Sunday, Oct 31st
This morning dawned grey and rainy...which is very rare, but the residual of Tomas' outer band of storms finally came up from the south and it rained and rained til about 1pm. I set up my sewing shop in the forward starboard cabin and spent the time on various projects in my new sewing room. Jim is working on the computer, checking the radar, reading the paper, checking email and listening to WGN. I Love the internet.
When the sun finally came out, we took a walk over to Crews Inn to visit with Lee and Sharon, who was also spending the rainy morning sewing, and had a fun few hours laughing together. It was a nice break in the day/weeks of work.
PS - to our friends on Towne Ave, we thought about you today and missed seeing you all at the Halloweening!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Much ado about....nothing - thank goodness. We understand now why insurers consider Trinidad a good place for Yachts during Hurricane season. Yesterday, we all listened to the warnings, prepped our boats and talked with each other about the possibilities and monitored the hurricane sites online. The City of Port of Spain was essentially shut down Yesterday after 2pm and both meetings and scheduled events were cancelled to prepare. Tomas became a tropical storm, with 40 mph winds yesterday at about 5pm...but maintained a west northwest course and as of this morning was 60 plus miles north of us, but still heading. By 2 pm He was officially a hurricane with 75+ MPH winds and at 5pm he is making landfall on St. Vincent. I can tell you, watching this on the net or TV is a lot different when you are potentially in the danger zone. As it turns out...we had a great movie nite and not a drop of rain after a short cloudburst at about 5pm...which is typical anyway.
However, that didn't stop us from worrying a little last night and between that and the garbage being collected at 4:30AM! We had a bit of a restless night's sleep. At 20 to 6 we got up and checked the weather and the radio to see if the Market shopping trip was still on, and off we went to get our fruits and veggies. This is also the fish and meat market, so the first order of business is a mad dash to the last building in the complex to get shrimp...and fresh fish...then a wander thru the rest of the booths to get spices, fresh veggies, fruit and clothing, if you are interested. After leaving we made a quick stop at the HiLo supermarket, and with a van full of 10 passengers, each person having at least three bags, and most of us more packing the van and handling the ride home was a puzzle makers dream. Jim as one of only 2 men on the bus advised the ladies that this was his first and last trip to the market. There is barely room for him in these vans to begin with, but add parcels to the load and the fit gets uncomfortably tight.
After we put most of the groceries away, we scrubbed down the trampoline bottom then Jim got started on the coach roof and deck again. I ran to put some laundry in then came back just about the time he was finished (good timing!) to apply the WoodyWax topcoat.
As we were just about finished the guys who are interested in our dingy and engine came by and so we hauled it right down to the launch ramp, hooked up the motor and off they went. Considering that we talked to them on Thursday and today is Saturday and everything is done and good to go we feel incredibly blessed how everything is falling into place.
All this, and can you believe that it is only 2pm? We have had a full day already...and it's barely past lunchtime.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Well it's been a busy few days - and fun ones as well. Wednesday I jumped on the bus to Pricesmart (the local Sam's Club) and had a lovely hour picking up those extra necessities...in bulk, then spent the rest of the day sewing. Raymond and Cort were back to finish putting the engine back together and it is now looking good. Although we did find a small problem with both our port started button, and the bilge pump on that side...But Raymond sorted it all out for us and now we are looking very good.
On Thursday we went over to Budget and ordered our new dingy, engine and a bunch of chain for our primary anchor. We are now super preferred customers at our favorite chandlery...which is good because our buying spree is not quite over. Another visit from Raymond...and both our engines are in excellent shape now! We found someone who is interested in our Dingy and engine, so looks like that is a good deal coming. Thursday Evening, after the rain, we took the water taxi over to Crews Inn for the Potluck to visit Lee & Sharon. We had a ball! Although it was a small crowd, we had many laughs and were able to enjoy the evening, clean, dry and with no work.
Today, the news is all about a storm brewing actually South of us, which is rare, that has an 80% chance of becoming a Tropical Storm, and potentially a Tropical Cyclone. The skies are full of thin, wispy clouds and the wind is up. We are prepping the boat as if we are getting ready for the worst, just in case...but as our trini friends are telling us, generally - they just get A LOT of Rain. So we are planning movie night tonight, a night in...and a trip to the Fresh Market tomorrow - 6:30am.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Our second grandson is 1 year old today and we finally got a few minutes on Skype to sing Happy Birthday to him... That was wonderful and it is SOO great to be able to see both the kids and the grandkids when we are so far away. Absolutely Wonderful!
Yesterday Jim spend most of the day scrubbing and cleaning our current dingy, which we intend to barter or trade, since we are ordering a new, larger dingy and engine. It was filthy after sitting on the ground under the boat for 5 months, and needed it!
