It’s been a full-on sort of day and I feel tired at the end of it – but importantly ‘we got the job done’. The rudder is good.
At midday Truce was lifted out the water and half an hour later I had the rudder unshipped and hung off. The bottom bushing was worn and causing the play in the rudder. Thankfully everything was intact and no damage or wear on the metal parts at all. I decided to have a new bush machined up and installed. By four thirty in the afternoon the new bushing had arrived from the machine shop and was fitted. Shortly after the rudder was back in place. The bushing is tight and the rudder hard to turn – I expect as the miles go by it will free up a bit.
By five in the afternoon I was back in the water and tied up alongside the dock. I really admire the can-do attitude of the American guys when it comes to engineering solutions. I had the same experience in Wrangell last year when the shaft strut was cracked. Within a few hours, a great engineered solution found and executed. Thank you, Toledo boatyard, especially Asia and Ted for a great job.
In the early evening I took a walk into town. Toledo is quite a small place, it looks like everybody knows everybody. Tuesday evening and not much going on. The main street is an attractive historic place that would be good to visit in warmer weather.
This evening I will have a good feed on board and get some rest ready for tomorrow. In the morning I will take the tide down the Yaquina River to Newport and hopefully be able to head out over the Bar towards San Francisco. I have a special date in San Francisco so need to get moving south.
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.