Chaotic Harmony is back in the water. (Picture of how the other half cruise)
We splashed yesterday just after lunch and the first question they ask is "Are you sinking?"
Well we were not sinking and made a better exit than we did entry out of the Travelift slip. It is 7.4m wide and we are 7.1m. Had to deflate the fenders to get in and out but all is well with no scratches.
Today is a public holiday so we will chill for the day. Buy fuel tomorrow and head for the Grenadines.
The new prodder is functional and makes CH look even more menacing. CH was a bit of a hit in the boatyard as she celebrated her 21st there and all her plastic, steel, timber and aluminium friends came along and complimented her on her gracious looks.
Will write a better story shortly.
Why are Boatyards like Hospitals?
(View from the hotel balcony)
If you stay in them too long something always goes wrong that you were not expecting.......................
Removed the forestay today and found a large crack in the aluminium bracket loosley called the Martingale. This bracket sits on the fore cross member and holds the forestay from the mast and this was a bad crack. All the way through the bracket to the eye. It was good to see it as it would have gone when we were at sea and we would have lost the entire rig.
Anyway this was cut off this morning and a new one built and it should be welded on tomorrow. Gill and I dropped the genoa and while we folded it noticed rotten stitching at the head so this is also being repaired.
It is good to actually make sure you are seaworthy but this was out of the blue and we have cancelled our scheduled splash on Wednesday till probably Friday or next Monday. Pity really as we all miss being aboard CH and Tizer who is esconsed in "Dolores Home for Wandering Hellcats".
So. Once again we are delayed but at least once again we will go back to sea with a better boat. The rot has been removed from the aft heads and new fiberglassed bases and backings installed and gelcoated. The crack in the stbd aft sugarscoop repaired, new antifouling, a good polish, new cluthches and teak bases and a multitude of other jobs that are part and parcel of boating. The davits are now fully supported and strengthened. The Indian Ocean took a lot out of CH and it is all coming back together.
Pulled apart the crash bulkheads forward to get into the space to mount backing plates for the padeyes to support the prodder for the Code Zero sail being made. This is not a good job if you are over 1 meter tall. The new sail is too big to be made here and Doyles of Barbados are making it. Should be ready in a few weeks.
Dry Dock in Grenada
Chaotic Harmony is back out of the water getting some TLC as the last 12 months have taken a bit of a toll. We actually thought we could do a lot of the work required while we were in the water but the rates are reasonable and it gives us a chance to stay in a hotel for a week or so where Gill and Keely are riveted to Cartoon Network, free WiFi and fantastic grenada pizzas.
The main jobs we began to tackle before slipping were antifouling, repairing damage to the boat from Mauritius where we were sideswiped by a recalcitrant catamaran and the saildrive oil changed. This soon grew and we are now completely rebuilding the aft heads as the toilet mounts were completley rotten along with the backing behind the liners. This is a big job and continues but should be finalised by Friday. The line clutches in the cockpit have all been replaced with new teak backing blocks added to raise them and take the vertical pressure away.
Jobs still to do include building a prodder and installing it at the bow as the old spinaker has seen better days (still operational ) and it will be replaced with a Code Zero being made here by Doyle Sails. This is another reasonable sized job but should be done before we splash down next week. The last major job still to be tackled is to rebuild and strengthen the dingy davits as they are a bit flimsy and have resulted in fiberglass work where they have deformed the underlying glass. Aghh the problems of a cored glass boat........
Lots of minor jobs when I can repack the boat will include all cabin window sills repainted and some varnishing. Then we splash and get to move back aboard. Actually docking is a lot like going to hospital. You (read CH) develop more illness or in this case work to do.
Plans then are to circumnavigate Grenada and the Grenadines before we take off for Porta la Cruz and onto Bonaire in the Lesser Antilles (ABC Islands). Then it is onto Columbia where we will enter a marina for a month or so, fly to the USA and hire a car to see the East Coast from Florida north to Maine and possibly get to see Peru on the way back, pick up CH and sail to the San Blas Islands offshore from the Caribbean Sea coast of Panama for a few months. These will be another major highlight as they are supposedly beautiful and we will spend a few months here before moving through the canal and finding the Pacific Ocean once more.
Hope all is well.
WE ARE HERE in one piece.
(Image....Horizon blows another sail)
Well we arrived at long last after having to reduce all sail and drift at 4knots across the sea from Tobago to Grenada so we would arrive at dawn. The buoyage here leaves a little to be desired so discretion was the better part of valour and we anchored safely in Prickly Bay on the south coast of Grenada at 0700 on Sunday the 01st April 2012 for an extended stay.
Customs and Immigration were very easy and friendly and we were soon having a cold beer to celebrate yet another landfall and new country.
Mail was waiting and so were Gill's schoolbooks much to his delight. Plans are to get out of the water and do some much needed work before we tour the islands by sea and by tour bus.
The Grenadians are very friendly and nice people and we will have good memories of our stay here. We have made good friends with Jo the Taxi man here and will take him and his family sailing when we get back into the water. He is also a pastor and trying his hardest to get me to find a God of some kind. I wish him luck but seriously if you come to Grenada call him on 4165332 and tell him Ian sent you if you need a cab.
