We work and work and work on the boat and everyone leaves us or sails away. It seems we have to earn our way into the water even more. Things are progressing, but we still need patience.
We have reached a big milestone with the completion of the painting of the freeboard. A never-ending Sisyphean task that actually did only one thing: strain our nerves. But now we could almost leave these strains behind us. All that was missing was Milagros’ name on the hull. The ordering process for the three vinyl stickers was extremely tedious. Because just when we wanted to order, the website had technical problems. But the very nice and competent customer service of signs.com fixed everything for us. A few days later, we held the lettering in our hands. We had expected a little less swearing when sticking them on, but we were very happy with the result. Cheers!
Hello dear anchor windlass
The assembly of the boat could continue. Finally, we could mount the backstay chain plate and prepare everything for stepping the mast. The anchor and chain, which had been stored on a pallet next to the boat for months, could also be returned. To do this, I had to replace a rusted nut on the windlass so that the electrical contact would work properly. Unfortunately, a piece of plastic broke off in the process, causing the whole thread to turn. I knew immediately that this did not bode well. At the beginning of the year, I would have been helpless. But now, without further ado, I unscrewed the motor’s housing and discovered the problem myself. The copper wire of the grounding had broken off and had to be soldered back on. In addition, the broken piece of plastic had fallen into the motor and had to be removed.
A damaged toe
Since we had already had problems with this motor last year, we knew immediately what had to be done: pump out the gear oil, unscrew the motor and take it to a workshop. One day later and 25 dollars poorer, we had a working windlass motor again. We also took the opportunity to change the oil. But the beautiful new oil leaked onto our deck through a seal that was no longer tight. When I discovered it and wanted to show David, I stubbed the little toe of my right foot on the railing. The sound was not good. It is possible that my little toe is broken now. I don’t know. Or maybe it’s just sprained. Whatever it is, it’s unnecessary and it hurts.
At least we were able to close the oil leak and finally pull in the anchor. “Unfortunately”, we tested the anchor locker drain beforehand and found that something was wrong. The water was not draining out. A closer look (= clearing out the entire front cabin) showed that the whole construction was suboptimal and could cause wet feet in the worst case.
A boat for sale
It was simply unbelievable. For a brief moment we considered putting the boat up for sale. How many well-intentioned but not well-thought-out installations do we have to find? It is really bloodcurdling at times. It looks like we can make the drain safe without any major problems. But we’ll see if it’s really that easy.
Fishing in Peñasco
Two of the yard workers wanted to go fishing on a Sunday afternoon and we wanted to join them. But since we couldn’t organise a four-wheel drive vehicle, it didn’t work out. However, Dave had received a tip about a good fishing spot a few days earlier. Equipped with fishing gear for Dave and a book for me, we drove instead to a nearby car park and walked the last 2 km along the beach (my foot was still fine at this point). Our destination was the rocky coast at La Choya. I hadn’t even finished reading the first page when David hooked his first fish. A sand perch was probably in the mood for crab tails.
As we didn’t have a cooler with us, David released it in a small tide pool. A short time later David caught a colleague or relative of sand perch No. 1 and we decided that this was enough fish for both of us. David cleaned the fish on the spot and we walked back to the car. At home we filleted them and processed them into ceviche. We mixed the fillets cut into small pieces with chopped cucumber, tomatoes and onions, added orange and lime juice and let the whole thing steep in the fridge for a few hours. The delicious dinner was ready. A few days later, David went fishing again on his own and brought back a corvina, which we fried in one piece.
A sewing extravaganza
We also ticked something important (but not actually urgent) off our still-long list of projects: protective covers. On our new Singer sewing machine from SV Alegría, I sewed protective covers out of black nylon fleece we found in a fabric shop here in town. These mainly serve to protect our new paint job. But they are also something for the eye. Our fenders are already a bit older and worn and have different colours. Now they all have a nice black pyjama.
For the somewhat thicker, UV-resistant fabric we had intended for hatch protectors etc., the Singer sewing machine was not enough. So, we borrowed a Sailrite sewing machine from SV Susimi, which can also be used to sew sails. Sewing with this machine was really fun and in no time at all I had made covers for the hatches, propane bottles, diesel canisters and the windlass. I’ve been contemplating a machine like this for a long time, but the new one costs over $1,200. It also weighs around 50 lbs and has to be stowed somewhere on the boat. Let’s see.
We are visible
In the meantime, David has installed our new radio with AIS function (Automatic Identification System). This means that in future we will be able to be seen by other ships, especially tankers, and also see the positions of other boats – if they also have AIS. The nice thing about it is that it also includes a collision alarm, which is especially helpful when sailing at night. Of course, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep an eye out for other vessels at night, because not every barge is equipped with AIS. We had to upgrade our radio antenna for this, as the AIS requires additional frequencies.
You may remember that at Easter we were advised to leave town because of the noise, because so many people come to Peñasco and they party all night long. There is another such weekend: Bike Week. This year, over 10,000 bikers were expected. From Thursday to Saturday, all hell broke loose here. The whole party mile was closed to traffic in the evening and there were concerts, parties, parades and whatever else makes a biker’s heart beat faster. As the boatyard is located directly on this party mile, the noise at night was hard to miss. Before Corona, we would probably have thrown ourselves into the fray, but we don’t want to take any risks here.
A highlight of Bike Week was the exhibition of award-winning bikes and the subsequent bike parade through the city. We marvelled at the two- and three-wheelers pimped out with great attention to detail and secretly wished that someone would polish the stainless steel on our boat just as beautifully.
Our friends on the catamaran SV Skookum were also back at the boatyard preparing their vessel for departure. This still required the second side of the bulkhead to be glassed in. Like last time, we set up a fiberglass construction site on deck. This time it was fortunately no longer so hot and there was no rain in sight that would have jeopardised the project. We rewarded ourselves for the half day’s work with the best apple fritters in town.
Soon it was time to say goodbye to them, too. Yet another boat arrived after us and left the yard before us. Like our neighbours on SV Rua Hatu, whom we also waved goodbye to. But we too will sail away one day. One day…
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