Adding RADAR MARPA and learning to tie stuff down

Last Saturday will go down in history. Children will cheer, church bells will ring, and it will forever be known as The Day I Finished The Mast Wiring.

I had finished almost everything a month or so ago, but to enable MARPA (which lets you select a radar contact and automatically track it, it also makes you feel like a WWII submarine captain) I needed a simnet to N2K cable. I bought one, it took two weeks to come in and had the wrong end (female instead of male), so I bought an adaptor, that took another two weeks but FINALLY it arrived and I set about splicing the cable.

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Once I did this I check it and hey presto

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I also realised I forgot to set the height above sea level option on the radar.

So I taped a tape measure to the halyard, and hauled it up to measure and then entered that in.

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The next day I went out with my friend Elysse (who is my oldest friend in Victoria and now lives on Orcas Island in the states).

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It was interesting, the strongest winds I’ve been in so far. Never went below 10knt, and in fact got up to over 15 pretty often, meaning our apparent wind was knocking on 20 more than a few times. The sea was also pretty choppy, meaning we got banged around a bit.

This put us on a fair lean, 15/20 degrees, which helped me discover what was not secured properly in the cabin. This turned out to be almost everything; most worryingly the fridge/freezer, which decided to launch itself across the cabin.

This was the time I decided to reef – and after struggling onto the foredeck, wrestling down the sail and hooking the cringle onto the reef hook, I discovered that I had absolutely no idea what to do next. There were some lines that LOOKED like reef lines, but I had nothing to tie them onto. I think it’s set up for slab reefing, which I had not setup, so I should probably do that sooner rather than later.

Anyway, with that discovered we hauled the sail up again, and headed back in. Better safe than sorry! On the way we went past a cool yawl thing and a fishing boat dropping (I think) shrimp pots.

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The fridge/freezer wasn’t damaged, somehow, and all in all it was a great learning experience, though the sailing was so fun that I forgot to try out the MARPA! One for next time.

Matt

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