Posted by: catamarantwooceans | September 6, 2013

Waiting in Mayotte

29.8.13 – Thursday – With no possibility of getting the part I need here in Mayotte, I ordered it from the Israeli Yanmar agent. The problem is they don’t have it in stock and will get it from Europe. Gili will then arrange its delivery by courier. Things are not moving as fast As I hoped; I don’t see it arriving before Tuesday. All of this is putting a strain on my timetable.

In the meantime, there are some projects to take care of, like restoring the salt water system and wash the boat, buy and fill fuel and do laundry. A job I am proud of completing successfully was fixing the starboard winch. This is a two speed winch; turning it to the right is like first gear in a car; turn it to the left is higher gear. This high gear is enabled by two stainless steel pawls that are pushed by tiny springs to connect with a sprocket. Those springs broke and I made new ones from stiff stainless steel wire that I found in my tool box. The springs are very small and making them was not so easy; I hope they hold until we reach South Africa.

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30.8.13 – Friday – I went diving with Nyamba Diving Club. They take divers to the "S" pass, which is a marine reserve and so should have a lot of marine life in it. After so many years of diving with 12 liters aluminum tanks, it was strange and uncomfortable to dive with the heavy steel tanks they use. The visibility was not so good and at the beginning of each of the dives I was a bit disappointed, until a special creature appeared and turned it into a great dive. This time it wasn’t any of the dramatic species like sharks or mantas but small fish that masquerade as flora or soft coral and are called Leaf Fish. I also saw mantis shrimp and stone-fish.

The water temperature was surprisingly cool; after an hour in the water I felt very cold. Daniel Budet, the club’s director, who is a fun guy, shrugged in a typical French way and reminded me it was winter here.

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                             Daniel and clients

31.8.13 – Friday – Work,work, work; easy stuff was putting all the waypoints up to Richard’s Bay on the chart plotter. More demanding was repairing the cover of the outboard, which suffered a lot of abuse during the last two years; I used West system epoxy, fiberglass and micro-balloons to make epoxy putty. Physically demanding was scraping one hull of all the fouling on it; the second hull will be done tomorrow.

After lunch I went to the yacht club (ACHM) to use their free internet. I am still trying to get crew instead of Gili, who is busy helping her 90 years old mother move house. I mailed two guys, who at the initial planning stage were interested but could only come after mid September. Then it was to late for me, now, with the current delay it could work. They, however, already made new plans and will not join. After shopping at the "Shoppi" supermarket, I went back to the boat. Just as I finished my evening meditation, I heard the sound of a horn. Peeked outside and saw the Gendarmerie boat approaching. They had a message from the port captain saying that I was anchored in the channel and have to move elsewhere. The sun was just setting as I started searching for a good place to anchor; A French sailor sitting on his catamaran, saw me and came over with the excellent news that there was a free mooring that I could take.

Once settled in my new spot, I checked the starboard bilge pump and found out it was not working. With the float of the shower discharge pump in-operative I now had no bilge pump in that hull! I’ll check it tomorrow. I planned to go ashore for dinner, but I was so frustrated by the whole situation I decided to stay on board and have dinner "military style"; Corned beef and fried potatoes. Real gourmet…

1.9.13 – Sunday – First thing in the morning I tackled the bilge pump problem; found out that there was no electrical supply to the pump. After a bit of head scratching I decided to connect the pump to the plus line of the shower discharge pump. When water reach the level of the bilge pump, both pumps will operate. At least the safety aspect will be maintained.

The part I ordered for the port engine was sent but Gili says it may only get to Mayotte on Friday. I find it hard to stay put in one place too long. I’ll try and repair the pipe again, this time giving it the full 24 hours. If I am successful, I’ll explore the island a bit, until the parts arrive.

3.9.13 – Tuesday – Yesterday I tried repairing the pipe, using Hi Temp silicone and gluing a piece of PVC over the hole. After letting it cure for 24 hours I found out that the silicone did not adhere to the rubber at all. I took a last chance and used epoxy, but that did not work either. So back to the waiting game!

I had to vacate the mooring because its rightful owner needed it. My new place is further away from the dinghy dock but still only three minutes at high speed. I hope I will not have to row that distance.

Gili phoned to say that she will be free to come to Pemba, Mozambique on the 12th and stay on until Richards Bay. That’s good news! A few days ago, seeing me on Skype she commanded that I get a haircut.

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                Haircut? Why?

I did a tour of the local Coiffeurs, who seem to think they are in the middle of Paris, charging 22 euros for a cut. In the evening I had dinner at a fish restaurant near the A.C.H.M ( Lapouz Naz Poissonnerie) had an aperitif, grilled fish, salad and dessert; good food, and all for an additional 50 cents on the price of the haircut, which, of course I did not do.

4.9.13 – Wednesday – This is the eve of the Jewish new year, so to all those who celebrate it I wish a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful new year.

5.9.13 – Thursday – As for me -  I’m not in a very celebratory mood. I tried fixing the same old pipe again, using a duct tape that is supposed to be good up to about 80 degrees Celsius. I put it in place and filled the "radiator" with water; no leak – until I started the engine…

At 1400 I checked the DHL internet site and it still does not give any information about my package. I decided to visit their local office; yes, they know about my package and say it should arrive tomorrow.

With high water at 1630, I arranged with A.C.H.M to come alongside their dock and fill water. I was a bit apprehensive, coming in on one engine with a 15 knots wind blowing off the land but the club guys came over, caught my ropes and all went well.

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                          ACHM dock at low tide

Even at high tide I had only 1.8 meters depth.

6.9.13 – Friday – Hallelujah! The parts I was waiting for arrived. I will install the pipe today, do the formalities for departure tomorrow, spend the night in Iles Choizil and on Sunday morning leave for Mozambique.

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