Bruce Schwab on his boat prep

Around Alone's Californian competitor looks at the job list

Wednesday December 4th 2002, Author: Bruce Schwab, Location: Transoceanic
Although I'm still on a high from my fantastic experience with the HSBC school visit, the pressure is growing on me on the hardworking Ocean Planet team. We are facing an incredible rush to get all the projects done in the next ten days. Ashley, Jason, Stephen, and me are really cranking, along with various subcontractors. Here is
quick rundown of what is going on and you will get an idea of why donations are so important now to help me get ready for Leg Three. All the talented marine helpers here are giving us great deals, but your help is vital to get this stuff done and paid for! Seriously.

Sails:

The new DOYLE D4 main and jib are on the way and we are keeping our fingers crossed that they get through customs as there has been trouble with a lot of stuff we have been waiting for. All the other sails are getting checked over and there are a few changes here and there. Once the mainsail is here there will be a big project assembling and installing the new battens and getting the sail on the boat. It takes at least SIX people to carry it!

Mast:

Changing the masthead light, installing cushion guards on the halyard swivels (they tended to bang hard on the rig when hoisting the gennikers), raising the mast to install some metal shim material at the step for a better fit, modifying our NEXUS MRC mast rotation system for the wind instruments, new halyard bags at the deck, etc.

Boom:

Finishing some carbon work on the pusher vang crossarms that we didn't have time to do in Brixham, rerigging the vang control lines and misc rigging. Installing YOUR company logo or name on the side of the boom.....

General Rigging:

New working jib furling line, new webbings and lashings on our custom FORESPAR COMPOSITES bowsprit, reinstall the repaired genniker furler, new genniker sheets tweaker lines, service all rope jammers, add cam cleats to hold lazy genniker sheets, replace mainsheet bridle, modify radar tower support lines.....

Electrical/Mechanical:

Servicing the computers (I beat up the new laptop pretty good), new LED running lights, service autopilots (primary and backup), service the engine, finish fuel transfer system from keel fuel tank to main fuel tank, mount remote NEXUS autopilot controls into each quarterberth bunk (I can't WAIT to use those!), install new diesel heater (fuel system,
wiring, ducting.....big project), service winches, etc.

Structural/Physical:

Redo sealing system for working jib chainplate (was bailing out as much as a gallon a day from the very bow of the boat, which has some impressive G forces in rough waves). Reinforce inboard end of bowsprit housing, replace broken stanchions with new ones from METROPOLIS METAL WORKS, install grabrail inside under foredeck hatch, improve sealing on the hatch itself.

Yow! This is so much stuff and this isn't even all of it.....but we will make it. Your support is truly vital right now, if we can get ahead of the list I would like to visit another school or some kids here, we'll see how it goes.

A little bit about the environment here. I am amazed at how similar it is here to my home in Northern California! The kelp in the water is the same type, the seals (who swim about the harbor) look the same, there are great white sharks in the ocean here, and lots of whales too. Add to all this the fog rolling in off of the famous Table Mountain (they call it the "tablecloth"), and it's not hard to imagine this being near San Francisco! Of course the reason for all this is that Cape Town is nearly the same latitude (the distance from the equator) as my home on the other side of this huge Ocean Planet. It's kind of like a parallel dimension....only it's SUMMER here!!

Back to work,
Bruce
Ocean Planet

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