Sunday, April 19, 2015

Home for the summer

We are sitting in Dallas-Fort Worth airport, waiting for our flight.  Had a glitch in Miami so we didn’t get to our hotel until 4:15 this morning.  Up at 6:30 for the shuttle back to DFW.  Didn’t get our moneys worth for that bed.

Shutting the boat down is hot, dirty, hard work.  Better now that we are at North Sound but still…

Pam is a Trojan.  She works like a dog, does more than her share, even after almost knocking herself out on the bimini frame.  She keeps on sewing up protective covers for things… weird shapes and connectors.

I’d like for her to go home 2 weeks before me so she doesn’t have to go through the gruelling “shut down checklist”… but it wouldn’t get done properly.

So she’s stuck here with me…. thankfully.

Time to come out


Murphy the Dinghy gets a ride

Watching Pam work

Hauling Odie up the mast 

... to get the broken wind instrument

Happy smile... before the disaster

One of the big boys in Falmouth for the Classic Yachts Regatta

Before she walloped her head on the bimini

Ready to go home
Last look

Roadside lunch on the way to ANU

So we are done for the year, Dear Reader.  Home to Abbotsord for a summer of family and friends.  What a life!

Cheers for now.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Blue Pearl Bootstripe

Our bootstripe was in terrible condition.  So it was on our list of things to do once we hauled.  Looking forward to it.  A friend (with significant practical skills and accomplishments) told me about an inexpensive fix.  Mask it, scuff it up with sandpaper and paint it from a can.  Easy, peasy… and cheap.  How much is a can of paint?

I should have known, though.  I have a way of screwing up the simplest tasks.  And I have the artistic intuition of a five year old.  

I know, I know… not fair to five-year-olds.  Many five year olds have very good skills and parents and grandparents love their work.

Papa on his sailboat - by Jack! (5 years old)
But people with the skills of a five year old shouldn't paint their expensive sailboat.

The spray paint went on in a great mess, leaving gaps and puddles everywhere.  There were bare patches and sags right next to each other.  As Pam grew more and more critical, I grew more stoic.  Finally, the can ran out just before I was going to throw it at a dog that was wandering by, looking judgementally at my work.

I ran for the thinner and wiped off as much as I could.  Sulked the rest of the night.  Didn’t sleep well at all.  Horrible paint job and the Canucks lost.  Next day, after it hardened I sanded off as much as I could.  As a second shot, I decided to use the “roll and tip” method with some topsides paint I found in our spares locker.  Got that out and put it down on the only flat spot on the boat… Pam’s suitcase.  

I was standing outside looking at the job in front of me, having nightmarish visions of how I might screw up "roll and tip," when a painter working on a nearby boat came over to commiserate… and maybe get a cash job.  Turns out, he doesn’t speak English… as least not the version I’m familiar with.  However, we were able to agree that for a reasonable sum (Pam’s not in complete agreement on this part) he would fix it.  I gave him half down as a deposit and then he said something in his language and I said goodnight.

We spent a more cheerful night in our boat… on the hard… until Pam found that the old, old, old paint cans were leaking on her suitcase.  I was thinking how much easier it will be to spot it on the luggage carousel but she didn’t share my enthusiasm.  She’s not happy about her new, unique suitcase.

So another quiet evening… in the boat… on the hard.

Next day… no painter and the day is wearing on.  We're wondering where he is... and where our deposit is.  Then he arrived but didn’t seem too interested.  Finally he came over and spoke in his language… then all hell broke loose.

And this is what he did…

Leroy, the Magician

Head supervisor

Leroy's assistant
Team Leroy

Oooooooo, shiny!

Caught Pam cleaning up

Over the through-hull

Who's taking the photo? Nice shirt!

Nice boot stripe

Great camera!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Back in Jumby Bay

After Scott and Tina left, the plan was to head over to Montserrat.  Now Montserrat is known to be rolly so the conditions have to be just so.  And then there is the matter of getting back to Antigua.  When we had originally planned to haul out south that wasn’t an issue but now… to get back to Antigua we either need a really low wind day or we need to tack as close to the wind as we can.  Given that the winds have been really huge and the seas are up, it wasn’t a hard decision to leave Montserrat for next year on our way south.

