Pandora’s snug in West End Tortola

It’s Thursday afternoon and I am here in MD with Brenda visiting our son Rob, Kandice and grandaughter Tori for a few days.

I have spent a good part of the morning tracking down some repair parts for Pandora including the pin for the autopilot that broke on the trip down from Beaufort.  I understand that this part, a pin that attaches the autopilot to the rudder post, has been a problem on Pandora since she was launched and that it has been replaced about every 18 months.  I won’t go into the details yet except that I think that I can modify the installation so that there will be less stress on that part going forward.   In any event, I was able to purchase two spares from Raymarine so that’s off of my list for now.

I also spoke to the folks from Quantum and they will be sending me some adhesive backed sailcloth to make a temporary repair to the rip in the main.  I’ll take it to their loft in Annapolis in the spring to have it repaired properly.

Finally, I also need to replace the control lines on the traveler as they frayed. There is a particular spot where the line enters the traveler from the turning block that isn’t perfectly lined up with the entry to the traveler so it rubs.  With the rough conditions we encountered that certainly caused the lines to fray sooner than normal.

It’s remarkable just how much wear and tear we ran into during the week we spent moving Pandora to the islands.  My friend Chris once told me that one year of living aboard causes as much wear and tear on a boat as ten years of weekend sailing.  I believe it.   And, 1,200 miles in a week, half in a gale, is bound to stress things.

If you have ever been in large seas, I expect that have tried to take videos to document the conditions.    A sort of “wow, you should have seen HOW BIG thes waves were” only to find, as I did that the shots just don’t do justice to what you experienced and have found yourself thinking “well, I guess you had to be there”.

In any event, here’s a short video of Jerry at the helm as we blasted along in gale force winds.  Believe me, the waves were way over our heads but this video just doesn’t do justice the just how uncomfortable we were for the four days of strong winds and big seas.   Actually, this wasn’t the worse of it as we didn’t even try to take shots when conditions were at their peak.Happily, that’s over now and I am happy to say that Pandora’s now safe and sound in West End Tortola where it’s a lot less exciting.   She’ll be there all by her lonesome through the end of the month under the watchful eyes of some friends. The view to the west at sunset is spectacular.  Please forgive the non-level skyline. Must have been the Dark and Stormy.  Our grand finale of a week of cruising with my crew was a visit to Foxy’s the famous beach bar on nearby Jost Van Dyke.  The island is very quaint with a lovely “Main Street”.  And a lovely church on the waterfront.  Or course, a beautiful view of Pandora from our table at Foxy’s where we had lunch.   Actually, I had some sort of chicken burrito thingy that was my best meal of the week. Jerry had already flown home so it was Jim, me and Dave for a “family” shot. All and all, it was a good trip with great crew but I am really happy to be with Brenda again.  When we get back to Pandora at the end of the month, Brenda and I will be going to a Salty Dawg Sailing Association dinner at Foxy’s.   That will be fun but for now Pandora will be waiting for us all snug in Soper’s Hole, West End.

I can’t wait to see what Pandora will show us this winter.

Yet again, details to come so stay tuned.  And, of course, I’ll be keeping my Delorme unit engaged so you will be able to follow our travels if you wish at “Where in the world is Pandora“.

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