Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Secret Harbour

We were lucky to be able to borrow a mooring belonging to the dive shop, since S/V Jester, a charter sailboat, was in the boat yard for some maintenance and repairs.  It was quite rolly in there, but still a much needed improvement from Compass Point Marina.  There was abundant fresh air, beautiful views, and it was finally enjoyable to be outside. 

Open hatches for a fresh breeze

We were able to keep the boat wide open, with fresh air blowing through.  No air conditioner needed!  It got cool enough at night that we put on pants and hoodies!   We had our dinner outside in the cockpit, and enjoyed looking at the stars.

We both had a TERRIBLE night’s sleep, due to the rolling.  Also, we were on high alert, paranoid about every sound we heard, imagining our boat breaking free of the mooring and crashing into the rocks.  Skeeter did dive down to check the mooring right after we tied up, but never the less we were still paranoid.  We both got up numerous times to walk around outside and check on everything.  Plus, the boat was rolling side to side so much that things were falling and slamming.  You’d be surprised how many different sounds you hear when you don’t have the white noise of an air conditioner and your boat is bobbing around in the water and blowing around in the wind.

The next morning we were exhausted, but still so happy to be out of the marina.  I installed a hook on the head (bathroom) door so it wouldn't slam open and closed.  

The hook I installed to prevent door from slamming open & shut

I borrowed a tank from the dive shop to scrape the two years’ worth of scum from the hull, and covered myself with a long wetsuit and double hoods to protect myself from the stingy hydroids I’d scrape loose and the tiny pincers of the shrimp who’s under the hull ecosystem I was about to destroy.  I didn't want a repeat of the time I got a full body rash from hydroids after swimming through saragassum sea weed!

I learned my lesson last time!
It took me about an hour and a half to scrape the entire hull, which was actually much less than I had imagined.  Our bottom paint was doing its job, preventing excessive growth.  That was great news!  And I had minimal stings.

Our water-maker, compliments of Captain Ryan from S/V Sandy Shores
The next couple of days Skeeter tested our water-maker (couldn’t try it out in the nasty marina water!) and changed over our propeller.  He struggled for hours trying to remove the propeller with a gear puller.  Bruce at the Independent Boat Yard Machine Shop was kind enough to lend Skeeter his prop puller, the right tool for removing a propeller.  With the right tool it came right off.  

Skeeter with the old propeller
Putting the new one on was more of a challenge than expected.  It was slightly bigger than the old one, so he ended up having to remove the flexible coupling on the shaft to make it fit.  Luckily that is an optional part that doesn’t void our warranty.  Then he had to realign the engine again. 

While Skeeter was doing all of that I was busy waxing the deck and sewing a helm cover to protect our gauges and electronics from sun, salt, and thieves.  It was a real challenge trying to work with a gigantic roll of fabric on-board with very limited space, especially with the boat rocking and rolling. 

Our helm station without the cover

Momo chillin' outside
Mid project I had a panic attack because I heard Momo jingle and went to check on him and couldn’t find him anywhere.  I looked around every nook and cranny on the boat three times and called out his name over and over before banging on the hull to call Skeeter up from underwater while he was changing the prop.  I was in full on panic and ready to cry saying, “He’s not on-board, he’s not on-board!” over and over.  I had him swim around the boat to check the water for Momo.  Skeeter climbed aboard and I jumped in the dinghy to search the surrounding water when Skeeter yelled out to me, “I found him…little bastard!”  Momo managed to cram himself into a tiny hole in the cockpit that I didn’t even realize existed until then.  How the heck did he squeeze into that hole???  We were so relieved to have found him.  Little bastard, I wish he would learn to answer when I call out for him!  A meow or something!  Is that too much to ask?  I guess so... He is a cat, after all. 

After a lot of frustration and an appropriate amount of swearing, I completed the sewing project successfully.  I’m member of a Facebook group called Sewing on Boats (S.O.B. for short)…I can now see why they call it that!  Sewing on a moving sailboat is no easy task!  I’m sure it didn’t help that we had not been sleeping very well in the unpleasant conditions in Secret Harbour.  Maybe that’s why we were the only liveaboard boat in the harbor!

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