Venice - 22 - 23 May 2018

Well here we are back on the boat.  For two days it has been something of a roller coaster ride.

The journey was not helped by the fact that there was a strike by French air traffic controllers which made it impossible to fly over French air space.  The effect of this was that our flight was delayed by nearly two hours.  We knew about some of the delay before we set out, but it was still a drag. We didn’t get to the marina until after 6pm.   When we got there we found the boat in the water but alongside the boat yard.  So immediately we had to move it to its proper berth.

Everything on the boat was in a mess with cupboard contents all over the place and cushions all out. We found that the restaurant on the island was not open, so we had to go out on the Vaporetto to get something to eat.  By the time we got home we were exhausted but still had to sort the cabin out and make up the bed so we could get some sleep.  Our mood was not enhanced by the fact that despite having been told that the fridge was working, it could not be turned on!

Morning came and did not improve our mood.  We filled the water tank only to find that the new water pump was cutting out regularly.  Also although the mast was on and there seemed to be new rigging we had no main sail.  So we had to go to the office and complain, yet again.  We waiting ages there to speak to someone and then three of them came to the boat.  The upshot was that the new pump is stronger than the old one and the existing switch couldn’t cope with the increased amperage.  So the mechanic connected it to a spare switch on the control board.  As for the fridge that turned out to be caused by the yard disconnecting the fridge for the winter to save the batteries!  They could have told us that in March and reconnected it, but they didn’t think to do so.

The mainsail was delivered to us at lunchtime, so we immediately went to the little café on the island which was open, had lunch and took the Vaporetto to the supermarket. Shopping is a fag here because you have to carry everything on boats to get it home.  So we can’t really provision in a big way as we usually do. We are restricting ourselves to 2 or 3 journeys to the shops to bring home as much as we can carry.

The afternoon was a bit better.  The situation with the water pump is still bad.  Despite changing the switch it still keeps cutting out and this time it is Richard not me can’t bear it.  It only lasts about 5 seconds until it cuts out, which is really impossible to cope with.  However we now have sails.  Richard had a problem putting the Genoa on.  He got it on backwards to start with and when he tried to undo the furling line it got tangled.  We called for help, but as usual no one came.  So Richard went to work putting the sail on to the new carts.  This turned out to be very fiddly trying to attach the sail to carts which needed to be unscrewed and rescrewed in when the bar on the sail was fitted into the cart.  I was trying to help because it was more than a two handed job, but as we went up the sail it was getting higher than I could reach.  We thought that the system was going to make removing the sails each Autumn and putting it back in Spring a real fag. However just as we were getting disheartened a Brit we met in the office who is here visiting on his boat came along and offered to help.  He was a real help.  First he was able to untangle the Genoa furling line and get it in the right position to raise.  Then we worked out that the new carts on the track could be removed from the mast and just put on the sail and replaced on the track like all the other carts we have had.  So within an hour we had both sails on.  At least that is one more step towards moving on.  

The Brit who helped us and his wife entertained us to a drink before dinner, so that was a great help for our mood.  That didn’t last too long.  While I was cooking dinner Richard raised the main to see how it would come down.  It started to fall beautifully but hit a twist in the halyard about two thirds of the way down and then didn’t fully come down.  It is an improvement, but if it continues like this someone will still have to go forward to fully take the sail down.  Not what we wanted.  We will try again tomorrow.

We were hoping to get away from here on Friday, but I now am not sure especially with the problem over the pump.  But we will leave as soon as it is safe to do so.  We are really fed up with the boatyard.  They seem to make a mess of everything they touch.  They were supposed to replace the GPS arial but they didn’t.  I think I am relieved.  It was a preventative job and we hope it will wait until we get to Corfu where the workmen seem much better.

So now it is time to get some sleep.  This boat preparing stuff is doing us in! 

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