Around the world with S/V Zephyr

The adventures of Bill & Tracy as they fulfill their lifes dream of sailing the world. We've dreamed of this for years and now is the time while the health is still good and there is money in the kitty to make it come true.

28 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
27 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
24 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
23 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
23 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
23 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
23 June 2016
23 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
23 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
23 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
22 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
21 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
19 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
17 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
17 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
16 June 2016 | Power Boats Yard, Trinidad
15 June 2016 | Power Boats Yard, Trinidad
15 June 2016 | Power Boats Yard, Trinidad
15 June 2016 | Power Boats Yard, Trinidad
15 June 2016 | Power Boats Yard, Trinidad

Sunday, Monday and now Tuesday

28 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
The Sun has gone down on a busy Monday. It's the third day of nice weather and there is a lot of activity in the yard with boats coming and going at all hours of the day. We've right along the main road from the water so every boat that comes out or goes back in comes past out boat.

Yesterday, Sunday was the day we found out if the epoxy I stuck up in the hole we found inside the ceiling of the stern head did it's job and stopped water from coming in. Tracy went to the cockpit while I stood in the head and she squirted water into where we found the hole and we got lucky as no water came in again. While Tracy worked on other projects, I started putting the ceiling back up in the stern head. We'd taken part out to get to the bolts that hold the genoa sheet blocks and then we had to take down the rest of it to get to the leak. With it now solved,we could put the ceiling back up. As we had fans and lights in the ceiling, I had to make new electrical connection so everything would work. It took a while but I got them all set up and the ceiling screwed back up.

For the rest of the morning, we both took off more of the blue masking tape off fittings on the deck getting more and more frustrated as each section was revealed. We found sections not painted and some with big paint runs. It wasn't looking very good and after two months and several attempts at painting the deck, we were more of a mess than we had been a week ago.

I left for Mexican Train dominoes about 1245 and Tracy stayed behind to do more more on the boat. More tape was pulled, dishes were done and she gave the inside a good cleaning. I returned about 1730 after a set of trains to find Tracy still out on deck still working on the tape getting more and more upset with each fitting. The men had used regular masking tape on the through deck fittings for the diesel and water and she found that it left a ton of residue on the caps leaving each a sticky mess. Plus she found more sections in need of paint. Some places were shiny and some were deadly dull. We would be having another conversation with Lobster.

Monday morning came and we moved on to other projects. We had a conversation with Lobster once he and his men showed up(late as always)and he instructed his men to go at the deck with sand paper, rubbing compound and a power polisher. He then took off as did his men about 30 minutes after he left. They returned later in the morning but we were off on a different project off the boat. We were off to the work room area to cover the new ceiling panel with straight epoxy and then a covering of epoxy mixed with white micro balloons of silica. We needed to cover the wood grain on the plywood panel since the rest of the ceiling is "wood grain" free. I mixed up some 2 to 1 epoxy and rolled it in the back of the panel and then onto the front. Once that was done, I mixed up a batch of the epoxy with the micro balloons in it till it was a thick paste. Once mixed, I began smearing it onto the panel. Lobster came along and pitched in. Here's where the problem started. The epoxy started setting up and getting hard. The once easy to smear paste was now getting MUCH thicker and darn near impossible to put on the board. I wanted to stop but Lobster just kept smearing it on the board covering most of it but in a layer that's going to take a LOT of power sanding tomorrow. It's a mess. Once I get off what is one it or at least make it smoother, I'm going to have to do it all over again so all the grain is covered. Some got missed in the first go around.

