May 27, 2007 Sunday
Gosh, I had a hard time this morning even remembering what day of the week it is! And I had long since forgotten the date. Thank you Bill Gates for putting it in the lower right hand corner of this computer screen. Our days sort of flow from one to another without any distinction for weekends. Tomorrow is Memorial Day in the
USA, and it is
Whit Monday here in these formerly British islands. I have no idea what Whit Monday means, but it
is a holiday in Carriacou and Grenada
as well as St. Vincent and
the Grenadines. Trinidad and Tobago
have another name for it, but they also take the day as a holiday.
There is a sailing regatta in Petit Martinique this holiday weekend. The small sail loft here in
was busy working on sails for the past 2 weeks in preparation for this annual
regatta. We are thinking of sailing over
to PM this morning to check it out. It
is always fun to watch the local islanders sail their handmade boats. They are all so good at it. And each island has its own style of local
boat. Tyrrel Bay
The boatyard here in
is very small. It only employs 4 regular
employees, all local islanders. One day
this past week Bill watched them working on 3 wooden boats in the
boatyard. They are replacing various
worn or rotted pieces of these boats, and doing a darn good job of it. Their work on one boat in particular really
impressed Bill. They had a tree trunk on
the ground; looked like white cedar, which is supposed to be the very best wood
for boats and is normally only used in the most critical areas because it is
expensive and hard to find. This log
appeared to be well dried. The workers
would stand back and look at the stern of that boat to discern what shape piece
of wood was needed next in their rebuilding process. Then they would take a small chain saw and
zip, zip, zip---instantly they had the perfect shape needed to fit the
space. These pieces were curved and
angled to fit on the sloping stern.
Every piece fit perfectly. It was
a joy to watch them work. If anyone has
a wooden boat needing any type of repair, Carriacou is the place to have this
work done right. Tyrrel Bay
Another unusual thing here in
is the welding barge. I had read about
this a couple of years ago. Unfortunately
for us, the man who operates this barge, Dominic, left for a 5-week holiday the
day before we arrived here. We had hoped
to have him do the small stainless steel job that we needed for the bimini
modification. Dominic no longer brings
his barge to your boat at anchor. Now he
has placed tires and fenders along the port side of his barge and you bring
your boat to him. Just moor alongside
and he fabricates whatever SS is needed.
The only time he moves his barge is if there is a boat at the boatyard
docks that needs his work while it is still in the water. He will take his barge to the boatyard docks
and fabricate that job, then the barge goes back to its permanent mooring out
in the bay. He does good work and at far
lower prices than you would find in St. Martin, Bequia or Tyrrel Bay Trinidad. Not as cheap as in Venezuela, but they use poor
quality stainless in VZ (probably only 304) and you wouldn’t want that lower
quality on your boat because it will not hold up half as long in the marine
environment as the quality 316 or 319 stainless.
We did receive our two 6-foot pieces of 316 SS tubing on the ferry from
on Wednesday. The boatyard picked it up
from the ferry; Bill picked it up from the boatyard and delivered it to the
machinist shop up the hill that is owned by 2 German brothers. They are excellent mechanics for diesel
engines and they have a fabrication shop and can make just about anything. They normally do not do SS work and leave
that to Dominic. But since Dominic is
away on holiday, Uwe and Goerk bent the SS tubing as per Bill’s
at In Stitches should have the bimini extension and side/rear shade panels
completed in plenty of time for us to sail down to Grenada next weekend so we can
haul-out for our bottom job next Monday.
Papa can fix anything. That is what Bill always told our grandson, Zachary. Well, apparently it is still true. Our microwave oven quit working the other night. So yesterday Bill managed to tamper with the tamper-proof screws (using a small vise grip) and got the microwave taken apart. He checked out various components and they all tested good ---- also managed to blow up his voltmeter in the process. He thought that all the female quick connects seemed loose so he tightened all of them. And the darn thing started working again. Thank goodness! Trying to find a replacement 220v microwave now that we are back in the land of 110v electricity would have been impossible. Not to mention trying to find a microwave with the exact same dimensions and with the feet in the same spot so that it would fit in the pre-built space above our stove. The current microwave is locked into place by stainless steel bars. Would be a hassle to modify everything to fit a different sized microwave, assuming we could ever find a 220v one. Thanks to Bill, we don’t have to worry with that now.
I also came up with a new recipe this week. I have named it Desperation Chili. It sounds awful, but really isn’t bad. It’s a boat thing. Things that you would never consider on land where you have large well-stocked supermarkets easily at hand are looked at in a different light when you live on a boat. All my
relatives and friends should stop reading now.
You really don’t want to hear this food idea.
I made chili using canned corned beef. Now, doesn’t that sound utterly disgusting! I posted the recipe on the Captains and Admirals group on Yahoo! In the Files/Galley section. We were glad to find that this works because ground beef is often not available. This is something that we can cook anywhere because it only requires canned ingredients; only fresh ingredient is onion and that is available anywhere. To make this even more palatable for Bill, I also made corn muffins and brownies that day. Maybe today I will bake beer bread to eat with the leftover chili. I have a great recipe for beer bread. Since I am hung up on food right now, it must be time for breakfast.