Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Reflections Wed 21/05/2008 10:16

Radar reflectors - small boat variety - research in UK seemed to indicate are almost useless. These are the cylindrical plastic tubes with a honeycomb of aluminium plates inside to provide reflective area. We have the larger diameter version on the shrouds just above the lower spreaders, only because Cat 1 race rules require us to carry one. When I visited it today, I noticed that it is half full of water - and, yes, it is fitted the right way up. How? unless the wind somehow blew it up inside the flange around the 'lid'. I also have a set of flat plates that can be fitted together into a trapezoidal shape and hoisted in the rig - much better performance, but a pain to manage.

What I had intended to investigate but ran out of time is a gizmo called something like a radar echo enhancer - passive device that sits around all powered up, until hit by a radar beam which it then sends back but with a boost. Problem is that there are radars across quite a big frequency range...Might be useful to have one though, tuned to whatever is the most common frequency for fishing boat radars. M'sieur le Fruitelet - est ce possible you could investigate? Would have to be relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

We're tracking NW at varying knots - 2 at the mo - kevvo having difficulty with apparents. Must go and check.

I think I'm getting the hang of the SatC weather warnings - there is a string of circular storms that form off Eastern Japan and move NE just to the north of where we are. They all have 'possibility of winds 30 - 50 knots within radius of 500 miles of centre in SE semicircle'. Tends to gnaw at the viscera a bit until you realise that that phrase is a bit of a backside coverer for whichever Met office issued the warning. The grib shows the one moving north of us now is a lot tamer, but no doubt it could develop.

Warm, toasty layered up McQ looks like the Michelin Man with bunches after his third massive plate of Fettucine Alfredo. I don't know how she can move, but she does. I tend to go for a lot less fabric and lots of air, with good seals to keep as much in as possible. Whatever works, I guess. Must soon brave the starboard upper bunk, delve below it and drag out my bag of warm stuff. Noticeably cool, though we are at the same latitude as Sydney. Water 19 deg. Oily margarine has recongealed in the ice box and the VoA is at jackhammer level.