13 February 2014

Andrew was relaxing on Elsi’s deck in warm sunshine this evening whilst telling me how he is making headway in his battle against the GB (goose barnacle).

With his heart in his mouth this morning he managed on the second or third attempt, to drive Elsi onto the beach -east coast of Isla Lennox- secure an anchor and then wait for the tide to drop.  The soft gravel of the beach meant Elsi snuggled easily into the shore; so the keel was not easy to reach.  Even so  Andrew managed to clean her starboard side completely before she began to re-float, which was a huge achievement.  His sunny snack-time was enforced relaxation whilst he waited for the next tide change and before he puts into play his plan for making sure Elsi exposes her Port side next.  He will be clearing the barnacles from her port side at about midnight our time, 8.00pm where he is; it will be dark when he is doing most of the work, but he has the help of a head torch and nearly full moon.

On trips such as the one Andrew and Elsi are on, it is perfectly allowable to do such unassisted essential maintenance.  Andrew believes relieving Elsi of her hull growth will gain him an extra knot per hour in speed; this is quite a significant increase for a slow boat such as Elsi – every little bit helps.

I still couldn’t convince Andrew to try a little barnacle tapas, they are not his favorite beast at the moment.  I did reminded him however, they certainly were instrumental in saving his life on his last attempt.  If Elsi’s hull had not been so grown up with them, he would have been well into the Pacific when his appendix burst, far far away from help and passing ships.

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