I dragged my sewing machine out and began some canvas work + repair work. The electronics guys were here most of the day installing the new VHF. Today they were back to install the radar bracket as well. Only one problem...our windspeed indicator no longer works..and the one on the new radar doesn't register either. A chore for another day.
This morning Jim and I walked over to the Taxi service office to drop off some things. They take a collection every year for the children and less fortunate and so we were able to donate various items that would be useful to someone. On the way back we stopped off at the Budget Marine store to set up our new account, arrange for the dingy and discuss the proper chain for our windlass. With chain samples in hand, we hoof back to the boat to test them out, then back to the store to order the new chain.
This afternoon, I did some more sewing, making a heavy duty bag to store our back up Anchor, chain and rode...and it worked so well...I may just make another one for the stern anchor.
We also got the plank and risers in position and put the name on the boat! Hip hip hurray...it is official now! the only down side was I had to work up on the plank which I DON'T like, not even a little. It is not especially high off the ground, maybe 4.5 feet but for some reason it makes me extremely uncomfortable! I have no problem going up the 60 ft mast...but work up on the plank...no way. In fact every year Jim tries to convince me that I can rub on the buffing compound, and he can buff it off - but this means we need to be up on the plank together...never gonna happen. Today was more than enough for a while, and only because I needed to be up that high to place the name. I can't tell you how many times I told him to stop moving around...twice he wasn't even on the plank and I'm yelling at him!
The engine part we have been waiting for came in and Raymond and Cole came to put the port engine back together. Unfortunately, they found another problem with the cooling system, so after putting the saildrive gear back in and putting her back on her blocks, they needed to remove the cooling system and take it to be checked. We both feel very blessed and fortunate to have had no problems at all...out there, and to have the luxury of time to get these issues discovered and repaired HERE.
Guess that's all for now - tune in for more details in the days to come....we're getting closer to Launch!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Jim spent today scrubbing the boat on hands and knees. After finishing everything but the cockpit he informs me that she is at least 3 times larger than our old boat...and he's not even done yet. I went to do laundry and apparently that was a good idea for everyone today as the laundry room was quite busy...and that is saying something for a little room with 3 washers and 3 dryers. I managed to get one, so spent about 3 hours doing my 4 loads of laundry - only 2 of which I needed a dryer for. The other loads I hauled back to the boat...wet , and hung them on my new clothes line...which makes us look a little like the Clampetts..but - hey...it is what it is. A special thank you to the backseaters for the DryFit clothing tip...I spend my day in the gear, sooo comfortable - and it is almost a waste of time to hang the stuff up, as it is dry before I finish clipping the row.
As silly as it sounds, laundry here is a bit of a social event with all the ladies hanging out and chatting and talking while we wait for our stuff. You can walk back to your boat in between...BUT - you better time it right because if someone is waiting for a washer - they get a little cranky if you are holding one up..but are not there to clear your stuff.
Tomorrow's plans ...well, more work!
Friday, October 22, 2010
Yesterday Neal starting painting the bottom of our boat and he painted all day...coat after coat. Looks like they will finish today or tomorrow and our bottom will be totally complete and ready! Very exciting.
Last night we finally did a cruiser thing at the invitation of Lee + Sharon and went over to Crews Inn for a dip in the pool and pot luck. Bring your meat to grill and a dish to share and kibitz with other cruiser types. We had a great, relaxing time, met some wonderful new people and actually made it up past 10pm - a really big night for us.
After a morning run to the grocery, I called customs to see if our packages were in .. and lucky for us - they were! So I hopped the water taxi over to the customs dock to pick them up. One I recognized...but the other? Well, it was the shipment containing our VHF radio that was supposed to be installed today... Since we have it now...the odds of getting it installed are getting better...but let's hope all is in readiness for us to launch next week. So, we have one package we were expecting with our replacement hatches and latches from Lagoon, but we are still waiting for the one I shipped from home via USPS...when I questioned the customs officer, he said - well, maybe you should check at the Post office. Hmmmm - now why didn't anyone else mention that? I called there - and what do you know...It's in! So I hoofed it over to the next marina to pick it up and lugged the whole 30lb package back to the boat. By the time I got back I was DONE! This last package included the pressure cooker, that I somehow managed to forget to pack in the crate, and all the Zippers from Sailrite to enhance the bimini. Pretty soon, I am going to break out my sewing machine again and begin the next stage of that project...but not today.
Missing you all and finding myself thinking of you at random times when something triggers a memory...
PS - If I can get the pic uploaded check out the great bottom paint and shiny topsides that Jim did!