HF Installation - Part I
39°59'32"N, 9°41'37"E - St. Maria Navarrese
May 17-20: Spent a long weekend on the boat, installing the extension to the bow roller (to accomodate the new Rocna anchor) and installing the HF radio. As always, projects take longer than you originally expect them to but things worked out OK in the end. The bow roller now fits the anchor perfectly and even the holes for the "locking" bolt line up (a bit of a miracle given all the improvisation and guess work that went into determining the exact location of the holes in the new plates relative to the attachment points). Also got really lucky with the weather. Since I had to glue aluminum foil to the bottom of the cockpit locker as one half of our HF ground system (the wind-vane rudder post is the other one) and also needed access to the depths of the stern locker to get the cabeling to the antenna tuner I had all our gear piled up in the cockpit for three days. What a relief, when things could finally be stowed away again Sunday morning (down below was similar mayhem) and the boat started looking like a happy ship again. Found places for the HF main unit, the controller and the antenna tuner that didn't require too much "structural re-modelling". The (hopefully) only things left now are running antenna and control cable from the tuner to the main unit (a bit of a pain as we will have to completely empty and de-panel the quarter berth again...) and painting the little woodden encasing I built for the controller unit. Theoretically, we would also need a separate DSC antenna (ICOM installation manual is very unspecific about this) - but if my understanding is correct this 2nd antenna would only be required to maintain a permament DSC watch on the emergency frequencies across the bands - not an immediate priority and we can probably deal with that in Malta...