Fixing and cleaning stuff
27 February 2021 | 10 24.394'N:75 32.692'W, Club de Pesca, Cartegena, Colombia
10 24.394 N
75 32.692 W
Weather; sunny, wind n/a, waves n/a
Today was a successful day, we didn't break anything and didn't lose anything - it had to be a good day compared to the last few! We slept well yet again and are slowly getting back to our normal operating selves. Gerry was eager to get on with the fixing of stuff - well there is so much that need attention that he had to start somewhere. The first thing though was the need to get the dinghy out of the water and back in the Davis, between us we managed to do this fairly quickly, making it more difficult for it to be stolen from under our noses. Gerry then began with connecting up the water hose so that I could also get busy with washing down the cockpit - not that I was really keen to do the job but it badly needed doing. He then went about removing the bent, pulled out of the cap rail stanchion with a view to fixing it. The two life lines that run through the stanchion had to be removed first by taking the fittings off the end and pulling them through the holes on the stanchion. The lines then had to have the ends re placed and then attached back to the anchoring point for safety sake - we didn't need to be grabbing the safety line and having it not attached to anything and leaving us floundering in the water! Once the life lines were out of the stanchion he could remove the actual stanchion from its position by unscrewing the support and removing it from the deck socket, the rest of it was already pulled out from the wooden cap rail so didn't need extra work to get it free. As you may have seen in the gallery photo, the deck socket has cracked around the joint at the base and the temporary fix for this was to apply some epoxy to the crack to keep the water out until we can get a welder to fix it - probably when we get to Panama. The next step was to remove the piece of wooden cap rail that had been pulled out from the bottom of the stanchion by removing the screws. Once this was free Gerry put thickened epoxy into the gap left in the cap rail, fitted the wood back into place and applied a bit more thickened epoxy and smoothed it down and left it to set hard. The next bit of the fix was to try and bend the actual stanchion back into shape which he did using brute strength and sailor speak, it will also need some attention when we are in Panama to make sure that it is as secure and stable as possible. At this point there was nothing more to do to the stanchion, he had to wait for the epoxy to harden completely before he could fit it back into place - maybe tomorrow's job.
I had been out on the deck watching a yellow footed Egret that was fishing off of the next finger pier, I took a few photos as it fascinated me to watch how it went about it, and I had never seen an Egret with yellow "socks" before. I wasn't too hopeful that the photos would come out but was really pleased to see that they turned out better than I could have hoped given that the bird was in motion and a distance away - check them out on the gallery.
At this point we were both out on deck when a catamaran across the way from us and a couple of slips down began to motor out of their slip, we watched in horror as they tried to make the turn into the fairway getting closer by the second to the bow of the boat just 2 slips down from us. They managed to hit the anchor of that boat which sticks out into the fairway further than we do. One of the crew was trying his hardest to fend the boat off as they progressed forward but there seemed to be an issue with the steering as they were getting closer and closer to our side of the dock, or maybe they were just encountering the same windage that we had dealt with on the way in. They managed to get past us without getting to the panic moment but they were edging closer and closer to the large power boat on our outside dock, the crew who had assisted us in docking yesterday were very quick off the mark and had a couple fenders over the side where their anchor was sitting as this catamaran got closer and in fact managed to scrape its side on the power boat’s anchor and at the same time they scraped along the concrete pole that our boat is tied up to. The damage to the catamaran is going to mean a repair job at the very least as the scrapes were down to the gel coat. Our neighbour, thanks to the quick thinking crew escaped any damage. I did feel for the catamaran guys, we know how difficult it was for us to get into the slip, it can’t have been easy for them trying to get out.
