Friday 18 May: Another busy day, but not quite so manic as yesterday.
First off, we try to find parts to re-secure the mainsail battens together: very small roll pins and thin sail tape. We stop at North Sails loft in our quest. Their manager’s first response is “why have you got vertical battens, no one uses those these days, they are obsolete”. Well, we do, thank you very much, and we need to repair them. “just cut the roach off and remove the batten pockets, so much easier to handle”. He does have a point and for a moment we even consider doing it.
Next stop, Budget Marine. They don’t have parts either. But we do buy their whole stock of shrink wrap to go over the batten joints.
As we walk back to Cloudy Bay, we are tooted by a pick-up. He is delivering our serviced vang, and gives us a lift. He tells us that there was a seal installed incorrectly, and that’s probably the reason the vang leaked immediately following the service in Martinique. So first job back at Cloudy Bay is to reinstall the vang. Let’s hope it lasts another 8 years this time!
Next job is to try to get the mainsail halyard shackle undone. For some strange reason the shank is on the side of the mast opposite to all the inspection holes. Why oh why, and just how did the last person managed to even get the shackle done up that way. An hour later, Glen sitting up on the boom and being handed by Oana small bent screw drivers, string and pliers, the offending shackle is unscrewed 1/10 of a revolution each try. Eventually, its undone and the halyard pulled down with a lead line. Off to the riggers to try to get the polyester outer sleeve replaced with dynema, just like the genoa halyard. Good news, they can do it today and they have the genoa halyard ready to pick up, with a very nice new dynema sleeve.
Once the genoa halyard is reinstalled in the mast, we set to the job of setting up the battens for the mainsail. Each joint is inspected, new pins put in and taped in place. So much for needing to buy tape: Glen pulls out the sail-repair bag and we find any amount of spinnaker and sail tape already on board. Ooops says Glen, maybe he should keep his boat inventory as up to date as Oana’s food inventory! But in reality, there is no hope to even try to compete with Oana on that one.
Later, we go and inspect the progress on the sails at A&F Sails loft. The genoa is done already, and the main is in progress. They seem to be doing a good job. There is actually hope they will be done, ready to put the sails back on this afternoon. So it’s a rush back on Cloudy Bay to finish getting the battens ready, then a rush to pick up the mainsail halyard from the riggers ….. but on the way back we see the sail loft is closed for the day already. Glen just catches the manager leaving, who informs him the guys will finish in the morning, Saturday, and put the sail up by mid-morning. Finally panic over, we have the rest of the day now to finish battens and install mainsail halyard. So back on Cloudy Bay we have a cup of tea and relax for a few moments.
By sundown all is finished and we tidy up both the boat and ourselves. We had also been waiting all day on Mark, from Marine Power Services , with the generator silencer repair. But apparently the corrosion was much worse than expected. It’s repaired by 5pm so they will come and install at 9am tomorrow. Looks like we will be having another busy morning. Well, at least they will work on a Saturday. Being a long weekend (Monday is a holiday) we had been worried we’d get no more attention till Tuesday.
After showers, we head out to see what evening entertainment we can find. It is after all a Friday evening. In Nelson’s Dockyard Marina there has been a fishing competition and there is evening live entertainment. But not really the music for us. So we head into town. The very few bars and restaurants which are still open (most are already shut for the summer) are pretty quiet, but we manage a cocktail or 2 in what looks like the liveliest bar around. Tomorrow they will be open at 5am with live coverage of the royal wedding back in UK. For a moment we even wonder if we should come along for breakfast at 5am to watch …. But that moments doesn’t last too long!
The rest of English Harbor is very quiet. Frankly, the season is totally over here. Its clearly dying a summer’s death with many places “closed for summer”. Very different to Martinique were European people actually live, and not just holiday.
By 10pm we end up back in Nelsons Dockyard where the fishing competition party is already coming to an end. So we retire to Cloudy Bay for an earlyish night. One day we might actually find some night life in these islands for us to enjoy.