I returned to the boat to find Tracy about to fix lunch only to have the propane warning alarm going off every time she turned on the gas. I had happened before but stopped when I turned off the power at the circuit board and then turned it back on. This time, there was no stopping the alarm. We'd had a problem with it a couple of years ago that the "sniffer" under the floor boards in the galley had stopped giving an accurate reading for the main brain of the system. It was time to take the system out of the propane circuit. I went out on deck to the compartment where the tanks are stored and cut the wires for the solenoid that shuts off the gas and then unscrewed all the fitting. With the solenoid out, I took the fittings and reconnected all the metal hoses. I'd done this before when it had gone bad several years ago. Once connected, I took a water bottle we keep in the cabinet that's full of soapy water and sprayed all over the new connection. If there was a leak, I'd see lots of nice bubbles. At first none and then I thought I saw some. More spraying and yes, we had a leak. On closer inspection, I found one of the brass fittings had split. A big crack running most of the length of it. I then went below to give Tracy the bad news. No propane to cook lunch. We pulled out all the gas line fittings I've gathered over the last 8 years and there wasn't a single fitting that would solve out problem. After a still nice lunch, I took off for the local chandleries. Budget had a nice selection of fittings but not what I needed. I needed one with a male fitting on one end and a female fitting on the other. They had male/male. Their suggestion was to go to a store up the street called HSI. They specialize in hydraulic and gas line fittings. I was greeted by Ian who appeared to be the manager. He looked at my fitting, said no problem, grabbed one of the bins normally full of the fitting and of course, it was empty! Not one to be had and I was set to get two just incase a future problems(it's what cruisers do). He grabbed his phone and called his supplier and is having them delivered tomorrow. I'm to call him tomorrow about 1400. He assures me that they will be there. Just to be safe, I walked over to Peakes chandlery and they didn't have any either so it looks like it's going to be a cold dinner tonight. No big deal as if it was going to break, better here than out at one of the islands where there is no chance of getting a replacement part. I returned to the boat--now just after 1500-- to find all the workmen gone for the day. While I was gone, Sneezy had been washing down the deck and water came streaming in through the not yet caulked deck prism hole over the stove in the galley. Tracy yelled up to him to stop and he apologized but five minutes later, more water was streaming in the same hole. Again, Tracy told him to stop and he again apologized again but it still happened a third time. The lights are on but there is no one home!!!!

Lobster stopped by to see what his men had done(Monday afternoon) and we may end up getting our fourth or is it our fifth coat of paint on the deck tomorrow. If they do, it's all going to have to be done by hand with no sprayer as we've taken off most of the plastic and tape around the fittings on the deck. I guess we will see tomorrow. That's the way the day ended other than us watching some TV and doing just a bit of surfing on the internet from the internet room. Not the most exciting way to end a day but we did go up to the workroom and back the plywood panel for the ceiling. We'd hate to loose it.

It's now Tuesday morning at 0830 and it's just started to rain(forecast is for 80% chance of rain). Lobster and his men have shown up or at least Lobster is out on deck. I think he is tired of his men doing such a bad job that he is planning on doing the sanding, buffing, etc himself. He's going to let his men do any taping off fittings on deck so they won't get paint on them. We told him that we would be happy to paint later in the day after his men are gone--they take off by 1500--if he would show us how to mix up the paint. I don't think that went over well as he is really set on getting this project done. I'm sure it's long past the time he figured it should have taken. We had our three days of sunshine(of course two were over the weekend when the workers are gone)and now it's time for the five days of rain--again! The manager of the yard came up yesterday to see how much longer we think we will be here. I think he needs our space as more and more boats are showing up to get work done or ride out the hurricane season. We'd originally been told one month. We are now just past two and still not there yet. With the workmen only working about four(maybe)hours a day(rest is spent on the phone, sleeping, eating and drinking)not a lot gets done each day.

Neal on Rutea is renting a car today and he invited us to come along. Not sure where we are going but if we see a good price on a microwave, we will be getting a new one. Ours finally died in Richards Bay, South Africa and got tossed. At least we are now in a part of the world that runs on 110 volts which is how our boat is wired. We haven't really done a lot of shopping here in Trinidad but at least we know where we can get nice bit bags of good kitty litter. Nice to finally have good quality litter that doesn't stink after just a few days and clumps like crazy. The kids are enjoying too.

