Projects / Maintenance – boat maintenance related news & photos by Cloudy Bay, Hallberg-Rassy 54 sailing yacht, cruising around the world. sailcloudybay.com
Saturday 18 Apr, CY day 35: Cockpit calamity, food shopping and finish the port side bimini sunshade.
Yeah! Shopping day today. We get to go ashore. But not before performing a big cockpit clean up. Over breakfast, Oana tipped (threw?) a whole 1-liter tub of yogurt over me and the cockpit, skillfully managing not to get even a single drop on herself! For goodness sake, she only had to say “Glen, it’s time you cleaned the cockpit” and I would have done it, without wasting our home made yogurt! Anyway, for all my never-ending clumsiness, she clearly wanted to catch-up in a big way! 🙂 Needless to say, the cockpit gets its deep clean, right down to under the cockpit floor grating. It always amazes me the amount of hair, toe nails, skin, food and other debris that gathers down there. It’s like a little landfill of human scrapings! Once I’ve picked out all plastic bits, screws, nuts, bits of wire and sewing thread, a bucket of sea water washes the lot down the cockpit drains. I can only imagine the flurry of activity going on under the boat as the small colourful fish go crazy for their free meal, same as when we throw fruit and veg bits overboard. Nothing is left to waste.
Then it’s to the shops before the day’s heat kicks in. We really don’t need much today and consciously avoid buying expensive fruit items and no meat today. Yet still the bill is almost $200! Unbelievable. Maybe my frenzy around the Easter-egg shelves, where everything was on 75% discount, had something to do with it. I mean who can resist buying 8 boxes of Lindor chocolates at just $3.50 each? 🙂 Plus, tomorrow is Oana’s (un)Orthodox Easter Day, so we need to stock up, right? Let’s add yet more chocolate eggs to the basket … but Oana doesn’t see it quite that way. She just thinks I’m becoming a chocoholic! (Pssss, she doesn’t know it yet, but I’ve secretly been one for years).
Today is new YouTube video day. We release a new one each Friday. And there is an instant flurry of comments which I really enjoy reading and answering. Especially the ones that ask sailing type questions. It seems we are keeping quite a few people entertained during their lock down these days. So this activity takes me from mid-morning coffee till mid afternoon.
Late afternoon we put up yesterday’s newly constructed port side sunshade and install the Loxx snap fittings to attach it to the bimini. We are very pleased with the result. This one seems even better than the starboard side. We just need to work out where we can get eyelets fitted for the tie down points to the life lines.
Early evening we take a look at possible places to put Cloudy Bay ashore in Panama, as an option. Looks like nothing on the west coast. And on the east coast, the only one we can find is Shelter Bay marina & yard, next to the notoriously dangerous town of Colon. Rates are higher than US (so very high!), the yard looks terrible and the reports on Active Captain are far from inspiring. The positive points are: we can sail direct to Panama with just a 4 day sail from Cayman. It also means we can arrive back to the boat much later in the year compared to a haul out in USA. Negatives are: not covered by insurance in Panama during hurricane season; question of whether we can actually fly home from Panama; it will be unbelievably hot this time of year; the yard’s proximity to a thick jungle means there is risk of being carried off by huge mosquitos at night; and finally, in this new world, where the future is uncertain, would we really want Cloudy stuck in a humid tropical and insecure environment if for some reason we cannot get back to her.
Conversely, the passage up to USA’s Chesapeake will be 9-10 days and getting back to Panama in autumn will take a further 14 days. But then all Panama’s negative points become positive ones in USA. We’ll have to think more on it, but I think we know where our preferences lie.
No news from ashore today. Seems the authorities are having a day off from their press briefings. Good for them. Meanwhile, the police helicopter continues its over-head passes and the police boat ambles around making sure no one is being naughty.
In the evening we finalize the video for our 3 day passage from Bahamas to Jamaica. I love it because it’s ALL sailing, including using the Parasailor. 25 minutes of pure enjoyment to look back on in the future. Episode will soon be hitting a screen near you!