It has taken us 7 entire weeks to complete nearly all the tasks but Beyzano is almost ready for the water. Tomorrow we hope to pick up some nylon washers for putting some cleats back into the toerail and then we have the weekend to finish off before launching on Monday. We do fuss a lot over her and complete preventative maintenance as well as what we consider to be the essentials but seeing people haul out and be back in the water within a week amazes us!
Being ashore brings new problems such as lack of drainage and having to lug everything up a hot metal ladder or in torrential rain but we don’t mind it and sleep well in a stable, quiet, safe and cool environment. One downside of being in the yard is the dust from people sanding other boats and you end up with different colours on the deck, red and blue currently! We have met some friendly new people at the Sunday dominoes sessions and on the shopping buses, enjoyed many good evenings out, had old friends such as ‘Exbury’ start to return to their boats (for their 20th year in Trinidad) and joined several ‘pot luck’ BBQs. Ken and Judith from ‘Badger’s Sett’ have been here for many months, have just relaunced and their boat looks wonderful. They have kindly run us around in their hire car and been great company as always. It has been a good stay once again.
We have taken a few days off to do sight seeing trips around Trinidad, had a couple of days inside watching DVDs and eating chocolate when rain stopped play and due to the heat and advancing age, seem to be doing things a lot slower than 2 years ago. Need to get fitter for our return in 2016 – new plan (subject to change as always) is to come south again for the trip to Guyana and Surinam and haul out after that to paint the bottom. Hopefully the antifouling will last 2 seasons without us having the expense of hauling out next year.
So, she has 2 coats of hard antifouling topped with 1 darker coloured soft and an extra coat on the leading edges, waterline, rudder and keel. After sanding you could see all the colours of the previous antifouling, year after year, just like a tree’s rings. We hope the hard paint will last a bit longer and the different colour should make it possible to see where the paint wears most. Due to Beneteau 473s all sitting low in the water, we have painted 5 coats of hard white antifouling on the stern as well.
She has new Awlgrip Flag Blue paint on her topsides, a new cutlass bearing and the bottom rudder bearing has been rebedded into the hull. We cleaned, brightened and treated the teak in the cockpit but we decided to leave the rest this time to avoid rubbing too much of the wood away. We have had the dinghy chaps and bimini repaired and new clear windows in the sprayhood. The passarelle and companionway step have been sanded and varnished. All the engines have been serviced. We have new anchor chain, a new mixer tap and showerhead in the stern ‘bathroom’ and 5 sparkly new deck hatches with fitted covers, so Beyzano is looking very tidy.
She even has a much bigger Beyzano sign on the bow, so all our friends can up anchor when we enter the bay!
Everything has been polished, washed and dusted including the sails and ropes. We have provisioned up with all the excellent food available here for sometimes half the cost of other islands. Household cleaning items, frozen food, cheddar cheese, cereals, nuts and other snacks are much cheaper but wine and beer is more expensive, so will call into Grenada to top up for the alcohol. Wine and rum is also cheaper in Antigua, another of our planned stops this autumn.
Once we ‘splash’ on Monday we need to check that none of the new work has given us any leaks, after which we will sail around to Scotland Bay for a quiet night and BBQ afloat. Then on to another bay near Chaguaramas to anchor for a couple of weeks, attend the Divali celebrations and finish provisioning. After that it could be Tobago, Carriacou or Grenada.
Today our season’s ‘plan’ is to move north quickly in mid-late November and be around Les Saintes, Guadeloupe and Antigua in December, spending Christmas in the Virgin Islands, Les Saintes or Antigua depending on the onset of the Christmas winds and which of our sailing friends are around. We will then sail to St Croix, the Spanish Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, as we haven’t been to those islands yet. We have a friend visiting us in the spring and the best bet for him seems to be a pick up in Antigua for Classics Week, if we can beat back there and a leisurely sail to the Virgin Islands via the smaller islands such as Montserrat and Anguilla. In July we will head south to Bonaire for 3 months of diving (hooray!) and then use our remaining hurricane season time up in Curaçao. That’s the plan …………
PS – In the end we delayed the launch by 4 days, so are launching this morning Friday 24 October. We are ready to go 🙂