Tuesday, October 29, 2013

 otherwise known as the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, but CARONI SWAMP sounds so much better!!
The national bird of Trinidad, the scarlet ibis
We took the afternoon off last week and took a trip out to see the scarlet ibis's. They were magnificent, I have never seen a bird that was quite that colour before, they were really red, just my colour of bird.  We took a trip down the swamp in a boat and arrived just as the birds were coming back to roust for the night. The tree looked like a Christmas tree all green and red with a few while splotches which were the great white herons.  I apologize for the lousy pictures but we didn't get close enough to get very good ones.  I have tried to give you an idea of what it was like but unfortunately our camera's were not good enough to capture the moment very well. 
We had a bit of a tour before we went to the swamp, seeing Mount St. Benedit which had a huge monastery on it and also a Hindu temple that was built out at the end of a causeway in the water because no one owned the land and they could not destroy the temple as the land owners had done to the previous temple the fellow had built.  It was a very nice break from the boat.  
We have completed putting back all the chain plates, here I am with my head in the bottom cupboard of the head holding the wrench so Barry can loosen the bolts. on the other side of the partition.  The chain plates look good and we have put stuffing and then caulking all around the holes in the deck where they go through it so hopefully they won't leak anymore. Apparently decks flex, so we will just have to keep caulking them about 3 or 4 times a year and hope they won't leak anymore.  

The other job we have almost completed is installing the new radar.  We took down the old dome last week and then tried to figure out if the existing platform it sits on would do for the new one.  The holes for the new one looked like they would NOT fit on the old platform so we got a big plastic board for the new one to sit on, after, of course attaching it to the old platform.  Well lo and behold we took the old platform down and just managed to squeeze the new holes on to it so there is no need for the new plastic board, much better!  If you followed all that you are a very careful reader indeed.  
For one thing that goes our way there seems to be five that don't.  We have to mount the radar display on the binnacle. I managed to get two coats of paint on the binnacle, it looks a lot better but Barry thinks I should have spray painted it. The binnacle is that post that the steering wheel is attached to.  ANYWAY, sorry, I am rambling a bit, we had to find a way to get the radar cable down the binnacle.  We dangled a fishing line with a weight on the end of it and managed to get the weight through a 2.5cm hole a meter down with only a 1.5 cm opening at the top, not directly overhead of it.  Barry figured he could not get the cable down that hole so pulled the weight back up, the next time he dropped it down it got stuck on something and he couldn't get it loose.  We have one of those long grabber things we tried to get the weight with, difficult when you can't see what you are supposed to be grabbing. One too many pulls on the fishing line and it breaks leaving about 1/2 a meter of fishing line and a weight just sitting down in the bottom of the binnacle ready to roll around when ever the boat heals and get all tangled up with the steering cables perhaps the throttle or the gear shift lever, fun, fun, fun.  We put the fishing tape, that we got when we had to take the mast down in Mexico when all our sacrificial lines we put up to save our halyards all broke due to UV, down the binnacle, after 20 minutes I attached a sting to the end of the fishing tape and Barry managed to use the grabbing tool and we were able to string the radar cable, hooray.  A major disappointment was the windows we ordered came but they were the wrong size, we did not check and double check the sizes, we want to exchange them but they don't have the windows we need in stock for 3 weeks.  We are going to have them sent to Martinique where we will be spending Christmas. 
We went to talk to the paint guy today, they have one more coat of barrier coat to put on the bottom before we can put the bottom paint on.  They are coming on Friday and we will be going in the water next Wed.  so there is an end in site.  It will be wonderful to be back on the water again.   I think the rain has stopped so time to do some more chores. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I decided to take some pictures to let you see what kind of a mess we are living with while we make our repairs, I did say it was a mess.
It is not fun.  We made some progress though, the carpenter came and fitted a bottom to this cupboard and I think the first set of chain plates should be ready to put back on today.  Then we will have to pull the next set. 
This is the cupboard where the bottom board was all water damaged and we replaced it.
Here are before and after picture of the dinghy oars. 
In case you were wondering how I managed to varnish an oar.  I hung it off the chain holding the jack stands together, it was protected from the rain by the boat and I thought they looked pretty good after 8 coats of varnish.  An innovative use for jack stand chains!!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Barry re-riveting the mast track.  

We experienced a 6.4 earthquake the other night.  Not something that I ever want to do on the hard again.  It was at night and I was watching a movie, the whole boat started shaking. I thought the wind must have.really come up and I looked outside.  Nope, it was calm and the boat was still shaking.  I was really afraid that the boat would fall over, thank heavens the stands were sturdy and although the boat really shook it stayed where it should.  Whew!!!
We are still very busy fixing up the boat.  We had a survey done and it was recommended that we pull our chain plates.  Those are the things that attach the shrouds (wires that hold us the mast) to the boat.  They are long skinny stainless steel plates which  go through the deck and are bolted on below. They have been leaking and one section of the deck was all wet and punky so we had to have that ground out and re-epoxied. Then one of the cupboards, the board at the bottom is rotten because of the leaking water so Barry ripped up board.  I am hoping to get a carpenter to replace it, Barry wants to put a piece of painted plywood in there, that was kind of okay when you couldn't see it but now he is talking about pulling more out and it would be different than the rest to the boat, so I am going to see if we can't get proper wood.  Anyway the inside of the boat is a mess, the stuff from the cupboards is piled up on the settees and the table, a real mess.  
I have almost finished polishing the boat, just one more section of the cockpit and the whole boat will be shiny.  I have 7 coats of varnish on the dinghy oars, now time to do the handrail on top of the cabin top and then polish the stainless and the top sides will look almost as good as the hull.  The bottom paint, new batteries, the radar, three new windows and Barry's new AIS are due to come in on Tues. so we will have more work then.  We have only pulled 2 chain plates and we have 6 more to go, fun, fun, fun!!!