The Vilisar Times

The life and times of Ronald and Kathleen and our voyages aboard S/V Vilisar, a 34.5-foot wooden Wm-Atkin-designed sailing cutter launched in Victoria, BC, Canada, in 1974. Since we moved aboard in 2001 Vilisar has been to Alaska, British Columbia, California, Mexico, The Galapagos and mainland Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Isla Taboga, Panamá, 03 July 2009

Things have been quiet after the excitement of last week: the minor shipwreck; and the weekend storm. Kathleen has picked up some more proofreading work and I have completed small jobs on the boat prior to being hauled out tomorrow at Balboa Yacht Club. We have had a lot of rain but no more wind.

Alex comes over once in a while. Yesterday, he suggested that we replace the seizing wire at the outer tips of the spreaders with heavier wire. “It was done completely right, but the seizing wire is probably too light. If it chafes through and the upper shroud slips off the end of the spreader, your mast will lose a lot of support just when you will most need it.” Within the hour, we had the boson’s chair rigged and an extension cord rigged for the electric drill (it is no longer battery-operated; I now attach it straight to the battery terminals: it works fine). Super fit, Alex goes up the mast like a monkey and in twenty minutes he has drilled a new hole on either tip and re-seized the shrouds to the spreaders with heavy-duty, high-tensile galvanised wire. He checks over the fittings that we used to install the forestays a few weeks ago. Everything fine.

Word has gotten around about our episode on the rocks. Cruisers pick up gossip like cats pick up fleas. My first reaction is to feel embarrassed. But now my attitude is that it happened; it can happen to anyone (there are two kinds of cruisers: those who have run aground and those who have not yet run aground); we were lucky to have relatively little damage (the weather and surf conditions were benevolent); Vilisar is a damned stout boat; I (re-)learned a couple of lessons (never trust anybody’s buoy and/ or test it hard before you leave the boat); we are not taking any water and we know pretty much what the problems are to be addressed (the port water tank needs re-setting and perhaps re-sealing; the tiller has already been replaced, and we will haul out for an inspection and repairs tomorrow; and finally, if we get everything tickied up, we still intend to sail to Polynesia. The sooner the better. ¡Ahora o nunca! With a little bit of luck we should be out of here by the end of next week.


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