Week Ending Sunday 29 July 2007

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Sun 29 Jul 2007 16:24

Week Ending 29 July 2007



Dominoes is held at the posh end of the bay and the commander from USS Albequerque, the submarine, was at the bar and Bob managed to get an invite to have a look round.  There is not an open day for mere mortals due to security issues.  So I did not get an invite to view the sub and I did not win at dominoes.



It was going to be an easy day.  By 8.30 I was on my way.  I walked to Budget with a list, having spent a lot of the weekend going through the catalogues.  I spent 500TT$ and got very little on the list; at the cashdesk I remembered the sealant, which was what I needed, but had forgotten to put on the list.  A guy recognised me and said that he had come to see the boat about the arch, but the marina said that it was in high security, so he went away; he would come over at 2.  Then I stopped off at Dynamite, they have a boat advertised that I said I would look at for Jim, who has decided to spend the season in Antigua.  The viewing was booked for 11.  Then I went to the first metalworks that I had asked with regard to the arch, I had left a written note, but that did not seem to get anywhere.  Dexter put me in his ranger cab and took me back to the boat.  A lot of head shaking, but he did not come on the boat and measure anything.  We went back to the office and worked through things.  Then I went to Coral Cove to wait for Frances to show me the boat.  I bought a pre-fuel filter from a shop there, 10 microns rather than the ususal 30; in this area the fuel can be a bit iffy and I can never resist a fuel filter.


I looked at the boat, 50 foot ketch, very big and still a project.  Part of me would love to have it, but it is too big for me to sail.  Then I looked at a 35 foot boat, ready to go, but I think it is as good as sold.  I will have to e-mail Jim with the details.


I then went round to Customs to try for my flares.  They did not make it easy, I did not have my passport and I have a new one now, but I have them back.  I did ask whether I was meant to go to Immigration when I returned and I was told that I should have – oops.  I went to the mobile phone shop and had to put another 10TT$ on the phone to be able to use the 50TT$ that was on there, but out of date.  I had been unable to change the time and date, Auto Adjust was on and needed to be off.  The chance of getting the car charger for the phone, that was ordered before I went away in March, seems a dim possibility. 


Then to Dockyard Electrics to get four more fans and to ensure I was still up on the list for a visit; and I was able to leave my TT phone number.  I met some people who recognised me from the Canaries Tin Tin (Spanish); I have seen their boat on the anchorage and did recognise it.  I also met a few of the officers from the US sub, today was a special day and they were in their pristine whites, right down to their shoes.  It is true what they say about a man in uniform and you are never too old to look and appreciate.


Immigration, still in uniform, but not the same effect.  I did not have my passport and would have to come back this afternoon.  I had to bring my ticket stub as proof of when I came in; was the immigration stamp from the airport not proof?  I had an e-ticket so all I could do was print out a copy of the itinerary.  The black cartridge seemed to have dried up in my absence, so I copied the e-mail into word and printed it in blue.  This seems a lot of hassle, but I as I am in the wrong I am trying to be good. 


A quick stop in the shop for rolls, butter, shredded wheat. Digestive biscuits and why not have a bar of chocolate.  Flares, fans and shopping and so back on the water taxi; except I left before the announcement that the water taxi has engine problems.  I got to the main road and caught a taxi bus, I had never done it because of the security issues, but I think as long as it is daylight and there are other people it is fine. 


2.30 The second man came about the arch.  He went and got a work pass, got on the boat, brought an assistant and a tape measure.  The problems with the arch is that normally they slope backwards out of the way, but my wind vane and wind generator are in the way.  I just want a straight arch, assume it will hold two solar panels, it may need a slight curve in the middle at the back for the wind vane, with a rail at the front to attach some canvas.  My idea of a drop back and forward bimini was perhaps over hopeful.  We measured up and he will get back to me.


I got a lift back to Immigration, where the extent of my sin was explained to me. 

The stamp at the airport on 7 July gave me until 9 July to report to the boat; did I not read my passport stamp? No, nobody said, who reads their passport stamp; I thought I was in.  I had to fill in a departure form (obviously) and then immigrate onto the boat.  The boat is in the boatyard, so the stamp says I am on Shore Leave until 22 October, unless I leave by plane or launch the boat before then; in either event I have to go back. 


Then it was back to the shop for two 5 litre bottles of water, as I was there with nothing else to carry, and so I caught another taxi bus back.  8 hours wandering about in the heat, so much for a day off.  Tomorrow I will work, it is easier.



I had only put the butter and chocolate in the fridge, so the boat was a mess with all the things I had bought yesterday.  I could hide it all under the table, but the best way to tidy up was to deal with it all.


I spent two hours wiring up the fans; I now have 6 and they are wonderful.  They are 12v so will keep working when I am anchored, once I get some decent batteries.


