A Day to Forget About

Ever had one of those days when everything just goes wrong and one mishap and misfortune follows the other? Nothing works, everything goes wrong, nothing goes as it should? Boy oh boy, do I have story to tell about this kind of day. I was able to experience what fortunately only occurs rarely. I had bad luck sitting on my shoulder and following me wherever I went. Unfortunately, the whole thing did not end with sunshine after the rain, as we had hoped, but with a fist in the stomach.

Wrecked at the reef pier

One would like to think that it is hot and dry here in the desert. It is not. Not even close. In addition, to the intense solar radiation, there came level of humidity that sometimes exceeded 90% during the night. The temperatures don’t bother us as much as the atmosphere created by the humidity. It doesn’t matter if you just stand around lazily or do some physical activity, the result is the same. Within minutes you’re drowning in sweat.

Let’s go

Enough crying around, we finally had to stick with it. After I had removed our cracked gooseneck, the remains had to be removed, too. So, I got to work armed with our angle grinder. I worked my way forward under an easy-up we had borrowed, removing our old fitting bit by bit until we had a clean mast surface.

Where are the blueprints?

Garhauer Marine in the USA will manufacture our new fitting. I also made contact with the CEO of LeFiell, originally the manufacturer of the mast and boom of the Kelly Peterson 44. Unfortunately, the company has withdrawn from the marine sector, but maybe I can get hold of the original blueprints. That would not only help us but also other current and future owners of the ship. The Kelly Peterson 44 owners group homepage is already filled with all kinds of useful data about our boat, so these plans would certainly be in good hands. Let’s see what can be done.

We help Skookum

After always asking for help from other boat owners, we were finally able to give back something else than only beer and tacos. Stu from SV Skookum V had a fiberglass project on his boat for which he could use our help. After the approximately 10 million repaired osmosis bubbles on Milagros, we now knew how to work the stuff. So, we exchanged ideas and met early in the morning on his beautiful catamaran. The weather didn’t quite play along. Hurricane Nora had just rushed along the Pacific coast of Mexico and brought thick rain clouds and thunderstorms as far as Puerto Peñasco. Torrents of rain could be seen on the horizon. Should we start glassing or not? Was the thunderstorm approaching? Yes? No?

Early morning fiberglass work on a catamaran

The disaster takes its course

Pati and Stu were reluctant. But not me. Apparently, I was convincing enough so we took the risk and got to work. A bulkhead on Stu’s ship had to be repaired due to water damage. He had fitted a wooden plate and this now had to be reinforced with fiberglass. So, we worked ourselves forward and meanwhile I always kept an eye on the rain, which seemed to be pulling past Puerto Peñasco. We wish. Turns out one should not turn to me for weather forecasts.

Peñasco is drowning in rain

Suddenly the rain came anyway. We were just finishing one side of the bulkhead when thick raindrops fell from the sky. This quickly showed where the water damage to the original bulkhead on Skookum came from. The water ran down the mast of the boat and directly poured over our freshly glassed surface. With everything we could get our hands on, we tried to limit the damage until we gave up. The rain increased steadily, and when we rewarded ourselves for our bad decision with sweets in the great Candycake, the rain flooded Peñasco.

Puerto Peñasco flood

Here comes the flood

Since we didn’t have enough money with us (of course), I drove to the bank in the pouring rain, where the credit card didn’t work (of course!!). So back to Milagros. In the meantime, entire streets were under water, including the boatyard. Luckily, I had my Crocs on so I could wade through the puddles. Best shoes ever. Whoever states otherwise is just wrong. Who knows, maybe I’ll grow a few extra toes soon. The ground in the boatyard must be toxic and dirty. At least I was able to put on dry clothes and a rain jacket. Back at Candycake we treated ourselves with the best apple fritters on the planet.

Rocky Point boatyard

Of hurricanes and typhoons

Back at the boatyard we had to bring the engine of SV Mapache to safety. It was standing on a pallet in the huge puddle that had formed under the boat. Everything was fine, we just had to move it to a safe spot. It was crazy how much water had come from the sky that morning, I hadn’t seen anything like it in a long time. Considering that these were only the remnants of a hurricane, you can imagine what kind of weather such a storm would bring. I was able to experience typhoon “Mangkhut” first hand in Hong Kong in 2018 and it is just impressive how much power and destructiveness nature can produce.

We need more water!

Working outdoors was out of the question. It was windy and wet. So, I dedicated myself to doing dishes. Since we still don’t have a water tank on board, our water supply consists of a hose fed from the water system at the Cabrales Boatyard. The fact that I sometimes have a housefly’s ability to concentrate has now become my undoing. While the hose was filling the sink, I devoted myself to other activities and only noticed my forgetfulness when there was already a puddle of water in our refrigerator. I had flooded the galley.

We need coffee in the water!

On top of that: During the corresponding freaking out, I knocked over my coffee mug, which landed on the floor and now dripped into the bilge, among other things. When we opened the bilge, we found water. That was never the case so far, unless the water came from our rusted old water tanks. But these were no longer in the boat. So, the water had to come from somewhere else. In the end we came to the conclusion that it had to be rainwater. Since we had removed the old chainplates and were waiting for our new titanium chainplates from Colligo Marine, water could penetrate through the holes in the deck and collect in the bilge. Great great great. What a day. It was time to take a break. After more than half a year in Puerto Peñasco we now know a bunch of nice spots where we can just hang and relax.

Knockout blow at the end of the day

You think it won’t get any better? Well, think again! Pancho did a great job while spraying our hull, but unfortunately left too much paint in a few places. When Pati examined these areas, she noticed that the finished coat had no adhesion to the primer. At first, we had the hope that this would only be the case for the spots where there was too much paint on the hull. After a few tests it was clear: all of our paintwork was for nothing. The topcoat simply hadn’t bonded to the primer. Shock. What now?

Do it all again

We think we can prepare for a major sanding job (again). After a phonecall, Totalboat immediately refunded us for the paint. Still, that’s just a small consolation. We are now back to zero when it comes to topsides paint. All the hours of prep, sanding, cleaning – for nothing. If we sand everything off again, which colour do we choose afterwards? What if everything goes wrong again? It is a first heavy low point in our still young sailing career. Let’s see where the journey leads. We have to collect ourselves now first. Get up, adjust our crowns, carry on.

It’s just one of those days… If you want to cure our paint hangover with a hair of the dog, please click on the button below! Also, you can become a monthly supporter on Patreon if you want to. Many thanks!

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