Boat jobs on the Rio Dulce

In the Rio Dulce in Guatemala we have had local people working on various projects, spending ways too much money (but helping out the local Guatemalan economy). Life of a boat owner! Even managed to practice my Spanish with the workers here. Here’s some of the big jobs we did up the Rio Dulce:

1. Replacement of our cracked glass coach top window with non-skid gel coat, thanks to Arney from Nana Juana yard. The glass top was always covered as it was too hot in the tropics. IMG_1096

2. Removal of a fiberglass corner table between the two couches, by Arney so we could make a “L” seat for more comfort, so yes the cushions needed to be replaced too & Elmer did a great job on this.

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3. New lounge table and extendable legs. Thanks to Isaiah who made our table & Tom the sailmaker who organized it for us down at Texas Bay.

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4. A sunshade to keep the boat cool in hot climates was also made by Elmer and included a water catching system. Given how long I was here I really appreciated the sunshade to keep the boat cool.
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5. The big job for us was coppercoat on her bottom so we don’t need to be hauled for a while.

Sanded back to the gelcoat first

Sanded back to the gelcoat first and looking good

Coppercoat applied

Enjoying a cold one with Arney, Jesus & Hector after working all day applying the Copper coat

Enjoying a cold one with Arney, Jesus & Hector after working all day applying the Copper coat

Just before getting back in the water we had the boat cleaned and polished by Donis Zapata and his team here at the marina. They did an amazing job and we’d highly recommend them.

Prices cruisers are being quoted on the Rio Dulce for work being done was not as cheap as we were led to believe prior to coming. Costs are going up and we think will continue to go up. Not sure if the quality and work ethic is always there given the prices quoted but is still significantly less expensive than the USA.

At last we are ready to head out towards The Bay Islands, Honduras. We have a weather window this coming week so are heading out while the winds can help us go East. Nice to be back on the water.

Up and out of the water

Well Seismic Wave has been taken out of the water and into the boat yard at Nana Juana for sanding the hull and prepping for Brett’s return. I have a great spot with plenty of wind, looking out to the forest where the howler monkeys will wake me in the morning. They are loud!

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Brett and Billl left Pago Pago, America Samoa a couple of days ago bound for the final destination of Cairns, Australia. They have had great weather and good winds so hope that continues for them.

Off to celebrate American Thanksgiving. Nana Juana again was one of the larger tables. Yes still lots of people here.

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Fun Times on the Rio Dulce

For hurricane season hundreds of boats arrive for protection and spread themselves out at the many marinas scattered along the river. Some people stay and work on various boats projects but the majority put their boats on the hard and head home. We have had a couple of projects our biggest being replacing the coach window roof, that had a crack in it in Trinidad and had run, with fibreglass.

Before - Whilst the window looks great once removed, it was always covered as it was too hot

Before – Whilst the window looks great once removed, it was always covered as it was too hot

After - Looks good so we are happy and has anti skid on the roof side

After – Looks good so we are happy and has anti skid on the outside roof side

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Brett repainting woodwork in the shower.

 

 

 

 

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Arney & his team have done a great job with all the fiberglass work we wanted inside

 

 

 

It’s not all work of course. Nana Juana this year has a good mix of people with lots of social activities and trips being organized. Friday night drinks, Sunday BBQs, exercise, games etc etc etc.

Ashtanga yoga at 7am is hot and very difficult

Ashtanga yoga at 7am is hot and very difficult

water aerobics at the pool early before it gets hot (yes we have men come too)

water aerobics at the pool early before it gets hot (yes we have men come too)

circuit training in the air conditioned gym (bliss!) for a change of pace

circuit training in the air conditioned gym (bliss!) for a change of pace

 Mexican train dominoes or is it catching up on the goss while the men work

Mexican train dominoes or is it catching up on the goss while the men work

Fronteras a 5 minute dinghy ride for groceries etc. The road being empty is NOT normal!

Fronteras a 5 minute dinghy ride for groceries etc. The road being empty is NOT normal!

Still NOT normal but getting close. The tuktuks are awesome, the huge trucks with cattle are not given the road size.

Still NOT normal but getting close. The tuktuks are awesome, the huge trucks with cattle are not given the road size.

Jennifer from Our Rose arrived in time to celebrate her BIG birthday with us all. We had lots of surprises organized for her. As you can see a good time was had by all. Happy Birthday Jen….

