Problems, problems ...

posted 14 May 2015, 15:41 by Dominic Thwaites
On a similar vein to my Decisions, decisions ... post, it's worth noting that this venture is also about problem solving.

As it happens, I'm quite a good problem solver. That's generally been my thing having a career in building and managing computer systems.

When sailing, things go wrong, as you might have read. Sometimes they are obvious how to fix, but sometimes they are not. For example when my anchor rope got hitched around my keel I had to work out how to unhitch it. It was not easy. See the details in my Passage 10 writeup. Or when my navigation lights didn't work I had to find a solution to that too. That's in my Passage 12 writeup under "Electrics scare". Or when my foresail broke lose and I had to re-attach it quickly. That's in my "foresail drama" from my Passage 9 writeup.

I recently had another problem I have not covered yet. In Stonehaven I was parked against a wall in a place where, at low tide, there was no water so my boat had to sit on its keel in the mud. The wall is high and when the tide is out the top of the wall is halfway up the mast. I have precious mast wires (stays) that go up from the side of the hull that can get caught on the wall. This has to be avoided.

When the boat sits on the mud it can tip away from the wall or towards it. If towards it these wires may press against the wall which is a bad thing. If away from it, the boat can flop on it's side and that makes for a most uncomfortable residence. Quite apart from all this, as the tide goes up and down the boat moves up and down the wall and any lines you have attaching the boat to the wall must have slack to cater for this.

Now clearly this is not a new problem for experienced wall-leaning yachtsmen, but I am unfamiliar with the ins and outs of maintaining a parsimonious configuration. So I had to solve the problem. Which I did. Ben's weight came in to play as a result.

In short, I'm finding lots of situations that require some fix or improvement and working out how best to achieve these is all part of the challenge.