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Sunday, September 23, 2012

September 23, 2012-Rainy Day In Trinidad

wingssail images-fredrick roswold

It’s pouring down rain and I’m supposed to be outside painting the deck.

No such luck.

And because the dodger is off (preparations to paint, of course) and because our old awning has leaks, water is dripping in the hatch.

I could stop the dripping water if I turned off the air conditioner and completely closed the hatch, but a little water is better than no air cond.

So I wait.

We started the painting project a week ago and this is the first serious rain we’ve had. We’re nearly finished and we’re pretty happy; the deck is mostly done, two coats, non-skid which came out OK, the cockpits, fore and aft, are all finished, I've been taking the masking off, and it looks pretty good.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Painting Project.

The new color “Winter Frost” (plain white, more or less) is bright. It might be a little tough on the eyes on a sunny day but it is cooler; much cooler. On a hot day you can walk on it. Inside the boat there is less heat radiating from the overhead. The white paint just reflects most of the heat. This will be better.

Now if I can just complete the one small remaining area we can put away the paint pots and masking tape.

Last week, when we had days of blue skies and hot sun, we watched the Black Vultures and Frigate Birds riding thermals high into the sky and soaring for hours. On the morning of our first arrival in Trinidad we were amazed to see dozens of these birds climbing skyward on the updrafts. We thought it was a one-time only event. Since then we have watched them nearly every day.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Soaring Black Vulture.

I am not sure why they do it, but it looks like fun.

Another project we completed this week is new upholstery. It took a while to find a fabric we liked but the old stuff was getting thin, too thin to even patch anymore, and that added urgency to the task. We finally found some we liked and a local guy named Carlos completed the job. It still needs a little adjustment here and there, but mostly we like it. One bonus is that the bed is flat and firm again which helps our backs.

So life goes on in Trinidad: we do boat projects, we go swimming in the morning, there’s bird watching, and we plan our next cruise. We’ve got a little over a month left in Trinidad and we have one more big project, new canvas, which will be a week or so of sewing Sunbrella, then, in early November, we’ll set sail, bound for another port, to start it all over again.

We can hardly wait.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Daily Swim.

Click here for more photos.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Trinidad

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Saturday, September 08, 2012

September 7, 2012-Four Days On The Hard

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Pressure Wash

We stay in a hotel near the boat yard.

Each morning at seven, as the sun rises into the eastern sky and begins to heat the land, we go to the boat to work. Today Judy stays behind to wash up and I leave the hotel room and walk down the stairs. There is a railing and I swing over it and my feet land on the dirt road which leads through the yard toward Wings.

The sun hits me in the face; the sky is deep blue and the air is still. Later a breeze will come and maybe a rain shower will cool us but at this hour it is hot.

A car speeds by on the highway outside.

I walk down the road, silent boats on stands to my left and to my right. I see no one around any of them yet.

Dust rises from my feet. Some birds are circling, looking for the day’s thermals to start.

As I turn the corner I see at Wings ahead of me, growing closer. It is beautiful to my eye; I love this boat.

Here there is some activity. Someone is moving below the bridge deck of the catamaran, a piece of wood clatters, a coffee cup clinks; a soft voice calls out to another. Not me.

Near the black sloop a man is dragging a stand towards the hull.

If I had a cup I would sip some coffee and gaze at the work ahead of me today, but I don’t.

So I simply gather my tools, and with a small sigh, I start my job.

It’s time for the annual haul out, a hard and dirty job but a fact of life for sailboat owners.

We’ve done it every year for 26 years.

With a few exceptions we’ve always done the whole thing ourselves, sanding the bottom, doing keel repairs if needed (more about that later) masking, and painting, but now we hire some local guys to give us a hand and they do the hard stuff. I guess you could say we have decided that our creaky old bodies are finished with sanding and painting.

But we still do any repairs which are needed, and some usually are, and we always wind up pitching in with the dirty work, so at the day’s end, when we shuffle back to the hotel for a cold beer and a shower, we are ready for a rest.

This time there is little repair work to do. As usual the keel needs some fixing for minor damage which occurred this time when we motored through the mud in San Luis, and there is some fairing which was not really finished last time we hauled in Mauritius. Plus there are a few blisters to pop and fill. But not too much, and we can finish it in three days and relaunch on the forth. While we are at it we can even sand the deck so we can paint that later, back at the dock at Crew’s Inn Marina.

So it is a pretty short haul-out, which amazes most of the other boat owners. Here in Trinidad most boats are in the yard for a big job: they stay out of the water for months.

But we’ve got sailing to do.

Click here to see other photos from our haul out.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Trinidad

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