A Busy Week
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sun 22 Mar 2015 23:57
A Busy Week Full of Jobs
We settled on Friday after making sure everything was secure and waited for Cyclone Pam, as the day went on an almost an eerie silence settled – not a bird to be seen or heard, not a breath of wind. We were due to be hit anytime from nine in the evening, the worst to be expected about three in the morning. Later, the weather picture looked more hopeful as Pam turned slightly more to her left and further down the coast were told to brace themselves.
During the afternoon we had a rainbow before any rain and although the sky was very grey Bear continued to potter under the girl – raising the waterline another three inches. Time to shower before things change.
Walking to the shower very fine began to fall and a breeze was picking up. On our way back we could see the last of the afternoon sun, then a rainbow, then the storm clouds across the other side of the bay, our bimbling speed got somewhat quicker.
The wind began to pick up and we hunkered down to play games and listen to the weather reports. During a game of Mexican train dominoes I had one chap to get rid of having happily laid my other fourteen men. Bear was collecting spares like a goodie, surely it was just a matter of a few seconds before I would win and Bear would gather a myriad of negative points. No. I began to pick up random stuff and ‘you-know-who’ began to get rid of his accumulated twenty two men to win..........I had to suffer writing 198 on my score card.........Much muttering and gnashing of teeth.
During the night gusts rose to forty knots, the rain was so hard it turned really cold. Auckland took the worst of the weather with the biggest threat for the Chatham Islands. The rest of the weekend passed without incident. On the cruisers net on Monday morning everyone sounded quite deflated. We guessed all the boaties, just like us, had been on such alert that when it came to nought............well we had been told to expect the “once in a lifetime storm”. Monday became the start of a new phase of jobs. I know I was on permanent strike from varnishing but the test scrape I had done many months ago was shouting every time I went in or out, nothing for it but to saddle up the sander. Very therapeutic it was too, oh, the finished picture guess who marched through the shot......... Needless to say, Bear is on the sternest warning NOT to go anywhere near the cockpit when the wet stuff has been applied.
I’m pleased to report that Bear did heed his warning and stayed very busy ‘down below’ finishing the waterline, then supervising the propeller re-paint. I got the first coat on and held my breath the first time himself appeared. Our egg sack mystery has had a step in the right direction. Dear blog reader, Frank sent us a link to a specialist university in San Diego. I emailed with pictures and got a reply from a lady telling us that she had forwarded our creatures mug shots to the department that may be able to help. Fingers crossed and huge thanks to Frank for getting straight on the case.
Flushed with the successful combination of the first coat and a careful captain, we fell into a rhythm. After breakfast Bear sanded down the first coat, I put the first coat on the cockpit table. Yes, I know, I was really pushing my luck factor but I had packed the new table in our luggage and it had been waiting for a long time for the attention this lovely piece of teak deserved. Next coat, next set of sanding, real teamwork.
Thursday – launch day. We jumped up and followed the same sanding/varnishing deal, then I went off to the laundry. Bear took the covers off the girl and readied her for splashing. He then popped into the insurance shop to see if he could get his laptop updated. He stuck his head in mid washing machine cycle and told me he had 119, oh you really have kept that little chap up-to-date, when did you last log it on. sheepishly I heard Panama........... No comment. I finished and folded, himself reappeared to help with the quilt cover to tell me that at his best guess many days would be necessary given the lack of internet speed or hard wire availability, again no comment. After late lunch we showered, did a rubbish run and tidied. At four on the dot we heard the travel lift chugging toward us. Bear was seen in his usual pose. Brett went to get some brown paper to protect the girl from strop rubbing, this gave us time to tell Pete about our egg-sack-bung. He has a friend in marine sciences that he will show the pictures to “down the pub”. Another email to be sent later on. Soon back in the water, Beez was heard to let out a huge sigh. Buoy N23 was a welcome sight. Bear launched Baby Beez and put the covers on and I cleaned out the big fridge and made sweet and sour chicken.
Sunday morning I thought I had teeny weeny egg events but they were just flotsam from the saucepan. I did look alarmed at the three eggs on the chefs plate – oh no I don’t expect one of them to have anything worthwhile inside, it’s the chap that made all the mess in the water. Cannot argue with that skipper...........
ALL IN ALL BUSY ON BOARD
A PRODUCTIVE WEEK