Settled in

Kaohsiung is battered by the southwest quadrant, well, is has almost abated, so there’s just an occasional rain squall or a wind gust. We’ve spent the night surprisingly well. It was blowing quite hard, Janna was rocking like mad, but I slept like a baby. Only from time to time did the screeching of our fenders or the howling wind in the rigging wake me. Seems like our rigging is a quite one. The howling always comes from the other boats. Perhaps the windspeed is not high enough… but while moored in Hong Kong we set through few storms and it blew hard. Jana didn’t get much sleep, but she looks cheerful anyway — ah, right, so she says, that she’s actually pretty dopey:

“I woke up every hour since midnight. Whenever the boat tugged harder on her mooring lines, I checked the whereabouts of the typhoon on the iPad. Once I was woken up by a splash of rain which got in through the half-open companionway. That’s what I call a rouse!”

During the last week we got completely accustomed to our live-aboard life. We rummaged through all our lockers and and shelves, we rearranged the mess on the quarterberth, where we put everything we want out of our sight, and we have sorted all the remaining bags and boxes and their formerly mysterious contents to allocated spaces. After a rather disconcerting arrival, we have finally settled down, once again we know where everything is stored, we relearned how to reach for this or that most effectively, where to duck so that we don’t smash our heads, and how to lean against the bulkhead when we wash the dishes and the harbour police motorboat passes by.

P1010526 (Custom)P1010528 (Custom)

Slowly, but steadily, we improve our little floating home. Before we left Hong Kong, we bought a new cabin light, because the old LED didn’t do a proper job and we wanted to have a red light for night passages. The new light has two switches, one with three states: white light, off, red light, off, and so on. That means that to get a white light, you have “click through”, which started to annoy us. The second switch, labelled “Spreader”, was disconnected. So I have rewired the whole thing, each switch controls one bulb and we can even turn both bulbs on. Together they light up the cabin quite nicely. The red rubber thingy that was on one of the bulb was fried dry and fell of anyway. So when we need red light, we slap some red foliage over the whole light.

We also finally mounted our new fan. We longed for a rotating fan that would stir the air in the whole cabin. We bought ourselves a cheap 15USD Chinese auto fan and so far it does a very good job. We’ll see how long it lasts at sea, but the marinized fans are so expensive that this is the only option for us anyway. Before mounting we ran the fan from the nav table for few days and we soon found out that the switch is getting very hot when ran at slow speed. So we tied the switch right on the fan. It’s a hideous little plastic box and it gets almost lost on the fan, not to mention that it’s cooled by the passing air.

Nový větrák

With some concern we have pumped out the diesel tank, expecting a swamp since on our last trip before going back to the Czech Republic we had to change the prefilter twice. We were nicely surprised that it was actually quite clean. We filtered the diesel, topped the tank to prevent condensation and we also calibrated a new fuel dipstick. The engine started without a fuss, purring along. We only adjusted the idling speed. What a relief! (Having had our share of troubles with the engine in the past and Volvo Penta spare parts being so expensive, we still get a little nervous when starting the engine sometimes…)

Even though the typhoon was approaching, the weather was still good yesterday, so we jumped into the water and scraped off all the barnacles and other crap that started to breed on our hull. Unfortunately we have found out that our tiny zinc disappeared from the prop shaft and that the propeller has been seriously eaten by the stray current, which is quite considerable here in Kaohsiung. No electrical standards have been applied to the wiring of this marina. From time to time people get an electrical shock from the steel fence, wires are routed through the water everywhere. Our small zinc that we screw on the prop shaft was perhaps too little or just fell off due to the corrosion. Well, we had to bite the bullet and order a new propeller. When we haul out in Hong Kong in autumn we have to improve our zincing possibilities. We don’t plan to stay in marinas much, but one never knows.

For this weekend we had plans to sail to a small island about 17 miles from Kaohsiung, but we have to postpone that, not only because we are propeller-less, but more importantly, we need to wait for the seas to calm down after the typhoon’s gone…

Na tajfun jsme se dobře zásobili

Prices of fruits and vegetables often shoot up after typhoons so we stocked up in advance

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