Having delayed my return to Novara pending the arrival of Grandchild No 4, I had the benefit of arriving at the start of a hot, dry spell that had the locals talking about coping with temperatures in the 80's. This settled weather did give us the opportunity to get on with the many jobs that were need to get Novara ready for the trip south. The 8 month layup over winter had taken its toll but Phil and Terje had done a good job getting through the list, even so there is still a few "must do's" before we are ready to leave.
Having stripped all sails and running rigging before we left, getting the stakpaks and sails back in place was a major task, not helped by a fundamental mistake on my part. The instruction to "pull the halyards" last October left us with no means of getting to the top of the foremast to replace the 3 halyards for mainsail, staysail and jib!!!! An expensive mistake, requiring a mobile crane and a man aloft cage.
This job was completed surprisingly quickly and I took the opportunity to take down the wind generator that had shook itself to pieces as we sailed through heavy weather in the Beaufort Sea.
Having returned to our marina berth our next job was to blow up the dinghies and commission both outboard engines. The first run out in the smaller Avon dinghy ended embarrasingly when the outboard stopped at the entrance to the marina. Even more embarrasment followed when I realised I had failed to put the oars on board necessitating a long and inefficient row back using the GRP seat!!!! Will I never learn?