After a tedious long selection we have decided to go with Heather Beige as our sumbrella collor. She's brown with a spec of black and white looks very sexy when the sun shines on her. All of our canvas will be this colour and we think this combination will work really well.
We are excited to have Heather shielding the sun and the salt water from our faces. We will post pictures once the project is finalized.
The sexy Heather Beige
Sunday, 18 November 2012
The work continues going strong despite the extremely hot temperatures. It’s been around 40C for the last two weeks and it’s very challenging working under this heat. Monika has arrived and we are both working hard to get as many projects as we can before relauching in early December. We managed to strip the entire deck from it’s hardware, we are epoxing all the holes, redrilling and rebeding all the hardware. But before we can do that we will paint the deck.
Monika also took the cabin sole as a project and we stripped the entire varnish of the sole and now have sanded to 320 grit. We will use Cetol for the sole (up to 8 coats).
We have also decided to redo the entire bright work on the boat (outside wood) we are now well underway to finishing up stripping and sanding the wood. We will be ready to apply epifanes varnish the outside wood, something along 8-10 coats. It’s a long tedious process but it will look very sharp when all done. We can only apply one coat a day and they have to be wet sanded in between coats so as you can see 8-10 coats will take some time.
We have decided to redo the entire canvas on the boat (dodger, bimini, sail cover). Unfortunately the canvas is a job that we will not be able to do on our own and had to hire a company here in Trinidad do undertake the job for us. We are also redoing most of stainless steel work. This will include solid stainless bars as our lifelines, a new bimini with a solar panel bracket mount on top of it and reworking of our wind generator mounting bracket and location. This work is also being done by a local Trini contractor and we should have the stainless and canvas done with in three weeks.
The bottom have now been stripped of it’s 10 coats of antifouling, this job needed to be done as the antifouling was peeling from the bottom. We will apply two coats of epoxy primer and than three coats of fresh new antifouling paint.
Bottom scrapped and ready for primer and antifoul
The tedious process of varnish scrapping
Deck with most of it's hardware off and wood stripped
Wood masked off ready for sealer
Saturday, 3 November 2012
The only job I had previously arranged to get done while the boat was on the hard and I was away working, did get it done and it looks really sharp. Allen a local Trini painter, painted the hull, raised the water line by 6 inches an did a very good job. I ended up using awlgrip 2000, a little more expensive but the final result is impressive. It's nice to have different people coming by and asking what type of boat this is, the year. Rodeo is loving the attention.
I'm now slowly working away on a few other projects and I'll try and post here what I end up doing while being here in Trinidad.
Monday, 29 October 2012
So here I was sitting inside the plane and almost ready for takeoff, already day dreaming about Rodeo, the warm weather the very large ever growing to do list. But now the pilot has come over the PA to announce that we will not be going anywhere and that the flight is cancelled. You can see on my watch the barometric pressure was at 981 which is very low and we are still 300nm from the storm center. On the left you can see the proposed track for the hurricane, looking at that picture makes me think I'll be stuck here in Toronto for at least two more days. Oh well, it's time to seat back enjoy the hotel and wait until the hurricane passes.
Well the day has finally arrived, it’s the 29th of October 2012 and I’m at the airport in Toronto awaiting my flight to Port of Spain. It’s been a while since I last posted and many of you have no idea why it has been so long. During the four months of hurricane season I was offered a job part in Canada and part in Africa. So after 4 gruelling months I’m very excited to be ready to head back to my floating home my safe haven the place that will always be there for me my beloved boat Rodeo. Ohh how I miss her, her smell, her curves and her lines.
The plan is to work on her for the next four weeks, installing a much needed new watermaker, new autopilot and a bunch of other projects. I’ll work 10 to 12 hour days and will do everything I can to be back sailing by the first or second week of December.
You may ask whats next? Brasil? Panama? Europe? At this point everything is a possibility I shall know better in the next few weeks what the plan is going to be.
Sunday, 1 July 2012
Rodeo is on the hard. Several things about that sentence make me feel wretched. We're leaving her behind for nearly four months while we travel back to Canada to work. It will be an unwelcome separation, but very much a necessary one because our budget has run low and going back to Canada will give us a chance to save up for some long coveted upgrades. Nevertheless Rodeo has been a home to me for over a year and much longer to Gabe, and it is hard to imagine spending time away from her now. Time away from Rodeo will also be time off from our travels and this vagabond lifestyle we've come to love so much. It means adjusting back to life on land in the hustle and bustle of a city. It means being part of a stable society as opposed to our transient community of fun seeking cruisers. It means going from constant state of fluid motion to hard, solid ground. There are many benefits to going back ashore. One of the top ones is catching up with family and friends. Can't beat that. Another one is the change of pace. Going back to work will allow us to keep a routine, something that can be difficult to maintain while moving around from place to place. Being back in civilization also means I get to take bubble baths, something I've been without since the last visit to my parents' house last October.
