Wednesday – putting a boat to bed is rather like moving house, but
everything goes into one room and you don’t actually leave.
I did find the camera in the locker with the glue and epoxy. I had
looked in there in case it had fallen behind the seat cushion and down into the
locker, but I hadn’t seen it. It is bright blue and was still difficult to
spot as it had worked its way down.
The other bright spot of the day was the 2” throughhull fitting that I had
not been able to close the stopcock on for a couple of years. Previously I
had put a wooden bung in the morning I was heading to the airport on the basis
that it would swell up in the water and stop any ingress; which was great except
when I came to get it out 6 months later – you can’t drill it out under
water. With penetrating oil and wiggling I did get it to move a fraction
and I had identified which way it had to go. So then I gave it some
serious taps with a heavy hammer and it definitely moved a bit more.
Finally I was able to get two feet on the lever, which is in the cupboard under
the bathroom sink, and hanging onto the sink worktop it closed. I can now
open and close this by hand which will enable me to close it before I leave and
make me feel that bit happier about leaving the boat in the water.
Thursday – The diesel tank was calling me, but luckily today we were going
to move the boat so I did not want to get started on anything – any excuse is a
good excuse. We moved the boat on ropes 180 degrees and I am now in the
middle of two docks, tied up to a post at the bow and onto the dock at the
stern; which was where I wanted to be. There is a surprising amount of
room beside me (does this make me seem small!) and I could launch the dinghy,
which I will do when I return.
It was now noon and I couldn’t start anything because I was going to Trivia
Night. I am getting used to it here now, I can only go to town by shuttle
and can only go out in the dark if the event sends a launch. I think I
will be able to row to Mario’s, which is where most other people I know will be
Friday – No more excuses, time for diesel tank 1. I emptied the
cockpit locker and put most items in the back cabin; which is now very
full. I took the floor up and unscrewed the watermaker filter off to give
me a little bit more room, but the space was still very confined because of the
extra 2 batteries and the only place for the inspection hatch was at the narrow
end of the tank. This job was not easy, which was why I paid mucho dinero
in Shelter Bay, Panama to have it done. They did not cut a round hole for
the hatch, so it buckled and would not open and was just screwed down into the
flexible plastic, so it also leaked. I was going to do it properly and fit
a new hatch the same size.
I had emptied the diesel into tank 2, so just had to wipe it out and was
going to round off the hole by hand tools. This proved too difficult and
so I got out the jigsaw. Getting the jigsaw into the space with the
surrounding obstacles and to cut slivers off was not easy – which explains why
the other guys made such a bad job of it. I cut the hole, drilled holes
for the new hatch, put in a backing plate of starboard, used permatex to seal it
and bolted it down. It was very hot and I got very mucky and it took 6
hours. My entire effort is now hidden under the floor in the cockpit
locker and will never be appreciated; should have taken a photo. I vowed I
would not do anything like that again – until the next time!
I cleaned up and spent most of the afternoon at the pool.