Back to Trinidad - anti fouling & relaunch after 3 months in the UK

Imagine Of Falmouth Online Log
Jon Constantine
Wed 29 Oct 2008 20:00
Weds 29th Oct to Fri 7th Nov 2008

Woohoo! We're back......

Not a bad flight on BA from Gatwick to Trinidad via a short 'beer stop' in Barbados!  On arrival we checked our boat parts at customs with ease, although very time consuming and our taxi driver Mike, who we'd booked before we left, was waiting patiently for us for our long drive to Peakes in Chaguaramus.  We finally arrived at around 8pm and then had to go through Customs again at Cruise Inn!  Oh the bureaucracy of it all!!  Finally arriving at our hotel room in Peakes, also previously booked before we left, we dumped our bags and nipped upstairs to The Bight for a drink.  Shock horror!  Not only has it changed it's name to Vespas but it was also closed.  Aargh!  So off we went to Sails in Powerboats boatyard next door, a bar/restaurant that we'd been to before.  Luckily it was open.  We managed one beer before fatigue took over and we headed back to our room and bed.

In the Yard                                The birds
Imagine in the yard waiting for her makeover                                                      The daily visitors on a the boat behind us.

Woke at 5am the next morning (body clock still on UK time) and began getting our act together for 'Imagine's relaunch.  After a quick breakfast and a spot of emailing in Vespas
(found out that it doesn't open for lunch & dinner yet) and headed back to Cruise Inn to complete the checking-in process, Immigration this time.  We collected our pre-ordered anti fouling paint and then tried to find Mitchell who we'd booked to make our stainless steel frame.  Nowhere to be found and not answering his mobile!  So, back to Peakes where Imagine had been moved out of the secure compound and into the main yard, and we moved back on-board with all our luggage.  Very tiring.  It's so hot at 32C and about 97% humidity.  Big difference to the cooler climes of the UK!!!  Quite tough being on the boat on the hard as we can't use the fridge as it's seawater cooled or the shower and loo! At least there are facilities that we can use and bags of ice solve the fridge issue. Jon spent the rest of the day fixing our broken tap in the heads (that's the bathroom for non-sailors) with a little supervision and help from me!  Very hot and sweaty work but successful, although now it appears the galley sink is leaking......

Our first night on the boat here in the yard was a bit of a sleepless one.  The local nightclub was jumping until about 4am and just as we were getting off to sleep, at first light, a flock of green parrots flew over squawking away.  And the mozzies - oh they just make a meal of me!  They don't like Jon for some reason.  Haha!  We're back! Wouldn't swap it for anything.....

Now it's time for the serious work, sanding the hull, putting on the anti foul and cleaning/polishing the topsides.  Not jobs either of us relished doing in this heat but the cost of getting the yard to do it was a big expense. Well help was at hand.  Sunday morning, Jon and I, rather ineffectually, began cleaning the hull manually at around 9am when a one of the local yard workers suggested using 'On Off' for the stains and that he could also get hold of an electric polisher for us for a small fee.  OK we said.  Jon went to the chandelary to get the On Off and cleaned the topsides. The guy came back with the polisher and another guy began doing the polishing. We haggled on the price a bit before he had done too much work and then let him get on with it.  With that 'Mr Clean' and a pal came over and said that they'd sand the hull for us.  So, having agreed on a price, they began.  We couldn't believe our luck.  All the tough jobs were being taken care of and all we'd have to do was the anti foul painting.  How wrong we were.  Two more guys turned up and stood gazing at the sanded hull for a long while.  One of them then said to Jon that he did the painting here in the week and that he was very good and quick at it.  Modest too!  So, after more haggling we again agreed a price and they began the painting.  We couldn't believe it.  This was fantastic.  We had planned to do it all ourselves and now we were just 'supervising'.  By 1pm Imagine was painted and polished and looking as good as new and we were only a little lighter in the wallet.  They were all moonlighting on their day off but hey, they did us a huge favour.  We'd given ourselves 5 days to do all the work and they'd done it in half a day!  Now what were going to do?!?!  Plenty!

     The Team
Almost finished                                                                                                    The Team

The next few days getting ready for the launch were busy, busy.  Food shopping for a start at the local store (and a big thank you to Elliot and Marian on Ostrika for giving us a lift in their car with all our bags), buying a KISS wind generator, marking the anchor chain, cleaning the decks, cleaning below, filling the water tanks, searching in vain for Mitchell, installing the new VHF radio etc, etc, etc. 

At last, the launch day is here, Thursday 6th November and we are so ready to get back in the water and sail away to Grenada.

Off to the Travel lift   The launch
Imagine being taken to the travel lift                                                                   Imagine in the travel lift sling and ready to launch