Sat 9 May – Wed 13 May, CY days 56-60: Last few days in Cayman.
I got way behind on blogs in the last few days, so this one will cover 5 lost days. I say “lost” because other than finalising the dinghy cover, we really can’t think what else happened on Cloudy Bay. The days are just merging together just lately.
Having had a day-off from the dinghy cover last Friday, while waiting on the velcro glue to dry, I was back to it on Saturday. With the first try after gluing the velcro on the dinghy, I was quite disappointed to find the bow didn’t fit correctly, so I spent all day unpicking the sewing and re-making that part again, with a good result.
All day Sunday was sewing on the reinforcement patches that surround each protrusion. All 25 of them! I almost think there are more holes in the cover than actual cover itself! Each reinforcement patch has quite intricate corners, so most of the sewing machine work had to be done rotating the machine by hand to ensure accuracy. Quite time consuming.
All day Monday I finalized the inside velcro and incorporated a flap. I made this flap to cover the gap where the tubes meet the hull inside the dinghy. This gap always seems to fill with sand and other debris which if not kept clean can ruin the dinghy rubber without you knowing it. So the flap should help keep the sand out in the future.
At last, after almost 2 weeks of templating, sewing, fitting and refitting checks and some re-sewing, it is finished! I have enjoyed the project, but it was starting to get to me. And Oana is as relieved as I am. She claims she lost me for the last 2 weeks, saying that she had thought Cloudy was her competition, but recently this dinghy has won that prize!
After food shopping on Tuesday, the dinghy comes back onto the foredeck for one last time. The cover gets its final fitting then goes back in the water where it belongs. Even if I may say so myself, it looks bloody fantastic and all that effort suddenly feels worthwhile. Though I won’t be taking orders anytime soon! Sorry about that.
But …. and there is always one more “but” …. there is one thing still left to do. I need to glue velcro on the inboard side of the tubes. I’d run out of adhesive so had purchased some locally. But when I saw the price tag of $85 for just a tiny pot, I returned it and got our money back. There are limits to my generosity to these islands! I’ll buy adhesive in the US where it will be 1/2 the price for double the quantity, and will finish the job there.
Talking of the USA, we have decided to get going on our passage. There seems to be a good weather window coming up, for our sail to Florida, where we plan to check-into USA in West Palm before heading to the Chesapeake. There is the season’s first tropical depression starting just east of Florida this coming weekend but it should all be well out into the Atlantic by the time we get there.
Regarding the weather window, what we are looking for is either no wind or a westerly after we round the western tip of Cuba and get into the easterly-going Gulf Stream current. We don’t want any wind against current as we cross it. The usual prevailing easterly wind is exactly that – wind against current.
By Sunday the forecast is no wind there. So we plan to depart on Friday to be at the top of Cuba by Sunday and 2 days motoring in the Gulf Stream to West Palm. By the time we depart, we will have been in in Cayman exactly 2 months. We are thankful we at least managed to rent a car and see the island, but sad that we never got to walk along the 7 mile beach, do any of the famous dives sites nor see any night life. But we are thankful we have felt very safe here and the surroundings of blue water over lovely coral has been wonderful.
Wednesday we wrote a list of all that we need to do for departure preparations. One big item is to finish editing the Jamaica videos and get them up loaded. But when we get into it, we realise it’s not going to be just one video. Somehow we managed to take nearly 500 video clips in Jamaica! So much more to do than we thought. By the evening we are about 1/2 way through. And as Jamaica was not on our favorite destination list, we were both pretty fed up of it by bedtime!
Talking of evenings. It’s been so very hot recently, that when the wind dies in the evening and we have to retreat into the boat from the mosquitoes, we’ve run the generator and air conditioning each evening recently. Getting back out to sea, with continuous fresh breeze and no bugs will be quite a pleasant change.
The next couple of days will be focused on departure preparations.