(Not so) Hard Yards

Our friend’s visit seemed so fleeting and we were missing them as soon as they had gone. A big part of the reason for slowing down in the Caribbean and not running across the pacific was the number of kid’s boats spending the hurricane season in Grenada. We made some great friends with families! Calabash Beach in Prickly Bay was the afternoon hang out to run the kids after the morning school work and boat chores.

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It’s getting hot in here… Time to install a fan in the remaining cabin without one. Big improvement!

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We had glued the hatch in the swimstep with Sika 295UV as an adhesive sealant back in Oct 2016 in Spain. After an Atlantic crossing, innumerable waves and kids across it, it decided to abandon ship! Most inconvenient as it is just above the waterline re-gluing is not a good idea with any dinghy wash giving it a good rinse. Not a structural problem as the original transom is still in place and the swimsteps are an addition. The hatch and the antifouling being EU spec and not enjoying the warm growth promoting Caribbean waters meant a haul out was scheduled. Rather than build the hatch from scratch I persuaded the yard to let me have a piece from a derelict boat left in the yard since 2004 Hurricane Ivan. With a bit of trimming, shaping, fibreglassing and painting we had a brand new foam sandwich step insert. Some 5200 will hold that sucker down!

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Fitting in a bit of relaxation before the haul Boston invented the reverse superman dive in the local hotel pool we sneaked into as the parents sipped rum punches waiting for carnage with a face plant into the slide. Never happened thankfully.

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I’M the king of the paddleboard!

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A little more sedate paddleboard play back at Calabash.

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Kids boat gathering at Grand Anse beach. Life’s tough…

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Time to work to keep this lifestyle going. Approaching the dock at Spice Island yard in Prickly Bay, Man that looks like a tight fit!

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Yup, she’s a tight fit.

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Ooh, look, a crab! (Kids hanging out while parents are a bit distracted.)

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A little more relaxed this time out with our pride and joy flying through the air. Checking out the yard before our haul and watching them work with Drakkar it was good to see their professionalism and expertise. The next day a tropical storm warning was issued that might come close to us. All day the yard was a hive of activity checking boats, strapping Drakkar down, clearing and securing the yard. Turned out to be another fizzer, almost a bit disappointing as we were hauled and strapped down so in the perfect position to relax.

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This time in the boat yard we went Luxo-Spec. Living on a boat while working on her in the boat yard is hard yards particularly with kids. This time we had the yard do some of the dirty work and help us. Here they are power sanding off the build-up of old antifouling, applying specific primer and then the new antifouling.

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We worked beside the yard guys, partly to keep an eye on the quality of work, but also to motivate them to work quickly and to reduce the total bill. At the end of each day we looked a bit like this. Luxo-Spec Air Conditioned unit at the yard, Shannon & me shattered and the kids wired after being left to survive by themselves on a diet of unlimited Wifi and electronics all day…

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Tidied up a few jobs. Bare metalling the props for undercoat and new antifouling.

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Mission not so critical re-touching the trim stripe. Very satisfying!

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Phew, ready to go. Surveying the results of the relatively not so hard yards of 10 days yard work.

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Splash time 26 Jul 2017, Yay!

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A pretty good experience in the boat yard. Swim, quite drink and lovely sunset to close that section.

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We came around to the main town of St George where the Grenada Yacht Club was running a 3 week kids learn to sail course. Awesome! Here is the first day and it was booked out with kids boats. Ours had only been in a sailing dinghy a couple of times with Nahanni’s kids. We weren’t quite prepared for island time… Most of the optimist dinghy’s were in very poor repair and only two could be launched to start with. Paid teaching staff were sometimes casual in their attendance and timekeeping, extra chase boats were needed. The usual culprits I should have expected as we are in the Caribbean…

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On seeing this the parents jumped in to help, setting up a roster to herd the kids, fix boats and patrol the sailing. Overall it was a great experience. The sailing conditions were pretty tough to learn in with the courses set in the inner harbour, a flooded caldera. The wind would be very light with shifty gusts. Imagine trying to learn to sail and the wind is doing crazy things all over the show.

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Then you would get tropical squalls coming down off the high hills to the east and suddenly there would be too much wind! Here Amelia is coming in hot during a mild squall. Several times the kids were freaked out by them as the boats are well overpowered. Amelia had a particularly bad experience where a big squall came in and she got as close as it was possibly to come without going over. The parent patrol boat had to leave her to her own devices as another crew were in even worse trouble being blown out of the harbour. It took a little time to get some of the kids back out on the water…

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Some magic moments and heaps of fun were had. Here Amelia is racing her friends back downwind to the club. It really clicked for her and I was amazed how fast she picked it up. Pretty difficult to teach them how to sail on such a big boat as Drakkar. Winch the jib in, ah, maybe not.

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Here Boston is styling with his friend Fin. Loving the casual arm draped on the gunnel…

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Hello to all our friends out there!

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I’ll close out on another amazing sunset. To steal our friends on SOL’s trademark ending, Drakkar standing by.

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2 thoughts on “(Not so) Hard Yards

    1. 10 with air con apartment ti live in vs 28 days living in a commercial yard living with kids in a boat you are working on was a completely different experience… I would not call it relaxing, but it was about as good as it gets unless you throw lots of cash at it. Yes, sailing school was Great!

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