Home Sweet Home

John & Susan Simpson
Mon 28 Nov 2022 01:58
Amazingly, six months have passed since we left Casamara in Grenada and went off on our land-based travels. We had some great times and stayed in some lovely places but returning to Casamara feels like coming home. She may not be permanently in one place but living aboard again feels very familiar and it’s good to be back.

You’ll recall that back in May we worked hard on preparing Casamara for the harsh weather of the hurricane season. We’d heard horror stories of people returning to their boats after six months to find black mould everywhere inside the boat and infestations of insects, and that’s always assuming the boat hasn’t been wrecked in a hurricane! Thankfully we found none of that and she looks pretty much how we left her.

We spent the first few days staying in an apartment whilst we unpacked everything that had been vacuum sealed against the humidity and then the two nights before launch day we slept on board in a hot and windless corner of the boatyard. We certainly missed the air conditioned apartment then!

Whilst I unpacked the inside of the boat John was busy beavering away on the underside, checking through-hull fittings and putting on a couple of coats of fresh antifouling. We wore cotton balaclavas and goggles to protect eyes, hair and faces, but the red paint splashed over us made it look like we were preparing for a hallowe’en horror show!

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Finally launch day arrived and Casamara was transported somewhat recklessly across the boatyard on a trailer before being lifted back into the water in the boat hoist. The boatyard guys did an amazing job squeezing her out from between the tightly packed boats without hitting anything.

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Once in the water the engine was started and John checked the boat for leaks. All was fine at that stage, but by the time we’d tied up to a pontoon only 50 metres away an alarm was sounding on the engine. A high pressure oil pipe had developed a pin prick hole since last use and oil was spraying all over the engine room! Thankfully we were in the right place to get everything cleaned up and a new pipe fitted straight away.

We’ve now been afloat again for nearly a week and have used the time to test the systems, both existing and new. We had some new solar panels fitted over the summer and the set up comes complete with a touch screen display telling us how much power we’re getting from the sun and how much of that is going into recharging Casamara’s batteries. I’m sure the novelty will wear off but at the moment I’m hopping up and down to look at the display every time the sun comes out or the sky clouds over. It’s very satisfying to be charging the batteries from sunshine and not diesel!

We have a couple more weeks on Casamara to test everything ready for our next adventure, before flying back to the UK for three weeks and Christmas with our family. When we return to Casamara after Christmas we start preparations in earnest for joining the World ARC Pacific rally which leaves St Lucia on 18th February 2023bound for Australia, via the Panama Canal and the many islands in between. All very exciting!