The boat is ready and it’s time to cast off 12.5.
Three weeks have passed in a blink of eye in Ipswich. The initial four page long chore list have nicely shortened point by point. We have had many things to do and here are just a few samples from our boat's spring maintenance list.
Suwena has almost a total of one thousand meters of mooring and rigging lines. We decided to wash all of them. Last winter she was in the water with the sails in place thus one project was to get the sails down and inspect their condition together with halyards. Both the sails and the halyards were in good condition. My going was a little slowed down by the feisty flu that I got from washing the lines. However, the flu will not hinder us too much, only the departure moves forward a couple of days.
We have the leather shroud covers which are excellent. They are easy to wash and the covers were made by Nauticat yard for fitting exactly to the bottlescrews at the end of the shrouds. They are form fitting, beautiful looking and protecting hands and feet from sharp split pins.
Andrus tested the fender cleaner product from Starbrite. After the cleaning the fenders look like new and shiny again. Andrus also washed the bilge with the Bilgex bilge cleaner that was a new product to us. It dissolves grease, oil and other scum. As an outcome we have the clean bilge and a biodegradable waste.
There are only LED lights on borad Suwena except the deck floodlights. As a part of the spring maintenance Andrus climbed to both the masts for replacing the halogen bulbs with LED bulbs. The power consumption dropped at the same time from 50 watt to 8 watt at each mast. Many times we have moored Suwena into too short pontoon berth after arriving late at night into the full marina. Keeping the deck lights on throughout the night lets other arriving boats more easily to keep clear of Suwena.
One of our conserns was the refuelling of Suwena. There is only the red diesel available for pleasure boats in the UK. After returning to the continent we would risk about getting a hefty fine with red diesel. We have thought along the winter on how to get white diesel? Andrus asked from here and there but it seemed that there are no solution at all.
In February at Fox's Marina we carefully monitored the pontoons of the Orwell Yacht Club which is located at the same cove together with Fox's Marina. There is a gas station just next to their clubhouse. We pondered heavily that do we have any chance for mooring at their pontoon for some canister shoveling. Finally Andrus approached the yacht club by email and we were warmly welcomed. Mrs Brenda, the commodore of the Orwell Yacht Club, arranged a suitable time for the refuel project. The additional difficulty was that the club's pontoon is drying during the low water and with our draft we had about three hours during the high water for refuelling.
When we arrived at the marina, there were already the commodore Brenda with her husband Tony waiting for us. In addition they had additional spare canisters which we could use and we could loan the club's small cart as well. Later on Ivor joined us and brought even some more canisters. The three hours passed quickly when Andrus, Tony and Ivor hauled four cartfuls of 20 litre cans from the gas station to the pontoon. The toughest job was done by Andrus's back when he poured 384 litres of diesel from cans through the funnel into Suwena's tanks. It was surprising on how much fuel the heater used last summer. Now we are heading to the North Altlantic and we'll see how much fuel consumption we'll be divided this season.
Thank you very much for your help, the sailors of Orwell Yacht Club, Brenda, Tony and Ivor and fair winds for your summer sailings.
On May Day we welcomed visitors from Finland to Suwena when my brother Esa and his son Jakke visited us. They had a real grand tour of England because their first stop was to go watching Manchester United match. Unfortunately they did not hear very big encouragement songs because
the local boys lost this time. Afterwards they had a quick visit onboard Suwena in Ipswich.
Our foldable tandem has been put into hard-working use in Ipswich. We wanted to provision the boat well, because we know that this summer we'll be many times a dinghy ride away from the harbour. We made several trips by bike to supermarket with backpacks and saddlebags full of stuff. The girl at cash register must have been amazed when we always loaded many same things from the cart. I suppose very few would buy for example a dozen of coconut cream cans at the same time.
An amusing incident happened when we tried to buy the mobile broadband subscription. Vodafone should have a best coverage in Scotland. Already a week and a half ago we went to purchase the broadband. They could not sell the sim card because their IT system was down. Five days later the situation had not changed. Finally again five days later when we were starting to be in anguish we received an advice to get the sim from the other shop and come back for upgrading it with the mobile boradband. The second shop was already out of sim cards because Vodafone had directed so many customers to them. Finally we got the sim from a third shop. It seems that the service of mobile operators is pathetic everywhere in the world!
It feels wistful to leave Ipswich. We have spent quite a lot of time in Haven Marina during the past winter. The wintering place for Suwena was perfect and we can recommend it to everyone. We'd also like to thank Marina Manager Phil and Assistant Marina Manager Linda for extremely friendly service and about looking after Suwena.