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Regenero's Great Escape
An immigration error…

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Last night, after we posted we ran into a cruiser named Lee who took pity on us sitting outside the shower house to get internet access and offered us his old wifi antenna. We visited with them awhile aboard their boat, and he also commented on the procedures for clearing immigration, and how you had to check in at the airport and also here in Chagaraumas. Hmm, well, Jim and I kept pretty quiet and nodded our heads...but we didn't do that. So after we got back from our shopping trip this morning we walked over to the local immigration office and checked....and what do you know...we were scofflaws! A 75TT fee per person and a refresher on the procedures and we are now fully compliant and have permission to stay in Trinidad for 3 months.

In honor of Christopher
10/11/2010, Power Boats - on the hard

Monday, Oct 11th - Columbus Day

Yesterday was Sunday and we started our day with church... InTouch with Dr. Stanley - just like we do at home. We are very fortunate to have great cable service in our little apartment - and that is the main thing Jim will miss when we move aboard on Thursday. We did some more cleaning but took it a little easier than Saturday. I finished cleaning the aft berths, more wipe down to go - although we can't use them just yet til the mechanic and plumber are done.

A guy showed up this morning and started scraping our hull, with a scraper about 4 inches wide. HARD WORK, by 3pm he had completed 1/2 of the outside of one hull. We ran a few errands, stopped at the office to check on the crate pickup arrangements. We talked to our plumber, who advises us that he is building us an aluminum water tank, to replace the leaky stainless one that he cannot repair...hope he is using some of the parts. Our mechanic dropped by and he will have all the parts to replace the mufflers and exhausts, as well as the filters, injectors and spares on Wednesday and will complete the engines then. He really wants to get them done, before the plumber puts the water tank back in as that space is currently his chair for the starboard engine work. Then we put on the main sheet (control line for the boom), and fitted the lazy bag on the boom (thing the sail falls into to protect it).

AND then we celebrated one of history's most famous sailors by...bending on the Jib (putting on the front sail). I reran the furling line and turned it on the drum, Jim hauled the sail up from the forward cabin, I affixed all the hardware, Jim hauled on the halyard...wait where are the jib sheets? (the control lines for the sail) we can't find them...well - let's just use this hank of line for now and look for them later. Hmm - sky is getting darker to the east - another squall coming...ok, haul her up..Jim hauls, I guide, the wind picks up ahead of the little storm and I wrestle with the sail. Finally it's up..ok haul in the furling line (control line that rolls the sail up on the frame). Um...Jim, it's turning the wrong way. The sail has a strip of UV protective material to protect the life of the sail. The point is for it to be OUTSIDE when the sail is furled...but it's turning INSIDE. Huh...guess the furling drum was wrapped wrong. WHO DID THAT?! OK, down comes the sail...Jim frees the halyard, I pull it down, remove the hardware (that I just put on with seizing wire! - RB & SM I thought of you and laughed!) by the way - it is now sprinkling rain on me and the sail...Jim is standing under the bimini, dry, waiting for my signal to haul again. I rewrap the drum, correctly this time, reaffix the hardware and up she goes! OK, haul in the furler and hey...whaddaya works right this time. Wrap it up, tie it off and that is enough celebration for the day.

While this doesn't seem like a lot, everything takes much more time than you'd expect, mainly due to the heat, and sometimes due to the ensuing discussions that surround the task. We took photos of all the lines and fittings before we stripped the boat so we have them spread out on the table in the we can fix the process in our minds, then go out to the deck and try to apply it. We can't take the photos out, because it is breezy, and sometimes wet...and the air conditioner is in the saloon, so maybe it takes us an extra few minutes to think about the job in the cool, before we go out to do it in the heat!

Tomorrow it's off to the mall and meat shoppe in the morning, and in the afternoon more of the same.

10/12/2010 | Mary Dettman
This sounds like an awful lot of work! When do the fruity drinks with umbrellas come in? I love your writing though. I have no idea what half of the words mean (halyard? jib sheets? furling line?) but you write in such a way that I can totally see you and Jim working on the boat.

Good luck with everything, and I can wait to read what's next!
10/12/2010 | Mary Dettman
Correction: *I can't wait to read what's next!

