Monastir (Port du Peche): Life on the Hard II

Stephen & Anne
Sat 13 Aug 2011 19:25

35.45.385N 10.50.197E


After a restful Friday we carried on with the jobs on Saturday all fresh and eager. After 5 minutes working in over 40 C, high humidity and sweating like mad we had our first rest.


To be fair the day was constructive. We changed the port cockpit drain pipe which never really drained quickly and was very old and a little brittle. After installing the new pipe we investigated why the old pipe drained slowly – it contained three cigarette lighters dropped by previous owners! We also serviced the engine room and galley seacocks and prepared for some copper coat repair work we planned for Sunday. We have decided the put more on the keel as a bit of rust is starting to appear and on to the rudder as it had some water seeping out.


As coppercoat is an epoxy and dries quickly at high temperatures, we awoke at first light at 5am on Sunday to start work in as cool conditions as possible. It was positively chilly early in the morning as it was 27 C J Even at this temperature we only just managed to apply it before it went off. We also started servicing the aft heads sea cock, before realising that the pipes and pump need cleaning / servicing. This was another 5 minute job that took 2 days.


Unfortunately Anne has started to come down with a cold over the last few days which has slowed progress a lot as she clearly does more work than Stephen.


The locals didn’t like us playing Jenga with this boat balanced on wooden blocks


On Tuesday the winds turned northerly and the temperatures dropped to around mid 30’s. Unfortunately they also brought lots of sand so the boat is covered both inside and out. With Southerly winds, the highest temperature we saw on the thermometer was 45 C. It does appear our choice seems to be either getting sandblasted or roasted alive!!!


The night watchman is a lovely man who is teaching us a lot of Arabic. As he only speaks French or Arabic conversation is a little tricky, but each evening when we are waiting for the shower he invites us over to sit with him and have a chat. He is very patient trying to make sure we understand him – although most of the time we don’t have a clue what he’s saying J


We managed to finish all the jobs by the end of Friday ready for a launch on Saturday (anodes replaced, all sea cocks serviced, propeller filled with grease, antifoul the brass skeg which is not copper coated, cleaned the boat of most of the sand and even replaced the courtesy flag as it is worn down far too much).


On Saturday we were up early to prepare Wanda for launching. After an hour or so preparation we were ready. So we sat and waited….. and waited. We heard the crane start up about 10 am. It picked up a fishing boat, launched the fishing boat, then stopped. What was happening? We eventually found out it was “Lady’s Day” a public holiday and the crane wasn’t “officially” working??? Launch date is now Monday. To be fair to the owner of the boat yard, after hearing that a fishing boat was launched he did offer late Saturday afternoon to ring up the crane driver and get him to launch Wanda. However by this time we had “reset” the boat for living and started a few more odd jobs so we said Monday would be fine.


The same crane lifts both small and large fishing boats!


While the fishing boats are being fixed – so are the nets.