We got back from our errands with Neal about 1700 and with his help, got everything up to the deck. It's hard when your 11 feet in the air and have to climb a really bad metal ladder. No flat steps for your feet on it, just round tubes. We stopped at one of the big hardware stores in Port of Spain--Bhagwansingh's. Our first time in and it's much like a Home Depot back home. We picked up a few toys--wire cutters, wax for the stainless steel and paint brushes, and moved on the the next store. PriceSmart, a Costco wannabe. Much smaller but well supplied. It a "members only" store so since there are more amongst the other island chains farther north, we bought a membership--$39.00US. We browsed along with Neal and came up with a good bit of stuff including a new microwave(more on that later) as well as more Fresh Step Kitty Litter. Four more 42 pound bags. The kids will be in heaven. Add in some cheeses and snacks along with cans of chicken from Kirtland and Bumble Bee Tuna(Albacore of course) and we had two full carts. Tracy found the Samsung microwave on a back shelf at the store on sale for $525TT--about $71.00 US, regularly $699TT or $105US. Still in the box with a note on it that it runs fine. A great deal. Neal got his food and we got ours and started filling his rental car and headed off for the next store Mohammads Hardware. Neal needed some spray paint primer and he got lucky and they had it. Our last stop was at the gas fittings store I visited yesterday. Ian had my parts and with them in my pocket off we went to return to the boat and unload and get all this stuff up the ladder. We put most of it away and then plugged in the new microwave. Set the clock and all was fine. I stuck in a cup of water to see if the automatic settings for "boiling water" actually were correct. When the machine went beep, Tracy took out the cup and when she closed the door, big sparks came out of the back along with some smoke. She opened the door again and this time with a big crack, it blew the circuit at the main power panel and died a quick death. We checked the panel and turned it back on only to find the unit was dead. I got an extension cord and tried other outlets all with the same ending. It was dead!! No lights, no clock, no nothing!!! I have the box and the receipt and will be returning it tomorrow and getting one of the full price, really new machines instead. Sometimes trying to save money doesn't pay.

PMA-Positive Mental Attitude--is gone!

27 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
Bill/a sunny day!
It's now Saturday and we have a day with no workmen on board. It also has an 80% chance of rain. We didn't wait long to get started on todays projects. The 0800 radio net was short as there was no moderator so I just got on and gave our weather forecast. The same as it's been for a week. Rain every day by late morning through the middle of the afternoon.

We grabbed a bunch of tools and the granny bars and headed for the front deck. With bolts, screwdrivers, lanocoat(to lube the ends of each bolt), and a tube of 3M 4200 caulk(nasty stuff)plus the granny bars we were in business. Tracy held them upside down so I could squeeze the handle of the caulk gun and we put a nice bead all over the base of the platform on bars. We lined them up with the holes and I slowly screwed them down, pushing some of the caulk out around the edges. We didn't screw them tight as I wanted to make sure there was a nice bed of caulk under each leg. Port side done, we headed for the starboard side and repeated the process. Unfortunately, this is where the job went south. In went the bolts balancing the pressure on the base. As we got to the last bolt, it went in and didn't hit a nut on the brackets inside the main cabin. It just hit the ceiling!!! The nut was gone!!! Now we had to tear out the ceiling on the opposite side of the cabin. I think "CRAP" was the appropriate expletive for that!! Oh, also, one of the nuts on the port side popped off it's bracket so we now need to get it rewelded. Like I said, this job was going south fast. We pushed to get the port side on as we were expecting Jason the woodworker any minute to work on the ceiling that we had already torn off. We got lucky and he showed up about 1100. He's done an amazing job on the new panel and is even setting it up so we can drop it if we need to in the future. But, before he showed up, we'd moved on to the next project. Once you open a can of the 4200, well you move as quickly as you can as it's a fast setting caulk not giving much time to wait.

We move on to the plate that covers the hole on the stern deck for the emergency tiller. We put the plate over the hole(about 6 inches across), drilled four new holes in the deck for the screws and covered the plate with more of the 4200. We lowered the plate into the hole and guess what---the holes we drilled in the deck didn't line up with the holes in the plate!! Off came the plate(can you see where this is going) and turned it upside down on a paper towel so we could find the holes we had drilled. When we turned over the plate, I, of course, got a bit of the 4200 on my hands. It then slowly began creeping up from there to the backs of my hands and any where else it wanted to go. It was the perfect example of sticky raised to a new level. Every thing I touched stuck to my hands--paper towels, screws, screw driver, etc. I had to use my other hand to get it off the first hand and all that did was move the 4200 to the other hand. In the end, we plopped the plate in place and I drilled three new holes as we got only one to line up and put in brass screws(brass plate) and lots of the 4200 bulged out the edges of the plate so it is well sealed. It took a while to clean up myself as well as the tools.

On to the big genoa sheet blocks on the side decks. Heres were it get even more fun. When the workers were working on the deck(taking off the teak and applying epoxy filler)they covered up the four holes needed for each block. I had to drill up from underneath to get new holes and have them line up with the holes on the blocks. It took some work but we got them to line up only to find that two of the bolts were too long since we had removed the teak pad the blocks sat on. I was off for the chandlery. Luckily the one here at Power Boats had what I needed so I was back nice and quickly so we could continue with the always wonderful 4200. I was below decks in the stern stateroom shoving the bolts up while Tracy tried lining them up with the holes in the blocks. Again, it took a bit of doing but we got that done at least as a dry fitting. Once we figured out the hole situation, we turned the blocks upside down and I put the 4200 on to each. Tracy positioned them over the holes while I again shoved the bolts up from below and she put on the washers and nuts and we tightened them down again not tight so the 4200 can make a good bed under each bracket.

