Early in my life I learned that bad things happen for a reason. And so it was this time… we finished our last blog saying that once we have our faulty Raymarine A9 plotter (that was coming on by itself) replaced we would head west to La Gomera.
Sounded simple but it turned out to not be as straight forward. The local Raymarine engineer, Pepe, showed up at 8am, as agreed, the Tuesday after Sorin’s parents left. The new unit was smaller than the old one. Some frame had to be screwed around the new unit to fit the exiting support. The initial testing was good, except that it would not link with the other instruments on the boat (e.g. wind, depth and boat speed). Sorin’s frustrations were met by “sorry, but this is all I can do” from Pepe. How so? We could not understand it.
Extremely annoyed, Sorin called Raymarine in the UK. They advised that the new model is configured differently and that for all the instruments to link, an adapter has to be installed. That adapter is a costly unit. Raymarine UK agreed to reimburse its cost. Pepe ordered the missing adapter from Spain. It was due to arrive in a couple of working days. We waited impatiently for Friday the same week. At 8am Pepe knocked on the boat. Not with the missing equipment but with “bad news”. He had been sent the wrong part!
Meanwhile our cost with the marina were creeping…But how could we have prevented it?! Other few days of wait followed. Meanwhile we used the time in the marina to do some outstanding jobs that would have been less straightforward at anchor (e.g. changing the engine oil, improving security onboard ahead of our arrival in the Caribbean, etc). Also, whilest close to land, we did not miss the chance for the usual exercise!
In anticipation of our Atlantic crossing (late November/early December), we wanted to get accustomed with the weather forecast for the Atlantic to cover the area from the Canaries to South Caribbean (over 2,500 nautical miles). We downloaded the forecast on our satellite phone. Sourprise, surprise… this showed a depression (severe gale/storm force winds) moving from the Caribbean to northeast and then southeast (i.e. in our direction). Historically, in The Canaries the weather has been settled with almost no storms throughout the year. However, early this year a storm has created unprecedented damage to boats, even in marinas.
More out of curiosity than real concern, a couple of days later, we downloaded the weather again. Guess what? The storm was coming our way. It was due in the Canaries in about four days. Oops!!! We suddenly felt very privileged to be in a marina.
In the end the storm veered north. Then southeast again. As I am writing this, it hovers around somewhere west of the Canaries. In any case, it was good to know that we were not somewhere at anchor with no possibility of taking shelter in a marina whilst the tropical storm Leslie was approaching. There is only one marina in La Gomera (our next destination) and, by the looks of it, it is always fully booked.
We now have a new plotter, at last, and ready to leave the security of the marina. It is slightly risky given that Leslie (the storm) is still around somewhere west of us, but we have itchy feet… so we’ll keep on moving!