So, instead of hanging around here enlarging our livers, we decided to cut our time short and head home to our cute little children and grandchildren.
We are anchored about a mile from the haul-out
Now, our main salon floor has really taken a beating lately and it makes me crazy every time I look at it.  So as a pre-haul-out project I stripped the old varnish, sanded and put on new varnish.  It is making me crazy.  I can’t seem to get the perfect finish that Winfield got when he did our exterior teak last year.
Ugly salon floor


More stripping before sanding

Sanded, cleaned with oxalic acid, teak cleaner, TSP


Test coat

First coat
So I continue to sand, re-apply with different consistencies and fret and hate the whole look.  Tomorrow will be the 3rd coat and I’m desperate for it to come up sparkling.

Along with varnish, tomorrow we will drop and fold the jib and staysail, clean and seal off the forward head and generally tidy up.  

Murphy will get stripped of his new chaps and motor and we will clean out the little anchor locker prior to his storage INSIDE a building near where we haul.  Wooooopeeeeee!  Luxury accommodations for Murphy.

We haul Tuesday morning and then we treat ourselves to living on the boat on the hard for 4 nights.  We have a list of things to get done but we’ve given ourselves plenty of time to fit it all in.

We’re anchored off beautiful Jumby Bay - blazing internet.  Thought we might bring the kids down and rent one.  There are some cheaper ones for about $6000 per night.  We’d likely need two.

Perhaps out of our range?
Just around the corner... should spend the day there tomorrow.
Or maybe here!

We’ll let you know about boatyard life in a couple of days.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Scott and Tina in Antigua

Scott and Tina are our first guests to visit us in Antigua.

We've been thinking that Antigua would be good for guests since there are lots of interesting places close by so we don't have to endure any long distance slogs.  There are a series of lovely anchorages and the history in Falmouth and English Harbours is great.

We loaded them up and got them settled in - the boys eagerly anticipating shellacking the girls at team crib.  Over the course of the week the boys did manage to eke out a 1 game victory but both Pam and Tina had some astounding hands.  I can't figure out how Pam continues to get such great cuts.  I'm pretty sure she cheats... I just can't figure out her system.

New crew!
After a morning trip to the market in St. John's for a week's worth of delicious grapefruits, bananas and other delights, we headed up to Deep Bay, less than an hour from Jolly Harbour.  Deep Bay has a shallow wreck on which you can snorkel and a good hoof up to an old gun battery at Fort Barrington.  The trek up to the fort was good but the snorkelling was disappointing.  The water was way too murky.  (As an aside, fellow Packeteer, Hayden just posted to his blog with snorkelling pictures from the Bahamas.  Now that's good snorkelling!!!)  In fact, the water in most places we tried was cloudy with the powdery white sand we see on the beaches.

Ran into Harry and Maryke from Aurora - an IP 380.  We've cruised with them in the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands and now down here!

Blue Pearl and Aurora

Harry and Maryke get some of Oma's zudekoek (sp?)

Master and Commander
We attempted to go north and east up to Great Bird Island but we were motoring into a steady 25 knots of wind with gusts to 35 so we decided that Great Bird will have to wait for another time and headed back to Five Islands Bay.

The sail around to Falmouth was good... until we had to motor the last 5 miles heading into the east wind.  Got the batteries all charged up, though.

Falmouth is amazing with it's gargantuan mega yachts... boy, some people have a lot of money.

Big boy with toys

Heading off to hike Middle Ground - between Falmouth and English Harbours

Breeze break

Rude cactus - happy to see us?

Yachts in English Harbour

Another breeze break

Cool roof in the church in Parham

Devil's Bridge

Sadly for us, Scott and Tina left yesterday to continue on their odyssey with kids and grandkids in Mexico.

What a great visit!   Dumped them off at this place... the Hermitage Bay Resort in Five Islands Bay and they walked through the grounds to connect with a taxi.  Very fancy.  About $1300 per night.  We won't be staying there.


And we are left to contemplate the final bit of our 2014/2015 season.  On with the adventures!