So finally yesterday morning on Thursday July 7th we left the Clarks Court boatyard after 7 weeks. Our She San is swimming again, we can hardly believe it! Now it’s about time to take a couple of days rest before moving on.
But let me start from the last blog entry, that was almost one month ago on June 11th. On that day we had decided that we need to invest in two new sail drives before moving on to the direction of the pacific.
Being a bit depressed about the unexpected expenses that this brings up again we had the idea to put this paypal donation button on our blog page, so our readers could give something like 5 to 10 EUR which in total could also help. Anyway, thanks so much to everyone who donated someting.
Then the next week the Paypal system started to put automatic blog entry’s after donations and there were other things that didn’t work so properly, so Reto decided to delete the button again. If you still want to donate we are sure that we find a way 😉
So we went to the local Yanmar dealer on Monday morning and explained that we would like to have a serious quote on two new saildrives, complete with delivery times asap. It took him more than a day to show up with an estimate on a excel sheet but promissed to us that within one week the material would be here.
Based on that we proceed with the payment but in the afternoon we have to understand that he didn’t check anything about the delivery and that the one week was the time the ship takes from USA to here but the total delivery time would take 3 weeks.
This doesn’t improve our confidence in the supplier, therefore we check what other alternatives we have that might be more trustful and faster if possible. From a former employee of him we find out about the delivery possibilities and deadlines and start to understand that there is an option via airplane, which in total takes less than one week.
That brings us to the point that on Friday noon we are back in the Yanmar office. In order to speed up the ordering process – the parts will only be ordered when the payment has been effected- our friend Matt writes out a check for us and we listen to the lady ordering our parts. We go back on board our She San relieved that finally the order is running and have a beer to celebrate.
But less than one our later the Yanmar guy comes together with our friend, “there is a problem, the check takes too long to be on their bank account, and they cannot pay the dealer in the US before they have the money on the account. We are puzzeled – that can only mean that they don’t trust in the financial liability of our friend or they have themselves a liquidity problem and cannot bridge the amount for 2 or 3 days. The latter possibility makes us feel worried, we try to get a contact of the company’s boss, but he doesn’t seem interested to speak to worried customers. We write him an email where we suggest to pay the dealer in US directly but we get a rather bold response, so we stop with this alternative and further explore sourcing from Turkey or doing a quick fix and postponing the saildrive change to Panama (which would mean hauling out once again…).
In the meantime I start my days around 6 am with Yoga and sometimes jogging through the boatyard, before there is a lot of people around and it becomes too hot. On one morning I finally find a small path that goes along the coast and I am happy for the change, but on the way back I stumble and fall and bruise my ribs. So the next 10 days sneezing, coughing and laughing and even riding over the waves in the dinghy is hurting like crazy.
Then the guy here makes an effort and behaves for one morning like we are the customer, so Reto decides to go for it and get the parts via them, paying directly to the dealer in the US. Already one day later when we ask on information where the parts are, the enthusiasm is gone again and it takes him 1.5 days to come back with the answer “ I believe the parts are on their way”. After that we contact directly the US guys and get our tracking numbers in less than two hours…
In order to not loose any more time we start to take out the old saildrives by ourselves. Well, we – that means that Reto is working and sweating in the engine room and I hand all the tools, organise all the necessary items and handle the winches to take motor and saildrives up and down.
We are surprised how easy it goes to move the engines and to take the saildrives out and we do have fun in doing the work and that things start to move.
In between we enjoy the social activities in the surrounding bays, especially on Sunday’s:
On one Sunday there is a jumble sale and we earn a few dollars getting rid of some things that we don’t need any more.
Then there is one of the famous dinghy concerts of Le Phare Bleu, and we enjoy the great atmosphere of the stage in the middle of the bay with two pontoons and about 40 dinghy’s around. The music is typical Grenadian Soca type by Grenadian star Mr. Killa and Rebel 1 and it is fun, but not entirely our music taste…
On the next sunday we enjoy the beach party on Hog Island where a few yachties play some good blues including saxophon while 100 meter further the locals have their boxes running with the usual soca…
In the last couple of days we enjoy the company of Anna and Franz with their daughter Milena who haul out as well before going back to Austria and of our Austrian friend Josef, who is probably the best mechanic that we ever met and who always gives us a good advice on our mechanical questions.
Thanks to the fast clearance organized by our friend Matt we finally receive the parts as planned and on the same day we start with the fitting of the new parts.
After a bit more then two days everything is build in and we think that there are only some small last details to be finished.
For example the filling up of holes of the screws of the old gaskets that long before were drilled in too far and directly lead the seawater into the machine bed or the seawater hoses that were bent some time ago and have prevented a good flow of the cooling water…
Then we find that the operation of the gear goes a bit hard, we put in some lubrication and are happy that it runs again easy afterwards.
Only when Reto goes back into the engine room he sees that the reason for running easy was not the lubrication but because the control cable broke. So we have to find that one on the island – luckily that only takes half a day and we can replace it the next morning.
And finally we get a last time negatively surprised by the local Yanmar guys, who give us the final invoice. Because we didn’t consider them in doing the fitting work we now should pay the 200 US dollars that were agreed as discount for bank transfer instead of credit card payment, but these are two completely different matters. Well, not only that they don’t hold their word once again, they also confront us with the fast, that they deducted the amount already from our credit card, without having our agreement! We are stunned by such a behaviour.
On our launch day Tuesday we get some more nice black and corrosive dust from the huge crane platform that is pressure washed next to us, what a good coincidence that we are just wahing the boat anyway…my nerves are almost blanc again…
Reto says, “dont worry, whatever stays we can clean and polish later, no it is only important that everything works and we don’t have any leakages”
When finally with 4 hours delay we are put into the water we immediately check all our through hulls and have the impression that everything is tight. The belts are taken away and we go alongside since it is already getting dark. But then, when Reto checks the oil levels he finds the next bad surprise, “shit, one of the saildrives is leaking seawater”. We are shocked. What does that mean now? We consult Josef who tells us that we only need to lift the saildrive enough to put some liquid sealant in but still, we don’t sleep well in the following night. Luckily, Nils only has one ship needing the travel lift on that day, so after that one we can come back again and start again…
With the additional heat of the engines Reto this time is really sweating like in a sauna. Never before I have seen him drink so much in such a short time.
We lift the motor together with the saildrive, he dries the surface of engine bed where the sealing was leaking, he makes it smooth with sand paper, cleans it, and puts the liquid sealant in, then everything needs to be mounted back again.
In the early afternoon we are put back into the water and Reto is completely exhausted.
We wait for an hour and even though we are incertain, we need to get released from the lift and go alongside. When it is still dry in the engine room the next morning we start to believe that now it is good.
So off we go, across the bay, now it is time to relax and enjoy that we are floating in the water again. What an enormous feeling! No more noise and smell and mosquitoes! Just a slight movement of the boat in the water – we love it 😉