I have problems when the genoa is out on the same side as the furling line as I only have one winch.  I had tried to devise something to deal with this on my way across, but failed.  I had bought a stanchion cleat and this I put vertically on the lower pushpit rail, I have a set of jaws, that I took off the kicker block when I re-rigged the mast ropes, which I clamped onto the rail in front of the cleat with a recycled U bolt.  It seems to work a treat, but it took an unbelievable 3 hours to devise and revise.  It was lunchtime and raining, so I took time out to sort out my washers.  I try to keep my nuts, bolts, washers and screws very organised otherwise I spend ages trying to find just what I need, or go and buy more.


Time to fix the anode to the propeller.  I had purchased a spare anode in the Canaries and carried it 3500 miles ready for this moment.  I obviously had delusions of grandeur on the size of my prop.  I had realised this and bought a smaller one yesterday, now all I needed was a bolt.  Back and forth to the chandlers, but they only had M6 in lenghts shorter and longer than I need, same as in my spares box.  I will have to try Budget when I next get out. 


My final purchase was cable ties in 6 different colours and I was going to remark my anchor chain with these.  I tried to do it on deck, but had to let all the chain out and start again on the ground.  In the real world, when I used to be a proper accountant, I had a client that was a successful fish and chip shop.  The secret I was told was to weigh everything, otherwise your judgement slips and the amount of chips per portion increases during the shift and seriously depletes your profit margin.  The opposite seemed to be true with chain.  I started off with 1 metre lengths and despite putting the lengths next to each other exactly, I ended up with 80cm.  I had a third go at the markings and had 60 measured lengths, they are not quite metres, so I could compensate by letting out 10% more chain when I anchor.  That took nearly another 3 hours; I took a photo, sad. 



Today I am staying with the boat on the hope that the electrician will come. 

Repacked the transom, much more came out than went back. 

Tidied and catalogued the actual spares locker. 

I put the log back in the bottom of the boat, which has been out since the Canaries.  If it gets barnacled up then I will have to leave it, I dread taking it out to clean and seeing the ocean as the water rushes in.

I have tidied everything and sorted out what jobs should be done before I launch.

I did redo the anchor chain, I counted and put the cable ties on each 41st link.  Instead of 60 metres, I only have just under 57.  Probably not worth the bother, but things have to be right.  The chain and anchor are now stowed back on the boat.  Suffice it to say that the electrician did not come.



Phoned the electricians and someone came round, but was not really who I needed to talk to. 


I took the cabin doors, one at a time and had 10cm cut off the bottom of each.  I will hinge this part up and then be able to close the doors over the extended berths, but I will have to get new thinner foam.


I had got top of the list for seeing the submarine from the dock at 3pm, but they were not allowing any more visitors inside.  Then I went to the electricians and camped out until Richard came back and he is going to come and see me in the  morning.  Then I went round to The Wheelhouse Pub to wait for the others, as I am going to learn to play Texas Hold’em Poker.  The poker was fun and I am getting the hang of it.  I started with 100TT and finished with 75 – less than £2.50 for an evening s entertainment. 



Mended another break in the hose, boatyards are hard, gritty places, so I put the tougher hose along the worst of the ground. 


Richard came and we decided on what to try.  This will postpone the arch for the time being.  Then I went to buy a few bits.  I only managed a bolt for the anode, so I bought a spare bolt and a spare anode.  I tried one place for the foam, but they were closed and when I went to get the foam from the place here it worked out too expensive. 


Made a special trip do some e-mail, but the connection was down.  As I sat there the submarine went out, backwards through the anchorage; that would have made a good picture.


Some days are a struggle to get anywhere so it has to be little goals.  I fitted the anode to the prop.  I cut and fitted the hinges to the doors.  I had a visit from a Dutch couple who remembered me from La Palma and will be hauling out next Friday.  I fixed the davit for lifting the outboard, this had been postponed until after the arch, but I need extra fittings.



Went and checked on Arioso II, this took 5 minutes to check and an hour to get a ladder up and down.  I tried the internet again, but it was still down.

I finished the davit, and roped it up with blocks, looks good.

I added a winch handle holder onto the pole using the ends of the U bolts from the davit and I attached the cup holder where it will not keep getting knocked.  I put the last U bolt in the anchor locker to give me something to tie to.

I sealed the keel joint, the bottom of the davit and the holders on the draining board. 


At 4pm it thundered and rained very hard for an hour.  I then tried the internet, but it was still not working.  I was too tired to have a shower, so read my book until 8pm.



Despite the early night, I missed the 8am Net.  I did the washing, had a shower and the internet is now working.  The Hot Spot, where you can sit at a table in the restaurant, is only until 10.30, so it is back to my park bench.  It is a little cooler today, certainly by the water.  I will soon be off to Dominoes.  Have fun.