position N12 03 053 W61 44 872

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Thu 18 Feb 2016 15:09

So this is an abreviated (hopefuly) summary of he disasters that have befallen us since return to Ocean Rival. Having spent a couple of days recouperating in Grenada I can apply some perspective and realise that disaster is an exageration that I should use more sparingly, however small personal disasters surely count to some degree.

Thursday 4th Feb.
Flights all linked up well despite my not apreciating in advance that local caribbean flights run from the other end of St Lucia to the International flights. Hence an unexpected tour of St Lucia by taxi as we made a rather hurried transfer. The main Thompson flight from Manchester to St Lucia was remarkably civilised with quite edible food designed by James Martin. No rowdy stag or hen parties and no screaming kids. On arival at Port of Spain airport the taxi drivers all suddenly became busy when we stated our destination- It transpired that the traffic to Chaguaramas is notoriousy bad over carnival due to massive parties which take over the road. Finally a good samaritan of a taxi driver said he would take us but definately no hagling over the price.

As it turned out traffic wasn't too bad and we arrived at Coral Cove boat yard at about 10pm some 22 hrs after leaving Banham. A room key was waiting for us with the security guard as promised and a clean air conditioned room put what should have been the final gloss on a trouble free journey.

A quick wander out to the boat yard to confirm that my instructions to have the bottom anti-fouled had been completed so that we could lift back in to the water in the morning, the yard then being shut for 4 days for weekend and carnival, revealed Disaster 1. The bottom was half painted but keel and rudder noticeably bare of fresh paint.  This would upset all schedules unless the painter tuned up at 6am next morning to complete the job. I checked to see if half empty cans of paint would allow me to pick up where he had left off but no such luck.

Friday 5th Feb
In the morning Nigel the painter strolled up at around 8.00 to inform me that he hadn't completed the painting due to flaking of the fresh pant. He didn't wan't to buy another can  of very expensive paint only for it to fall straght off. I suspect that he had been too keen with his scraper and taken the paint back to the gel coat in places so that the paint now needed primer to adhere. Also I always get some flaking of the 1st coat but the 2nd covers up O.K. I wasn't sure if Nigel was a complete novice or a picky craftsman for whom the slightest defect was unacceptable. He was later seen working on other peoples boats and I didn't ask them if he was incompetent but maybe should have.

So hobsons choice-go back in half painted or wait 5 days and try and sort out the paintwork myself while Diana wouldn't be able to climb aboard (all the ladders being about 3 rungs too short). Decided to cut losses and go back in, a better job to be done at a later date. Having seen Lynn Rivals lovely copper coated bottom in the next door yard  I hanker after a similar finish.  (Later after talking to Paul Chandler I was not so sure as they ended up stripping the gel coat  and having to re-epoxy the hull before the coppercoat would adhere).

So back in the water- no pontoon berths available but we tied up temporarily on the hammerhead to fill up with water-  pumped and dropped the dinghy over theside with a view to trips over to the customs office and down to the shop. Attempting to lower the outboard onto the dinghy resulted in Disaster 2. Dinghy capsized-outboard to bottom and Adam with wallet and phone in pocket in the drink. Various thoughts occured but mosty a nagging question- is my new waterproof smartphone really waterproof?

Climbed aboard and after emptying pockets a quick swim with mask in murky water revealed no sign of outboard. Now the occupier of the hammerhead-much bigger than us- turned up and gave a mighty blast on his horn.  So rapid exit to alternative illegal mooring alongside the jetty between 2 pontoons thus blocking at least 2 motor boats from exit. A walk round the yard gave no results for divers but a young man who worked in one of the workshops volunteered to have a go and usengine ing my mask and fins he found the outboard, secured a rope and hey presto outboard back up on its bracket looking fine although I was assured it would not be fine unless all water was quickly removed from oil and carburetor.

So spent the rest of the day working on the outboard and failing to plug in to the shore power  (wrong fitting).

Sat 6th Feb.
8am trip up to Budget Marine (chandlery) for shore power fitting and more WD40 for outboard. Realising that volts were dangerously low after pumping out and flushing water tanks much of the day before tried to start the engine and Disaster 3-  insufficient battery left.  Managed to get 120V shore power connected but no charge getting into batteries and worse no charge from solar panels getting in. Sad faced symbol on control panel staring bleakly out. Passing neighbour looked glum and confirmed my fear that batteries probably dead.
However by the time I had finally accepted the diagnosis, the shops were closed and no chance of aquiring new batteries untill wednesday. Spent a lot of time replacing the rear inner tube of my Brompton bike - nightmare job which used up both spares I brought out as I nicked the rubber with the tyre lever.
Fortuntely only one motor boat wanted to leave and he was understanding as we hauled back to give him room. Phone not responding to drying but outboard working after treatment.
Fortunately the sailmaker was in his workshop and had repaired the spray hood. However he hadn't made the cockpit cusions as requested and much time spent finding quotes and receipts for deposits.

Sun 7th & Mon 8th Feb.
Days spent cleaning (Diana shocked at state of boat), sail rigging, battery removing, provisioning and occasional cold showers and dips in the little pool.

Tuesday 9th Feb.
Trip into town to witness carnival parade. Amazing quantities of skimpy costumes and large feathers and unbelievably load music lorries. Base notes resonating through all ones body organs. Followed  paraders all over town wondering if there was a prize for the largest bottom which would only just have been won by the life sized model elephant.

Wed 10th Feb (D's birthday).
Over to budget marine 1st thing for new batteries. They had relatively cheap wet batteries which I am sure won't last long but will hopefully get us going. Plugged them in but still no charge getting in. Not sure if 120V not suitable for our charger. Nothing from engine or solar panels either. Up to office to see if they can find me an electrician and Brenda tracked down Arvi who promised to come in the morning.
Diana very fed up at boring birthday but rum punches and nice meal at Peaks restaurant help lighten her mood.
Thursday 11th Feb.
Arvi condemmed the charger (disaster 4), then the alternator (disaster 5), both of which were replaced at great expense. Finally charge getting in from shore power, engine and solar.  Arvi very helpful and recripricated Leslies fruit cake with some made by his mum- considerably more rum than Leslies!  Batteries needing at least 24hr charge so no chance of leaving till Fri pm.

Fri 12th Feb.
Disasater 6-Realised that fridge not getting cold- something I had noticed before the layup. Thought it need re-charging with gas and the office managed to find a refrigeration engineer. Turned out that the water cooling pump not pumping. Replaced the pump -final expense at Budget Marine who now have all the kids inheritance (sorry!).
Over to immigration at 3.30pm who after making us fill in forms in triplicate and correcting several times declared that
we should pay them overtime as we wouldn't be leaving till after 4pm! Hence normal 75TT fee per person became 175TT. Good overtime mark up! Last provisioning run around the local shop then motored 7m to Chacachare which is a former lepper colony island for nice quiet overnight anchorage.

Sat 13th Feb.
Had an explore of the island -abandonded in 1986 and jungle relcaiming the houses and paths. Set off for Grenada at around 10 am.

Sun 14th Feb.
Arrived Prickly Bay around 1 am. Lots of boats at anchor but managed to find a spot to drop the hook and collapse into bed.

Mon 15th Feb-Wed 17th Feb
Exploring Grenada- lovely island. More detailed account to follow.
Left for Bonaire Thursday morning at 9am after last minute work on fridge which stopped working overnoght.