Work Time

This is the age of the 28 million dollar price to ride on a used rocket that only goes 62 miles up and last 11 minutes. Spin rates decreased as Spider Tack loses its grip of MLB and more players got to first base. Half the population refused to get vaccinated and in response the virus mutates, celebrates, and goes on a country wide infection binge. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream will not be sold in Israeli occupied territory. The Olympics start today although the smart money is on covid 19 taking home the gold.

But we are in St. Lucia in our “off season”, far from the headline news. Since returning on board after our NYC visit, we have been busy with Kalunamoo’s M&R. Although we admit, it is not all work all the time. We note that many of our cruising friends up north are enjoying the summer sailing season. Others are sailing the Med or sailing the Pacific. For many, the pandemic slowed but not stopped cruising. We are somewhat jealous but this is the time we need to keep Kalunamoo in good shape so we don’t have worry about it in the winter cruising season. Some of the M&R was not done last summer as we anticipated that it would be done in Trinidad. That didn’t happen and it will not this year either. Although Trinidad did open its borders to fully vaccinated non-nationals a few days ago, things are so fluid, we decided to do the M&R here. So, we have to do some catchup work in addition to the annual work.

Workers came aboard to strip and refinish the teak cap and hand rail. Albi and Josiane did a good job as it’s been a few years since it was last stripped. I ended up putting on an extra coat of gloss after they finished because that is the easy part.

Josiane on the hand rail

A few days after we came back on board our refrigeration kept tripping the electric breaker. This was the first serious issue with the unit since we bought the boat. I envisioned a new compressor in our future (and dealing with no refrigeration for the weeks it would take to get one) and was happily surprised that all that was needed was a new start relay. Prudent, the electrician, did a great job and we were up and running in a few hours. Unfortunately, two days ago the same problem arose. We are waiting for Prudent to return to find out what the problem is. We can go a few days before the holding plates get too warm and we lose all refrigeration. Fortunately, we are in the marina and we can get ice! Is a new compressor in our future?  

Reefer Compressor

A major cosmetic job that we wanted to get done in Trinidad was the repair of the teak trim and name board on the stern. It was damaged last year in Dominica by an unknown boat while we were ashore. The carpentry of Pride Edwin did the fine carpentry teak trim work while I got the name board back in place with rope braces, bolts and epoxy. All it needs now is a refinishing.

Name Board and Trim
Braced to bend in shape
Epoxied in place
Ready for refinishing

The anchor chain we bought in Guadeloupe last year was inexpensive. Yes, it was cheap. And guess what. You get what you pay for! It didn’t take long for the galvanizing to wear off and become a rusted mess. It just not the rust but the wear that results. The previous chain we had lasted 9 years. This chain, although not as bad as the previous one when we replaced it does show considerable wear. Compare a rusted part with new part and notice how it “stretches” due to wear of the links (this was the old chain). This “stretch” makes the chain jump out of the windlass chain wheel when raising the anchor. The total lenght of chain is 200 feet but we use only about the first 100 to anchor. We can end for end this chain and get another year or two of use, but we will be more careful the next time we replace it.

The unused chain is one the right

The list of other minor repairs and maintenance jobs kept us busy but we will have time for some “day sails” around St. Lucia once they are completed. In September or October the boat will be hauled for the annual bottom paint job.

So as billionaires blast off into space, ballplayers lose their grip, the virus dodges a quick defeat, ice cream makers make geopolitical decisions, and the Olympics lack live spectators, we carry on. We are, after all, “in retirement”. Our big adventure may be sailing 62 miles to the next port. That would take close to 10 hours. As long as the auto pilot doesn’t lose grip of the rudder, and we don’t have to make major geopolitics decision, our Olympic goal is to swim a few hundred feet and maybe see a turtle on the way. We don’t miss the spectators, although there are enough cruisers here for Sunday Dominoes and lunches. Everyone has their challenges and adventures in their own way. So maybe we should take pleasure in the fact that every time we bought from Amazon we were part of the great space exploration of the universe; or what the new meaning of sticky fingers mean; or how ice cream can change the world.      

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