It took much longer than anticipated to get the bottom copper coated. First the bottom should be lightly sandblasted to get rid of old antifouling, then two coats of epoxy barrier, a thorough sanding to get a good surface for the copper coat to stick to. Then 5 coats of epoxy with copper powder, that should be done wet on wet all in one day, they did half bottom one day and the other half the next day. All this has to be done under dry condition, and we had some rain now and then. After three days of curing the props could be shifted and the part that they have covered could be treated. All this took its time but, what I did not know and not the yard was that the epoxy with the copper powder needs to be sanded VERY thorough to get activated, it took them in total 30 man hour to sand. I’m very happy I did not do this myself a very tough job as a big part of the bottom is above the workers.
Initially we thought overoptimistic that everything should be ready by June 25, but finally we came into the water the July 6.
When the “grinders” took a break Kerstin did polish the water line and as high on the hull she could reach, Kerstin complained it was hard work, but nothing compared with the guys sanding.
So wat did we do in the mean time?
We enjoyed the environment that was very beautiful and remains a little bit of Sweden with the green pine trees and the brown brackish water. A lot of different birds that sang beautifully and very loudly, and of course they sat on our mast and did their dropping on the boat and bimini top, not so nice, a lot of job to clean up after them. Several types of predator birds, we saw one with a rather big fish in his claws flying not far from us. Squirrels in abundance they were very common in Sweden when I was a child but now we do not see them so often. Very nice wild life indeed, but all paradises has it snakes, and at Yankee Point Marina there where three. Flies a lot of them, they could easily have fixed that by not mixing food trash and trash from the yard, all went in to a dumpster, a paradise for fat nasty flies. By having lunch and dinner by the waterfront we escaped the worst of them. Then we had the mosquitos, two types one “big” the same size as a normal Swedish mosquito, but striped, is it not those who transmit Dengue fever and now also Zika? They were not too bad but the other mosquitos called “no see” because they are so small that you can’t see them, a lot of them and they do bite and it itching for many days. I got so many bites that my arms became knobbed.
The third snake was the heat and moister. We often had ca 35 C in the boat, not worse than in the Med but much higher humidity, which in combination with itching make the nights very uncomfortable.
When we did not admire the wild life or fighting bugs we did some maintenance of our own. A lot of spare parts were ordered on line from Amazon and Defender, a retailer of boating equipment that we have been recommended. They needed to be installed, such as new anchorwash pump, multimeter for shore power and generator power, new impellers etc etc
Boys do love knifes, one very big and one very small, one of them is for Kerstin, can you guess which? It’s a cliff hanger I tell you at the end of the blog.
The prop shaft busing together with three lip seals need to be replaced every two years or 800 hours, we were close to 1000 hours so definitely time to change.
The lip seal springs are made of mild steel and does rust, this time I ordered extra stainless spring. Well I hope it will take two years before I found out if it was a good decision or not.
Bow thruster needed new seals as well as a new propeller
The surface for sealing looks very uneven so tried to fill with epoxy, again time will tell if it helped.
The propeller got greased and coated with Velox anti fouling paint for propellers, hope it helps.
More fun job was to put name on our tender some “who knows” says never put name on your dingy, cause then thieves know that you are not on your boat. But the best way to know if there is no one aboard is to look if there is a dingy behind the boat.
After the rough passage from Bahamas the solar panels on the bimini needs new Velcro, it was ordered but it was for indoor use so we never bothered to change, but with hindsight, indoor probably better than nothing at all as seen on the picture
But all is not work, there were several initiative from the marina to make people come and enjoy
One such event was the Veterans Day they have annually, unfortunately not so many came
Not very crowded and they had three different band playing bluegrass and rock.
Else we made our own dinner by the waterfront, we found good meat at the Walmart store.
When the sky looked like this witch it did frequently during evenings we know rain and thunder will follow, so eat fast.
