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Saturday, December 19, 2009

AIS rocks!

AIS - Automatic Identification of Ships - gizmology with attitude and relevance. Big ships (>300 DWT for the techies) are required to transmit AIS data on VHF radio (Ship's GPS position, likelihood of collision, name, MMSI, course, speed, destination.....lots more) and carry expensive equipment that reads, integrates and plots the data from other ships using GPS so everyone has a position for everyone else, plus a lot of other information. Us little boats can clock in with the right gizmological goodies and use the data and it's brilliant. If it's working! Berri's AIS black box died somewhere between Lisbon and here but we now have a better and, I hope, more durable one courtesy of Udo. Pics are of Udo installing the box and two screen dumps of the data - first one shows the list of ships whose data we were receiving plus the specific data from one ship, in the right hand column. Second one has the plot of the Cape Town harbour with the ships we were receiving in their correct positions.

And Pete, fixing the leak over my feet at the same time.

Happening part 2

A day of things happening - rain early calling for classic Eeyore, but cleared just as we were called in to the crane. Berri strapped, hoisted, dangled and turned while the old farts and Manuel did the paperhanger trick with pressure spray, scrapers and allen key - all the while being urged to get a move on because there was a queue for the crane. All done in about 40 minutes. Ferals galore - goose barnacles? - all happily living on the antifouling. Not any more. And I made a truly agricultural adjustment of the pitch on all three prop blades, made harder because I forgot to leave the engine in gear but a good approximation of fully available pitch tweaked into the old Kiwi and did it ever make a difference!  First thing I noticed when we were backing out of the crane berth was the prop walk in forward gear, then the speed with the engine idling. Noice!

Back on the berth and into the other stuff - Pete making a folding seat to go in front of the galley, me setting up the gizmology for Udo, packing the forepeak and trying to get my head around where we will put everything for the southern ocean. I had intended to ship all the arctic gear back to Oz but turned out to be too difficult so it's coming with us.

Then Udo arrived and we have AIS! - see next post. And more wind and grit. And the sailmaker arrived with re-inforced mainsail and little red sail with hanks - I fitted the old outer forestay a couple of days ago and we'll go with the hybrid Berri - hanks on the outer, furler on the main forestay set for twin poling all the way home...

Time for a cold Con in the bar with Pete and I'll do the AIS post later.

A day of things happening

More pics to follow