I won at
calls with the bank and eventually I have been unblocked and I have a supply of
day tidying the tool locker and basically I know where everything is –
until I move it again!
Had a swim
after lunch and made some cakes and a jam sponge. I was going to have the
sponge with custard, but have no milk.
going to TTSA BBQ, but 5 people dropped out, leaving only 3. Martin went on
the bus and Nicky and I walked, despite being warned that it was not safe. We
were not mugged, but a pack of dogs came out of the fishing area and Nicky was
bitten. We got to TTSA, Nicky and Martin decided to go to the clinic. They
said they were coming back, but I could not risk it. Walking back alone in the
dark is not sensible and the buses are either not running or not safe at
night. I said hello to Tom and Mary Ann and was going to walk back before it
got dark, but Mary Ann insisted on walking me to the road and I got on a bus.
I was home by 6.30 just as it got dark.
been two pirate attacks off the coast of Venezuela, the last one made the BBC
World News tonight, but the attack was about a week ago. The boat that is here
was attacked and the pirates took everything, food, bedding, mattresses, the
This life in
Paradise does get worrying at times.
With my new
list in my hand I set off with great intentions. I took the windvane frame to
the metalworks nearby. They did not have quite the right size aluminum tube
and it was thick and they were only going to spot weld on one side as the metal
is so thin; so I brought it back. I have some tubing that is the right size,
but a bit thick. I will cut a piece off and make a sleeve and ignore the
welding, it is what I did to get me back from Puerto Rico and it worked. I
also checked to see if my winch had arrived, it should have been at Customs
yesterday, but no news so far.
I set off
again and got to the next yard and found someone to service my outboard, I
could do it, but it plays up so I just want it done by someone else. I have to
take it in, I was rather hoping they would come and collect it, but I will see
what I can do tomorrow.
Then I went
into Budget, where I was greeted and kissed, so nice to be remembered. I got
an offcut of Starboard to make my cockpit table. They sell it by the linear
foot, but it is 54’ wide, so I brought it back to the boat.
varied between scorching hot and torrential rain, but I managed to get the
frame for the table attached to the binnacle. It took hours because the
binnacle curves and I bolted through with rubber on the front and wood backing
and the head of the bolts were too big to get the tubing in the fitting. Back
to the original bolts and Déjà vu – it looks exactly like it did when I
made it with the ironing board, but I hope it is stronger. I will spend more
time on the table top tomorrow, when hopefully it is not going to rain so
much. I also put a wooden bar under the shelf in the bathroom and attached the
toilet roll holder and the waste bin. I added two hooks and it was perfect to
hang the peg bag, which used to be a carrier bag but is now a material one that
used to be part of the upholstery. I had to thread string through the top and
could not face getting into the sewing locker, so a small spanner did the job.
I did sleeve
the windvane frame and put the cover back on and lace it up.
loosened one of the pole brackets and slid the sleeve back down, this had been
outstanding from the last time I was on the hard. I had abandoned the job
because I had asked someone to help me and his idea was to take a hammer to it,
so I said thank you and paid him 40TT to go away.
I bought a 5
gallon bottle of water, this is big. I rolled it most of the way hoping that
it would not break. The worst part was getting it up the ladder, there was not
room for it and me and over the last step onto the boat was scary, but I
wasn’t going to drop the water. I will have to decant it, but it is a
bargain, with the deposit on the container costing more than the water. Then
it was time for a swim.
All in all
it was a hard day’s work with maybe not a lot to show for it, but I have
crossed some things off my list.
I went round
to Customs to collect my overdue winch, but it was not there, so I bought a few
bits from the small supermarket. On the way back I was attacked by the pack of
dogs. Once was unfortunate, twice was careless. I protected myself only by
swinging my trolley at them; they did not give up easily and I took a lump out
of my leg – but rather me than them. There are more people making
complaints, but it will take a concerted effort for the managing company, CDC,
to do anything.
I took my
outboard to the place where they are going to service it and went to Budget to
try to find some fittings. I came back to the boat and finished the cockpit
table, I am pleased that it is quite strong. I have a 25 compartment plastic
box with all my screws in, fastidiously sorted into type. I picked it up and
started up the steps, rather a shame it was not fastened. I took it very well,
I have not lost any although I will probably find more in the bilges. I will
just have to sort them again.
thing to do to the Hydrovane, except service it, was to connect it to the boat
rail as it is under immense pressure when sailing and there are two threaded
holes that I can get bolts into. The problem was to get bolts into something
that would not just pull out. Eventually I did it. I had a very strong teak
step from the swim ladder, so it would span the distance. It was 3 inches wide
and so I attached it with D clamps at right angles to the ladder rung and
drilled holes in line with the threaded holes, but my bolts were not long
It was 6.30
before I finished and had to swim in the dark. That was quite nice and no
disadvantage as I have not slimmed down to the bikini figure I should have.
The bikini I bought in the Caribbean is XXL, if it is even a size 12 I would be
amazed; obviously I have a way to go yet.
