This is a letter that Robn wrote to her friends that she updates. I thought that you would enjoy it.
Date: Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 10:06 PM
Subject: journal entry
Well I sure got into a whole different pattern of activity once I got together with Dave. Before that I would spend part of most days checking e-mail and occasionally writing journal entries. Since then I have been rather preoccupied with figuring out how to make a life together with him and my communication with friends and family has been neglected.
As you should already know, I met Dave via e-mail at the suggestion of a friend of a friend and we hit it off immediately. Last November I flew to Turkey to meet him and confirmed that our relationship has a future. When I ran out of visa time in Turkey, I returned to Heidi and her needs. Dave planned to join me in a couple of months but couldn’t stay away that long and joined me after only a few weeks. Since then we have been considering options and doing miscellaneous chores aboard Heidi, while ever conscious of the pending hurricane season.
Two boats for one couple is not a very logical arrangement — at least not for us. If we were bigger spenders we might decide to sail Heidi in the Caribbean during the winter and Alegria in the Med during the summer! But that would involve a lot of storage expense and lots of flying back and forth. More money than we feel is justified.
Another option would be for me to sell Heidi and move onto Alegria. This is easier said than done. I had almost decided to do so but find I am simply not yet ready. Option number three, for Dave to sell Alegria and move aboard Heidi, is similarly not going to happen.
Dave is even taller than Gerhard was, albeit only by an inch, and Heidi was simply not built for such height. Even more important, however, is his attachment to Alegria which is understandably even stronger than mine to Heidi. Dave was involved in both her original construction in 1974 and her major rebuild in the 90’s and she has been his home throughout. Heidi has been mine since 1990 – sixteen fewer years. Unfortunately for me, Alegria was built with tall people in mind and shorty-me has a child’s eye view of her proportions! Time will tell how we make make the needed adjustments.
Since I’m not yet ready to sell, the chores continue:
My new pulpit, to replace the one that Captain Sergai gave the coup de grace to, was supposed to be ready to install by Feb 23rd but is still not yet ready! It was almost ready a week ago but problems were discovered that necessitated redoing part of it. The area supporting the anchor rollers were not spaced properly nor parallel, as we discovered while trying to fit the teak floor to the frames. Other caddywonker misalignment were not so serious, but this was too sloppy to accept.
Meanwhile, since Heidi had been on the hard for 5 months, we thought of having her topsides refinished while she was still dried out. The bids were coming in too high for comfort and I was having a lot of trouble understanding how the various bids differed regarding work intentions as well as dollar amounts. All three bidders wanted to give a quote for labor and have me supply the materials. But how much material they would use is unknown – only guesstimated. Plus, they have different preferences for what materials to use, etc.
Having been in the construction business, I understand that comparing bids is like comparing potatoes and grapes – anything but easy. I also understand that ability to communicate and appear trustworthy and diligent does not necessarily reflect ability to do the job properly. All three come highly recommended (but so did the welder mentioned above). Quoted labor prices varied from 3000 (or was it 2000?) to 4000 to 4500 US$. The lowest was from a guy reputed to be high priced, so I was surprised that the others came in higher. If those figures had been quoted as Trinidadian Dollars they would gibe with my understanding of their standard rates and work habits – 5 to 6 hour workdays at 300 TT per day for skilled labor and 100/day for "unskilled". The same figures in US dollars (6.4 times more TT’s) just sounds mighty high.
Plus, with the pulpit dragging on two months past the promised completion date, I find it hard to believe that a paint job could be done in time to depart Trinidad before the hurricane season. If we were in the middle of the job and it became too late to leave, then Heidi would be trapped here for the season – at a cost of a bit over 700US$ per month (~550 for space plus 170 for air conditioning). Anyway, if I can get across the pond to the Med, I can moor in Finike close to Alegria for only 200 per month (no air conditioning needed) either in the water or on land for 90 days. After 90 days on the hard, the cost would go up slightly but would still be only a third or less of what it costs here (even without the air conditioning it would be way less than half)! So I have given up the idea of painting her here. Instead I will concentrate on getting her ready for another ocean crossing.
By sailing to Turkey I can have my boat and my partner and reduce my expenses all at the same time. I can then sort through my stuff and decide what to keep and what to dispose of; do what ever preparations I desire aboard Heidi and put her on the market when I am ready.
So that is the current plan.
Robn & Dave