Week Ending Sunday 5 August 2007
Week Ending Sunday 5 August 2007
The beginning of another week, have I really only been back 3 weeks?
Went to the chandlers to get the missing few bits and then to the internet. I do not normally allow myself internet access before work, but sometimes I can be a kind taskmaster. Got waylaid, but by 11 I was back at the boat complete with 3’ of bar aluminium. This meant I had to dig out the big drill with 3 rechargeable battery packs and the jigsaw or the angle grinder, I opted for the jigsaw.
Finished the cup holder bracket, terrific new position just reach out my left hand from the seat. I moved on to the outboard bracket. This should have had a pole, but it was missing when I bought it and so had spent a year with a very inadequate rusting piece of chromed pipe, the rust had been covered by silver duck tape for cosmetic purposes, but it needed replacing. I have some white coated thick aluminium tube from which I cut the required length off the end. I had to dismantle the bracket, this meant removing the outboard, luckily I now have a davit for this purpose. The engine was hanging 10’ up in mid air, but it held while I replaced the tube.
Then it was the aluminium bar, which I had been told was easy to cut and drill; don’t believe everything you are told. I have 6 cleats, of which only the 2 I had insisted on being fitted had a piece of wood as a backing plate inside, the original 4 were just bolted through the deck. I cut the bar into 6 pieces and then had to drill the holes. Identical cleats, but what was the chance that I could drill all the holes in the same places – not high. I had to drill each one to fit specific cleats and I used up all the battery packs. Now I needed a spare pair of hands, hello Richard, who came to ask a favour. Richard obliged by holding the bolts still while I scrabbled underneath to take the nuts off, put on the plate and re-nut them. This took some time, but I was very pleased that each plate went on without having to re-drill any of the holes. Richard only wanted some mothballs, but considered it a fair trade. I hope I can find some tomorrow.
It was 5 by the time I had cleared up. Time for a well deserved shower. There are two sets of showers. One set for the people on the dock, these have lights and a mirror and another set for us dirty boatyard people. Ours have holes in the concrete above the door for light and air. These are patterned holes and vary according to which shower you choose, people manage to push drink cartons into these holes, naughty, but I would love to be able to reach to do that. If it is overcast or late, but before they switch the lights on, it is like showering in a cave. However, after a tough day it is a very welcome ritual.
I need to find my money, which I put somewhere safe a few days ago, as I am now running out. I could use my credit card or take some out of the cashpoint, but the cards were keeping the cash company. I looked in all the stupid places that might have seemed a good idea, but eventually found it.
Not just a day off, a shopping day off. Rickki and I are going into Port of Spain on the maxi bus. It is about 6 miles for under 50p, the real bus is about 20p, but the maxi buses come along very frequently and stop if you want to get on. Fingers up or down, depending on whether you want to go uptown or downtown. I took my Trinidad mobile with me and managed to buy a car charger that fits, third time lucky. It is a flip up phone and I bought a pouch that fits so that you can use and charge the phone while still in the pouch, so nifty I had to buy it; and all for much less than the price of the charger alone in the UK.
I bought permanent pens, a notebook, two new splatter guards for the frying pan, three fly swatters and a new draining board. I was fond of the wire one, but it did rust; this one is cream plastic on a tray, it does have curved ends, matches the boat and I like it already.
They have shops in the main street malls that sell copy DVDs, they will even tell you which ones are direct copies and which ones have been filmed in the cinema; the latter ones are not only lesser quality, but you usually get someone’s head as they get to their seat after the film has started.
I was here for material, I have decided to re-upholster all the foam. I found a shop that sold foam. I needed three rectangles of foam, here they sold it by the sheet, 6’ x 4’; twice the amount for half the price of in the boatyard. I decided to buy the material first and come back for the foam. Port of Spain has a whole street, plus more, full of the most amazing fabric at fantastic prices. I picked a heavy fabric for both cabins, it has 4” squares and is quite dark, but I was not sure if I could live with it in the saloon. It is 60” wide and I bought 20 yards; it was very heavy. I will have to come back for the saloon material. I had a coffee and a donut and then left Rikki in the Chunky Chicken with the shopping and went off to get the foam.
