Sunday, May 27, 2012

Still Looking

Cabin sole by chain plate
After removing mattress
The trouble with “obstacles” – if, unlike me you believe in “signs”, or in the ability of the Universe to be able to tell you something, - is that you still have to make your own decision about whether or not the obstacle has been put there to make you turn back or is just a test of your faith , the strength of your comittment and your determination. I say this because so far looking at “progress” one would be tempted to say the Universe is telling me something, because I seem to be going backwards. Yesterday I decided to start looking for particular places along the toe rail where there may be leaks – and found two quite spectacular ones, and a few other suspicious places as well. At the two worst places  corroded parts of the toe rail 6 or 8cm long had been filled in with “Bog”, or some marine equivalent of that material you mix as a paste that then sets into a solid that can be smoothed off to shape and painted. To look at all one noticed was paint that seemed a bit cracked but the whole chunk of “Bog” was loose and underneath it was all mushy and crumbling wet. Underneath were 4 bolt holes through which my screwdriver tip passed into the interior of the boat. I gleefully cleaned both defects all out and scraped back to bare metal and dry fiberglass deck. It was baking hot so I was happy for it to dry out and air for a bit while I cycled back to the motel for lunch – baguette, cheese, coffee, half a pear and juice. My return was delayed by an hour or more by an unexpected – and massive – downpour, the significance of which I didn’t appreciate till getting back to the boat. Water was streaming in through the exposed holes, in one place tracking across into the battery compartment, half filling it and shorting out the battery! Elsewhere it was just more water and dampness, but some reached my books!
Not a good look
 Since then the weather has been quite wild with strong winds from the NE, heavy showers and high humidity as a low approaches from the NW,  so other than plugging the holes with BluTack I haven’t made any further progress on the toe rail. Instead Ive been emptying out shelving and storage areas and trying to get the moisture and mould out of everything but with no sun and high humidity even my washing on the line at the motel is refusing to dry.

This morning I went to the boat for a brief check before going to the shops to buy weekend supplies, just to make sure rain overnight was not doing any more damage. Being Saturday, the yard is closed so I used my key to let me through a small door in the main gate, and left my bike nearby. I returned after 15 minutes to discover the bike had been stolen!

Unfortunately Monday is a public holiday so there wont be anyone there to consult with but my plan at the moment is to fix what I can – ie coat everything in silicone or “sikaflex” - and get the boat back in the water at the end of the week. Once the electrics are all sorted I shall go for a sail and see how that feels. We haven’t received a quote for shipping back west yet, but I expect that will be prohibitively expensive, so eventually I am going to have to chose between selling or sailing. Lately sailing has had its nose in front on occasion but at night listening to the pouring rain and strong wind, and thinking about the state Sapphire is in, it’s a sell.

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