We have been very well received by the Americans, many of them came to us asked about our boat and trip, asked if we needed transport to buy groceries or other things. From one of them we got the most fantastic home grown tomatoes, tastes divine together with the home farmed onions. On happy hours in the club house we never felt alone always some to talk to.
Most boats at the marina were real boats, plain good old boats.
But despite all the nice people the nice scenery we wanted to get into the water and sail away
And finally the 6 of July we went into the water and everything went well, at least in the fairy tale, but in real life shit happens. First as soon as I started the engine the alarm went on, engine off and down in the engine room. My new original VP oil filter has fallen off and all new oil in the bilge. To make things worse I had no spare filter that fitted (Kerstin had told me not to throw away the old filter until we were totally sure the original VP filter would work, guess what I did with the old filter?). I had asked before in the Marina but they did not have any for VP. But I went in there again and they found what third party filter that could fit our VP, find out where to find one and send someone to pick up, that is good service. When I had cleaned up the mess they delivered a filter that fitted, “Jabba dabba doooo”, I asked if they could fix five more filters before we left and they said no problem, so now we will not have filter problem for a while. But the ordeal was not over by that, when I have put back the head stay tensioned as hard as I dared, connected the cables for the furling motor the furlermotor only unfurled, but did not furl the head sail. Nothing happened when trying to furl the sail, I measured the volt but nothing wrong. I do not know much about electrical motors, but at least I can have a look so opened up the motor cheeked the brushes but found nothing strange, disconnected all cables and put them back again, put everything together again and a miracle it worked. All this on the hottest day ever, after rivers of sweat, bruised knuckles and a lot of nasty words I could conclude that I had not have time do anything of what I had planned for the day.
The next day most things went rather smooth and we were ready before the Happy Hour ended and could finally cast off saturday July 8.
Some really nice sailing brought us to this very beautiful anchorage called Mill creek just south of Reedville.
We had been recommended to visit Solomons Islands, 40 nM to the north, head wind so the engine hade to work.
Solomons Islands are more upmarket I guess, it looks very prosperous. Several marinas and very nice water front properties, but not to surprise one, the anchorage and marinas are very sheltered.
Kerpa at anchor at Solomons Islands
Garage for boats I have never seen that in Sweden or in Europe.
We very seldom visits museums but today we made an exemption from that and visit the “Maritime Museum” in Solomons
It was this light house who attracted us, we both like to visit light houses when possible. This is very typical for The Chesapeake Bay area.
The light house keeper lived in the light house and it did not looked bad at all
Given the time at the turn of the nineteenth century the bed room must have been rather luxuries. The salary was 500 $ per year not bad at all, free coal for heating opportunity to fish and farm.
They had an interesting way to build boat, they took several logs dug them out and put them together to a boat.
But they did more sophisticated boats as well, obviously these was for crab fishing, and crabs we had the day before
Kerstin enjoying the “Crab Hammer”
Oyster fishing was a very big business especially during the end of the nineteenth century
A Bushels is roughly 25 kg so ca 37000 ton oyster per annum during a short period, not so much now, man never learn.
The oyster were put into large cans of maybe 2.5 kg, what do you do with 2.5 kg conserved oysters? We did not found out.
But a lot of shell that’s for sure
Interesting Museum don’t miss it if you come to Solomons Islands.
Finally some boats
An Albin Vega a very popular Swedish boat, it was made over 3000 of them during late 1960 early 1970. Several have circumnavigated with them and a crazy Norwegian even visit Antarctica with one. But one does not expect to see them at a posh place as Solomons islands.
Another classic Swedish boat an Albin 25, a rather popular motor boat in the 70-ties. sold in the hundreds but not thousand A very few were sold as motorsailer and to find one in Yankee Point Marina was unexpected.
About every 15 to 20 odd years one can read in some of the yachting magazine someone trying to introduce a new rig. They are usually not very successful, one never see them in real life. Well now we have seen one of them.
Finally who got the big knife?
Well from now on I better behave else…..