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A river boat ride for the birthday dinner to our restaurant of choice “the Kangaroo” for Mexican

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Swinging out over the river at the restaurant

 

 

 

a ballet performance from Fern and Molly back at the Marina

a ballet performance from Fern and Molly back at the Marina

The kiwi Haka; intro to the piñata event

The kiwi Haka; intro to the piñata event

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The kids helped Jen blow the candles out

The kids helped Jen blow the candles out

Belinda singing the Belinda revised edition of "The Lady is a Tramp"

Belinda singing the Belinda revised edition of “The Lady is a Tramp”. Awesome!

Phil & Stuart here entertaining us with great tunes & Jen with her air guitar soon to move to a real one?

Phil & Stuart here entertaining us with great tunes & Jen with her air guitar soon to move to a real one?

Brett & Shannon                                                      Bill, Richard and Dean

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I think the Birthday girl had a great night. Bill grew hair care of Jen.

And then suddenly Bill from Out of The Bag has hair! Nice look Bill

And then suddenly Bill from Out of The Bag has hair! Nice look Bill

Good times and more to come.

New canvas

While in Noank, CT we engaged the services of Custom Marine Canvas to replace our canvas work, as our canvas was looking a little worn and not too water proof. They did a great job and we are happy with the design. Seems to be waterproof but time will tell.

Aaron and Brian the fabricators who worked their magic on the design

Aaron and Brian the fabricators who worked their magic on the design

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Nice and light inside

The white inside makes it feel bigger

 

Boat jobs completed so far

Staying here in Grenada we have a number of boat jobs on the go when we are not out enjoying Grenada. Some we can do ourselves and some we need help from the experts. So after talking to the experts, waiting for quotes, parts and work to start we can start some of our own jobs.

We have had trouble with water getting into one of our engine compartments and causing some problems with our alternators so Brett removed the old rubber and glue and replaced it for a better fit. He also put extra latches on the cover to ensure its down tight. Now no light can be seen from the inside so, hopefully, no water when under way with following seas.

P1020637aOur fridge and freezer are built into a cabinet. There were a couple of very small vents to allow the hot air out but upon touching the counter or back of the cabinet it was very hot. We have therefore increased the size of the two vents and put an additional two vents in for added air movement.  P1020853aP1020854a

 

 

 

 

 

Our biggest project this past week has been installing our new wind generator.  Goal is to supplement the solar panels so we will not need to run the engines much to generate DC electricity. This was not the easiest install but its working and is nice and quiet. P1020863aP1020865a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t worry Brett is not slaving all the time. He does get time to lay back and play on the internet, online shop etc. Note the concentration on his i-pad. Yes he has become a big online shopper….I am getting worried. When we are back in Calgary we will have a pile of things to collect.  P1020780a

I on the other hand have been cleaning our hulls so they don’t grow things, cleaning our trampoline to get rid of dirt and buildup and cleaning the inside of the boat to entertain our friends, so she is spotless of hair and dirt. Note the theme… cleaning. Hmmmm! As Jen from Our Rose said its a constant thing on a boat and oh yes it is.

I did get a chance to get away yesterday for Grenada cooking classes at the Dodgey Dock and it was a goodie. Mangoe, Papaya and Cantaloupe salsa (yum), Bread fruit pie (Ok but not my favorite) and Pan seared seasoned Fish with gravy, a delicious tomato based spicy sauce. Per Ester color is the name of the game and all the dishes were nice and colourful.

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We have a busy weekend planned. The annual fishermans birthday and the Victoria Food Fest Saturday night which is a huge party on the streets and lots of cruisers are joining the locals to lime (Lime – you look it up!). Then Sunday we are going to the Naniki Caribbean Jazz Safari. Should all be fun.

 

 

Engine work needed in Tortola

We are in Road Town, Tortola on anchor at Inner Harbor between the Village Cay Marina and the Moorings Charter Marina. Brett has been in an out of the engine compartment for 3 days.

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Why you ask?

 

 

 

 

1. It’s not a great idea leaving your boat on the hard for 7 months they are like Brett and need to be worked.

2. The engine’s saltwater heat exchangers should be serviced every two years or 1000 hours. They had never been done and the boat is 4 years old with about 1400 hours on the engines. The Yanmar service guy in Trinidad was to service them. But in reality they broke off a bolt and then made an excuse that they didn’t need to be done. Thus extra work here to do it correctly.

