Thursday, March 30, 2006

Preparations - Part 6

March 30th.

I left work yesterday for what will be a three-year holiday. Life is getting a bit surreal at the moment!

Today, I put the first coat of anti-fouling paint on the bottom of the boat. I’ll keep pasting it on until I run out because we will be in the briny longer than the usual 9 months that we keep the boat on the water. Tomorrow is promised to be a reasonable day after a week of rain so it will be the ideal opportunity.

My mild concerns about the iron-man are completely unfounded. He pre-fabricated all the parts for the gantry that will hold the solar panel and the wind-generator and came to fit last weekend. The wind was howling and it soon started to rain. This did not make life easy when trying to weld the kit in-situ. I was freezing my butt-off but ‘iron-man’ Roger soldiered-on without batting an eyelid. On the Sunday it was still pissing-down and blowing a gale so he brought down a large tarpaulin which we draped over the structure and he finished-off the fittings and welded the whole lot-up. It looks absolutely fab and exactly what I wanted

My job was to hold the tarpaulin off the structure to prevent it melting or catching alight. Later in the evening, I was feeling sunburnt and had raw eyes. By midnight, I couldn’t open my eyes and had to take a trip to casualty to get checked-out for ‘Arc-eye’ (burnt corneas). They are ok now but my face is now shedding the top few layers of skin!


Fliss has been beavering away getting the house prepared. A couple of weeks ago we had someone agree to let the house so we are definitely out by end of April. She sold the leather suites on e-bay for a reasonable price and the young chap wanted anything else that was on offer. He is turning-up in a few minutes with a large van and (hopefully) will relieve us of two beds, wardrobes, dining room table, chairs etc etc. Tonight, we will be reclining in the living-room on sun-loungers. Fliss has bought some liqueur to make cocktails and we will turn the heating and the lights up so that we feel the part.

Fliss has also packed most of our personal items and has started shipping the stuff to Broadstairs to her Mothers attic. Things are starting to look a bit bare but this is not a bad thing because it will make it much easier to leave when the time comes. Apart from re-pointing the chimney and replacing the ariel, there is just a bit of minor decoration left and home affairs are completed.

Finally, there is all the paperwork involved with sorting-out affairs, accounts, tax return and re-directing mail.


Meanwhile, Moodys’ boatyard are behind on their schedule and will not get the new engine fitted until after Easter (most boaties want to launch before Easter to make best use of the holidays). I am relieved because I still need to get the bimini fabricated and…

  • Finish anti-fouling
  • Re-do the varnishing
  • Replace and re-wire the batteries
  • Fit and wire-up wind-generator and solar panel
  • Clear the boat of all accumulated junk
  • Take all the junk in the dining-room to the boat and stow-it
  • Do all those other things …..

So. Looks like we are on our way!

Here’s how the rear of the boat looked like with the original stainless steel pushpit (low guard-rail. I will post the results of the new superstructure once I have taken a picky.

And here is a piccy of our house that we will soon be leaving!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Preparations - Part 5


Been neglecting the blog again!

I wrote a large piece and cannot find the article and did not publish at the time. Here we go again….

Time moves inexorably forwards and we are now at the 13th March. 3 more weeks before leaving work and the same time before Nadezhda returns to the water.

My dad and I have been re-doing the Navigation Station that involves my dad measuring-up and making the new unit and me trying to screw it in! Actually there seems to be more to it than that…..The wiring needed to be re-worked and unworkable GPS connectors cut, spliced and re-connected to get the chartplotter, laptop and VHF radio all talking together. No sooner had we got the whole area apart (with wires everywhere) and put back together than we had to undo the whole lot because we needed spare coils of wire to extend the aerials in preparation for the new stainless steel superstructure that is due for the back of the boat (god willing!).

Yes. It took 3 weekends.

Add to this the fact that the Gas man who replaced the gas hoses found that the cooker had a leak (not surprising). Moodys boatyard then took it upon themselves to remove the cooker ready for refurbishment and charge me for it. I managed to stop them and bought and fitted a new one since the original manufacturers went out of business years ago. Another big wedge out of our budget!

The London boat show was on in January where I managed to make my peace with Fliss by buying her Christmas present… a pair of polarising sunglasses so she can see the dangerous coral heads when entering tropical anchorages. Good shout, she was happy and I will feel more comfortable!*&

We also bought a second-hand Iridium phone chip with 2996 minutes remaining and the phone came free! Good deal and we are now set-up with all we need for communications. We have SSB receive, long-range WIFI, cellular to buy in each country and Satellite phone comms.

The bimini-man did not do iron-work to the back of the boat but the man who bought my engine recommended a chap who did good work at reasonable prices. He has been very good so far but recently failed to deliver to timescales….let’s hope. In the meantime, bimini-man says that delivery is now mid-May and I cannot get measurements until iron-work is completed. Things are getting a bit tight on timescales.

A bit of saving grace is that I spoke to the boatyard about outstanding work. They said that they were up against time regarding all the work they have outstanding (not just me). I suggested that I can defer launch as long as they don’t charge any more storage fees. At the moment this looks to be a runner and I am keeping my fingers crossed for a couple of more weeks on dry-land
There is plenty more that I have now forgotten and plenty more to do. Hope to be more diligent in my updates in future….

Preparations - Part 4

This should he#ave been posted yonks ago - Been a bit busy....................

Christmas is over and we are racing unstoppably towards 2006 and the year of our departure. This entry is being made at work since there is no-one here and I am utterly bored with surfing the web sites showing beautiful anchorages.

Christmas this year was a little more difficult than usual since we are desperately trying to get rid of things rather than accumulate them. We still have numerous trips to the local tip and the charity shops before we start thinking about how to store the few remaining valuables and items that have some emotional attachment.

When Fliss asked what I wanted, the only thing I could think of was a pressure cooker. I have never used one before but they are apparently very good at one-pot cooking in half the time (and therefore half the gas and half the washing-up). Fliss decided that she would want some decent sun-glasses but that this should wait until after Christmas when we had the chance to find a shop and for her to choose ones she liked. She definitely did not want perfume or other trinkets nor could she find a pair of slippers that she liked and so she agreed that we did not need to buy anything for each other.

Men beware!

When a woman says this about Christmas, what she really means is “I can’t think of anything I want and so I want surprising with something astonishing and wonderful”.

She may choose to forgive me by the time we go away next year!

I had a “Bimini Man” visit Nadezhda jut over a week ago. I had assumed that he did the stainless steel work that I need on the back of the boat as well as the fabric work. Unfortunately he does not and therefore I need 2 people to do the work and to co-ordinate them. The quote came back just before Christmas and was just under £900…..maybe we can wait and get this work done when it starts getting too hot. Maybe people in Spain can do it cheaper next year……..maybe I shall do a bit of research!