Sunday, June 10, 2007

June 9, 2007 - Pacific Crossing, Day 7

Yesterday afternoon, I lazed in the cockpit reading and watching the laundry dry on the lifelines, as the setting sun turned the water into a sheet of crumpled tinfoil, thinking 'this is not a bad life.'

Yesterday was laundry day aboard Mata'irea. While I did several loads in the tub, Sten worked on some additional upgrades to our SSB installation. Of course, the shower drain pump chose the worst possible time to flake out, as I filled and drained the tub over a dozen times. So every few minutes I would interrupt Sten's project with "Honey, could you work the pump?" and he would stick his head into the engine room and do some magic to get the balky thing to drain the tub, one more time.

In between all of my interruptions, he installed a piece of tinfoil, paralleling an existing ground wire, between the ground stud on the SSB and the copper foil glassed into the hull. Today, he ran a piece of tinfoil between the antenna tuner and the copper ground grid. He also noticed that there were low, medium and high settings on the SSB. We're not sure what setting we were using before, but we have it set at high now. Yesterday, he also hooked up the secondary GPS antenna to the VHF and today he hooked it up to the Pactor modem. He needs a part that we don't have on board to complete the hookup to the SSB.

We're so far from any of the sailmail stations (the closest is Panama - over 1500 miles away) that we're taking a long time (up to 30 minutes) to receive and send messages each day. The slow connection is what has inspired Sten to modify our setup. We're only allotted 90 minutes per week of connection time. So if you don't hear from us for a day or two, don't panic.

This morning Sten was checking the running rigging for chafe and noticed the pin connecting the whisker pole to the pole lift car on the front of the mast was just about to fall out. Somewhere along the way we lost the circle clip that keeps the top of the pin from sliding down. If the pin had fallen out, we surely would have suffered some damage from the pole slamming about. He repaired it by twisting locking wire into the groove around the top of the pin.

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