I obviously can't write :o)
10/12/2010 | Lisa
Your perm looks nice :) have you tried the headsets yet? you could be in theAC shouting to Jim on the bow:) wonder when the crate will get there?? I ache for the guy scraping and painting the bottom! oh my! Regenero sure is getting all spiffed up!! Yay!!
10/13/2010 | The Backseaters
I can actually feel the sweat as I read about your hard work! But - hey - nice shirt!
10/18/2010 | Capt. Craig
I have NEVER figured out how to get the furling jib on right the first time. Always takes me at least twice. But is REALLY important to have that UV protection on the outside. I am jealous of you guys!
Slave Labor

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Even knowing all that needs to be done, and planning for's still not quite the same as getting it all done! Doing it is exhausting! We took a walk this morning over to the customs office to see if any of our packages have arrived. Nothing yet, so we hoofed it back empty handed. The office is just under a mile away, so it was an easy distance, but dare I mention it again...the heat ! Temp had to be around 92 - at 7:30 in the morning! We were dripping with sweat before we were out of the main gate.

First order of business on the boat today was to clean the saloon and .... Stuff the cushions! They ALL fit and look just GREAT. The change to the saloon is amazing...Thanks Maureen & Mom...they make all the difference. Of course, Jim and I trying to stuff them was a site for sure..but all worth the effort. We also walked over to the next boat yard to price some bottom paint and primer. Because of the condition of the bottom (flaking paint all over !) we have decided to have it scraped and sanded back to its basecoat, and have completely new primer and antifouling paint applied. It'll take about 7 or 8 days to complete this job. Fortunately, I'm not going to be the one doing it this time.

After lunch, I started on the interior cleaning with one bleach bucket and one vinegar bucket, and managed to clean ½ of each of the heads (top down) both hallways, and ½ of the two forward heads. It's a little challenging to work in the forward berths because each of them has the cushions for both fore and aft berths, a sail, linens, pillows etc. The aft heads are completely empty in preparation for the mechanic coming on Monday.

Jim started washing the top layer of dirt off the hulls. He had to move the scaffold about 10 times and climb up and down. He finished the outer edge of both hulls (the equivalent of our old Monohull) and was getting pretty tired when Raymond and Tony, our mechanics showed up. They got started doing a full service on both engines and by 4pm had pulled the oil, replaced impellers, took out the injectors, found out there is no air filter in the intakes, flushed the coolant, and removed the muffler...times 2. The frames of both mufflers are rusted thru and he could break pieces off in his hand. PAST TIME to replace them! He also took a look at our starboard fuel gauge which is faulty, and will be repairing that too.

So now it is 6pm...the sun just set, and all the day boaters are coming in. We're exhausted and a little achy from all the scrubbing, climbing, crouching, kneeling and hauling. We have finished dinner and cleaned up our little kitchenette and Jim has his choice of 4 college foot ball games (go Irish!) on the air here in Trini! We also get WGN news here at 10pm...but no way will we be awake to watch it. The agenda for tomorrow...more of the same.

10/12/2010 | Lisa
Cushions look fantastic!! Really brighten up the joint :) It does sound like youre working too hard... have you gone swimming?
Had 2nd lookersSunday but no offer (yet).They came with 2 sets of parents! Dean said"Thats alot of eyes" Leave for FL in 48hrs... cantwait! Loveyou!
Working in the yard

Oct 8th, Friday

Well with the exception of internet service, which I am having quite a problem getting...everything else here is Great! I slept like the dead on Wednesday night and we woke before dawn on Thursday. By first light we were on the boat, buckets and brushes in hand taking the top layer of dirt off. It was a two hour job, but when we finished, she looked much better. After cleaning up we went to the office to arrange our work. The season is just beginning here and we are about 1 week ahead of the crowds. So it is imperative that we get all our work scheduled right away...or wait on contractors that may not be available later. We ran into the guy who is installing our Radar, and he told us how he delayed and delayed, until all of a sudden he was under the gun and ended up doing the full install on Monday...when he realized we were coming in on Tuesday! He still has to do the screen install, but figured that since he was so late, he'd wait till we were there to do it together and approve the location. Welcome to the Trini way of doing business.