3. Our starboard engine is not charging the battery bank and there are some weird electrical problems. All were related to one alternator that needed a rebuild.

4. The port engine starter is sounding rough and needs a service as the salt water from the heat exchanger seal leak is dripping on it constantly.

So yes time for work…. It’s not all play there’s a lot of maintenance and upkeep in having a boat and keeping her in working order. Road Town was a great location to get the alternator rebuilt and pick up parts to service the heat exchangers on both engines. P1010404a

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P1010401aJohan and Marlene caught sight of Paul a friend from South Africa who was delivering a 48ft Leopard to Moorings and was kind enough to give us all their provisions prior to leaving the next day. Thanks Paul, Malcolm and Jacob. Of course we had a party that night to thank them for all their goodies & sing happy birthday to Jacob.

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Brett and Johan changed the oil & filters after finishing the heat exchange service. Marco even got involved and helped with the oil change and cleaning the compartments up after all the work was done. P1010399aP1010409a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are now good for a while with less frequent engine room visits (we hope).

 

Preparing to launch & the big day

There are so many things that are required to prepare your boat to launch something Brett & I were to learn from Johan and Marlene. After recovering from Carnival work started.  I started with cleaning the Moroccan tent which had protected the boat while we were away for 7 months from dust, birds and the like. The Moroccan tent kept the boat and us shaded while we worked in the heat of the day! Will be great if we go somewhere for a long period of time and need shelter, something us whities will love!

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You name it Marlene and I cleaned it; sheets for the sails, the bimini, the decks, the Brie/ BBQ, outside cushions, the bilges. We scrubbed the teak and reapplied linseed oil, which looked incredible when it was done. It’s amazing the amount of dust that collects sitting in the yard. She was squeaky clean and looking like new when we were done.

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Brett meanwhile started working on new rollers for the ranch slider, a task he thought was going to take a few hours but ended up taking a whole day. Patience was needed.

 

 

 

 

Brett and Johan remove both starters from the diesels that had seized from being on the hard for 7 months (bit of a tight squeeze for Brett) , changed the oil on the saildrives, installed a new sat phone, the EPIRB, a Wi-Fi extended, a 110 inverter (because the boat is 220v, 50hz ) and checked everything was in working order. Brett liked everyone lifting him up the mast as he is so light, not!

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Most days whoever was going into Port of Spain (1/2 hour away) would do a diesel run in our very old vehicle (cost C$36/ day) as it was very cheap to get diesel on land (C$0.25c per litre).  The shocks were gone and so if it had too many people in the back or too much in the trunk we would bottom out on speed bumps. We needed 840 litres to fill the tanks so quite a few trips were required.

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We organized the graphics for the boat, tailoring on the couch covers as the measurements  I had for covering them in Calgary were too big and therefore they needed to be taken in (sorry Carey!), new covers for our leather chairs so we’d all be comfortable.  We cleaned and renamed all of the safety equipment.

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We of course did not do this by ourselves. We used a local to polish the external boat and stainless steel, 2 guys that came to service the engines from Yanmar and someone to sand the old anti fouling off ready for us to put the new on. One of us was not gentle enough with her roller so was not invited back the next day for the 2nd coat. More of the anti fouling was on me than should have been, oops….next time….

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Of course you have to keep up to date with family and friends and so I had to set up my computer on the bed as the nav station was full of tools! Thanks Brett. Oh well sometimes you have to just make do.

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All work and no play makes it all very boring. In this heat you needed a Margarita or 2 to keep you going or a nice cold Carib beer, or even perhaps a shooter – Yummy!

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Finally Tuesday Feb 26 she was ready and so were we. We just wanted to get on the water!

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BINGO, we were in the water and so Johan threw out a fishing line and Brett took us to Scotland Bay for the night.

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Marlene missed Cleaning or perhaps one of the boys had dirty hands  and she needed to clean up after him….thanks Brett!  I relaxed at the front taking the views in and enjoying being on the water at last.Trinidad Feb 2013 102aTrinidad Feb 2013 101a

 

 

 

 

 

After arriving in Scotland Bay we had our ceremonies to rename the boat to Seismic Wave and as required offered libations as part of the ritual to the sea.

Of course the champagne was also enjoyed by us all. 100_9398aTrinidad Feb 2013 105aGreat day.

 

 

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