The week passed quickly as we made a spring maintenance for Suwena and prepared her for the summer cruise. Now the muscles are feeling sore of lactic acid but the task list has been checked item-by-item. Andrus pondered yesterday evening that “The maintenance list has now done and next service chores are a full month away.” Last winter he developed a service book for Suwena from where annual and monthly items are easy to follow.
A week ago we arrived in Kappeln into the middle of 4-day long herring festival: Kappelner Heringstage. After passing the Kappeln bridge, the aroma of fresh waffles and bratwurst floated across the deck. The whole waterfront and market were full of small stands. Attractions ranged from a ferris wheel to live music. Several bands were entertaining herring festival visitors on three live stages for all day long into the night. It was nice to take a break and have a walk for stretching a back among the celebration. Otherwise Andrus was in the engine room and I spent time cleaning the boat and her cabinets.
The first big task for Andrus was to change the defective bilge switches. Already three Quick EBSN20 switches have been broken during the two summers. Looks like they are not completely watertight and the salt water quickly breaks the electronics inside. The guys at Quick have really not succeeded with the design here. Now the bilge of Suwena is guarded by Whale BE9006 switches for both the shower sump and bilge.
The change of switches were quite a project because our engine room is very full of equipment and she has a traditional deep bilge. From the top of the engine it must be about 1.5 metres to the bottom of the bilge. Andrus had to dismantle some parts and at the same time he moved them to different locations to make the bilge easier accessible. Amongst other things he moved the pressure sensor of gearbox, the manual bilge pump hose and the generator exhaust water hose to new locations. The engine room is so tight because of our rather huge Perkins engine and bigger than usual generator. So Andrus spent down below quite a time before the smiling head appeared from the hatch.
The problems found last fall in the rig were fixed during the winter. We also made a couple of upgrades to the rig. First we added to both the main mast and the mizzen mast a mast steps. To our surprise the Selden’s steps were in real life much more slender than we expected from the pictures. During the winter we were thinking a lot about the step interval and the final interval of little less than 50 cm works perfectly. Only at the spreaders there are a little longer gap where need to be more careful when climbing over there.
At the same time we added a gas spring to the kicking strap. The bottom toggle of the genoa foil was changed to another type capable of withstanding forces from electric furlex. The broken wire from electric furlex was fixed as well. The length of cap shrouds and intermediate shrouds were fixed. Also the neck stay was changed to a thicker wire. Previously the top of mizzen mast was shaking in the strong wind. The outhaul of the mizzen sail was swollen by salty water and it was changed from 10 mm to 8 mm line.
When the rig was tuned we raised the Finnish flag to the top of the mizzen. Also it was time to fly the courtesy flag of Germany but the flag lines were nicely coiled to the spreaders. Now that she has brand new mast steps I took a courage and climbed myself to bring down the lines. Even thou I only went up until the first spreaders my respect increased a lot to sailors handling sails of sailing ships by climbing spars.
A week has passed rapidly but now Suwena is ready for summer. It feels a little wistful to leave Kappeln. It is a cosy small town and a good place for Suwena to spend the winter. People here are extremely friendly and open. Already from the first moment when we heard people saying “moin moin” to each other it felt like being at home. We wondered if the Finnish hello “moi moi” has some roots here in northern Germany?
Tomorrow is the day when Suwena’s summer cruise of the North Sea begins!