So we just got back from over two weeks up at Liapari Island; a lovely island paradise which incidentally is the only place around where one can get some stainless steel welding done. So win - win I guess.
What we wanted to work on is our Monitor wind vane - which steers the boat when under sail, and is referred to as "Monty" by all aboard. Well, of the many brands on wind vanes out there Monitor's are among the best, but like any part of a sailing vessel exposed to the stresses and conditions of year after year of use, they do need repair on occasion. We had a cracked weld on one of the supports. Our Monitor is a 1999 model. A couple years after ours was build Scanmar International - who builds the Monitor - made standard some cross bracing between the upper and lower support frames; a move which greatly strengthened the units. Ours alas had no such bracing, and and at sea one could see a slight flexing of the whole unit on occasion. Not good.
So basically after I had all the welds inspected and some redone, I had some gusset plates made for strength, and then I manufactured and installed the cross bracing our Monitor lacked. Now our Monitor is stronger than it was originally, and is significantly stronger than a brand new one.
So hurricane season is done as of a couple days ago anyway, and the Coral Sea is calling. Time to get some fuel, and provisions and start watching the weather windows.
Madrona is visible just right of center. The island in background is a volcano.
So I thought I would post a few pictures. The Solomon Islands have been a very cool place to spend time in during cyclone season. It's true the heat and humidity have been stunning. It's also true that water can sometimes be a problem. But holy cow - is this place beautiful. The people have been great and we have made some real friends.
Our friend Salome's daughter and nephew
Puppies have become a big deal lately
Dinner at Salome's house in the hills. To reach her home one walks a couple miles down dirt roads, then ascends several hundred feet up slippery muddy trails to a snug home situated on an airy bluff.
The maintenance guy going into battle
That's all for now. It's late at night and everyone is long asleep. It is fantastically humid and rain comes and goes. People are going by in dugout canoes singing. We will miss this place, though welcome a change of diet. We hope all of our friends and family are well. We miss you all and look forward to easier communication somewhere down the line.