Monday 10 December, Antigua, Jolly Harbor Marina: Visit Catamaran Marina, Falmouth Harbour and English Harbor.
Bright day and the spirits are high on Cloudy Bay. At least till tomorrow. Our last day of leisure, before we haul out again tomorrow morning.
And leisure it was most of the morning, relaxing and doing nothing much, just admin on our laptops.
Then on to practical stuff, the vang. We need to take it off and send back for servicing, again, for the third time.
It started leaking hydraulic oil in April, when we were in Martinique. And we had the seal kit replaced there. But first day of sailing, it leaked again. And we suspected the seals were not properly installed.
Once in Antigua, in May, we had the vang serviced again by Stan in Antigua Rigging. Seemed to be fine to begin with, but during our passage to USA we noticed the leak again. We are not sure what the issue is, if the seal kit was faulty or if something wrong with the vang itself.
Bottom line, Stan needs to attend to it yet again. And sort it out once and for all, hopefully. At least we can take it off and reinstall it quickly… we are very well practiced at that now!
It’s the last day we have the rent-a-wreck, so once the vang is removed we fit it in the car with just a few mm to spare, and drive off to Catamaran Marina where Antigua Rigging is located. The office is shut, public holiday today, and Stan instructed us to leave the vang on the porch in front of his office. We can only hope it will still be there tomorrow morning when they resume work.
Catamaran Marina is quite small, but it accommodates big sailing boats. We visited in May, and we were curious to see what boats would we recognize now. A couple, the rest were new to us.
Some of them caught our eyes, the varnish on them was impeccable. When we inquired the crew, we learn the varnishing job was done in the USA. Well, then no wonder it is so perfect, at the rates that are charged in USA. We were quoted way too much, and postponed this job to be performed in the warm climate of Antigua (and a fraction of the price).
Admiring this varnish, we are now quite taken with a slightly darker tint of the varnish. The contrast against silver decks and white hull makes it stand out more. So we are contemplating if we should have a yellow primer instead of clear primer. We’ll do some reading this evening on the Awl-grip website.
We pay a short visit to the chandlery in Catamaran Marina, to inquire about safety valve for a water heater. “Oh no, I only sell them stuff to make boat beautiful. I don’t sell funny stuff!” is the prompt answer.
Here we also learn what the public holiday is about. Vere Bird birthday, Antigua’s former Prime Minister. “He was our Mandela”, we are told.
Looking over Falmouth Harbor we notice that not many boats were anchored there. Not sure if anchoring restrictions were in place due to the Charter Yachts Show. The big boats are still moored there, and there is an enormous 5 master square rigger anchored right outside the harbour.
Such a contrast from last time we were anchored here and it was all deserted. On this note, we fly the drone over Falmouth Harbour to have a glimpse at the aerial view of these super yachts.
English Harbor is very special to us, and now that we are down here we pay it yet another visit. It looks like a fairy tale setting, all so very nicely restored. We click yet more pictures and fly the drone over this bay also. And as we walk away, we are contemplating on moving Cloudy Bay here for the varnish job, rather than Jolly Harbor which seems to be so quiet and remote from everything.
The rent-a wreck is due to be returned at 3pm, so we need to make a move towards Cloudy Bay. The drive back was the usual adventure fending off the pot holes. But maybe we are not as good as we thought at avoiding them. Just a couple of kilometers away from Jolly Harbor, in front of Tamarind Resort, we feel we have a flat tire, again. And when we circulate the rent-a-wreck it is revealed to us: we have a flat tire to the spare tire. Bugger!
So after the adequate cursing, we slowly drive away aiming to get as close as possible to Jolly Harbor. And when within walking distance (in the hot sun) we abandon ship before we completely destroy the tyre. Stroll on the road is how we conclude our excursion.
When we arrive, the rental car place was closed. Bugger again! But a local waves to us pointing towards the parking lot, where we catch the shop attendant just as he was leaving. He doesn’t seem to be happy with the news he now has a car to attend to, but at the same time he doesn’t seem to be to bothered with the situation. I guess he is used with it. We doubt any of the cars in his fleet are any better.
Back at the dock we find another Hallberg Rassy. That’s 3 in a row now. 2 HR53s and an HR54. The latest one in comes from Horta in the Azores. They arrived yesterday and will be heading to St. Maarten tomorrow. That is a short stay!
Back onboard we have a late lunch and some calls to family in the UK. Then fill our tanks with water and prepare what we can for leaving the marina in the early morning. Tonight will have to be an early night as we haul out at 7:30am tomorrow. Like VERY early for us, retired cruising types!
In the evening Glen takes everything out of the forepeak to see where we have oil leaking from the bow thruster. Oddly he cannot see any signs of oil leak anywhere. So where did that oily substance in the mid cabin bilge come from? Could that craft beer can that burst have produced a substance that looked like oil? This may remain a mystery!
Doing his research on Awl-grip website, Glen is lost reading about so many products. So helpline is called: our knowledgeable friend, Ray, to pick his brain about the types of varnish he has experience with. After half an hour Glen feels confident he has all the information he needs. But whether we will have the actual products too, that remains to be seen tomorrow, when we visit Budget Marine.
Tonight is still and as we sit in the cabin we are getting ravages by mosquitoes. Hmm, hope it’s not going to be like this in the yard!