Meanwhile I had made a quiche and was now out in the cockpit with fresh water hose, deck brush, deck cleaner, cloths and attitude in hand. It was hard to know quite where to begin with the clean up as everything needed a good scrub down including the seat cushions, which is where I began. Once I had those scrubbed and soaked they went out on deck to dry back out whilst I began methodically working my way around the cockpit, scrubbing, hosing, wiping, moving stuff and repeating as necessary until the entire cockpit from floor to ceiling was clean and free of salt residue. The only things that didn't get washed down were the enclosure windows, the reason for that was that they need some extra attention - need cleaning, mold removal, zipper lubrication, Isinglass polishing and a new coat of water proofing on the canvas bits and we had decided that it would be best to remove one at a time and do this work in the comfort of the salon - once the table was operational again!
It took me until lunchtime to get to this point so it was time to retreat to the cool of the salon and get out of my wet swim gear, have some lunch and do nothing for a while. So my "do nothing" was the uploading of the photos to the gallery. Gerry went ashore to the hardware and Chandlery to try and get the hinges and other bits that were on out growing list of things need for repair work, he was back fairly quickly and I was still loading photos - very slow process! Once he had recovered with a cold drink it was time to set about the next fixing job - the salon table flap was to be re fixed into place, mostly so he didn't keep stubbing his toes! The new hinges were only 2 holes whereas the old ones were 3 holes so this meant a whole new lot of hinge placement. Out came the tool bag and drill new holes were made in the table, the support flaps (which had not sustained any damage) were locked into position and the table flap was balanced on the top and lined up at which point I had to support the flap and make sure it didn't move at all whilst Gerry screwed the other side of the hinges to the flap whilst laying on the floor and working upside down underneath the table. Eventually we had the table flap reattached and functioning. Next came the hooks to hold the flap on either side of the table firmly in place when stowed, the new hooks were slightly longer than the originals Ð why would we ever have thought we might be able to get an exact match for the old broken ones? This meant that once they were in place, a matter of a few minutes job, the flaps stick out a fraction and aren't flat to the table; it was going to have to do, we only need the flaps secure when we are underway, the rest of the time they can being the resting position but not locked down. By the time we had finished with the table it was getting close to cocktail hour, time to put some clean clothes on and walk around to the restaurant and have a drink or two and dinner. Climbing over the safety line to get on the dock without the stanchion in place was a bit different, I had to get Gerry to hold on to me as I made the somewhat small distance across the gap - no one needed to see me falling in the water! We arrived at the restaurant and were shown to a table out in the open - there was no inside dinning, we don't know if this is normally the case but it was a pleasant evening and with the tables spaced at 6 feet intervals and every waiter wearing a mask we were obviously under Covid restrictions but we didn't need to wear masks at the table. We ordered a couple of Cuba Libras made with the locally produced rum which promptly arrived along with a complimentary plate of appetizers consisting of crispy pork belly bits, cubes of cheese - a bit like a feta, some Yuka chunks - a potato like vegetable, some rounds of what the waiter described as ground corn which was steamed - they were like disks of sweet potato accompanied by sour cream and salsa. To be honest there was enough of this to do us for dinner but we felt that we had to buy dinner so we perused the menu and Gerry ordered a 200 gm fillet steak with garlic and fries and I ordered a chicken salad. The meals arrived with our second drinks, another rum for me and a local beer (Aguila) for Gerry which he was impressed with. The food was beyond good and plentiful, I ended up taking half of my salad home for later there was so much. We watched the full moon rise over the marina, it was really pretty to see with a streak of red cloud near by it. The views of the harbor and the sky rise buildings were a great back drop - photos in the gallery probably don't do it justice. When we finally got the bill we were even more impressed, it came to US$32 and that included the 10% tip that is usual here - what great value, we will certainly eat here again! The amazing thing was that for a Friday night we were surprised that there were so few people eating here, maybe it's because there are a whole load more restaurants close by that we have yet to find and try. Walking back to the boat was more a stagger back but we made to safely and climbed aboard ready for the last instalment of the Netflix series we had been watching before bed time.
We'll be back with more fixing stuff tomorrow!