It had started to rain and the roads were flooded, with a foot of water at the kerb and it was impossible to get across for about half an hour. Normally I would have had shorts and boat sandals on, but for town I had long trousers, socks and trainers. I was soaked already, but I did not want wet shoes and socks. I found a very indirect way of crossing the road and remembered that I had to get Richard his mothballs, which only seemed to be available in the cheapie shops in Charlotte Street, a very dodgy area, but great place to shop for bits. I found the mothballs and decided it would be a good idea to buy a new luggage trolley to carry the material. My last trolley had died under the strain of collecting the diesel before I left the Canaries, so I did need one. I went from shop to shop and was starting to get a long way away from Chunky Chicken and was worried they would be charging Rikki rent of the seat. Children should not run around in shops, especially if adults are running up a converging aisle, we were both ok and I did pick her up and say sorry. After over a dozen failures, I found the trolley of my dreams; I even had to make a choice of chrome or black frame. I picked black and set off to the cash desk, only to be sent back to get one of the stock, not the display model.
Now it was time to find the foam shop, which was over a few streets. The roll is enormous and fills the trolley. I nearly took out a lot of pavement stalls and pedestrians getting back to the restaurant. I put the material on the bottom and the foam on top and set off for the maxi bus terminal. The steep kerbs and big ruts were a problem, but we made it.
There was a big possiblity that we would not be allowed on, but we found a lady driver. We took up 3 spaces, the shopping had 1 ½, but I gave a note that was enough for 4 spaces and I was not offered any change, it was still very cheap. I used the outboard davit to haul all the shopping up to the boat. I took the string off the foam and it was like a scene from Quakermass as it has now taken over the bathroom and most of the floor space in the saloon. No prizes for guessing what tomorrow’s job will be.
A super day out, although as tough as a work day; bargains galore, and all for £100; it would have cost much more than that for just the material in the UK.
Today is Emancipation Day, which is a holiday.
I had promised Keith that I would winch him up his mast. It is best to do these things as early as possible, because of the hot sun. I had said 6, but we decided on 7. Keith could not get the cable out of the mast and was too tired to continue. I went up an got the cable and then winched Keith back up to finish off.
I cut up the foam, with a lot left over. I cut out the material to cover all the cushions, I lost a fair bit with matching up the pattern, but just had enough to cover the front and back cabins and all the saloon. When I trim some of the cushions I should have enough for new curtains. I am going to use the red velvet that I covered the saloon with last September for new cushions as the cushions I made clash somewhat with the new material. This took all the rest of the day. I am now surrounded by new material and foam and old covers and foam. I will dump the excess when I have finished, I really have no spaces left to keep things.
I went up to Members Only early to make some bookings, which I will relate as they happen.
Then I went over to the electricians to check on the progress there with my job – I could have got them to come next week, but decided to wait until the main man gets back as he wanted to oversee it himself.
I made some scones and really did not want to start the sewing, it seems a bit too much. I made an attempt at one cushion, but I have to get the first one exactly right because all the pattern matching will be out if I have to change it later.
Went to poker, only lost 16TT this time. There was a reason that I should have done better, but there are some things that I do not think it wise to put in a blog, as you never know who might read it.
I did find some lovely pieces of teak that someone had put in a bin, I took those, but left one broken piece. I will think of something to do with it.
I am going to replace the chrome poles on the draining board with the teak strips. I went back to get the broken piece as it would do for the short lengths. A workman got to the bin just before me and had one of the pieces in his hand. I could just tell that he was going to stir paint with it, so I asked him and he was. Does it sound too bad, scrapping over a piece of wood out of a bin. He got the other piece for me that I was struggling to reach and I very gratiously said that he could have the two thin bits to stir his paint with.
Got ready to go shopping, the first real grocery shop since I stocked up last November in the Canaries. The maxi taxi picks us up in our marinas and a second bus comes to take the shopping. We have 1 ½ hours and I ended up with 3 trolleys, one for the water, one for other drinks (not alcoholic) and one for the food, although a huge bag of washing powder featured heavily. We get a discount, which paid for the bus. I was the last marina and so had to wait until everybody else had their shopping delivered. By the time I had got the shopping up onto the boat and packed away it was 4pm.
I did the washing and went and had a shower, the humidity is nearly 100% most of the time. Then I took the computer to the picnic table by the waterfront and listened to The Archers Omnibus online while sorting my e-mails.
Yes, I am avoiding the sewing, but it was too late to start.
Got waylaid at the internet hot spot, popped into the chandlers for a few more bits for the draining board re-invention.
By the early afternoon there was no excuse for it, I had to start the sewing. I was not doing very well and so went over to Solar Quest to practise poker, but it is not very representative with only three people.
Started sewing early. I cut down two bed pillows that have always been too long for the cases and then had to do the saloon. I did two of the easiest cushions and have nearly finished one of the difficult ones, but it was time to head off for dominoes.
I am sitting at the picnic bench and the gravel in front of me is bubbling with water coming up out of the ground, I think it is water draining into the sea, but just hope it is not a volcano.