Almerimar part 2 - 36 41.807N 02 47.268W
Saturday 7 June, 2014. at Almerimar.
I hear you say “why? the jobs were all to be finished before Maggie returned on 1st June”. Well it’s like this….
Maggie flew out to Almeria with Easy Jet, thank you Matt for getting her to the LGW airport at the unearthly hour to make the flight and local expat John gave me a lift to Almeria airport to meet her. The sun shone and the boat was clean (well I thought it was). The forecast was for a sunny day with rain later, much better than UK.
1. Leaks. I was aware there had been a deck leak in our (aft) cabin and thought I had traced this to a poorly fitted jam/cleat mounted above the forward bulkhead.
At about 17:00 on 1 June the heavens opened and it poured down. The rain in Spain had entirely missed the plain! It deluged Almerimar and the storm drains washed all the crud into the harbour….and rainwater leaked into my (CJB) bed! At first I suspected the new work on the targa frame but no, it was indeed a deck leak. It is now fixed but tracing it meant that the wood trim on my side of the bed, which had only recently been reassembled and screwed into place, had to come back down again!
2. Windows…Well this saga started on 26 March, when we had a very rough passage from Calpe to Torevieja, but was probably an issue long before that. We had both noticed a considerable leak from the two saloon windows, to port and starboard, and another window forward by the quarter berth. Clearly all was not well with the seals.
For those who don’t know, we have port lights set into the hull positioned just below the main deck, in fact five “windows” on each side of the boat.
The aft pair, two on each side, open into our bijou sleeping cabin. They are great as they can be opened to admit a pleasant cooling breeze at night, in port. They also effective provide easy access for the local mozzies – with the windows open the poor dears don’t get tired and confused trying to fly down the main hatch, turn left and aft along the passage by the engine room before they can reach the succulent feast of flesh and blood spread on the double bed. These same windows also allow the sounds of the local pop bands and discos to reach our ears so much easier that we don’t have to strain to hear the words as we drop off to sleep, well CJB does, not so sure about Maggie. Anyway I digress, these four windows have nice rubber seals and presently show no sign of leaking at sea. In fact you can lie in bed and watch the Med gurgle past.
The next pair forward are by the nav station to port (a fixed window that mustn’t leak, or all Charlie’s electronics will get wet) and in the galley, to starboard. The galley window opens to admit cooling breeze at eye level to aid the cook’s labours.
The next pair forward are in the main saloon and are sealed non-opening type.
Finally the forward pair are in way of the forward (port) bathroom (opening) and the quarter berth (starboard) which is sealed.
Perhaps I should add that when heeled as we sail these windows are on or just below the waterline on the lee side. Very good for watching dolphins etc but not at all good if the glass falls out!
The last major project at Almerimar was to fix these leaks. All the fixed windows, except that at the navigation station were suspects, in fact they were guilty as charged. Once the interior trim was removed 6 bolts were found securing each frame tight against the hull. Once removed the frame + window could be eased outward, freed from a generous coating of much hardened mastic, and then caught before it fell into the dock (hence the two man job, so it had to wait until Maggie arrived = good excuse!).
While inspecting the windows after removal it became clear that the perspex was only sealed into the frame on the inside with mastic between the stainless frame and the glass, but there was nothing on the outside preventing the Perspex from falling out. The port saloon glass was easily pushed out of its frame with steady pressure from two fingers! The others were only partially sealed, the sunlight had degraded the mastic on the lower face which was loose but the Perspex was securely held along its upper edge. Quelle horreur! When I think of the passages we have made with these windows submerged! So not just a quick job sealing the frames as first thought. Four days later the windows are back in place and have passed a searching hose test. We can now relax knowing sinking is not an immediate concern!
3. Guard wires gone slack on the port side? The aft mounting on the pulpit had sheared – when did that happen?
Some hours of frantic activity to remove the pulpit and then get Stewart at Inox to re-weld it (10 minutes) and several more hours to get thing back in place and secure and then re-run the side light cable through the frame and all is now back in good order once more.
4. Windlass - the thingy that pulls the anchor up.
I spent a pleasant hour this afternoon, after completing the pulpit rails, trying to find out why this anchor thingy was not working. I guess switching it on would, as a first step, have been good? OK, I can now put away the multimeter as it works as usual. Grey matter decaying one asks?
5. Berth trials were also done today. Engine, bow thrust etc. all started and stopped correctly. Looks like we could be leaving shortly!
Enough of the technical? Stuff – over to Maggie.
The weather must be getting better as last night we had our first real night of local bar torture (entertainment to those who were in attendance). Some expat who thought he was Michael Buble, Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra and the Supremes, (his list was extensive), kept other expats in the Irish Bar, (don’t they just get everywhere), entertained until around 11.00 p.m. Hooray I thought, (CJB was already in the land of nod), now I can get some sleep. Of course this wasn’t to be the case as some idiot decided to let all the customers do their karaoke thing until some time after 2a.m! In their defence, all I can say is that the ‘programme’ was extremely varied but it didn’t take much to realize none of them had been drinking tea that night!!!
Whilst CJB has been busy working his way through his list of jobs, I’ve been busy spotting a few more for him to add to his list, well, he does hate to be bored. Fortunately, with my support, he’s checking them off the list probably somewhat faster than normal as afternoon siestas are banned until we leave here in shipshape fashion.
In my defence, I’ve been busy too and once we find our get up and go button, it’s a day for tidying up all the lines that he seems to have laid out all over the decks and then to clean the decks. The new bimini is due to arrive sometime mañana (as they repeatedly say here), so it’d be nice to have everything else sparkling by the time it gets fitted. We have also now received the new comfortable cockpit cushions; the old ones felt like bricks and didn’t offer the aging posteriors any level of comfort at all.
Before leaving Falmouth last Spring, Charlie tasked me to find a strong gangplank. After accosting a group of builders, who were at the time standing on some nice strong scaffolding planks building a wall, I was able to acquire said plank, better still, it only cost me a pack of beers. However, the plank didn’t look all that smart, even though I had jet washed it and cleared off all cement etc., Luckily for me, but not CJB’s wallet, I noticed a secondhand passarelle in the local chandlery last week, (metal ladder specifically for getting on/off ones boat). An expat living in Granada had bought it last year for their boat but his wife didn’t want it, strange lady. It had cost him in the region of 350 Euros, suffice tsay we now own said passarelle at a considerably reduced price – result!
Well, the sun is up, the sky is blue and it’s time to go and scrub the decks, so I’ll bid you farewell for the moment. More stuff like this will inevitably follow…
A photo file from Almerimar will follow shortly – project for today!