Wednesday, February 13, 2008

On a Roll

(get it we’re painting the boat. . . with ROLLERS!

Sailor Sue dons her paint overalls and is ready to go!

Seems like every once in a while we get on a good roll. That just about balances the bad ones that come our way I guess. On Monday Enee was hauled out at Bobby’s Boat Yard. No problems and the hull wasn’t as encrusted with sea life as we had feared. After a power wash it was clear that we just needed some minor sanding and scraping here and there. Wash the hull and get to painting! Before the haul out we made the trip to the French side to get the paint. Thanks to Larry and Debby from Debonair (get it?) for letting us use their dingy. I’m NEVER even going to try to start the Nissan again. EVER! That motor doesn’t exist for me. The paint is HEAVY. The four gallon boxes that we bought must have weighed 80 pounds and we bought two as we’re taking 5 and 3 are for a friend of ours on a 1948 wooden boat. He only has a rowing dingy and its at least a mile to get the paint. This was all loaded into Larry’ and Deb’s ‘fold-a’boat’. I’ve never been in one of these and I’m sure they are seaworthy but they sure don’t feel like it. The thing flexes all over the place and I have $900 worth of paint on board! It’s nasty stuff so we also bought the white paper painting suits (no cuffs) and rubber gloves. We spent the rest of the day knocking off the few remaining barnacles and the little white foot prints that they leave. We quit around 4, used the cold water shower in the yard (Yowza!) and walked the mile or so to Shrimpy’s for a well deserved happy hour beer. Also got to check on my brother law in Indiana having some heart work done.

Hang in Ken and get all better!

On Tuesday we did a little more minor sanding and cleaning and got ready to paint. We donned our paint suits with hoods, and put kerchiefs over our mouths. This stuff is really nasty! I’m sure you’d be arrested instantly trying to paint with this stuff in a U.S. yard! Hell it says right on the label,


Stern warning!

But it goes on fine and it seemed like it would take 4 gallons or so as we had predicted to do two coats plus a third coat at the waterline. This water line coat really makes a difference. We did this back in Marathon a year ago and for all the abuse the paint has taken, I still had solid paint for the 6” below the waterline. So while we were painting Enee, Debby was headed over to Budget Marine. I asked her to check on the readiness of our dingy deal that was cooking there.

When she returned we got the good news: We can pick up our dingy any time! Yeah! We finished our first coat of paint, jumped in the shower, and grabbed a bus over to Budget Marine. A good guy there, Vossie, (yep...South African. Everyone here is from somewhere else. We’re the only people I know who don’t have accents!) helped get the deal together. We’re buying the used dingy that was returned because of some blisters on the hull. This is about a $2500 dingy when new. When I showed up Vossie hollered at a guy across the store, “Hey, you’re selling that dingy to this guy for $600 OK?” It wasn’t really a question. OK. Sweet! I never care about boat problems that are where I can’t see them anyway! We added a brand new Tohatsu 18 HP 2 stroke outboard to this. Zoom! I wanted the 15 HP but they were out. The 18 weighs the same and only costs $50 more (It’s the 15 with different carburation). They put the outboard on the dingy, gave us a splash of gas and off we went! Started on the second pull! We’re so happy to have the worry about travel away from the mother ship removed from our list of things to worry about. Global warming and the big lie about Elvis being dead are still on our list. We got some more gas along the way (mixing it 25:1 for now) and headed to Shrimpy’s (again?) to celebrate. Our good friends, Mark, Lee, and Jules were there to help with that. We had a fine time too making fun of the French. Our English friends are especially good at this. The French are accused (right or wrong) for the stealing of dingies up and down the caribbean. The English say that the English outfit their boats to go to cruising while the French go cruising to outfit their boats! I’m sure this is not true as everyone knows the French are way too busy watching Jerry Lewis movies to get involved in any high seas shenanigans.

Now for food and a special travel moment: We walked a little ways down the street to a little mexican joint. It’s really just an old van which is now the kitchen and some tables under an awning. Smells good though! While we were ordering at the window we sort of struck up a minor conversation with a lady sitting alone at a table. After we ordered the cook said, “You can sit with Loretta if you like”. Smelling a scam we sat anyway. A wonderful string of stories of a hard life some possibly even true started coming out of Loretta. It seemed she was hell bent on being very friendly to us and succeeded in being very entertaining. I sensed right away that this was an unspoken deal between Loretta and the cook where we also get to buy Loretta a couple of beers and her burritto which we did. (Loretta is not her real name because we forgot that.)

Whew! What a busy day and more painting tomorrow!

The plan now is to put the second coat on Wednesday morning, have the yard move the jack stands in the afternoon when the paint is dry and then throw a couple of coats on where the jack stands were as well as an extra coat along the water line and on all leading edges. These are places where the paint wears faster.

Wednesday arrives and we jump into our paint suits and get that second coat on well before lunch. This paint will now be dry enough in the afternoon for moving the jack stands and painting where the pads were. So, while we have time to kill we let all the chain out of the anchor locker and stretched it out 200’ through the yard. This chain has somehow become twisted so when I try to raise anchor the twists cause the chain to jump out of the gypsy. This is what caused the motor to break originally I think. Huge shock load when the gypsy re-grabs the chain. Actually it didn’t seem twisted so we just loaded it back into the locker carefully. If it stays on the gypsy now as I let it out when we anchor there should be not any twist. We’ll see. . . .

The yard boys moved our jack stands as planned in the PM and I painted the empty places where the pads were and the water line and all leading edges. Also gave the rudder and complete third coat as it always seems to wear fast. One more coat on the jack stand places either later in the day or first thing in the morning and we’re ready for launch!