It was at this time that Jason showed up and started in on the new ceiling. I was working in the stern stateroom taking more of the ceiling out in a place that I had taken part down alrady so we could get to the blocks bolts. When the workers had washed out the cockpit, water had come gushing out of the ceiling in the stern head(where I had taken down parts of the ceiling). We needed to find the hole in the cockpit. I took down more of the ceiling, cutting wires to the light in the head and the wires to the fan. Out came the panel and Tracy went back up to the cockpit and sprayed some water into one of the storage cubbies we have in the cockpit. Water poured out of a hole where the water is supposed to drain out of the cockpit but instead, it drains back inside the boat. Will these leaks never stop? As the leak was in the ceiling, I needed an epoxy putty I could shove in the hole. I was again off for Peakes chandlery for a special putty. We've carried a tube of it for years and what we had had already turned solid. We needed more. This stuff comes in a plastic tube. You pull out the putty, and cut off what you need and mash it with your fingers. The outside is the filler and the inside is the hardener. Once mixed, it hardens in about an hour. We're waiting over night to make sure it's dried before we spray more water in the hole. All the while we are doing this, Jason if working on the ceiling panel.

Once Jason was just about done with the preliminaries--dry fitting and extra cutting, he had me drill a hole down through the bolt hole that no longer had the nut on the starboard granny bar. He then took our Fein Multimaster tool and cut away the ceiling--about a 5 inch square hole right were the brackets for the granny bar is located. Once we got the chunk of ceiling wood off, we couldn't find the nut. It's was gone. The plate for the nut was there but no nut. No big deal as I'm sure we have more of them on board. We think we have figured out how to get the hole fixed and I'll let you know next week how that goes.

After Jason was gone, we started cleaning up the boat. It's gotten out of hand with everything we have to store inside while the workmen trash the outside. Add in all the sawdust from Jasons project and it was a mess. We used the portable vac till it's battery died and then move onto a second portable vac we have and then onto our big vac and it did what the others couldn't. It sucked up every thing. We took the life raft back out side, put away tools. Threw away tons of trash and got the place presentable again. Now we still aren't good but but are a lot better.

Tracy spent some early morning time taking off more of the blue tape from last Fridays paintathon finding more mistakes--blotches, runs and drips of paint. Some areas that got missed. It got to me after a while that no matter what these guys do(Sneezy and Sleepy) it gets screwed up. They painted hardware that they were supposed to cover with tape. One guy sat on the edge of the cockpit, leaving a nice print of his ass in the new paint and we won't even talk about the times they have sprayed water all over the deck getting it into the holes left from the hardware we had to remove. I'm just so tired of finding their screw ups and hoping they will fix them. So far they have but it just delays us farther an farther into the month and at over $22US per day to stay here, it adds up quickly.

Tomorrow, if the putty I put in the hole stops the leak, we will be putting the ceiling back up in the stern head and rehooking up the wires I had to cut to get the ceiling down. If there is time, we need to empty the anchor locker so I can get to the underside of the forward deck and redrill four more holes they filled over. These are for the forestaysail stay bracket. We also have to caulk under each of the deck fills--2 water, 2 diesel, and a black water pump out through deck fitting. We can't do the deck prisms as they still need to paint around them. Maybe next week. Plus, we have Mexican Train dominoes at Crews Inn in the after noon so we've got a busy morning ahead of us.

Projects moving along despite the rain.

24 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
Bill/rain threatening all day
Here's the latest. The taping and sanding continues. It poured about 1100 and trashed a bunch of the paper and tapes that had been applied. "Lobster" is in the cockpit sanding away with his orbital sander while I removed four cleats that hole the genoa and forestay sheets. The other two men are also sanding anything that looks like it needs sanding or filling with paste. "Lobster" hope or more accurately WANTS to be done by Friday. All the painting is to be done by then, at least that's the way he wants it but Mother Nature is setting us up with an 80% chance of rain for the next five days. Rain is what screwed up the last painting of the decks and he wants to do it again.

