It looks like I may linger longer in Newport after all. As I was preparing the boat for departure today and running through my checks I noticed that the rudder has excessive play in the pintles. I fear that something may have let go but can’t see any obvious cause. Anyway, I don’t feel comfortable sailing unless I know the rudder is 100% OK. I have arranged for a diver to check out the bottom shoe for me.
I could not have left today anyway as the bar was closed to all recreational vessels as there is quite a big swell causing rough conditions on the bar. After my morning chores, I hopped on the free bus into Newport to pick up some fresh victuals and have a look around.
On the way back from town to the marina I walked over the Yaquina River bridge. As it is still windy, cold and wet it was a bracing walk so high over the river. At the centre of the bridge I could feel it moving, vibrating and shaking as the traffic passed by. The bridge was built in 1936 and looks quite flimsy close up, I walked off a bit quicker than I walked on.
Back on board I finished rigging the downhaul for the staysail. This will make life much easier as I won’t need to go on the foredeck to bring the sail down in bad weather. I then re-rigged the gybe preventer to provide less resistance and simpler leads – looking forward to trying that out. I also made up a couple of soft shackles for the staysail to replace the current metal snap hook. Getting hit on the head from a flaying snap hook could be a death blow, soft shackles are much safer.
Truce is one of only two visiting boats in Newport. The other is a large French expedition boat that was also in Neah Bay when I was there. Last night I had drinks on board – a very impressive boat that has been both to the Antarctic and Arctic. They too are waiting on a weather window before moving down to San Francisco.