We sure are changing our plans rather frequently! I don’t even remember what plan A was. Plan B was to put Heidi on the Market, get my personal stuff off her, and move aboard Alegria. That didn’t last all that long. It was just too overwhelming. Sell her here? Or where? What to keep and where to put it. How to make her marketable – where to put dinghy, sails, life raft, fenders, etc. so that she looks spacious. Would I stay with her or leave her in the hands of a broker? How do I come to terms with parting with her?
So Plan C was hatched to prepare her for an ocean crossing and sail her East, berth her in Finike where I would be able to be with Dave and Alegria while dealing with all these issues and save the high rent here. This, too, was proving daunting, since that meant lots of chores to be completed in short order. The hurricane season officially starts June first although most people don’t worry much until July. Trying to leave here and exit the hurricane risk area before July didn’t leave much time, and things were going slowly.
The welder had promised to finish the pulpit, being made to replace the one destroyed last October, by mid February. I was not surprised that it didn’t happen by then, given the reputation, here in Trinidad, for no work being done when one isn’t here. It is now mid May, however, and it is still not finished. To be fair, two or three weeks of that delay was due to our own schedule and activities, but still. It was simply too tight a schedule to maintain safely. So Plan D came to be, with several variations.
Plan D acknowledges that we were trying to do too much too fast. So we have returned to an earlier idea of flying to Puget Sound for a variety of reasons including relaxing and visiting along with possession sorting and moving and paper work. This we will do on June 8th even though it might mean putting active projects on hold simply because it does not seem to make sense to extend Dave’s Trinidad visa at the cost of a hundred dollars. Mine will need to be extended regardless, since it expires in another week and there is no way to get ready by then. So we plan to spend a couple months in the Pacific NW and then I will probably return to Heidi and continue the work while the weather is good (i.e. relatively dry). Dave will fly to Turkey and check on Alegria and put away things gathered stateside, and pick up his foul weather gear and such.
After a few weeks, he plans to rejoin me in Trinidad. We will then have a few months instead of weeks to finish preparations and, once the hurricane season is over – probably November, we can go sailing in the Caribbean before crossing the Atlantic. The best time to cross, East bound, is right now – May. We missed it this year since we really didn’t even think of making the crossing until late April and that big a passage takes more than a couple weeks of preparation – especially with pulpit and chain plates still in the shop! Next May is another matter.
Plan E will probably crop up at some point but for now we are on Plan D.
Yesterday, a dozen cruisers, including us, took Jessie James to dinner and added our personal thanks and appreciation for all he has done for the cruising community as acknowledged by the OCC (Ocean Cruising Club) in giving him an award in London recently. Typical of Jessie, however, he gave back and provided the transportation for all of us and showed us Fort George where defenses were built way back in 1804 which were never used and decommissioned in 1846. The prison on the site was also never used except to store valuables when there was a scare. The place has a wonderful view and was certainly a good spot for cannon defenses as the elevation is quite high for so close to the water.
After dinner we visited the Silver Stars Steel Pan orchestra near the end of a practice session for some upcoming event. Might have been able to enjoy even more of it if it hadn’t been for slow service at the restaurant which at least gave us extra time to visit.
Several of our current projects require a great deal of planning. Trying to anticipate all the consequences of each part of each project. For example, the companionway hatch slides open under a ‘turtle’ and rides on Stainless Steel runners. Somehow it appears to have dropped down ever so slightly even though that doesn’t seem possible. Wood was getting chafed and varnish worn through. It was harder to slide and obvious that something wasn’t right.
We considered several options and finally decided to replace the runners with slightly thicker SS which would lift the hatch a bit and provide clearance where it was wearing. It seemed easier than trying to shim up the old ones and when those old ones actually cracked from crevice corrosion, that finalized the decision. So we made new ones and installed them. Later that day it was time to go and meet the van for the dinner with Jessie – and we could not lock up the boat! The latch parts no longer lined up. It was only an eight inch but it was enough to create an unexpected problem despite all our attempts to anticipate such things. It would have been obvious if we had ever thought to consider it.
Of course, my statement that we could not lock up the boat was not entirely accurate. It was true enough, so long as we did nothing about the latch alignment – which we did not have enough time to do a proper job of right then. We did manage to start the project, however, and got 2 screws on one part and one bolt on the other for the time being and locked up in time to go. We figured that the other screws and bolts would not make her any more impregnable.
I’ll post the saga of the new pulpit separately as it is rather lengthy and probably not of interest to very many of you.
For those of you in the NW, I look forward to hopefully getting a chance to visit.
Yours, Robn and Dave