Preparing For The Next Season

Socially, Trinidad isn’t as much fun as the islands further north but this could be due to the fact that we tend to focus on getting the work done and relaunching. There are tasks we could do when afloat, like cleaning the leather sofas, polishing the stainless steel and cleaning out lockers but once we do get back on the water we tend to enjoy ourselves almost the entire time instead. So, as we are in the yard we may as well get everything done. We have plenty of time, as our tentative launch date is 13 October. The only delay may be the late arrival of some hatch covers from the USA but as we only ordered them today that’s our fault.

Newly Marked Chain Ready For The Locker

Our list of tasks is long, just small tasks mostly and as a reminder in most cases but we have a few jobs to complete before we can get back in the water, painting the bottom and getting the anchor on being the most important. We have changed the way we mark the new chain this time to make it easier to see once the paint starts to wear off. This doesn’t take long when we are anchored in broken old coral and the chain rumbles over it all the time. There are longer sections of colours now, with black indicating the x0 metres and the colours being x5 metres. Every extra metre of water under the keel means another 5 metres of chain out, so it makes sense to mark it in 5 metre sections after the minimum we anchor with, 15 metres. We also put a marker at 5 metres from the anchor as a warning that the anchor is nearly up and its time to be careful not to clout the newly painted hull!

Next the anchor got a few coats of galvanising paint and the hi-vis orange spray to finish. It is still a good feeling not to be able to see any of the anchor once it is dug into the seabed and we sleep well. Our anchor has been remarkable in high winds and we have never had to deploy the second or third anchors up to now.

Bright Enough?

The propeller is clean and shiny again and back in place. We bought a set of liquids for painting on the prop to keep it free from growth but didn’t buy ‘Prop Speed’ as it costs so much. Even the ‘Peller Clean’ we bought was 50 GBP. Will be interesting to see if it works. All the little propellers are painted for the outboard, bowthruster and even the log paddle wheel.

These are some of our tasks:
Wash & dry all the lines
Check condition of the sails
Replace missing caulking between teak
Mend small splits in the toerail
Replace the 5 deck hatches
Clean the dinghy
Service the engine, generator & outboard
Replace fuel & exhaust hoses & all filters
Clean out all the lockers & bilges & replace cockroach traps
Clean & treat teak in the cockpit
Put protective coat of UV polish on new hull paint
Sand the hull for painting
Paint 3 coats of antifouling and 1 extra on waterline, keel, rudder & leading edges
Paint 5 coats of hard white antifouling on the stern where she sits in the water
Clean & polish all the white smooth sections on the deck & cockpit
Change the anodes
Change the cutlass bearing
Attach new chain to anchor & to boat inside anchor locker
Lubricate boom & mast
Put the sails & lines back on
Clean all the canvas, mats, cushion covers and curtains
Restock with food, water and fuel
Clean the deck after months in the yard
Prepare the boat to sail & put awnings away
Clear out at Customs & Immigration
Decide where to go next!

The meeting with the Minister For Tourism was interesting. Lots of cruisers attended and we had a brief chance to ask questions and make comments. Mine made the local Press Release 🙂 Trinidad really needs to improve their Customs procedures, ease of staying longer term and their focus on yachting. Grenada is very keen to keep yachtsmen there and have already begun building a new boatyard with room for 850 boats and plans for cottages in the trees to stay in whilst working ashore, laundry, games room, restaurant and workmen to maintain the yachts. If 850 boats stay in Grenada, Trinidad will be almost empty, so they need to be proactive to protect the 1400 workers who depend on the boatyards.

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