Dunstaffnage 16th November 2021

A little bit of progress has been made but on lots of fronts. I’m currently up in Scotland carrying out a few little jobs on Sumara, most importantly winterising the engine but also a few domestic improvements like installing the diabolically expensive new sink pump.

My new “Cost more than a small car” sink pump is being installed – if this one proves troublesome then I despair!

Running Rigging

My new halyards are now all finished

Back in town, I have just finished a set of new halyards in 10 mm Liros Herkules High Tenacity Polyester so they should be bulletproof for the trip (not that we are that rubbish at shooting). There is still some deliberation regarding whether to use  a snap shackle or an ordinary shackle. Currently they are terminated with a 10 mm stainless steel Blue Wave thimble – I’m not keen on captive snaps. If I ever want to use the halyard to go up the mast, I like to clip into a spliced termination with a proper work at height karabiner not trust a marine snap shackle.

Standing Rigging

All the upper terminations have now been roll-swaged onto the new standing rigging. I need a clear (by that I mean dog free!) day with guaranteed good weather so I can lay them all out in the road to measure them exactly so I can cut them to length and then roll-swage the deck ends. Once I’ve finished, all the standing rigging will be brand spanking new with KOS wire with Stalok rigging screws.

IT/Comms etc

We are about to order a new laptop for the boat. Gerry spotted it, and it looks like a genius solution, but, as it hasn’t arrived yet, it is probably too early to sing its praises. Negotiations are still going on about the best satellite phone/email service provider

Firearms

Polar bears are protected and very beautiful animals and the last thing you would ever want to do is to harm one. Every precaution will be taken to avoid disturbing their habitat. We will be carrying scare equipment, however, as a very last resort it is recommended to carry a powerful rifle.  My new Firearms licence is progressing but there has been a big backlog due to the Covid lockdowns. I’ll be booking some refresher rifle training in the UK soon.

Ice Camera

The masthead camera project has slightly stalled. We were hoping to use a GoPro on the upper spreaders relaying via WiFi to an iPad but there are some battery issues. The old 24 hour batteries made to fit the Hero 3+ are no longer available. I’m still keen to avoid more wires up the mast. This is very much work in progress but we will get it cracked.

Crew

The good news is that I think I have now secured fine crew to cover the whole trip. There is still a bit of hesitancy regarding rescue insurance cover in Greenland. I’m sure we can find a way around it – just not sure how at this moment.

Series Drogue

I am deliberating whether to make one. Sumara has sailed through a 55 knot storm in the North Sea and easily weathers a gale. The Denmark Straight can be quite ferocious but weather routing has improved. Do I want to stow a bulky piece of single use kit that I may I never need, or should I go to the considerable bother of making one just in case? I would also need to design two strong anchor points on the stern of Sumara. More clutter, or worth the extra security?

If you have any helpful thoughts, especially about the series drogue, please comment below. I also have a new email address alasdair@sumaraofweymouth.co.uk which you are welcome to use.

There is a frequently updated detailed update regarding the expedition news available in the Download Section of the website found under “Greenland Project”

2 Responses

    1. Hi Martin,

      Thanks for your wishes. Although fair winds would be handy and make life pleasant, I suspect the challenge might be trying to comply with the ever changing Covid regulations. I’m going to continue pushing ahead in the hope and expectation that the regulations will ease by the summer. Let’s hope so!

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