We decided to move our re-launch by a few days, as a tropical wave was forecast to arrive around the time we wanted to attend the Divali Festivities. Spending 7 hours away from the boat in the evening, freshly anchored in a bay where 5 boats dragged earlier this month didn’t fill us with glee, so we delayed so we could just enjoy ourselves knowing our home was safely ashore.
In any case, 1 day was free, down to a contracted workman on another boat deciding to sand the hull without putting up the required screens and covering the rest of his neighbours with blue dust. ‘Beyzano’ was just dirty but others had been varnishing and applying white paint, so it wasn’t appreciated and the yard agreed to pick up a day’s cost so we could clean the deck again. The boat was ready to launch really, so we set about doing a few extra tasks from the ‘future’ list. Judith took me to a great shop in Diego Martin which sells frozen vacuum packed meats, including lamb from New Zealand. We went to Linda’s Bakery on the way back to the yard, full of delicious pastries, cakes and bread. I also won the Dominoes game at Crew’s Inn two weeks in a row and received the winner’s flag. Bearing in mind Rob won the loser’s flag a couple of weeks ago ☺
Since we bought ‘Beyzano’, she has had a small water leak coming from the deck above the stern starboard cabin. It meant we had to keep the outer mattress propped up over waterproof storage boxes and couldn’t use the cabin for guests. With time to spare, we investigated it again, using the free water to gently spray the side deck and working back slowly to the bow until Rob saw where the water was dripping in. The cause was a small screw hidden under the teak toerail that had been fitted at an angle. Water was then finding its way between the deck and toerail and running down through the badly fitted screw. Rather than take the toerail off, we scored out the old caulking between the deck and toerail joint and resealed it. Success so far!!
The tropical wave caused a lot of rain as usual but we had the inside to clean and washed everything just to make use of the water. We will need to totally readjust our mindset now and go straight into water conservation mode. Not easy after nearly 3 months of mains water. Ironing will also become a thing of the past, as our iron blows a fuse when it isn’t on shore power. Normally we ‘blow dry’ our laundry flat outside at anchor but the yard is too dirty to hang washing out and it isn’t very windy here most days, hence the iron had to be dragged back into service.
We were lucky to have 2 very calm mornings during which we put the 2 sails back on last week. The main took us almost 2 hours, by the time we had unfolded it, put the 5 battens in as we hoisted it and screwed the holding pieces in place. These stop the battens escaping in a gust and spearing someone. Then we had to thread the 3 separate reefing lines through the 6 pulleys on the sail, pulling out the slack and making sure the lines weren’t tangled. This again was at different intervals as the sail went up so you don’t want too much wind with all that material on the loose. Getting pushed overboard at anchor is one thing but high up above the concrete yard is another matter.
This safely done we then completed the replacement of the corroded spacer blocks under the cleats causing the 2 worst splits in the teak toerail. Klaus, an engineer working in the yard, produced the 12 delrin blocks for us in a couple of days at a cost of 80 GBP. The material alone cost 35 GBP and was especially sourced for us, so he did a great job. Rob also did a great job and I’m always thankful he enjoys working through a problem and is meticulous about fixing issues properly.
Another problem to fix was the heads tap and separate shower unit. Although we did get a new tap a while ago, with a soap pump to go in the other hole, it didn’t look quite right and we were happy to replace it when the hoses started leaking. The new ones are very modern and make the guest bathroom (heads) look smarter.
Our launch wasn’t without entertainment. In their efforts to take away the air-con unit, the yard staff managed to dig the fork lift into the ground and it was jammed fast. After trying the low loader machine and snapping the tow rope, they opted for a digger and managed to pull it out. Next Michael, the expert travel hoist operator, somehow squeezed the hoist between us and our neighbours, with barely any room to spare. They were anxiously watching the proceedings and no doubt making Michael even more nervous. Job done and we were back in the water around 1500 with enough time to check no water was coming into the boat and to motor the 3.4 miles to the Carenage anchorage. With a clean hull, shiny prop, new bearings and a new exhaust hose, we were making 5.6 knots with little effort.
So we are now bobbing about in the water anchored in the mud at TTSA (Trinidad & Tobago Sailing Association) and chilling out for a while. The cost is 24 GBP per week, with all the facilities of the club available, including showers, a small launderette, water at the dock, a great value bar and restaurant. There are some minor tasks to do such as polishing all the stainless steel, Rob fitted the final hatch which had been covered by the air-conditioning unit and generally we are getting used to living afloat again with the movement and noises. The outboard started easily this year as we had completely drained it of fuel. Last year we left some in and it got sticky and made it difficult to start. The generator was the only failure and seems to be due to fuel starvation – to be solved tomorrow. The new season beckons!