I think Ive lost my mojo. I tried to prepare myself for what might have happened to Sapphire but when I finally got back to her yesterday, I was depressed by what I found, to the point of feeling it was all too much. Clearly those leaks that troubled me on the way across last year are as equally accessible to rainwater as the sea , with the result that the interior seems to have been taken over by mould, there are rusty streaks on electrical fittings and powdery mildew on every single surface, and the interior smells like a disused cellar. The canned and other unopened food that I thought last year I should chuck out but then decided not to – well I should have! They hadn’t exploded exactly – as one person later told me happened to someone else – but they were rusted and leaking, fortunately mostly into a plastic bin. The clothes I left in a plastic storage bag were all stained gray and brown with mould, and emitted a curious ammonia like smell and in the not quite overflowing bilge a sponge had grown into something extra-terrestrial. The books were mostly OK though damp and powdery on the outside, and I think it would possibly be dangerous to lie or sleep on any of the sponge mattresses and squabs, so impregnated are they with powdery mouldy fungus.
Outside things didn’t look so bad – there were rusty streaks down the side of the hull and the antifouling was dried and cracked.
So I have thrown all these ruined bits and pieces away and sweated in the intense tropical heat wiping away mould and stains from absolutely everything. Ive only done a preliminary clean up as there is no water or power to the boat. Its horrible in there at present.
Dominic the Boss at the Carenage caught up with me this morning – I had wanted to get the leaks fixed by taking the toe rail off and resealing it, because last year in Opua one of the guys pointed out the numerous rusty bolts holding it on , saying they are clearly leaking. There are other possible sources of leaks as well . However Dominic was not keen – its such a big job he said and in his experience there are usually many possible problems with regard to access, potential damage to the existing toe rail…and so on. He advised against re-sealing the toe-rail but suggested trying various other approaches. We had a long discussion. It was depressing.
I thought we would just fix the leaks and then I would be on my way. But that seems unlikely – though they could perhaps be improved. But as well there are now the insidious effects of all that moisture and mould on the wiring and the radio and the Pactor modem and so on…leaves me feeling its one bridge too far. The lifestyle of sailing a few months then leaving the boat unused for 6 to 8 months is obviously less than ideal when it comes to maintaining the boat. I want to be dry and I want to feel I can trust the boat but at the moment I am finding it hard – which is why I said I feel as if Ive lost my mojo.
I’m thinking about selling Sapphire and going back to work. Like a normal person.