It’s raining in North Wales.

I know this because I just spoke to Dave Jones about my battery installation (I’m biting the bullet and getting Lithium). Dave was happy to talk. It meant he could stay in his van in the dry. Also, It was 14°C outside (feels like 12 says the BBC).

I mention all this because I’ve been moaning about it being 39°C in the cabin here in Trinidad – and coupled with 68% humidity, it’s been pretty unpleasant.

 Of course, this wouldn’t matter if I was anchored out in the bay with a breeze blowing down the hatch – or even on my way back to Grenada with 15kts on the beam. But, as you may be aware, I hit a rock last week and I’ve been on the hard while “Cow” (that’s his name) fixes the damage.

Also, they’ve parked me right next to the pilot boats’ shed where somebody leaves the lights on all night and as soon as it gets dark, every mosquito in Trinidad & Tobago comes to party on my doorstep.

I arrived on Tuesday. By Thursday I had learned that shutting both the companionway and the forehatch and fitting my one fly-screen to the skylight was not the answer. With sleep impossible, I took to getting up at 3.00 a.m. and making tea – until I discovered that that just made it hotter still. Since it would cost £102 to buy a special plug to fit the boatyard’s 220V socket, the batteries were precariously low and I’d turned off both fridges – so the beer was in the high twenties too.

But there’s always rum…

I do realise that drinking rum at 3.00 a.m. while watching old romcoms on Netflix is not really “living the dream”.

So, it was a significant moment on Saturday afternoon when Rob came by. I didn’t know Rob but I had met Anne in the laundry when I was depositing the last copy of Trident* and they have a Rival 38.

Rob climbed up the ladder for a cup of tea in the cockpit – the rest of the family were at the water park. He was astonished to discover I didn’t have air conditioning.

Air conditioning in a Rival 32…

“Not built-in air-conditioning. You can rent a mobile unit for $5 a day: A guy comes round and plumbs it into your hatch and bingo…”

Just my luck to discover this on a Saturday night.

I endured the Saturday night (John Thaw in “Bomber Harris” with Antigua Gold – a refined and mellow rum). Then on Sunday night, I moved into the West Palm Hotel. This was an extravagance I know, but it was only for one night and the air conditioner over the door was set to 17°C.

Now I’m back aboard and the cabin temperature is a pleasant 27°C (it’s 41°C in the shade outside). Another benefit of air conditioning is that the pressure of the cold air being pumped into the boat gets forced out of the cracks around the companion, so the bugs just get blown back where they came from.

If there’s any justice, it will have stopped raining in North Wales too…

*Trident in the laundry: This is the novel I wrote in 1983 and finally published on Amazon when its theme of Russia meddling in other countries’ elections, an “America First” President in the White House and a Corbyn-like figure installed in Downing Street suddenly seemed more credible.

I formatted it myself and very amateurish it looked. I’ve since had this done professionally and the book sells steadily to people who want to test Tamsin’s theory that I can’t write fiction because I’m not interested in other people (but you’re good when you’re writing about yourself).

Then, a few months ago, I found five copies of the original edition mouldering under one of the forward berths and decided on this idea of leaving them in marina laundries. I write a message on the fly-leaf asking people to leave the book in another laundry when they’d finished with it – and would they like to contact me and tell me where it’s got to? It’s like sending out messages in bottles.

By Sunday, Anne’s bookworm son, Sampson, had snaffled it and read it cover to cover – and, moreover, declared that he liked it.

Since I never waste an opportunity to plug a book, here it is: https://a.co/d/079DQuMq


5 Responses to Heat

  • I live in North Wales. It has been raining here on and off since November last year. I am fed up with it. it is affecting my sailing on Bala in my dingy. Are we going to get a summer in North Wales?

  • Funny thing…I just saw Bomber Harris the other night on Youtube…John Thaw is a favorite of mine!

  • John, I actually bought a copy, read it and really enjoyed it. Well done and best of luck with keeping cool.
    Steve from Stroud 41 Club

  • I really appreciate your first hand account of the sailing life……Just bought another of your books……keep living the good life….Best Phil A

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