Almost afloat!

I arrived at the yard this morning to find a large empty spot in the yard where Odyssey used to be. This could mean only two things – either somebody had nicked her in the middle of the night, which was unlikely given her ungainly weight of 30-something tons, or else the yard had decided to launch her. Luckily it turned out to be the latter and I spotted her bobbing serenely in the launching slip.

However I soon realised things where not quite right when Cap’n Lyle came bounding up the companionway and leapt ashore, barking brisk orders into his radio to get more people over here pronto. Once aboard I found Chris upside-down in the engine room, desparately trying to stem a leak from the propellor shaft, or to be more precise, the stuffing box. This is the seal where the shaft enters the boat, and is basically a load of flax-type material wrapped around the shaft and held inside a cylinder. This dries out when the boat is ashore so a little leakage is to be expected at first, but not a raging torrent like this!

As Odyssey gradually settled lower in the water it was decided that the safest course of action was to lift her back out again and repack the stuffing box. She was soon back in her spot in the car park, and the guys set to work. It turned out to be a tricky job as the stuffing box is pretty inaccesible, and Chris introduced me to a whole new set of American swear-words. Eventually he enlisted the help of Doc, who put his 87 years of experience into action and soon had things going right.

When they knocked off at 4 they assured me it would be done tomorrow and I’d be able to go back in, so let’s just hope so as I’m already a month behind schedule.

Today was also the day I had to move out of my lovely waterfront apartment at Beach Villas as the complex has just been sold and is about to be redeveloped. After much negotiation the new owners have agreed to me staying on for a couple of weeks but as their managers are moving into my apartment (which is the nicest), I’m going to be in a different one. It’s the one I had when I first arrived and is fine, but lacks the pleasant water views. Never mind, I’ll be getting plenty of those soon enough!

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