... and that was the end of 2008
Monday 29 December
I went to the chandlers to buy some fittings for my sprayhood
improvements, but they did not have any so that was off the list. I could
not finish sewing the sprayhood as it would have to be undone when I have
the fittings, it really needs zips. That left sewing the spinnaker which
was supposed to be done by New Year.
I got the spinnaker out and made a valiant attempt, I have done the hard
part of attaching one of the reinforced corners and some of the hem and
put it back in the locker.
Tuesday 30 December
I had planned to go into town to see if the other branch had my fittings,
but abandoned the idea.
8 am I set off for Fuik Bay, it is only 3 miles.
Slow Dancing were here, but they left after lunch. Puddle Jumper had
followed me in.
There is nothing here, which is its attraction, and the water is cleaner.
I scrubbed the bottom of the boat. I got down to the bottom of the keel
which never gets antifouled as it is blocked up supporting the boat when
it is out of the water, those barnacles have always felt so safe before,
but no longer. I also swam under the boat and out the other side,
something I had never been able to do previously. I can't say that I
enjoyed it, but I finished before the panic set in and I had to get out.
The bottom is clean where I painted it properly, the rudder and keel, the
starboard side and the nose. The rest of the port side has barnacles and
fur and I know why. I tried to paint two coats with two quarts of paint,
I needed three. I only got round with the aid of thinners and that
obviously didn't work. I still have only got through to the red layer
under the blue – I have never got down to the underlying black coat.
Then I scrubbed the deck. I finished at 3 and Puddle Jumper invited me
for dominoes, so that was the excuse I needed to stop work for the day.
Wednesday 31 December
I was going to polish the hull, according to the banner on the bottle it
was a 'one step process'. The instrucions said that you had to clean the
hull first, that made it a 'two step process' to me, but the hull is clean
so I moved right along. It was very hard work and not so much 'wax on,
wax off' more 'are we there yet?'. I managed the starboard side and will
keep going over it with a towel to polish it up over the next few days. I
also did the stern. Even with the dinghy tied of on two ropes it was hard
work to stay in the right place in this wind and was very tiring and my
hands hurt. It is only a small boat until you have to paint or polish it,
then it seems to grow.
There is no point attempting the port side as I am probably going back to
Aruba and the tyres on the dock will mark the side again.
Several boats had come back for New Year and we had a party. I was on my
way over to Puddle Jumper – notice we always have gatherings on the big
catamarran. I decided to lock the boat and turned back. The door was in
the cockpit and I remember it falling over. I have now broken the key
which is stuck in the lock, that is not too much of a problem as I cannot
find another key, which is more of a problem. I abandoned the door and
went to get back in the dinghy, just in time to see its rope dropping off
the boat into the water. I was not jumping in, I had just had a shower
and changed. Val soon realised that What Knot was not on a long line it
was making a run for the other side of the bay and came to bring him home.
Great end to the Old Year.
We should have celebrated at 8pm, when it was midnight in the UK, we were
not going to make it until 12 here. We picked 10pm here, it must have
been somebody's New Year, Azores maybe.
Thursday 1 January 2009
We took part in the Polar Plunge, when everybody goes in the water on the
first day of the year; better here than in the UK or a lot of other cold
places. I still only went in up to my thighs, it is cold here for me now
I have got used to the usual very hot weather. We had a long sociable day
on the beach and a BBQ in the evening. Without a working fridge it is
difficult to contribute to the food as I usually take a dessert, but I
cooked a coconut pie and that went down well.
Friday 2 January
Back to the spinnaker, I am about half way along the hem for the first row
of stitches. Even if I finished it I would not be able to try it as the
chances of light winds is not likely, quite the opposite.
I went for a snorkel in the afternoon in my wetsuit. There are turtles
and rays in this bay, but I keep missing them surface and jump – in that
order, turtles don't jump.
Saturday 3 January
I can tell that I am not going to be very productive today. I stayed in
until I had finished my book.
In the afternoon they brought in 3 floating bars.
Sunday 4 January
Fuik Bay Day – everything that floats is supposed to arrive here for the
day, which is why I got an early space. Steve was supposed to be coming
over, but we abandoned as there is no way down by car; well there is but
they won't let you use the road.
It was a zoo, mostly motor boats of all sizes and a handful of yachts.
The wet bikes were crazy as usual, with no regard for people swimming in
the water. There were lots of drunk people in charge of motors that
should not have been. The coastguard and the rescue services arrived, but
even so the speed limit was not enforced. Luckily nobody was hurt.
5.30, just after I had left the boat a fishing boat came and anchored feet
from my bow, and there were two other small boats rafted up with him. We
took pictures and blasted the horn from Puddle Jumper. The rescue boat
came close and watched, but did not do anything. I tried to get the
coastguard but got no response. We were in the dinghy going over to have
a word when they got the message and went off, luckily they had not
snagged my anchor chain with their anchor.
It was an anxious time on Puddle Jumper as the big barge in front was
trying to get its anchors up as this was over their chain, but eventually
they left. It was manic while all these boats were leaving, but the
silence when they had gone was wonderful.