I was too
tired to do anything and so I finished the last of the sponge pudding with
condensed milk and cocoa powder.
started reading a book, the first few pages were reviews saying how gripping it
was. I had managed chapter 1 and 2, but it is very small print and I have
abandoned it for an audio book. I am listening to one CD a night, I just hope
I have the ending; otherwise I will be asking for a volunteer to find the book,
read the end and let me know.
the few extra bits for the outboard, went to Budget and got two
5”x3/8” bolts, then I went to check on my parcel coming via Fed
Ex. It was 2 day priority shipping and should have been here Tuesday. It had
got from Miami to Puerto Rico yesterday and after checking the tracking and
many phone calls we were told it was on the van and would be delivered to
Customs at 10.00 – it was 10.00, so we needed to give it a bit longer.
guard at the next yard wants to marry me, I said I would put him on the list.
I went back
to the boat and found the bolts would not do as there was no room for the hex
head. I went back to Budget and exchanged them for two with countersunk heads,
these were three times as much at 5 pounds each. I was staggered, but they
were what I needed, so I paid the extra. I went back to check on the parcel,
it had arrived.
I went round
to Customs, no dogs today, got my parcel and went back to the boat.
All I had to
do was put the new bolts in, where are they? I had the receipt, but in my
shock at the price I think I forgot to pick up the bolts. I took the old winch
that I had taken off, together with the new winch to the metalworkers to make
me some backing plates. I am having metal plates for all 4 winches and the
rope clamps on the coachroof, last year I backed the cleats, is there ever an
end to rebuilding this boat?
metalworkers I went on to Budget, three times in one morning, I shall shoot
myself if I need anything else. I got replacement bolts and some bedding
compound while I was there. Before I had got far I realized that I needed some
special bolts for the winch, I could not face going back, I would get them
tomorrow when I pick up the plates.
It was noon
and I was getting stressed by not having started anything yet. I finally
finished the amazing work of art that I have created on the Hydrovane, overkill
maybe, but it feels good and strong.
I made some
backing plates out of wood that I shall put between the boat and the metal
plates. I should have set up down on the ground, but it is all too much
effort, so I had to make do in the cockpit, which was not easy.
Jim is back,
I did not expect him so soon. I cleaned up and was going for a shower and a
Bob is back,
also before I expected him. There has been a big swell on the water today.
Boats are rocking from gunnel to gunnel in the anchorage and it is also bad on
the pontoons. Bob was lucky that he is parked between two fishing boats, so
there are no masts to clash with, but one of his mooring lines had snapped and
his power cable had been torn out and was in the water. I held the boat for
Bob to get on and tie up and left him to reconnect his electricity, he assured
me he had turned it off at the pod. Then it really was off to my shower and a
I made a cup
of tea and spilt boiling water from the kettle on my hand and that was
painful. I have had a very busy week and need to calm down.
I am on to
my second best mug – I used to do three or four things a day, now it
takes me three or four days to do a thing. That is certainly how it feels.
With all this walking and heat, surely I must be losing weight.
I took the
old winch off the coachroof and took this and the new winch to collect the
metal plates. The man had drilled some of the holes, I was not happy (did I
say that I make a terrible customer?). I went to Budget to get the bolts and
when I came back I went through exactly what I wanted. The 4 winch ones were
fine, but the rectangular one for the clamps was wrong. In the end he made
another one and I was happy, 500TT seemed a lot, (they always say it is the
price of the material) so I wanted them right.
I fitted the
new winch on the coachroof and the old winch on the coaming amid continual
squalls and a power cut. I did service all 4 winches, not before time, one I
could not move it was so bad. I am pleased with the fixings, but need someone to
hold the allen key on top while I tighten up the nuts, tomorrow.
It was 7pm
before I finished and the cockpit is covered in grease.
6.30 I was
up cleaning the cockpit as it was raining, just for a change.
7.00 I gave
in and started taking the antibiotics for my tooth infection, it has been
months now and I cannot risk setting off with this pain. I just hope they
work, I shall have to deal with the result of the antibiotics later.
considerable time trying to fix the sewing machine in a little niche, so that
it will not fall out under way. The third idea seems to work, but I am not
moving yet. I was really tired by 11 and so went visiting people on boats on
the water. Dave came back with me and we tightened up the winch bolts, job
I still have
the two original winches to do, although identical models to the new one they
have bolt holes in different places, so I have abandoned that for now.
going down the River in Venezuela and I want to go, it will rain, but it rains
here too. I have to wait for my solar panel, but I can do everything else.
I got the
genoa out and it needs a new edging strip. It took hours to unpick the two
layers of tattered strip and although I kept going until 6.30 I shall have
hours more work. There are a few other areas needing repair and I will have to
decide whether to sew it myself or pay a sailmaker. I haven’t even
looked at the main, but that is usually in good condition.
There is a
pan band at the restaurant a few yards away, but I am too exhausted to go out.
I shall send
this now because the wifi is patchy.