I returned to Zephyr about 1700 last evening(Wednesday)and we started in cleaning and taping more on the deck. I covered each of the deck prisms with blue tape to protect them as the one we got cleaned and polished how has a nice set of scratches on its top and I sure don't want any paint to get on it as there is no safe way to get it off of plastic without scratching it. Tracy set about trying to close us the tarps we have with more tape and a stapler. Not sure how much good it will do but we will see. The deck got quite the drenching yesterday. Jason, our wood worker showed up late in the afternoon and told us he would be back in the morning but if "Lobster" is painting the cockpit, there is no safe way in or out of the cockpit. Nice guy, Jason. It sprinkled about 2300 last night. It is the rainy season after all but we sure could go for a couple of nice sunny days so we can get this done. We still need our new hatches and aren't quite sure when they will show up as "Lobster" hasn't taken the handles that need to be inset on them.

It's now Thursday morning and the forecast is for 80% chance of rain starting about 1030 and continuing till the middle of the afternoon. This should make painting interesting. The workmen showed up about 0845 and plan on taping and papering more in the cockpit as well as elsewhere. Painting in the cockpit shouldn't be a problem but out on the deck, unless it is done early before the rains come, could be a problem and as there is no compressor anywhere neat our boat, I'm not sure he's going to get it done before Mother Nature does. Tracy has decided to stay on board stitching and reading and I'm back in the internet room finding more shows and doing this post. If they do get the cockpit painted, I'll be unable to return till much later in the day so I also brought along my shower bag so I can at least get a nice shower during the day. With it being "Barbecue Night"here at Power Boats, I'd like to be clean for a change. Heck, I might even shave!

Update on the weather. By 1100, it was pouring enough that Moses would have had problems with the Ark staying afloat. For half an hour it poured buckets and flooded the boatyard with the drainage ditches running at maximum capacity. It was a mess but at least the dirt(mostly chewed up coral) dries quickly and the pavement is dry once the water is gone. As to my deck, well that's a different story. What was taped out on deck is saturated and the paper they used to keep the paint from spreading during the spraying is also trashed. Maybe, tomorrow but I'm not holding my breath as its an 80% chance of rain again tomorrow. All work on the deck stopped by lunch.

As for our woodworker, Jason, he is busy making a template for the hole in the ceiling. We need to dry fit the granny bars tonight so we can make sure his new panel will fit the area without running into the bolts. I bought four more bolts a half inch shorter to make sure they don't come out too far from the nuts on the ceiling. Tonight, we will see if they are long enough to get to the nuts after going through the plates on the bottom of the bars, then the filler and core and fiberglass and epoxy and then another layer of fiberglass. At the worst, I take the longer ones and cut them off with a hacksaw. Jason is having a wonderful time with our Fein Multimaster tool.

Photo 4:Stern deck.

23 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
It's all taped and papered, at least where they need to repaint. With the rain coming by 1100, I wish them luck.

Photo 3:Side of the cockpit and winches.

23 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
Here's looking at the side of the cockpit with the winches all cover and cleats removed.

Photo 2 Cabin top and dodger

23 June 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
Here's looking towards the back showing the cabin top as well as the dodger windows all taped up.
Vessel Name: Zephyr
Vessel Make/Model: Shin Fa 458
Hailing Port: Denver, Colorado
Crew: Bill & Tracy Hudson
About: We've been sailing since the early 80's on lakes in New Mexico and Colorado and finally took the plunge and bought Zephyr.
Extra: We moved on board in April of 2008 and have been working and sailing her ever since. Up to Alaska and down to Mexico and across the Pacific to Fiji. We're now in South Africa making our way toward the Cape.
Home Page: http::/
Zephyr's Photos - South from Ensenada
Photos 1 to 15 of 25 | Main
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What would the world be with out a McDonalds in every port.  Here
Our friends on Dana as they leave Ensenada ahead of us.
Our hitchhiking squid found on deck one morning.  Yuck!
Dana found us about 200 miles farther down the coast in a big ocean.
The rocky shoreline.
Waves crashing in the distance(the best place for them to be--in the distance).
Cedros Island North of Turtle Bay.
Boats anchored in Turtle Bay.
Along the shoreline.
The sun setting just before we arrived in Turtle Bay.  Just fabulous!!!
Absolutely incredible!
The last of the sun setting as we arrived.
Not a cloud in the sky over the entrance to Turtle Bay
The sea lions waving to us as we pass.
Birds, birds and more birds!
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