Pandora’s final leg home

It’s Saturday morning and I am here in MD visiting our son Rob and his family.  Did I mention that we have a granddaughter?  “Yes Bob, we know she’s completely and so totally cute and very intelligent.”  So pleased that you have all been paying attention.

Anyway, we’re here for a few days and then I head to Hampton VA to meet up with crew to prepare for our run home.  When I arrive Pandora will be hauled for much of the remainder of the summer.  It’s not hard to find a spot for her in the yard as everybody else is in the water enjoying the summer weather.  I’ll confess that I get quizzical looks from many folks as Pandora comes OUT of the water but those looks quickly turn to something entirely different once they learn about where we’ve been and what’s on the horizon next winter, wherever Pandora takes us.

Oh yeah, I should update you on the boom vang and water in the fuel tanks.   As you recall, the vang failed about a day outside of Hampton and it’s now fixed.   It needed to have the seals rebuilt and also had developed a leak that let the 500lbs of nitrogen leak out.  Nope, I didn’t realize that vangs had nitrogen in them either.  Now I do.

The fuel tanks have been cleaned too and I was told that there was about a gallon of water in one tank but now it’s gone.  Wasn’t that easy?  No word as to whether it was salt or fresh.  I did replace the O rings on all deck plates and they looked fine so I am guessing that I picked up water somewhere when I took on fuel, I think prior to departure in NC last winter.  I am certain that the fuel I got in St Martin, on the Dutch side (remember, eat on the French side, and shop on the Dutch side) was fine.

Oh yeah, I also have a, sort of, new chart plotter to replace the one that crapped out a day outside of Tortola.  I couldn’t get it repaired as Raymarine no longer supports the unit.  Fortunately, I was able to fine a nearly new unit that came off of a boat that was upgrading it’s entire electronics suite.  I am hopeful that it will be a simple “plug and play” when I install it.  And, all of that is just what “broke” on my way north.  We won’t talk about the AIS, windlass, sail repairs and SSB “issues” that cropped up over the winter.  I guess that’s what “miniyaching” is all about, right?  You know the whole “cruising is boat repair in exotic places” thing. I can only imagine what sorts of things break aboard the big guys.

And speaking of the the megayacts and the Caribbean, I found this great video of Ranger, one of the classic J yachts that we saw in Antigua.  It’s a sales video, filmed in Antigua, gives a pretty thorough tour of the yacht.   It is notoriously difficult to get down below tours of these vessels so it’s always a treat when one comes on the market and she’s “open” for viewing.  She’s a beauty, that’s for sure.And, speaking of the big Js, 6 of them competed in Bermuda recently and plan to race together regularly going forward.  This video is an impressive view of them when they recently connected for racing in Bermuda.I hope to see these remarkable yachts in Newport later in the summer when a record of 7 are expected to compete. Bermuda drew 6 of them for competition, including the newest member of the family SVEA, just launched at Vitters in the Netherlands in May.

My friend Rodney is about to close on the purchase of an MJM powerboat so perhaps I can twist his arm to bring her up to Newport.  A boat that’s capable of 28kts will surely be able to keep up with the action way better than Pandora.  I think this link is the design that he’s getting.  It’s clear to me that that this would be  a “proper” platform for viewing a classic J regatta.  Right?  Rodney? Are you listening?  Get out your calendar.  I’ll bring the rum, imported from the exotic Caribbean, of course. I promise.

In the mean time, I am looking forward to the final leg of my 2016-17 season and our final leg back home with Pandora.


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