Friday, November 24, 2017

Time for an update

It's time for an update.

We are back in Trinidad working on the boat.  There is always something that needs to be done.  Cori has been here for five weeks and has been buffing and polishing almost non-stop.  I am not sure Hi Flite has ever looked better.  I arrived three weeks ago and have been checking off jobs while adding more to the to-do list.  Every job seems to create several more.  For example: there was a small leak above the nav-station.  It had caused a shelf to delaminate and was loose, also ruined a number of CD's that were stored there.  We gave it to one of the shops here to have it remade and since it was out Cori decided it was a good time to varnish the area.  As the table top was being sanded she found a small problem with one of the hinges (there is storage under the tabletop) that we thought could be replaced.  In order to get at it we had to remove the two shelves under the table, and then remove the bottom of the storage area all in order to get at the hinge from below.  Of course all of this did not help since the hinged top cannot be opened far enough to get at the screws that need replacing.  Basically the boat was built around the station and short of a saws-all it is not coming apart.  However, it all looks really nice with its new coat of varnish and it is all more secure with the old and somewhat corroded screws replaced.

The biggest news is that the wind generator got installed.  One of the reasons we got jobs this summer was to buy some new stuff for the boat and top of that list was a wind generator.  Just before Cori left for Trinidad we ordered the generator to arrive just after she did so she could pick it up after it cleared customs.  Then she had to fine a shop that could make the mount for it and arrange for a rigger to remove the old TV antenna and install the mount when it was ready.  Now remember we are in the islands and are dealing with "island time".  Of course they need to know how soon we need it, "no problem mon, it be ready".  After several weeks, he shows up to test fit it and says it will be ready Thursday.  Thursday comes, no mount.  Rigger gets rescheduled to Monday.  Saturday comes and here is the mount to be checked for fit before adding the support piece.  "No problem mon, it be ready Monday".  Monday morning, lo and behold here it is and it is beautiful.  Where is the rigger?  Cori finds him up another mast and he will be here is the afternoon.  Afternoon comes, no Gary, still up the mast. "Be there in the morning" and shows up after lunch.  He had been up another mast in the morning.  Once up our mast and measuring, marking, drilling and feeding the power cable it was looking good until he looked out and said "rain in five minutes".  It was only three and work had to stop but they will be back in the morning.  Wednesday morning they are back and after several hours the mount is mounted.  During this I have been working out where to locate the controller and how to run the cabling.  The controller will look real good where the AM/FM radio is mounted.  No problem, I can relocate that later (every project creates several more).  After several days of working out the cables and several trips to one or both of the supply stores it was completed.  The only thing left to do was to connect the wires and mount the generator.  Friday morning Cori winches me and all of the turkey, stuffing and other Thanksgiving food I ate the day before, up the mast.  With a minimum of cussing and a major change in the wire connections it was mounted and tightened down.  Next Cori hoisted up the blade assembly and I got that installed and tightened down just as the wind came up and it decided to start spinning.  Once back on deck the rain started.  We had finished just in time.  A quick check of the controller and it seems to be working.  SUCCESS!!!

It has not all been work.  There is a social life here with different events scheduled such as drumming night at one of the other marinas, pot luck and grilling on Thursdays and music jam sessions on Fridays not to mention trips to town for shopping and a variety of other activities.  We have been able to get into the city (Port of Spain) several times for provisions, a new phone for use in the islands, the public market and Cori even got a trip to a fabric store for one of her projects.  We have several other outings scheduled during the next week.

Along with all of this we have had to deal with insurance problems.  Not a claim, just trying to renew.  It seems our insurance carrier decided to stop writing marine insurance but didn't tell anyone.  Also the agency got bought out.  The bottom line - we have no insurance.  We got several quotes but both are higher than before, go figure, and need a new survey.  We choose a surveyor and he shows up to start going over the boat.  At the end of the day he is not done and is back the next morning.  By mid-day he is done, for now.  We need to call him back when we start working on the steering project so he can check that when we are done.  That is the next big project: replacing some of the steering components under the cockpit.  I am not sure if I can actually fit under there and get the work done but I have to try.  There is only so much we can afford to hire out.  We seemed to have picked a good surveyor since he is looking at everything, stuff that had not been looked at in previous surveys.  Things like when were your fire extinguishers last inspected, not just where are they and how many.  This morning we had to send all of the extinguishers out for inspection.  The spreaders are out of alignment, so we have the rigger go up the mast and adjust them.  More unexpected $'s. He is just looking too darn close.

The sails are back from the sail loft, and are ready to be bent on and we will start looking like a sailboat again.

At the market

The new wind generator

Thanksgiving pot luck

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