Sunday, November 4, 2012

Afloat again

After less than a week on the hard in the yard in Virgin Gorda, painting and sweating and cleaning and sweating and painting some more, we're back in the water. 

Speedy's - the last leg of our trip
We were delayed on our way south just long enough to miss the last ferry to Virgin Gorda. It was probably just as well, since we'd have had to hike around the hot dusty yard in the dark with all our bags, looking for the boat. (Plus we got to spend one last night in air conditioned splendor in a hotel in Tortola.)

We knew the yard would move the boat, but we were sort of hoping they'd remember where they'd put her! When we arrived Monday morning we hiked around the hot dusty yard with all our bags looking for the boat. When we found her, we got to work.

She wasn't where we left her.... the yard moved Saralane to accommodate other boats in the busy yard.
Respirators at the ready
Bottom and stripes taped off and ready for painting
We'd painted the boot stripes previously with spray paint (apologies to the purists out there) because we loved the bright green color and couldn't find anything like it in marine paint. This time we decided to paint with marine paint and match the green by tinting white paint.  

Have white paint.... add green tint.
Uh oh. We were after BRIGHT lime green, not pale mint green.
The paint guide was a little off. Time for a new plan. Thankfully the ship's store here had some green paint, so we doctored it with some white and some yellow tint and a little of the mint green mix we'd come up with and voila.... we got a sort-of lime green!

The secret formula
The leftover.... for touch ups
The unmasking
One upside to being in the yard was that we got to spend time with our friend Jim from Top O' the World who's been out of the water for over a year and was getting launched a few days before us. He had air conditioning on his boat, and we not only enjoyed Jim's company, but the killer dinner and strong drinks he made for us while we cooled off in the AC. (I know in my last blog post I said I didn't miss air conditioning. Apparently I lied.)

Captains Skip and Jim
Top O' the World gets wet for the first time in over a year
Hurricane Sandy didn't cause any problems in this far east in the islands, but the storm was big enough to push the easterly trade winds down around to the south and west. It also brought in enormous swells and waves that crashed into the channel making Jim's exit a little exciting. He made it out just fine though - and is now hanging out in Vieques with his son-in-law and planning his next adventure.

Top O' the World faces down the crashing waves at the edge of the channel
After seeing Jim off, we had no excuse not to work all day and into the evenings to get Saralane ready to go. Once she was ready, she went back into the slings and into the water. 

Skip keeps the paint handy for touching up once the stands are removed.
Rolling toward the slipway
The waves and swell were had calmed a bit since Jim's departure but still made things a little challenging in the slipway, hence no photos of our exit since we were both on the boat and handling lines on our way out. By the time we left the marina the following day the winds had shifted back into the east and the swell was down. We made our way up to the North Sound to settle in and finish cleaning up the boat and stowing things. 

Our plan to go ashore for a celebratory drink last night was dashed when the outboard on the dinghy refused to start. (Thus commenced the swearing and muttering and banging on the outboard.) When it got too dark to see what he was swearing at and banging on, and after swapping out the fuel, checking all the connections and undoing and redoing the hoses and siphon, Skip decided to revisit the problem in the morning. 

In a 2 AM revelation, he realized the problem. Seals on the connectors at both the tank and the engine were worn from use and hard from age and were leaking slightly and not allowing the fuel to get to the engine evenly. In the morning he cut some 'seals' from leftover leather we had on board and went out for a test ride - we're back in business! The oars are in the dinghy just in case. 

We'll be hanging out here for another week or two waiting for a friend's boat to arrive. Meanwhile we'll be getting reacquainted with Saralane (three months is a long time to be away!) and readjusted to the easy pace here. Now that the dinghy is operational - I think we'll go have that celebratory drink.


Cindy Barnard said...

Yea! You are back on line as this, your THIRD! year aboard Saralane begins. Who woulda thought? It is cold and windy in NH...but then, it is November.
Thinking about Thanksgiving'll probably have conch fritters. Sigh. There is no justice.
Be safe, sail well, have fun.
L, Cin

Eliza said...

Love that the blog is back up! Saralane looks just like new with that new paint. Wish I could be there now... we're in for some cold weather this week. We had to turn on the heat for the first time today :( Did you get my e-mail last week? Nothing urgent, just checking in. Skype soon!

Love, Lize

Madeline said...

Hi Cindy & Lize,

All I can suggest is: think warm!

Linda said...

Saralane is looking quite pretty & I'm sure all three of you are happy to be back at sea! I will be living vicariously through you and your blogs. xo Thelma
I left NJ on Wednesday right after Sandy. Our hood is ok, but friends and family along the coast had major damage. Everyone safe though....that's the important thing.

Roland Falkenstein said...

Great seeing you again at Annapolis and meeting Skip and seeing your aboard your boat, Keep the wonderful blogs and photos coming for us northerns!

Miles said...

Ahooooooy Mateeeeeeys!!!!!!!
Good to be home ain't it?
Looking forward to a plethora of photos and posts. Krimpets gone...Long ago.

Janice & Bob said...

Great blog as usual - looks like you figured out the formula for the green - looks great! Glad to hear that you are back in the water & that the outboard is working. Bob really related to the 2AM revelation - why does it always happen then?? Keep in touch