We stopped in to the office to work out various things. Our crate pickup and clearance thru customs, thru a local broker. A mechanic to change the oil in our sail drives, replace the exhausts and help with the filter changes. The plumber to repair the leak in our hot water tank. After all this arranged, then back to the boat to wait for the AC installer and do some more cleaning. We put the bimini and shades on to help with the heat. Yesterday, we were fortunate to have cloud cover, but no rain. The thermometer read 93 degrees at 10am...I couldn't look at it any later in the day.

The mechanic stopped by to view the engines, the plumber stopped by to tell us 9am Friday he'd be on the job and Rico, the yard manager came by to collect our life raft for repacking. It has not been touched (thank God) since 2004, so it is overdue for repacking. However, after watching Rico and his assistant pulling the canister down I am convinced that those directions need to be a little clearer for me to be able to deploy it!

An early dinner, than another early night for me.

Today - Friday, I made arrangements to go grocery shopping with the group that goes on Fridays, while Jim stayed behind to work with the contractors. Dave the plumber showed up right on time, and promised a five minute job to stop the leak. He was on and off the boat twice before I left at 9:20, and when I came home Jim advised me the 5 minute job...didn't work out so well. They cannot stop the leak, and it looks like a new hot water heater will soon be on order.

The temperature in the boat this morning, was 65 degrees...which is an amazing blessing because this afternoon temperature in the shade..98.6. Yes - just temp! sunnier today and thankfully a bit breezy, but to be honest...we work for a bit - then sit in the AC - that is the only way to handle this heat.

Grocery shopping was fun and I had a chance to meet several other cruisers who were happy to show me the ropes. There is a cruisers net every morning at 8am. Everyone tunes their vhf radio to a specific channel and have a moderated chat session (with agenda) for 20-30 minutes. I met several folks whose boat names were familiar, and in the general way of cruisers, they were helpful to the newbie who did not have her magic marker (to write the boat name on my grocery bags) Who knew? So heres the van takes you to the grocery store loaded to the gills with people - every seat (all 14!) full. TWO vans pick you up! And depending on what marina or yard you are at maybe you come back with your groceries...maybe not. If not, the driver just takes them to the boat, and unloads them. Then you get them when the van you are on drops you off. Cost for this service...30TT...or about $5! AND the grocery store gives you a discount for shopping with Jesse James...the Taxi / Tour company owner. Still I was a little shocked about the prices...until I talked to the ladies on the ride home...I had the conversion wrong...oh, well...that's better...or we would be living on PB & J for a very long time!

Also on the net this morning, the local chandlery reminded us about their big sale...going on today only. They customarily give a 10% discount for cash purchases but today they offered 15-80 depending. Well, who could resist, since we have a lot to purchase. We spent about 1 hour there discussing the merits of various resin's and epoxies (thanks Dean for the early helped!), fishing rods and reels, anchor, chain and we received a quote for the Dingy and Engine we want to purchase. After a quick trip to the cash station, we ended up with our brand new Delta 44 lb anchor (which Jim carried back over his shoulder), the tools to fix the fiberglass damage on the sugar scoops, new rod & reel and rod holder and a head full of numbers for the other items we need to purchase. Remember, we're on foot here, fortunately the chandlery is only ½ mile away.

So that's it for today, now we're off to go sit closer to the wifi hotspot to see if we can access the net. If you are reading this you'll know it worked!

10/11/2010 | ginny
Sorry, forgot to tell you about the marker! Truly enjoying the posts and I am with you all the way...when you get a chance, can you wipe down our boat....:)!
A series of emotions
10/06/2010, In transit

Oct 6th 2010 - Wed

After very little sleep for me (more for Jim) we were up and out early this morning and aboard a southbound jet for Trinidad. We flew over the Bahamas and nearly all the Caribbean chain. We had a fresh view of the amazing turquoise water, spits of sand and islands, both populated and seemingly deserted. After leaving the southeastern edge of the Bahamas by air you can clearly see the distinguishing depth marks from white (dry land) to pale green (a few inches to a few feet deep) to deepening shades of turquoise until you see a clear edge, like a freehand line drawn with a marker and on the other side nothing but deep, deep blue. After we passed in to the deep water I experienced a wave of apprehension. "Can we really do this?" "What was I thinking!?" It dogged me for a while, but the closer we came to Trinidad, the further it receded.

