*Warning; pretty technical post. Skip down to the “Fun” section if desired*
We’ve been really putting the pedal to the metal in Grenada. Knowing that we have major miles to go in the next three months, we are trying to get the boat in as great of condition as we can. That’s included:
Haul Out at Grenada Marine
We enjoyed the facilities at Grenada Marine. We moored one night, then had the haul out for one night, then launched the next day and spent one more night on the mooring. The moorings were cheap ($6USD) and the cost for the haul out was reasonable. There is a restaurant and Island Water World available, and the staff would help us get anything we needed next day as long as it was on the island.
One of our biggest reasons for getting hauled out was to check the mini-keel damage we discovered in Nanny Cay. It was very easy to tell once we got hauled out that there was no water coming from the keel. Success!
I asked around at Grenada Marine and was able to come up with a one-gallon can of Islander 44 bottom paint with about a half an inch of paint left (given to me for free!). I took a brush and painted over any spots that looked bad – especially the port rudder where we had gotten a pot float stuck off of Deshaies. Hopefully that will help our bottom paint last longer.
My favorite project (and probably David’s least favorite) was our new underwater lights. This involved very careful measuring, cleaning the bottom paint off, drilling a half inch hole, applying sealant, and screwing the light in. David did a great job, we think. Only time will tell.
Our last personalized package delivery (aka Madeline) included snap and zipper lubricant. I took my time going around every single snap in our enclosure and lubricating it. I also lubricated the zippers and stitched up an area where our battens were popping out of the doors.
Our radar reflector broke and fell off while on our way between Tyrell Bay and L’Esterre. We did a RROB (Radar Reflector Over Board) procedure and picked it up. David went up the mast while in St George’s to zip tie the reflector down to the stay.
Port Head Hatch
Despite David having re-bed the hatch in the forward guest head, it’s still been leaking. David attempted to pull the hatch off and re-bed it, but that sucker would NOT come off. There was lots of sweating and cursing involved. It was ugly. In the end, he applied sealant around the edges as a temporary fix to stop the leak.
Fresh Water leak
For a while now we will occasionally hear our fresh water pump run for 2 seconds. There is a leak somewhere in the system. David has spent a lot of time trying to track down where the leak is, but to no avail.
This is really really stupid, but the sealant around the four windows on Starry Horizons freeboard leave black streaks running down the fiberglass. We have been cleaning it off with a soft sponge and dawn, but we got a product called Son of a Gun which will hopefully stop the streaks.
One of our oil change pumps was leaking, so David fixed it!
Clean the bilge
After the saltwater ingress from the generator exhaust thru hull, there was a ton of salt and grime in our starboard bilge, so I gave it a good cleaning.
Re-splice Continuous Line Furler
The line on our furler was coming a bit undone, so David re-whipped and re-stiched it back together.
Re-setup our Ocens email
The Ocens software and optimizer we use to send and receive emails from our sat phone got changed, so David set up the new email address and tested the optimizer.
Vessel Insurance Coverage
We need to change our insurance to cover the new areas we are sailing to – instead of the Atlantic, we needed insurance to cover the Panama Canal and the Pacific. Unfortunately, our quote from Pantaneous was 3 times what we have paid the year before. Jackline (IMIS) quoted us a much better number (still more expensive than the Atlantic though), so we made the switch.
Square Top Rigging
Incidences Sails in La Rochelle installed a rig that pulls the square-top of our main sail up to the mast. The line was really getting chafed, so I practiced my eye splice more and replaced the line. It was tricky…it’s never easy to get a line with two eye splices in it the right length.
Preparing Administratively for Panama and the Galapagos
For both the Panama Canal and the Galapagos, you need to hire an agent to make your visit possible. We have picked agents for both places and have done a TON of research to determine what we need to do, who we have to see, and where we need to be. These are two intense areas in terms of regulations and costs.
New Propane Tank
We use our propane tank for cooking in our stove and oven. There are many places around the world where it is difficult to get propane tanks refilled. Even in a place like New Zealand and the US, the tanks may not fit regulation requirements and places may not fill them.
Our tanks are composite Viking/Ragasco tanks. There is a company called Lyte that manufactured composite tanks that underwent a recall. Since then, even though it was only one brand of composite tanks, some stations (like U-haul) will not refill ANY composite tank.
With two 17 lb tanks we should be able to go 10 months. That will allow us to use one up entirely, and then within the next 4-5 months get a refill when it is convenient.
But don’t worry, we’ve been having (some) fun too. Don’t get me wrong, the fun to suck ratio is heavily skewed at the moment. But we did enjoy:
- shopping for local produce at Grenada Marine
- Meeting the crew of Jadean, a South African Lagoon
- Meeting CJ, who dinghied out to us in the bay because he reads our blog!
- Saying hello to Zero to Cruising!
- David’s flown his drone at least 10 times here
- I’ve been practically mesmerized by the nocturnal fish visiting us
- I had lunch with a fellow WWS (Women Who Sail) member Jan Alexander, who I’ve been chatting online with for a long time
Sitting on the back transom, listening to the swell on the beach and watching the fishies!
Posted by Out Chasing Stars on Saturday, February 13, 2016
And with that…we are off! We are departing for Panama, where we aim to transit the canal between March 7 – 11. From there, we will sail to the Galapagos (should arrive in late March/early April) to stay for about 2 weeks, and then on to our 3 week passage to French Polynesia.
We are so excited to share with you!