Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Haul out at Spice Island

June 4, 2007  Monday

Gary from ELUSIVE and Tito from ALLEULIA! volunteered to assist us in getting BEBE into the slipway at the boatyard this morning.  Tito offered to toss lines to the dockhands and Gary offered to use his dinghy to help fend us away from the shallow areas and rocks in case of gusting wind.  Just as we were pulling up the anchor I looked at the slipway and noticed that another boat had jumped in ahead of us!  We had a reservation for 8:00 a.m. and were supposed to be the first boat hauled today.   While we were finishing getting the anchor up at 7:40 a.m., Garry zipped down to the slipway to talk to the people on the other boat.  Turned out that they claimed to also have a reservation for 8:00 a.m. this morning.  Uh, oh.  Somebody made an error.

When we got closer to the slipway it was obvious how this error could have happened – the name on that boat was BABE.   Sounds and looks an awful lot like our name of BEBE.  Now what are the chances of two boats making a reservation for 8:00 a.m. on the same morning at the same boatyard and the boat names are almost identical?  I hailed Spice Island Marine to find out what was going on.   They were totally confused and promised to get back to me as soon as they figured it out.  In the meantime, BABE would be hauled first since she was already in the slipway.  So we circled the anchorage for almost an hour until it was our turn. 
The water depth is exceptionally shallow all around the slipway and there really was not adequate space for us to remain in the area of the slipway awaiting our turn.

Our wonderful bow thruster handled the tight turns wonderfully and it turned out that we didn’t require Gary’s help in his dinghy, but we very much appreciated his offer of assistance and his waiting nearby just in case he was needed to fend us off the concrete docks in case of gusting winds.   Tito handed off the lines on the windward side to the dockhands; then he climbed down into Gary’s dinghy and they both returned to their boats.  Thanks guys. 

Then Judy went up to the boatyard office to set up the work orders, etc.; and to find out what the screw-up on the reservation.  Turned out that it was exactly what we thought as soon as we saw the name of the other boat.  We had made a reservation first.  The other boat was being delivered to the boatyard by a delivery crew; the owners had already left Grenada.  The delivery crew had understood from the owners that they had a reservation for haul-out this morning at 8:00 a.m..  When BABE called in to reserve a haul-out, the office clerk has checked her calendar and saw that BEBE was already slotted for that date and time; so she confirmed their reservation.  An understandable error, but truly weird!

This little screw-up for the first haul-out of the day caused the boatyard to be backed-up all day long.  That travel lift was busy all day long, one boat right after another.  This boatyard is very busy right now.  But they seem to be doing a good job of handling all the business.  Our boat had been pressure washed, wet-sanded, boot stripe taped off, the prop had been cleaned and they were half-way through applying the first coat of bottom paint by the time we left the boatyard at 2:30 this afternoon.  We are impressed!  This is far better service than we received in St. Thomas last year.

Jerry and Sally on TI AMO gave us a ride over to the Cool Runnings Apartments, where we had reservations.  Jerry and Sally have rented a car for a couple of days so they were nice enough to give us a lift.  Bill told the office manager that he wanted to see our room before we checked in.  Good thing that Bill did this – because he said there was no way we were staying there!  It reeked of mildew smell.  So we lugged our bags back to the boatyard (not very far) and sent to De Big Fish for a cold drink, where we again ran into Jerry and Sally.  They suggested another place called KiKi Apartments where they had stayed for several months while having major work done on their boat a couple of years ago.  Judy found a pay phone and got a reservation.  Then Jerry and Sally gave us a ride to KiKi.  This is more like it!  Same price as Cool Runnings but much nicer.  Television and air conditioning, 2-bedroom apartment.  It is a longer walk to the boatyard but worth it.  So, thanks to Jerry and Sally for recommending the KiKi Apartments.

BTW, we are glad that we bought our bottom paint in St. Martin.  We paid about $840 for a pail which is approximately 5 gallons.  Here in Grenada the same paint if $223 per gallon, so we saved a couple of hundred dollars.

June 6, 2007  Wednesday
Bill’s 60th Birthday!

