Turns out they were just loose.

So with tomorrow being the day I set off for another Level 1 training course I thought I might fit the new power-steering belt. Notice the shiny new alternator amongst a sea of corrosion. Almost all the bolts I touched were loose. A fine job we must have done. The belt may have been OK but it’s been changed anyway. That’s not to say the new one will fair any better as I noticed the poor standard of manufacture with the ‘V’ grooves being erratically moulded. Hopefully the pulleys will wear them into the right shape. Trust me to get the cheapest that Amazon had on offer.

I’m no longer concerned about losing the belt as they unpower the steering when they race them. Removing all the hydraulic lines and welding the steering shaft solidly to the rack, then welding the six holes where the hoses attach, closed to stop dirt ingress and the grease escaping. I did check that the hydraulic reservoir was full so all seems set. Only time will tell. The internet is amazing and anyone that can follow a YouTube video can be an expert mechanic.

As the course only begins at 16:30 tomorrow I’ll have all day to get there and maybe pay Musto a visit to check the state of my order for sailing kit. The NHS hasn’t called me back about all the vaccinations required for the race yet, after two days of waiting, so will chase them up in a minute. Chantal has agreed for me to stay overnight once the course is done, the only penalty being to watch some ballet first, hardly a chore. The photo I ordered from Boots has been collected after I used it for my USA visa application. I had to stitch it into 4 from the official team photo to make it fit a 4×4 inch standard photo they produce. The embassy only want a 2×2 inch hard copy but why, when they’ve already accepted the electronic version in my application beats me. Not looking forward to going to London just so they can get my biometrics and interview me. They could as easily get full hand prints from the SA Police used for my rifle license. All the travelling is just a complete waste of money and time. Why can’t they accept the ESTA visa waiver which was so easily done on the internet the time before? Oh right! a Clipper Race yacht is not an approved carrier like British Airways.

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