We have just had a long weekend in Reykjavik to get the boat ready for the long, dark northern winter.
There being no business devoted to servicing the sailing community here it took a long time to piece together the various threads that we needed to follow up. We quickly learned that doing business here takes a lot of time as everyone wants to help, everyone wants to chat and, astonishingly everyone has time in abundance!
For example we set off to find a marine electronics dealer as we want to replace out pilot. We thought this would be easy as there was a shop a few yards from the boat. They only do commercial systems so a bike ride took us to the Furuno dealer who gave us coffee, chatted about trade embargoes, told us where to catch mackerel, described the musical talents of the Isafjordur harbour master's son (www.mugison.com), traditional boat building, ship yards in Turkey, printed off instructions as to how to find a B&G dealer and finally sold us a new Navtex antenna. He couldn't conclude the transaction that day so back we went the next morning for more chats and more coffee. In total the purchase took 4 hours but we emerged much wiser and now have a working Navtex!
The B&G guy had gone to a funeral and the Raymarine man on the other side of town was due back from Barcelona the next day so, again, back we went next day. I had spent a couple of hours at the Southampton Boatshow trying to get sense and not sales talk out of the Raymarine guys. In Iceland all became much clearer. A very knowledgable guy explained why the Gyro maybe screwing up my SG3 and talked nothing but sense. Although we don't yet have a price from him he will almost certainly get the business.
Then the guys from Yanmar arrived on the boat. Sales manager Björn, workshop manager Jon and technician Rudolph. We talked about 1000 hour service and gave them 6 months to get the work done. Rudolph was back the next morning and stripped out the injectors and turbo and took them off for service. Great customer service from Yanmar.
Even the jobs delegated to me went well! We now have fully functional steering, a working Navtex and an external aerial for the Iridium. The new boat cover fitted like a glove. We bought a couple of grp propane cylinders and a regulator to match. We discovered a bad bit of fraying in the middle of the mainsheet so went on a grand tour to a fishing net factory to find a bit of remaindered stock that fitted the bill. All tax free of course so worth the effort!
It was't all hard graft. The cafe 10 metres from our boat proved popular and we got soaked on an otherwise delightful cycle out to the peninsula where more coffee was consumed in the golf club.
Our cosy winter berth is in the Maritime Museum and the prime exhibit is the Odinn - a retired Coastguard vessel launched in 1960 that had faught the Cod Wars. We took the tour and in doing so got some aerial photos of us, the smaller neighbour. We also saw the device they had used to cut the UK trawler men's nets (see below) and saw the stuff that had changed in our lifetime. All that massive 60's, 70's and 80's technology that could now be replaced with an iPad! Then there were the antique dive fins on display which were actually identical to mine! Ho hum maybe it's time we retired too!