Jim started this morning buffing the port hull, he has decided that the buffer doesn't do a good enough job, so he has done it all by hand. Rub on the buffing compound, switch to a buffing cloth, then a second cloth, then a third to wipe it all clean. 41 feet long, by about 5 feet tall...he is exhausted today. But the Job is now completely done - as he and Neal, one of our laborers, finished the underbelly yesterday afternoon.
Neal and AK were back early today and the hull is completely sanded and ready to paint tomorrow. Since I was a little unsure of myself with the fiberglass, I asked AK if he could show me how. It was a good thing I did, because it turns out the ding in the sugar scoop was because the fiberglass behind it had been damaged previously, and there was a hole in the glass, leaving a soft spot. He crawled inside the sugar scoop hatch and put three layers of glass inside, then finished the job on the outside, showing me the process every step of the way. While I am no expert...I get it now, and might be able to effect a fix in the future...we'll see.
Today's accomplishments...Starboard engine degreased, Water heater not leaking - although not heating water either, yet. And we think the starboard fuel gauge is fixed...but we'll see if it reads after we use it. I polished ½ of the boats stainless.
I made my clothes line out of two lengths of PVC and some line so we can string it between the main mast and the Jib for drying our cloths.. it works pretty good - and I LOVE my battery Powered Ryobi tools...and after all that we celebrated by sharing a pint of Hagen das.
So that's our day...what're you all doing?
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Since we cannot move thru the boat without stepping over boxes, my work today is clear. I spent the day finding the right place for and stowing stuff away. Jim spent his day buffing out the starboard hull. You wouldn't believe that those tasks could take the whole day, but between that, two loads of laundry, a trip to the office and one to the bank, and visits from the Plumber, the electronics guy and the mechanics it truly does.
The good news is the starboard engine is put back together and running perfectly now, a few more days for the port engine as we are still waiting on the part. Most of the boat is not only clean, but navigable. Well, except for the paint that is stowed in the port head (mine) and everything else that is stowed in the forward berths, and the fact that we have to move cushions around in order to have a place to sleep each night.
Forgive me for the boring details of our day to day commissioning, however, this is part of what keeps me sane and in touch...if only we didn't have to hike over to the office to get internet signal.
Monday, October 18th
After securing an agent to clear our crate thru customs and a week of them trying to finalize the details it turns out we needed to go ourselves to clear and collect it. So early on Monday we were up in a taxi heading to Port of Spain. Interesting trip, first one driver, Marlin, came here to collect us, but he was not the driver who was taking us to POS. He just had a drop off in our yard, so picked us up on the way out, and we were to rendezvous with Stanley, our driver on the way. We pull over on the main road at the outskirts of POS and are swapped over like a package. Stanley drove us to the docks....except that was not where we were going....Small communications error, quickly corrected and we arrived at our initial destination just after 8am. Here we met with the broker, who then drove us to the facility south of the main city, 45 minutes or so. Of course, it only took 45 minutes because most of the time he was driving 140 kilometers! Here we are in what is essentially a little Datsun station wagon, with the music jamming zipping along the highway - Jim had to look away most of the time.
When we arrive at the Medway facility about 9:20 we first had to go to the trailer outside the building, hand over our paperwork, then wait, get called, go inside the warehouse to the cashier, door #2, pay the warehouse fee, go to the Customs Office, door #5, hand over your documents, answer a few questions, go back to the trailer outside, wait a little while, get called to go back to Customs, Door #5, long discussion, a problem with the paperwork, go to the Receivers office....way down at the other end of the building, have them adjust the paperwork and provide new copies, go back to Customs, Door #5 with the new paperwork, wait a bit, have them stamped, go to the Customs Cashier, pay the customs fee, back to the waiting trailer - and then..back to the warehouse, to the customs office on the lower level...identify the crate (um, yeah...it's the big one against the wall there. Are you sure? Well it's the biggest crate in the warehouse...yeah, pretty sure). The warehouse workers crack open the crate and pull out and cut open about 5 boxes. The customs officer does a cursory check, asks me a few questions about the contents and approves the crate and assesses the duty (290TT, or about $50.) Hallelujah!
One more trip to the cashier, pay the duty, get the receipt, then to the duty officer, sign the log book, and one more stop to another desk who I think releases the shipment from the warehouse. Signed, sealed, paid, stamped, stamped, STAMPED and FINALLY good to go! Fortunately we were able to get all this done in about an hour - because the warehouse goes to lunch at 11:00am...and nothing happens during that time. Our truck driver was there and ready and they loaded the whole, upright crate in a little open bed truck...and by 11am we were on our way back to the boatyard.
We get dropped back at the boat yard, and about 1.5 hours later the truck with the crate arrives. The yard team pop over with the forklift and pull the crate off the truck and tuck it under the trampoline between the hulls. Now the fun really begins. We managed to get all the boxes out, opened up and the cardboard pitched by the end of the day. We have stuff smashed into every corner of the boat (except the aft cabins, where we are still getting work done. So suffice it to say, it's a little hard to move around the boat just now. But - it's Finally here..and as soon as I can find it...I'll unpack the rubbing compound for Jim to start buffing the hull tomorrow.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Raymond and his assistant came Wednesday and completed most of the engine work except for the injectors. However, they found a few problems. One...the injector guy said that one injector per engine (each has 3) was bad, and not firing... so they have it on ultra sonic testing to repair. Two and this is a biggie...the seal between the sail drive and engine on the port side was bad. They found this because what looked like plastic shavings coming out of a line they were cleaning. So, they had to unbolt the engine block and slide all 400 lbs of it forward, disengage the saildrive & engine housing and see what's what. Turns out they repaired the gear (previously) by filling it with 5200 (a super sealant that is waterproof and works above and below the waterline), and it was shaving off when rotating. We actually had a replacement part that they gave us when we bought the boat, and so Raymond is now in the process of refitting it, but still needs to get a seal kit which will take 4 days. A little more work than we expected ...but now is the time to do it! They are working on parts and pieces, and so at the moment, our port engine is canted off its engine blocks waiting to be replaced.
Dave and his assistant came and installed the re-fabricated water heater but for some reason it trips the power after about a minute running, so they will be back to see about that, maybe today. The good news is we have running water on the boat again (although Jim now tells me I could have used it all along since they capped the lines) I have been using buckets and our secondary bladders to wash and do dishes.
We officially moved aboard yesterday and so spent last night in our berth. It was cozy and comfortable - thanks to the AC that is running nonstop, and I was glad to be aboard. We also watched a movie last night curled up in the saloon, with...I'm ashamed to say it....blankets on. The AC in the saloon is really powerful and once the sun is down it drops the temp pretty dramatically. Current inside temp this am - 70 degrees.
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.
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, nearly..one 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 know...it 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 saloon..so 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.