Friday 15 Nov, HHN day 35: Making dinghy secure to davits, moving to shelter prior to impending Nor’easter and a shock review of our credit card spending!
Today’s plan was to start the food shopping and stocking. But as usual, jobs stopped that. Inside we finalize the mid-cabin by screwing the floor boards back in place then move to the forepeak to clean under bow berths.
On deck the key job today is to glue the Simpson-Lawrence castle rubbers in place on both the davits and the new Highfield dinghy. These sets of rubber blocks stop any lateral movement of the dinghy on the davits when Cloudy is rolling or healing. But it means firstly cutting off the old parts on the davits (used with the Avon dinghy) and also cutting a lifting handle off the new Highfield where the castle rubber needs to be glued to. This is rather a tense operation for me. Not only cutting parts off a brand new dinghy but doing it with a very sharp cutter – dreading that hsssssing sound as the knife goes where it shouldn’t!
Last time I glued the rubber blocks onto the Avon I frankly made a mess. Glue everywhere. Not wanting to do the same to the new Highfield, I make sure the rubbers are perfectly positioned then tape off all the area we don’t want glue on. A long story short, the rubbers are glued in place beyond my expectations and even look like they came as part of the new dinghy. What a relief. As for technical, they perfectly lock the dinghy to the davits making it extremely solid.
Along with the new davit strops, new outboard lock and now locking runners installed, we conclude the readying of the new dinghy for action. Just one big job remains now: making sunbrella tube covers. We have all the materials and the sewing machine… we just need the time and skill! Another day, in a warmer climate.
Before removing the outboard ready for our passage (we never go to sea with outboard on dinghy on davits ) I take a tootle in the dinghy back to M-dock to check space and water depths. Over the weekend we are expecting strong NE winds which will make our current dockage untenable. We are allowed to use M-dock over the weekend while the travel lifts are not in use. Back at Cloudy the outboard is hoisted on board to its pushpit mount and secured.
Next deck job is to use the heat gun to shrink the heat-shrink tubes around the hydraulic quick connects. These quick connects are beautifully made from stainless steel, but the locking balls are of basic steel and rust terribly 🙁 So I now use large heat shrink tubing to make the whole connection water tight. While this renders them no longer “quick” connections they can at least be disconnected without a hammer and a chisel after a few months bathing in salt spray!
In anticipation of needing fender blankets for our Panama Canal transit, we manage to procure (for free) some large offcuts of shrink-wrap plastic. Making these simple sheets will be our first practice with our new sewing machine. Again, another job, for another time, in warmer climates.
Our cockpit locker strut had long been a bone of contention. Our current one has never really seemed to help opening the heavy locker door – infact it seems to resist our efforts. And we could never find the right size replacement. But with our new Amazon expertise, we did find one and it was delivered. It should have been a job for later but I couldn’t resist fitting it. Boy oh boy what a difference to have a cooperative cockpit locker lid. Brilliant! Why oh why did we wait 3 years for this delight!!!
Before the day light fades we move Cloudy to M-dock. Oana really doesn’t like moving the boat in marinas unless absolutely necessary. Probably born from a few disasters we had when first getting used to docking this size of boat in Gibraltar. But with this wind coming, I know it’s the right thing to do. There is zero wind, making the maneuver very easy and slick and very soon we are tied up and snug inside the marina behind the “wind wall” of a 97ft Weaver.
Evening is making last orders on Amazon and replacing lose screws on the nav-station seat. Meanwhile, Oana, who has recently acquired a delight for baking bread and cakes is making a coffee cake. The smells in the cabin remind me of my Mum baking, bless her. Happy times 🙂
Last job in the evening is to check back account and clear credit card. OMG … did we really manage to spend THAT much in the last 3 weeks?!! We need to get out of here, away from Amazon, Defender and Herrington hardware stores to the desert of the oceans, to let our bank revive.
That said, tomorrow we will start shopping to restock the boat with food, while we are in USA with a car.