Cleaning and polishing

Saxon Blue's Blog
Harvey Jones and Andrea Stokes
Mon 11 Apr 2011 00:43
Admirals Inn, Nelson's Dockyard, Sunday night

We're back in our room at the Admirals Inn after having our dinner at Trappas. We got back at about 7:30 pm so that's what I call a good night out. We were both hungry and tired after a very busy day but Saxon Blue looks the tidiest that she has since Annapolis and the shiniest since she was launched.

Andrea and I had our breakfast in the hotel, then walked over to the boat. Alden was still waiting for his toast in the cafe half and hour after ordering it so they were living up to their usual standards. We all got stuck into different bits of the boat. Alden cleaned and polished the forward half while Andrea and I worked out what we were going to take back to England and got that packed ready to go. I'm hardly taking anything. I've got some faulty Lopolights and a bunch of posters in the Makita wheely bag and that's about it. I'm trying to avoid taking things away from the boat as I'll only have to bring them all back again.

Andrea has a lot of stuff that she needs at home - particularly her Janeway costume, video camera and computer stuff along with a lot of clothes that she doesn't have duplicates for so she's got more stuff than me. Still, by the time we'd finished sorting and packing, we've only got two large bags between us and we're allowed to take three each so we're doing well. We had our lunch in Hamiltons (Alden and I had Sunday roast so that was a taste of England) and then Andrea and I gook our bags back to the hotel so we could start to see what was left onboard and get it tidied up.

When we got back to Saxon Blue, we had new neighbours. They were resting hard on our fenders and Alden told me that their anchor wasn't set properly so they had no means of pulling themselves away from us. I don't like causing a fuss but I wasn't happy with them using us to keep themselves off the dock so I asked the skipper if he wouldn't mind taking up on his anchor a bit to take a bit of weight off us - pretending that I didn't know that his anchor was just sitting on the mud directly in front of his bow. He told me that he thought his anchor might not be set properly and I tried to look sympathetic while suggesting that perhaps he could get the divers to set if for him.

Then Alden suggested that he could take our neighbour's anchor out in our tender and drop it far enough out to set properly. I left them to it at this stage and, when I looked out later, the job was done but the skipper was still moaning on about other boats maybe crossing his chain when they came in. I think he deliberately didn't set the anchor but just hoped that he could rely on the rest of us to act as fenders for him. Anyway, we got him sorted out without resorting to verbal pyrotechnics so I think it was all OK.

We all spent the rest of the afternoon just putting stuff away, washing things and then putting them away or, preferably, throwing them away. We had the air-con working all day so it was nice and cool below. I don't think we'd have managed it without as it was baking hot in the marina. By the end of the afternoon, everything was looking very tidy. We've got a few things still to do tomorrow after we get lifted out but it really feels as though we're nearly there. Andrea and I took the stuff we'll need to last us through until Thursday with us back to the Admirals Inn while Alden went off for a snorkel in the tender.

After all the activity, we were hungry again so went straight out for dinner. We chatted about how we feel at the end of our trip. It feels like years ago that we set off. I found some business cards from the Cafe Kisimul in Castlebay on Barra and told Andrea. She wondered why I had them onboard and then realised that we went there on this voyage - she was convinced that it was an earlier trip. A lot of the stuff we did early on seems like a different era and I'm worried that the memories of those adventures will get pushed out by the more recent ones. It's going to take a while until it all settles down in our heads and gets sorted out into some kind of order.

Another thing that's strange is how Saxon Blue herself fades into the background in our minds. I think we're so used to being onboard that we don't really notice the boat any more. That and we're always looking out at the places we've been so it's the world around us that gets stuck in our memories. It's great to have a beautiful boat and I do like it when people compliment us on how good she looks but, most of the time, it's more important to just be there. One thing that's really worked is the raised saloon. It allowed us to enjoy the views in the arctic while remaining warm and cosy the whole time. The funny things is, though, that we've had the curtains closed the entire time we've been in the Caribbean. It's too hot in the day so we need to keep the sun out and, when it's cool, it's dark so there's nothing to see anyway. I think all the modern-looking boats with their huge windows are crazy given where people are going to go on them. In the hot places, you'd be better off with no windows atall, just some good, insect-proof, rain-proof ventilation - something that I've not seen on any yacht.

So, that's it for preparations. Just the final short trip tomorrow and I'll be very glad when that's over. When Saxon Blue is resting in her cradle, I'll be able to relax a bit and get my head around going home.


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