Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Black Cat Report from Rio

Didi 38 "Black Cat" arrived in Rio de Janeiro on 21st January in great style but with a very dead motor. One of the two cylinders had blown its head gasket a few days earlier. The motor was needed to charge batteries for the electrical needs of lighting, communication, instrumentation, navigation, watermaker etc., so they made some modifications to allow it to run on the remaining good cylinder. That eventually also gave in, so they received a tow from the finish line to the yacht club. A local mechanic has been assisting them to repair the motor.

Dave has given really good reports about their treatment at Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro this year. That is good news for us yotties because the club members have been somewhat less than welcoming at the end of past races. This time crews have had full access to all parts of the club, whereas we were not permitted inside the clubhouse before. I had been lucky enough to have had meals in the excellent club restaurant in previous years because I was on the race committee, so had better than average privileges. Dave says that they have been very helpful with sorting out the engine problems as well.
Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro
Most of the above came from Dave in a phone call. Here is his report received by email yesterday.
"Hi All

Just a quick update to let you all know what is happening here in Rio. We are still waiting on the mechanic, who yesterday, put the whole motor back together with newly done valves to gasket etc. We attempted to start and still no compression in cylinder no 2... After much discussion we stripped the whole motor out and are now looking at rings and pistons. Basically a major rebuild. So we wait again until Friday or Saturday. Not a problem just a bit frustrating. We did want to go to the Islands south of Rio, however that is now out of the plans. So we, with any luck, will be heading home on Saturday morning.

Rio and the yacht club here has been more than welcoming and a good time is being had by all.

Will send another update when things develop.


Plans have changed since Dave wrote that report. With the motor out of the boat and being rebuilt in the mechanic's workshop, they decided to sail to the Bay of Islands for a few days of relaxed cruising before returning to Rio for the motor to go in again ahead of the voyage back home. They should be anchored somewhere around the idyllic Isla Grande right now.
I took this photo at my favourite spot in the Bay of Islands, Saco do Cue, in 1996. The little girl in the rubber duckie is my daughter, 8 years old at the time.
I will update when I have more info about their plans to depart Rio for Cape Town.

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