Yep, this is one of the “big” ones!  Bill is 60 years old today.  Actually, the bigger birthday will be his 62nd because then he can start to collect Social Security.  I caught him making an ugly face the other day while he was watching another boat doing something odd in the anchorage and I told him to never make that face again because it made him look like a bewildered old man.  He said that sometimes he feels like a bewildered old man, but he agreed to try to avoid the expression that makes him look that way.  I’m certainly not ready for him to become old.  We are both still too physically active to start looking and acting like old people (old being a relative term).

BEBE is scheduled to splash at 1:00 p.m. Friday.  She would be splashing tomorrow except that it is a holiday:  Corpus Christus Day, a day the Grenadian people consider good for planting trees. 

This haul-out has gone very smoothly.  We were about an hour late getting lifted on Monday morning, but by the end of that day the first coat of bottom paint was complete and the hull had been hand-washed and the prop was all shiny. 

On Tuesday the second coat of bottom paint was applied and the hull was waxed and buffed.  They even waxed and buffed the brown rub rail without us having to even ask.  They discovered a few tiny marks in the hull white gel coat and those were repaired.  I noticed a few bubble looking areas near the bottom of the keel and got concerned.  I pressed on one and out popped some water.  Uh, oh; this could be really bad!  They ground down and found that it was just a few drops of water that got covered over with bottom paint.  There was not problem with the keel and they did not even disturb the epoxy layer that coats our cast iron keel.  They re-applied the two coats of bottom paint to those areas that were ground down. 

Today they painted the third coat of bottom paint around the water line and rudder and keel, and they waxed again right around the boot stripe.  This was done at our request in hopes that it will help somewhat with the problem of slime that attaches to that area so very quickly.  Cleaning the waterline weekly is a tiresome chore.

While the painters, Miguel and Jonathon, did their job, Bill also had Jean Ives at the machinist shop in the boatyard do some work.  Jean removed our windlass gypsy because the key was slightly askew.  Then he fabricated a new key.  That was reassembled this afternoon.  While this work was being done, Bill reversed our anchor chain.  He turned it around so that the end that was attached to the anchor is now the bitter end inside the anchor locker.  This puts the clean, almost unused section of chain at the end with the anchor and the most-used end of the chain where it will likely never be let out all the way. 

We also purchased more anchor chain so that we now have a little more than 300 feet on our primary WASI Buegel anchor.  The only thing that we are missing is the connector link for the chain.   Both Island Water World and Budget Marine carry the 10mm connector link for joining sections of chain, but both are out of stock at the moment.  Budget Marine supposedly received 10 of these connector links on a shipment yesterday, but they haven’t found them yet.  They are supposed to be in one of the many, many boxes that were in the container that was emptied into their storeroom yesterday.  Who knows how long it will take them to find this one small box, which is inside some larger box.  We desperately want to have this link before we splash Friday because we would like to have Jean Ives spot weld it once the taps are splayed into place.  It is not necessary to have these spot welded, but we would like to have it done if at all possible.

Once we get back into the water then we must vacuum the entire interior of the boat.  We are placed in the yard directly downwind from a cement factory.  There are piles of sand and concrete powder right behind the fence directly in front of us.  The winds have blown steadily and now every nook and cranny and crevice of our boat is gritty with concrete dust.  We will need to do a major clean-up inside the boat once we are back out on the water and away from this flying crap.

Bill was exhausted by the time we walked the 1.2 mile back to the apartment in the heat late this afternoon.  But he got a much-needed hot shower and is taking a short rest.  I will wake him up in a few minutes and we will walk down the road to the True Blue Resort for what we hope will be a nice birthday dinner.  I did manage to buy a Rocky Road cake for him today when I went into town to get my hair cut.  We have no oven in this apartment, just a stove top and a microwave and toaster oven; and we sent both of our propane tanks on the boat in for refills; so I could not bake him his favorite chocolate cake for his birthday this year.  A store-bought cake will have to suffice.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment will be posted after we confirm that you are not a cyber stalker.