We landed about 1:30 and had a smooth trip thru Immigration and Customs to be met by the smiling welcome of Jesse James. OK, Yes - I do belong here and YES I can do this! It's warm 90+ and a rainstorm douses us for about 20 minutes. When we left in May, the surrounding hills were dry and brown. Now after 5 months of almost daily rain, the hills are lush and green. We arrived at Power Boats about 3:45pm and were welcomed back like family! I cannot say enough about the lovely people here, who are warm and friendly and unfailingly helpful. Boat Key, apartment key, convenience cards and a promise to visit when they open in the morning. As we were driving in I look ahead to see our mast, and is it? could it be? is! A gorgeous wonderful surprise there on the spreaders....a beautiful Raymarine radar dome! And another welcome surprise...they booked us into apartment #6 which is approximately 50 feet from the boat, just over the dockside market! Our front door faces Chagaramas bay and the bathroom window looks out over the boat. It's windy and the tide is up, the waves are lashing at the boardwalk, a sweet sound to fall asleep to tonight.

After a breeze thru the market downstairs for a few staples, takeout hamburgers for dinner and a shower I am slightly refreshed, so...let's go take a look at the boat. Uugh! I am constantly amazed that a boat left out in the rain gets dirtier than one used/lived on - and this is no exception - she's unbelievably filthy on deck! Everything looks in order below but I'll be cleaning from stem to stern before we can do anything else. The heads, especially the starboard, are crying for bleach but the fans are still working, the solar panels doing their job, and everything else looks in order. The AC is not installed yet however, so working below will be limited to very quick trips until that happens. There is plenty to do above in the meantime...(like stare up at my new radar!)

So we are here! And after a series of emotions (excitement, apprehension and fear, to name a few!) I am currently very happy and very tired. Tomorrow the work begins!

10/11/2010 | Ginny
See I told you all would be good. and until you launch, you will get dirt, dirt and more dirt...and wonder where the heck is it coming from. So wax the hull at the very end. And buy Barkeepers friend. Love and hugs, Ginny
Looks like fall is coming!
09/11/2010, still in the Midwest...for now

The sun is slanting a little further south, and it's still dark at 6am here in the Midwest looks like fall is imminent. The Labor Day weekend last week brought Gale warnings out on Lake Michigan, and forced a cancellation of the Tri-State Race. Time to head south.

Hello everyone! It's been a very busy summer for us, racing for Jim, working for me, trying to get the house in order, planning and preparing for our boat projects and spending time with family and friends. Maureen and I spend the past few weeks on a MAJOR project, recreating the saloon cushions out of white marine-grade leatherette. When we left the boat in May we pulled all the cushions out of the covers and brought the covers home. We ordered 30 yards of material and began the process of ripping the cushions apart and using them as a template for the new material and rebuilding the covers. We turned our living room into a sewing shop and it took us about 3 weeks, 200 yards of thread, 3 sewing machines and about 23 of the 30 yards of material, but we are done. We have them packed in our luggage (yes our luggage is already packed!). After all the effort they took we don't dare trust them any other way. Now, we just need to wait and see if we did this well enough and they all fit!

We have another crate prepped and sitting in its blue painters tape footprint in our back room, which is hardly large enough for it, but we made it work. This one full of tools, a Honda generator, a new deck chair, two more sport a seats - and two new green covers for the two we left on the boat. More linens, clothes, extra material and notions for sewing awnings, batteries, etc. We'll be delivering the boxes to the crating facility early this week and then it goes off to the truck, warehouse, train, loading dock then freighter. With'll arrive in Trinidad the same day we do...Oct 6th.

So, for us, it begins again.. When we get to Trinidad we have weeks and weeks of labor to get Regenero in order, so you can look forward to hearing about work, work, heat and more work. Thanks in advance for those of you who are following along with us. I look forward to your posts and comments as it really helps us feel like we are still in touch.

10/05/2010 | Backseaters
Welcome back! A cool sea breeze, abundant sunshine and and a months of seeing stars and satellites. Happy landing!
10/05/2010 | Lisa
safe travels as you head towards the equator full of a sense of purpose and adventure; this time a little more sure of your abilities and yes, RADAR!!! God BlessYouBoth

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Who: Jim & Karen Doyle
Port: Chicago, IL
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