Jobs done - time to go
Thursday 6th September 2012
Well, the liferaft and Jonbuoy are finally back on board, though they didn’t get here till 1600 today, and after Steve had to go to Port of Spain to pay the invoice and bring them back with him! We had hoped to leave for Grenada around 1700 today, but after a long and stressful day we decided we weren’t quite in the mood for an overnight passage and there was just time to go shopping for some meat for the barbecue and lettuce for the Caesar salad before spending one last evening with the friends we have made here in Trini.
The tentative plan was to be here until the end of August, but we know we’re on ‘island time’ so were not really expecting to get away by then. The reason for coming to Trinidad, apart from seeing the island and its people, was to get some important jobs done. Chaguaramas in the North West of Trinidad, is a huge yachting centre with a whole range of boat services. This is the place to come to have work done on your boat, or if you want the boat hauled to work on it yourself. Many boats are left on the hard for the entire hurricane season while their owners go home, and many yachties staying on their boats come here to avoid the tropical storms and sometimes hurricanes which affect the islands further north in the chain. So it’s a very social place to be, with half a dozen or more marinas and boatyards all in one bay, and within a short walk or dinghy ride away from each other. Every day of the week there is some social event or other to attend, if you are so inclined.
But as I said, the main reason for the visit was to get jobs done, and do them we did. Number one priority was the servicing of the liferaft and Jonbuoy, particularly in view of the ocean sailing coming up next spring. Next in line was the repair to the pulpit and stanchion base damaged in the anchorage at Charleston. As these required welding, which cannot be done on the boat, they had to be removed and taken away to be worked on. This involved emptying the chain locker of 30 metres of chain, the spare anchor and various other items in order to make room for a person to get inside and undo the fixing bolts. At around the time this was happening, Steve discovered two splits in the end of the boom, so were able to get the metal worker to machine a reinforcing piece to go inside. We were both glad he discovered this fault whilst safely tied up in the marina, and not out at sea!
Next in line were the sails. These needed to be inspected and repaired where necessary, and the two headsails needed new sacrificial strips as both had UV damage. We were expecting the genoa to need this, but were quite surprised to find that the sacrificial strip on the yankee also needed replacing after just four years. The good news was that the price for replacement was very reasonable, and the main needed no work at all. We gave the job to Mark at Soca Sails and were very pleased with the service and the quality of the work.
The fridge had a seal fixed to its lid to keep the cold from escaping.
A leak through the deck and into a locker in the aft heads was tracked down to the gas locker hinge screws which seemed to go down into a void. Teak plugs were fixed into the holes to prevent any further leaks (fingers crossed!)
The outboard engine was serviced and given a paint job on the shaft.
The RIB had its seat fixings repaired, the rubbing strip removed and re-stuck and cracks in the GRP floor repaired. It was collected, without the outboard engine on, by a guy who paddled it across to his work unit and then paddled it back again two days later!
The sprayhood had a UV-damaged zip replaced and the dinghy cover was patched up yet again!
We were impressed by the professional attitude and approach to work of the vast majority of the contractors. They came promptly when asked to visit the boat to give a quote, the prices were generally very reasonable, and they turned up as arranged to do the work, or had the courtesy to let us know if they were going to be late. They were always polite and friendly, and displayed a pride in their work.
Having achieved all this, then, there is no reason to tarry here further, particularly in view of the fact that we are hoping a very good friend will be coming out to Grenada in a few days, and we want to be there to see her. So tomorrow we’ll be off.