As you may recall from reading the daily LTY updates on the passage up from Fiji to here in the Marshall Islands, our rudder shaft sheared off just below the flange where the 2.5" SS rudder shaft bolts onto the flange connecting it to the shaft going up through the hull where it attaches to the lever arms that the hydraulic cylinders push and pull against. The good news is that we did not donate the rudder to Davey Jone's Parts Department at the bottom of the sea due to the way the skeg hung rudder on Learnativity is set up it is captured within this top flange and the similar one on the bottom where it attaches to a short shaft set in a bushing in the skeg. The bad news was that we had no way to turn the rudder and therefore no steering!
Not being ones to let such trivial things bother us much, Christine and I set about figuring out a way to solve this latest challenge and get back to sailing the remaining 250 or so nautical miles to Majuro. I'll post more pictures and details on the LTY blog in the next few days but Christine has covered this in her typically articulate and concise fashion and posted this along with a link to the video I shot on our GoPro camera just we got the method we came up with of lassoing the anchor with lines off the trailing edge of the rudder and led up either side of the hull. So you can read her well written version and watch the YouTube video on her Write On The Water posting here http://writeonthewater.com/?p=14149
WARNING!! Video may cause sea sickness, view at your own risk!!
Otherwise we are busy both enjoying our new location on the mooring ball just off the Uliga dock at the far eastern end of the inner harbour of Majuro Atoll, checking out the stores, picking up over 30 boxes of boat stuff that we've had sent to the US Post Office here and starting to catch up to the big backlog of online tasks. Christine is hard at work on her part in putting together the big Sleuth Fest conference in Orlando at the end of Feb for mystery/thriller writers like herself and prepping for her next novel which will be the third in the series that began with "Circle of Bones" and will soon be followed with her newest novel that will be out in March called "Dragon's Triangle". I'm busy making arrangements for fixing our rudder and lots of other boat jobs, unpacking all those boxes and starting to install all those new bits of equipment and repairs and basking in the glow of this most awemazing life and love I am immersed within. Ruby the Wonderdog is a bit miffed that she doesn't get any "shore leave" for the next while but otherwise is enjoying being spoiled by Christine on a regular basis and now also with visits and perhaps some sleep overs with Philip & Teri on Blue Bie.
Oh, and thanks to Christine and my dear friends Philip and Teri on Blue Bie I had an absolutely fabulous birthday on Thursday and started my 62nd circumnavigation of the sun. That combined with all the online greetings, cards and messages I received served to remind me yet again just what a charmed life I lead and how truly rich I am. Thanks and let me just say that life, love and learning are just getting started after you turn 60!!!
So all is VERY well aboard the Good Ship Learnativity and all of her crew wishes you well and hope you have your 2014 off to a similarly spectacular start of 2014.
Christine, Wayne & Ruby the Wonderdog