Sunday, December 1, 2013
Ready to go!!
22:00, 30 Nov 2013. Dock E-32 Shelter Bay Marina
This will be a relatively short post to bring us up-to-date. Posting from now on will be at the whim of the internet Gods. Connection after this will be difficult as we will be in areas poorly serviced by the phone companies.
Day 3 afloat and almost ready to depart. It is a wonderful feeling to be back in the water and a welcome relief after a month on the hard. For the past few days it has been quite breezy here at the dock and much more comfortable on the boat. The weather has changed in the past week. The showers and thunderstorms that were so common a few weeks ago have become scarcer but the wind has increased. Besides a few more preparations we are waiting for a weather window to leave and the weather networks indicate Monday morning as a good time to head out of the protection of the breakwater. During the past few days it has been blowing 20-25 kts with seas of 8-12 ft. We can see them breaking over the breakwater from here.
The big job of replacing the compression post went quite smoothly. Guido, a metal-worker from Linton, a village up the coast, completed the job last Monday. The photos show the setup we had with a jack and steel post to support the deck while we removed the old post. The next shot is Guido with the finished product. The cardboard you see was the shielding we had to prevent damage from flying molten metal bits and to contain most of the metal dust from the cutting and grinding. At some point we will dress the post up with something or other. Macrame would be nice but we'll need lots of rope for that. Donations gratefully accepted.
Jack in place with steel channel supporting the weight of the mast. The sleeve at the base of the old post are to keep it in place should the jack and supporting structure fail.
Guido (welder) "testing" the new post in his "spark-proof" cardboard room.
The launching/splashing went off smoothly. The yard crew is very professional and has lots of experience launching or recovering 4-6 boats a day. The system used here is quite unique in that they move you to and from the yards by hydraulic trailer and then transfer the boat to a travel-lift for the final part of the operation.
Loaded on the hydraulic lift trailer.
Transferring to the travel-lift. Nerves of steel time!
Breathing easy time, except for Fran. She's driving to the dock.
The past few days have been a flurry of activity to get the final tasks done. The storage cover has been removed, washed and put away until we get to Rio Dulce in March, the new-to-us dinghy has been cleaned and rigged for hoisting onboard, fuel for the outboards and extra diesel has been loaded,, most of the loose stuff on deck has been stowed or rigged, such as the mainsail and sail covers, the VHF radio has finally been connected and all other devices have been checked and everything seems to be in order. We are almost ready to sail. The genoa sail has yet to be rigged on the furler and we will not be able to do that until the wind abates, hopefully tomorrow. I still have to go up to the masthead to re-reeve the spinnaker halyard but that is not critical to our departure. It will be a while before we will use that sail.
We were hoping that Optical illusion would be ready to leave with us but after the engine was rebuilt and tested they discovered another problem that will set them back another few weeks. While waiting for the necessary parts they have decided to take their grand-kids to Peru for 2 weeks. Rio Nimpkish is almost ready to splash and we have heard from Warren Peace that they will be arriving about the 12th. Hopefully one or both will be in the San Blas area by Christmas. There are several other boats that we have befriended that will be leaving early next week so we will not be alone.
Shirley(Rio Nimpkish) wanted her pic taken to show she was actually working. Note the plastic bag covering the roller and the coffee pot in her other hand....