Thanks everybody for the kind comments in my launch post. I have answered one or two of the questions from the comments here. Firstly however, not only was the launch a success, but post-launch jobs have also been coming along nicely. I went into Southampton to buy a battery charger at my new favourite store Argos, and attempted to charge up the batteries I have... But alas they wouldn't charge, and I splurged on new set, now totaling 220 amp hours. I serviced the engine, replacing the impeller, changing the oil and and filters, and bled the fuel lines with fresh diesel. To my amazement, the engine started straight up, after one and a half years of storage - I couldn't believe it. I knew the engine was in good shape, having been new in 1999, but I wasn't quite expecting such an easy job of it.
I've taken Constellation for a spin up the Hamble, but only just a little up river as I'm a bit hesitant until I'm confident things are reliable. I've put the mainsail back on, and am now just waiting on a friend to help me tension and adjust the rigging. Unfortunately my VHF radio is defective, so I'm saving my pennies for a replacement. I've spent this weeks cash on batteries and a charger, so I have 15pound left for food until Wednesday, and next weeks budget is already spent on new running rigging.
I have a holiday set for the 2nd of July, until the 11th, where Constellation will hopefully have her inaugural voyage to France. I have my fingers crossed Paulo from Portugal can make it over to assist with the passage, however failing that, my next post will be one searching for an able crew member, who likes small boats and a good chance of a completely chaotic crossing.
As for the trip to Germany, Johannes and I will be leaving for either Hamburg or Kiel in August. Johannes is hesitant about me leaving for the Canaries too late in August from Hamburg, so if I can, I will try and push the Germany trip to late July. The only issue (as always) in all this is money - If I had an EPIRB and about 300pounds in cash, I'd fly Johannes over and we'd leave tomorrow... But alas, as this entire escapade has been predicated on financial issues, I don't see them ceasing anytime soon, so patience is my only option. Please note my departure countdown has now hit double digits - At this rate, it seems I may be leaving with two cans of tuna fish, and hand steering all the way to Australia...
The original owners of Constellation, who put up with my six month payment scheme, have been especially generous once again, and parted with their Avon tender. I couldn't believe my luck, as I had been scratching my head and researching options regarding tenders, because I'm quite sure I'll be avoiding marina fees as often as possible, by taking advantage of visitor moorings and anchorages. She needs a patch or two, but overall, Avon seem to make incredibly good equipment - It gives me confidence in the fact that my canister liferaft (also by Avon) is 19 years old. Thank you once again to Simon and Caroline.
Constellation & the new tender RIB
All it ever does in England is rain.