After 2 hard weeks working like crazy yesterday should have been the day to get our She San back into the water, well, it should have been….
We are just happy that we are not in a hurry, except for the Hurrican season which we have to keep an eye on. Thinking about it, the original plan was to haul out on May 11th, do 5 or 6 days of work on the boat and then head on to Bonaire to enjoy the diving there.
Well that’s the thing about plans, especially on a sailing boat…
First of all, still in Martinique Reto had a serious problem with his back and couldn’t move for days. When it was a bit better we used the slot to go down over night to Grenada with him only doing the watches but me doing all the sail handling work. Reef- in, reef.out, good training for me in the light winds and we enjoyed the trip.
Then Reto’s back got worse again and we started to see some physiotherapist who helped a bit, but progress was very slow.
While he was suffering at home on the boat I was busy doing the shopping and enjoying the social activities of the cruising community, so I went hiking and on the Hash and to the Yoga classes.
Thanks to Gwen I was able to join on Sunday to the service of the Students Christian Association which was really emotional.
Since it was raining the whole day the Hash this time was quite a muddy one, and I was very happy to wear my hiking boots and to have taken my hiking stick with me.
On the second Sunday both Reto and I visited the gospel church where Joseph is reverend. Joe is also taxi driver and he always took Reto to the doctor, since there was no chance to walk to the bus station as usual…
Together with the support of Reto’s sister Brigitta, our homeopath Roger Bertoli and the Osteopath Sonia Robert in Westerhall finally his back became better.
He started to walk “straight” again just on the day before the haul out date, so we dared to go ahead with our plans..
In order to suffer less from the heat Reto cut my hair for the first time.
Already on the first day we start to see the first of an endless number of Osmosis bubbles on the keels and the rudders, but fortunately only a few on the hulls themselves.
Bad news, but ok, we cannot go on like this.
Therefore we start to take the antifouling off which is really a hell of a job. After two days we see that we don’t get anywhere like this and get some support from Devon and John, but still it is incredible hard work to get these hulls clean.
Since the upper part of the gelcoat is rather getting damaged by taking the paint off we decide after a first 8th of the boat to only do the bottom part, where we had found the blisters and where already some parts were damaged anyway.
After 10 days suffering from the mosquitoes, the dust, the noise, and sometimes the smell (some say from the mangroves, some say from the rum factory), the hard physical work kneeling or bending underneath the boat we start to build up again with several layers of gel shield and at the end several layers of antifouling.
Because of the position right next to the haul out place we have to pay attention that we don’t get the water of the ships being pressure washed. So we get up in the morning at 5 am in order to be dry when the first ship is washed at 8.15 am, and we finish the day with a paint just before sunset.
The weather is helping us on all but 1 day, where a hard rain stops all the work and therefore delays also ours to the very end of daylight.
Then our She San is coated in blue antifouling dust for the second time from a boat being washed right next to us, but since the work we did had to dry we cannot get a pressure wash immediately. On that evening we have invited the Cocolo crew and the two girls happily play hide and seek on the whole deck.
What a stupid coincidence, the next day we have everywhere blue spots, because if the dust is touched before getting wet, it will not get off again. Nice, so we have little blue hands and fingers everywhere on the deck. But Nils finds a solution, about the 10th cleaning agent that he tries works to get the blue off again rubbing it hard with a cloth.
Dwight and Richard come to help, but still I overdue my right arm and have to take a break for the next days..
Well, then we are finished just in time to be lifted back into the water, Reto does the last painting of the keel when accidentally I have a look at the fresh silikon joint that we have done on the keels.
“Shit, the new joint fell down” I scream right away, but on the second closer look we can see that the keel is two centimeter out compared to when the boat was standing on it.
We get Nils, the boatyard manager and Nicolas, the expert to have a look. Nicolas asks us about our sailing plans and as he hears that we want to go on to the Pacific he immediately says that we need to get it repaired.
While I start to cry – I am just too tired and exhausted from the past two weeks and now this surprise again – they start to discuss the possible options to help us get the job done. So Nils puts weight on the keel overnight, in order to slowly loosen it from the rest of the hull. Overnight it did get off more, but still it takes quite some time and patience to get it completely removed in the morning.
Now Reto is cleaning and I have to take a rest 😉
The positive part is that it happened now, where we can repair it and that we recognized the defect and it is absolutely amazing how so many people in the boatyard feel with us.
We start to work a bit less and to enjoy ourselves a bit more 😉