08 August 2007 | Saint Georges
Hideko and I were really enjoying the convenience of the lagoon. Free wifi, Island Water World is across the street, there are several restaurants, the capital is across the way and even the grocery store even has a dinghy dock. On the down side the rain has brought all of the trash thrown into the creeks and rivers upstream into the lagoon. Plastic bags and other unidentifiable objects have been drifting by since last night. My bottom is already in need of attention and I don't want to make matters worse. The bugs are really bad right after the rain also. Add to that little breeze, questionable anchoring practices and close quarters.
We decided to move outside later in the afternoon. This decision set off a raft of plans for taking advantage of the lagoon today. We picked up a few things at Island Water World and visited the Ace Hardware/Napa store across the parking lot. When the grocery store opened we ransacked the place. I had never seen Little Star so full. Good thing it was only 100 feet back to the big boat.
Later in the morning we met Audrey and See You Manana for brunch. We met some new cruisers there as well and had a great time discussing various travels around the Caribbean. Cruisers are always trying to pick each other's brains for info on future anchorages. It's great when you run across someone going the way you came and coming from the way your going. This is usually a good opportunity for a chart swap as well.
Peter and Debbie on CYM have two sons enrolled in the Yacht Club's sailing schools. It is an amazing deal and gets the kids out on little cat boats every day for a few weeks. The kids were really enjoying it.
CYM was having some maintenance done and Peter wanted to swap out one of his folding props. We decided to both move out to Ross Point and do the job with SCUBA. So after our relaxing breakfast (for the first time every I think the carib folks were thinking we were taking our time!) we motored out of the harbor to the anchorage at the point.
Although we were only in 10 feet of water I asked Peter to go through the Discover Scuba session with me. He was a great sport and we knocked the basics out quickly. Peter had all of the tools setup in a net hung off of the rail. Once we were under the boat it took a while to get the folding prop off. Lots of parts, many very small. We didn't lose anything I'm happy (and surprised) to say. I am famous for dropping important things into the ocean. I am very close to buying one of those underwater metal detectors just for this reason.
We took a little break after getting the first prop off which took the better part of a half hour. The prop Peter was putting on was a one piece. I was ready for a similar process but the one piece took two minutes to get secured. As I swam back to Swingin on a Star I saw the grassy algae waving in the current. Ug.
I bit the bullet and started scrubbing. You typically want to brush the bottom very lightly so that you take off only the outermost layer of paint and the critters along with it. Unfortunately barnacles, and I had a lot, don't come off unless you really get after them. The grassy stuff at the waterline also takes a bit of elbow grease to get rid of.
I went through two tanks (which is some serious bottom time at 3 feet average depth). I had one hull really clean and made a little impact on the other. One part that needed no cleaning at all was the props. We had them painted with Prop Speed and the stuff is amazing. It is really expensive but it work like magic. The drive legs were worse than the rest of the boat however. I always worry about these because on a saildrive boat the raw water for the diesels is drawn up through the drive leg. When the little vents get grown over you get water flow restriction. I think that I may spring for Prop Speed on the drive legs and the props next time around.
Topside Hideko had noticed a skiff on a mooring in front of us that had taken on so much water in the rains that the boat was swamped with the outboard totally submersed. Some folks were trying to swim it to the shore. Hideko went out to give them a hand and ended up towing the boat ashore, not to mention giving the kids a ride.