Life on the Hard

I thought we would have more time to blog once we got on the boat full time. So far, that theory has been proven wrong.  Although we are really enjoying boat life, so far we have been spending a good deal of time doing scheduled maintenance, organizing the boat, or fixing things that break. Additionally, every task that you do undertake, requires a lot more time in this setting than we were used to on land. If you need a tool or a part, you may have to travel a good distance to attempt to find what you need. This may be accomplished via the dinghy, a bus, a water taxi, on foot, or a combination of all of the above. If you need to research the task via internet, again you are looking at a much more time consuming process, as the internet connections in the Caribbean are much slower than we are used to in the States. We do feel like we have gotten quite a lot accomplished since moving aboard, and we also believe that we are getting close to a time where we can work less and play more.

Of the eight or so weeks we got to spend in Grenada since moving aboard full time, we spent about half of them just enjoying sailing, exploring some of the anchorages, and cruising life.  Whether anchored in Prickly Bay or Mount Hartman Bay, there where numerous activities readily available. There was yoga for Anna Marie three mornings a week. Woman’s luncheon one afternoon a week. Shopping buses to take us to the markets. Poker Tuesday afternoons. Bingo Wednesday nights, the volunteer children’s reading program Saturday mornings, and everyday there were the swimming and snorkeling opportunities and, of course, the beautiful sunsets.

Anchored in Prickly Bay

After enjoying these weeks of mostly play, it was time to haul the boat to get the bottom painted, and service the C-Drive (the boat’s drive system) and Bow Thruster (device that moves the bow left to right, or right to left, when maneuvering).  These are maintenance items that need to be performed about every two years, and we were almost due.

The RK coming out of the water while I nervously look on

Yard worker scraping off a few barnacles before power washing

The underside was power washed, and then moved to a spot in the yard where the work was to be done.  We received a written estimate for the sanding and painting, headed to the local Budget Marine to obtain supplies with Freddy (the yard man assigned to our boat), and after buying the materials he needed, they began sanding.

We were here much more often than we would have liked

While the crew started sanding, Anna Marie and I headed to the apartment we had rented while the boat was in the yard.  It was about 2 miles from the boat yard, but we could usually get a bus after a quarter mile walk to the bus stop. Here we enjoyed decent internet and the ability to watch some movies on Netflix after spending our days in the yard.

The maintenance we needed to perform should have only taken a couple days.  I had spent a day watching our friends on s/v Cream Puff perform these tasks, so I had a good idea of what we needed to do. However, because this was our first time and we were being very cautious, it took us about a week to get everything done. The weather also slowed us down as we had 4 or 5 days of heavy rain. This also slowed down the yard from completing the sanding and painting.

RK sanded and primed for paint – note the puddles from all the rain

Our makeshift workbench in the boat yard

A couple nights, we got out of the yard early enough to enjoy a beach located a few miles from our apartment.

Portici Beach – View to the north

Portici Beach – View to the south

Enjoying the sunset in front of Laluna Resort

Eventually, everything got done and we were ready to splash!

Anna Marie adding a little paint to the bottom of the keel. This area was sitting on top of a wood chock before being raised and was inaccessible.

Even though the yard was wet from all the rain, the boat still managed to get very dirty and dusty while we were there, so we sailed up to Port Louis Marina and began a week long cleaning and waxing project.  When all was said and done, the RK was sparkling clean (inside and out) and ready to head north.

Back at Port Louis Marina

Glen steam cleaning our foam cushions. He also did the covers, the carpets, and some other fabric in the interior.

It’s time to start heading north!


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