunken walkway section
A number of boats suffered scratching and gouging.  Considering the situation we all got off lightly - it could have been so much worse.

The marina is now more-or-less back to normal.  One wonders whether any further work on the marina will be carried out.  With the urgency now removed I suspect any work done will be in very slow time.

Meanwhile we've been busy on Zen Again working through our to-do list.  We prefer to do the boat work before touring ashore since that allows time for dealing with "gotchas".  Here's what we've been up to.

  • Electrical:
    • Unsuccessfully attempted to service autopilot rams - needs a work bench
    • Arranged for local Raymarine agent to service the autopilot rams
    • Confirmed Raymarine E85001 NMEA/SeaTalk1 Interface destroyed by lightning
    • Rewired SeaTalk1 and NMEA systems using autopilot as SeaTalk/NMEA translator
  • Engine:
    • Serviced engine (oil, oil filter, fuel filters and fresh water coolant)
    • Replaced engine heat exchanger to vented loop to exhaust mixer hoses with helisteel
    • Extracted lost impeller fins from hose between raw water pump and heat exchanger
    • Filled diesel tanks
  • General:
    • Gave the boat a good clean and airing - on deck, below deck and cockpit lockers
    • Checked the cabin bilge which was dry and dusty
    • Filled water tanks
  • Domestic:
    • Full audit of foodstuffs followed by minor restocking at Richards Bay's excellent mall
    • Laundry
    • Baked a Christmas Cake!
Using the autopilot course computer hasn't fully restored our SeaTalk1 / NMEA bridging but we've got most of what we had previously.  The autopilot accepts and displays SeaTalk1 data from our ST40 log/depth instrument, but does not appear to translate it to NMEA.  So we are not seeing boatspeed, depth etc on our WiFi NMEA network.  More importantly though, the autopilots are seeing NMEA data from the GPS so can display position, COG, SOG etc.

We are finding Richards Bay has most services needed by yachties.  There is a chandlery near the Zululand Yacht Club.  The light industrial area has a wide range of services and supplies available.  The Boardwalk shopping mall has good supermarkets and a wide array of retail shops.  We even managed to swap our SodaStream cartridges!

We have visited Zululand Yacht Club twice so far.  It is a very nice club with very cheap drinks and even cheaper (and good) food.  One of our visits was for a talk on sailing from Richards Bay to Cape Town.  Very good talk which confirmed our previous research and gave a few extra tips.  The World ARC fleet is arriving at ZYC right now so I expect the club will be busy.

With most boat jobs completed we will soon be heading off "on safari".  We'll be spending a few days at Hulhluwe-Imfolosi park and then a couple of days on a tour of several historic battlefields here in KwaZulu Natal province.

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