For many reasons getting hauled out in Trinidad marks an end to a chapter of our lives. It is a destination many set out from North America to reach, but for various reasons never do. We made it and we feel a sense of accomplishment in doing so. It has been a great journey and an incredible learning experience, the sort of which we're not likely to relive. We want to continue to sail of course, but our first year cruising will always be our first. Filled with uncertainty, self doubt and fear we have made mistakes and learned from them. The lessons we've learned this first year will guide us through all the consecutive passages and we will certainly do a lot of things differently in the future. A lot of what we've been through is behind us. Also, depending on what we decide to do once we get back to the boat it may be the end of cruising in the Caribbean. If we chose to sail to Brazil directly from Trinidad it will be a short, but challenging passage with very few, if any, stops in between. This route is more difficult because of opposing currents and trade winds, but if done right could bring us to Brazil in a matter of weeks. If we chose to do the great loop, which would take us back through the Caribbean, across the Atlantic, down the west coast of Africa and back across the Atlantic again, it would be a longer but more comfortable sail with the trade winds. Regardless of our future plans we chose to bring the boat to Trinidad to keep her safe during the hurricane season and to get heaps of work done to her once we return. Leaving Rodeo here is like leaving a piece of ourselves behind. What's even more agonizing is that we had to leave Pickle with friends in Grenada for the time being. We contemplated bringing her back to Canada with us, but Trinidad's Department of Agriculture makes the process very difficult and we've been told that she may not be able to come back with us without going through a 3 month quarantine. We couldn't bear the thought of putting her through that. We miss her more than we every imagined possible. She has been part of our crew and a part of this experience, and not having her around has left a quiet, hairless void behind. Now that the decision to go back to work for a few months has brought us to Trinidad we await our arrival in Canada with mixed emotions. There is a great deal to look forward to, but a precious lot of things we'll miss while we're gone.
Thursday, 28 June 2012
We swam with turtles again and this time there were dozens of them. We spent a day in a turtle sanctuary at Tobago Cays. The area is a cluster of small uninhabited islands, protected from the open Atlantic by a ring of reefs. We were able to spend an afternoon there before winds picked up and nasty weather chased us away in search of better shelter. When we arrived we were so eager to jump in the water I did so without bringing a camera. Big mistake. We had to swim quite a distance to get to the protected zone, so by the time we got into the turtle crowds I had no desire to go back and get it. I regret the decision now, because we swam among a massive colony of green turtles so accustomed to human presence they let us get real close. I figured I could snap a few pics the following day, which of course never happened, because we moved first thing in the morning. We had a sleepless night while swinging wildly at anchor and we knew we wouldn't be able to relax out there, where the gusts charged freely across the open water. We moved a few miles back to Saltwhistle Bay on Mayreau Island. It was no coincidence that we ended up there. Saltwhistle Bay is the very one that Gerard's boat has been named after and he could not pass up the opportunity to visit the namesake. We spent a few days on Mayreau waiting for the front to pass, during which time our friends on Katarina and Blue Kai caught up to us. It was a sweet reunion. We had been traveling separately for a month and we really missed those guys, especially the kids. As soon as we came over to their boat, Hannah and Rye went wild showing off their recently acquired skills. Hannah was now able to swim in deep water, without a life jacket. She kicked and paddled with chaotic sweeps of arms and legs, a strange combination of panic and satisfaction painted on her face. Rye, on the other hand, has been bravely jumping off the deck into the deep water, and was more than willing to showcase his abilities, over and over and over again. Rye and I practiced variations of cannon balls throughout the afternoon, until our eyes stung from the salt water.
Later that day we all met up at one of the beach bars for a reunion drink. Everyone was drinking beers, but I got ambitious and ordered a gin and tonic. And then another, and another. I should have known better, I've been there before. You can never have just one gin and tonic. It all began very innocently and then a group of young tourists from Colorado took over the bar for a birthday celebration. They had arranged for a big table and a home cooked meal by Black Boy's, the bar owner's wife. After Katarina and Blue Kai called it the night, Gerard, Gabriel and I crashed Colorado's party. We couldn't help it. They brought out their own rum punch and musical instruments, and they celebrated with infectious dynamism. We mingled, we played and danced, and I was on my best behavior until I had my fourth gin and tonic after which I enjoyed a slow climb toward a complete breakdown. At first I noticed I couldn't carry out my elaborate dance moves with any sort of fluidity, then my speech became slurred until finally I got so dizzy all I wanted to do was lay down. I asked Gabe to take me to our beached dinghy. I lay curled up inside of it while Gabe went back in to find out if Gerard was ready to go. He wasn't, but he came out to help Gabe get the dinghy in the water and then we were off, put putting back toward Rodeo. I needed my head to stop spinning and I wanted everything around me to stop moving. Naturally it wouldn't. The choppy ride home was excruciating and things got only marginally better once I was aboard Rodeo. Gabe had to go back to shore to wait for Gerard's verve to expire, leaving me slouched in the cockpit with my head hung over the cap rail. Pickle was visibly troubled by my state, mainly because I was in no shape to feed her. She made a point of complaining to Gabe about it later. Slowly, painstakingly I adorned Rodeo's hull with convulsive heaves and finally crawled into bed, relieved from my torture by deep sleep only to be woken back to it the next morning.