The Waiting Game
Our progress north has been temporarily halted by a broken radar. Although working when we left Cape Cod, by the time we reached Shelburne, Nova Scotia, all it was capable of displaying was " Error 00xx00 - contact your nearest B&G agent for help" - not the sort of error you wan't to see when in a country that doesn't have a authorised B&G agent. Fortunately our friendly agent in UK was able to provide a diagnosis - our radome was as dead as the proverbial Monty Python parrot - replacement needed! To a certain extent this came as a relief since there had been an earlier suggestion that it might have been down to gremlins in our onboard network, a problem that could have been altogether more difficult to solve.
Consequently we have spent the past week in Halifax waiting for a replacement to be flown out from UK. Any earlier thoughts that we might be able to "make do without" were instantly dispelled on a nerve racking passage from Lunenburg to Halifax, a 10 hour trip conducted entirely in visibility of a boat length or less. However, if you have to wait for a week, then you could not ask for a more pleasant place to stay than the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.
The only thing to mar our time in Halifax was watching the political farce unfolding in the country whose blue ensign we have up to this point been proud to fly. As one cartoonist quipped "Britain and the US engaged in fierce battle for the most inept political leadership - Britain currently leading but US still to play their Trump card", something that might be funny if it wasn't so close to the bone. 2 days later if we needed another reminder of what life can be like outside of a free trade zone, we got it when our radome arrived and we had to hand over another significant chunk of money in tax and import dues.
However, the arrival of the radome provided welcome relief - even spending spending half a day up the mast in a buttock squeezing climbing harness fitting the new radome was less excruciatingly painful than the news emanating from the other side of the Atlantic!
With the radar now fixed we now have the luxury of being able to view the radar and AIS from on deck via an iPad, courtesy of a new addition to the inventory this year, a B&G GoFree wi-fi unit. Whilst this may sound like a frivolous luxury, it will hopefully allow us a bit more sleep when sailing 2 handed. Previously whenever fog has come in we have had to wake up the off watch person to keep watch on the radar at the chart table, something we hope will no longer be necessary.
There is thick fog forecast for the first leg of our passage north up to Jeddore so this theory will soon get put to the test. Fingers crossed!