We will stay at the "Flamboyant Hotel" at Grande Anse Bay while we work on the boat. Hopefully get a few pictures for this web.
Hope all are well.
Ian, Jo Gill and Keely
03/23/2012, French Guyana
5-4-3-2-1......Kourou....We have Liftoff...........
It's Friday afternoon at about 1pm and we have just completed a mini-provision in Kourou, French Guyana and come back aboard for fresh bagette, fruit and salad. A change from Dad's homemade bread and about a kilo lighter.
Life is tough for the French with those lovely bread sticks. We have not had them since Mauritius and it was nice to get stuck into them again. Our Friends, Arne, Karty, Emily and Lennard from Iemanja arrived and we all had a pleasant evening with the kids really enjoying themselves. We will spend a few days together before parting company again. They to St Lucia and us to Grenada where I will return to Oz for a few days in June for a 30th Antarctic Mid-Winters reunion
We tried to enter the country yesterday but everything was shut for a siesta so we tried again this morning by visiting every public service organisation we could find. We did find a nice policeman who told us that the Customs and Immigration offices had closed and everything was now done from Cayenne airport south of Kourou. "Don't worry, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. Whenever you get the chance".......said the lovely policeman. We will try to get there soon.........................................
Last night was a great experience. We are anchored off the fishing boat piers and at 0130 this morning the Arienne Space Launch took off for places unknown but with minimal gravity. It was the first space launch for all of us and it was both a sight and a sound extravaganza. First the sight as the night sky lit up and the space ship hurtled into orbit then the sound which followed at a truly respectful distance like a series of loud explosions sounding kind of like a V8 on steroids. After a few minutes the boosters (is that what they are called?) parted from the rocket and fell back to earth followed by helicopters.
It all happened very quickly. Back to bed to dream the dreams of the exhausted. Back ashore at 2pm for a tour of the Guyana Space Launch
facility but we only managed the museum. Lots of photos and learning later we made it back, exhausted and brought the dink back aboard ready for a departure to Iles du Salut tomorrow at 'OMG its early'. The space base is used by the French, The Russians and also the Italians as a joint Euro facility.
You have seen the movie "Papillion"; well Ile du Salut is where it was
based on Ile Diablo "Devils Island". We intend to spend a few days relaxing and checking out the history before departing for Grenada, about 700nm further on. The trade winds are blowing a constant 12 to 15knots from the ENE so we expect a 5 day sail max.
The next story will be Gill's as he describes his South American adventure with his friends Emily and Lennard from "Iemanja".
03/13/2012, North Atlantic Ocean
We entered the doldrums about 4 degrees south of the equator in about longitude 27 degrees west of Greenwich and so began our sojourn into the intricacies of light wind sailing.
The spinnaker had been flying for about 8 days and nights of beautiful 10-12 knot SE'ers giving us 5.5 to 6 knots headway in relatively calm seas. when it just started to "hang". We did haul it in a few times for squalls but otherwise this was the first time it had been pulled as non-effective and the starboard engine started to give us 4 knots at 1400rpm. It should be 5 but our prop and bum are a bit foul.
4 degrees latitude near the equator equates to 240nm but as our course is WNW it actually was 620nm and on day 5 of none or very little wind we crossed the imaginary great circle back into the northern hemisphere. It was nice to back down in the lower half of the world again. For those that believe the northern hemisphere is on top of the world how can you be sure of this illusion? How does an astronaut know if he is upside down or right side up in space?
Anyway we have begun to look forward to the NE'ly trades and although it is early yet we still have no wind and the engines are clocking up the hours and the fuel tanks are sounding a tad hollow.
It is a good time to check everything and we have replaced the topping lift as it was about to fail. All other lines are quite new and have no chafe apparent to the eyes of this fella. The rigging , standing and running is checked every day when we do a breakfast run for Tizer around the decks. He loves his fresh flying fish and screams the cabin down until the checks are done.
Making lists and reading books is the order of the day. We have a very extensive e-library for the Kindle and PC-Kindle with over 5000 assorted books. The kids get to watch lots of movies as the engines are on providing power and the PS3 works overtime. I make work lists..........Grenada will see us out of the water for a fortnight making good repairs and servicing the saildrives and antifouling the hulls.
The shipping has been as slack as the fishing with zero fish landed and 5 lures lost to giant tuna and marlin. We did cross a shipping lane 2 nights ago and recorded 5 ships in the log during the evening. Yesterday a catamaran came within 1nm of us but did not respond to our hail. Perhaps they were asleep (or French)
While we were in Thailand I altered the groundplane of the MF/HF radio and it operates really well for an amazing distance (It always did, thanks Gavin!!) and because of this we are the "Atlantic Second Fleet" Net Controller and conduct skeds with all sailing boats and record positions etc and provide weathers for all. Keeps boredom at bay....
The GRIB files show wind for tomorrow...............................yep I believe that as much as you do and am not holding my breath just yet....We just had a 20knot squall and it was such fun scooting along at 10 knots again...........Give me more wind, I am doldrummed out!!!!!!