The day seemed to start well, when Alexis came by and said that the boat behind me, a blue 70+ footer with an American flag, was going to do a day tour of the island and asked if I would be interested in joining them. I agreed and he went to ask them if I could come along on the tour; coming back a couple of minutes later with an affirmative response and then heading back to their boat so that I could get ready. I did, changing shirts and putting on some deodorant then packing the backpack with camera and some water and closing up all the hatches (the cabin started heating up almost immediately), then Alexis came back with an empty panga and told me that 2 were for and 2 against me coming along so we cancelled that day trip and I opened up the boat again and made some real breakfast.
I worked for a bit on my dinghy, where the one-way valve that is used to drain water from the dinghy when it is moving at speed had turned into a 2-way valve with no means of shutting it off. An external part had broken and fell off while I was trying to jury-rig a temporary solution, so I ended up using a screwdriver to take off the whole assembly, from the outside and inside while the dinghy was taking on a lot of water. The main flotation of the dinghy is in the inflatable floats, not the hull, so I wasn't worried about the dinghy sinking but there was a lot of water in there by the time I'd finished. I had a wooden dowel to plug the hole with, taken from my emergency plugging bag, and drove around the anchorage in order to get the more than 100 litres of water out of the dinghy and when it was dry I plugged the hole; but unfortunately my dowel was a just a fraction too small. I had a plastic bag along and wrapped that around the dowel for a tight fit and soon had a workable temporary solution completed and a dry dinghy.
I went ashore and walked around the town of Portsmouth for a bit, the morning market had completed and the vendors were shutting down their stands. I was surprised at the number of people bouncing around the street who were very obviously zoned out on drugs - their behavior wasn't that of people stoned but evidently on something different and stronger. Despite that negative impression the walk was nice, going to the Indian River bridge on the one side of town and just as far in the other direction. I didn't find a cash machine, but had some EC left over with which to buy some bread and frozen hamburger meat, the former for a late lunch and the latter for dinner.
Back aboard I attacked the project of fixing the mainsail furling line, which had chafed dangerously far and which was discovered by Bjorn of “Susanne af Stockholm” - I don't think I would have noticed that until the line decided to part! After I removed the line I could see that the inner core of the double-braided line wasn't even attached and that the whole assembly only used the outer mantle and had at best a tenuous attachment to the furling system; it was in fact dangerously close to parting. I cut the bad section out, did a quick whipping to ensure that inner core and outer mantle were securely attached to each other, and re-assembled it with one extra turn on the furling mechanism. This extra turn will allow the whole sail to furled and reduce further stress on that chafe point.
Thus empowered with fix-it energy I donned my mask and snorkels and Scotch Pad® and attacked the green stuff growing on the waterline and underneath the AC cooling water outlets, getting a good dose of exercise due to the current and the winds shifting the boat back and forth all the time. The hull could use a good scrubbing as well as there was a lot of incipient barnacle growth but I'll do that using the dive equipment on a day with less wind.
That work concluded the day's entertainment for me - after the swim I finally shaved (the salt water makes the hair softer and easier to cut with a razor) and then rang my happy-hour bell and retired to the cockpit in order to watch the sunset. Although it took almost every bit of willpower that I possessed, I didn't reach out the 2 feet to get my camera when the sun approached the horizon; I think I might be well on my way to curing my photo-sunsetitis affliction. Only a couple more sunsets that I let go by without taking may pictures and I can consider myself "clean".

Portsmouth town docks The main docks at Portsmouth in Dominica
[15°34'36.42"N 61°27'28.99"W (facing W)]
Portsmouth town docks
Indian River entrance The entrance to the protected nature reserve of the Indian River in Portsmouth, Dominica
[15°34'15.69"N 61°27'20.82"W (facing NE)]
Indian River entrance
Anchorage view at Portsmouth Anchorage view at Portsmouth
[15°34'52.86"N 61°27'48.54"W (facing SE)]
Anchorage view at Portsmouth
Mainsail furling chafe The mainsail furling line had almsot chafed through and separated. The repair wasn't complicated, removing the line, cutting off the bad end, whipping a new end onto it and re-installing.
[15°34'52.41"N 61°27'49.47"W ]
Mainsail furling chafe
Mainsail furling closeup of chafe The mainsail furling line had almsot chafed through and separated. The repair wasn't complicated, removing the line, cutting off the bad end, whipping a new end onto it and re-installing.
[15°34'52.41"N 61°27'49.47"W ]
Mainsail furling closeup of chafe
Mainsail furling line chafe The mainsail furling line had almsot chafed through and separated. The white inner core seen here should hold the main load, but it wasn't attached to the line at all. The repair wasn't complicated, removing the line, cutting off the bad end, whipping a new end onto it and re-installing.
[15°34'52.41"N 61°27'49.47"W ]
Mainsail furling line chafe
Line repair Here are the tools used to fix the mainsail furling line : Knife - to cut the bad section out, Whipping twine - to ensure that inner core and outer cover remain attached to each other, Whipping needles - special forged needles with flat section to allow the Pliers - used to pull the needle through the line, Lighter - used to seal the line endThe mainsail furling line, Cutting board - to make sure that the table doesn't get abused. The mainsail furling line had almsot chafed through and separated. The repair wasn't complicated, removing the line, cutting off the bad end, whipping a new end onto it and re-installing.
[15°34'52.41"N 61°27'49.47"W ]
Line repair
Mainsail furling repair tools Here are the tools used to fix the mainsail furling line : Knife - to cut the bad section out, Whipping twine - to ensure that inner core and outer cover remain attached to each other, Whipping needles - special forged needles with flat section to allow the Pliers - used to pull the needle through the line, Lighter - used to seal the line endThe mainsail furling line, Cutting board - to make sure that the table doesn't get abused. The mainsail furling line had almsot chafed through and separated. The repair wasn't complicated, removing the line, cutting off the bad end, whipping a new end onto it and re-installing.
[15°34'52.41"N 61°27'49.47"W ]
Mainsail furling repair tools
Portsmouth Dominica docks Portsmouth Dominica docks
[15°34'36.45"N 61°27'28.85"W (facing W)]
Portsmouth Dominica docks
Indian River panorama The entrance to the Indian River park, where no power-driven boats may travel - the river guides use their oars to row up and back.
[15°34'15.69"N 61°27'20.78"W (facing E)]
Indian River panorama
109 views since 2017-02-04, page last modified on 2017-02-04.