Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Diary of a Boat Prep

2 May
Community carpool service (Blah Blah Car) to Nantes airport, 1.2 hours from home; in hotel at Malaga at midnight, out at 6:15 the next morning. Three hour bus ride to Gibraltar (La Linea de la Concepcion on the Spanish side). Check in to 4-star hotel in partnership with Marina Alcaidesa (65 Euros for 2 with breakfast buffet and dinner buffet included). MAREDA !!! All seems well – dry, no funny smells, no bugs, no dings, no danging rigging; seems like we just popped off for a couple of weeks. Take bimini to repair shop (broken zipper). Lunch. Panic ! The marina tells us that haul out is in 20 minutes ! Motor started up with a gentle pur, maneuvered in reverse into the travel-lift slip like pros. Bottom looks pretty good for 6 months in the water (special “Mediterranean” anti-fouling we used?). Power wash. Drain sail drive oil and refill. Change oil filter and check levels. Shower. Dinner. Collapse.

Travel lift and smoking Rock of Gibraltar (typical East wind phenomenon)
3 May
Gigantic breakfast ! Will not need lunch. Wash and wax hull, sand bottom and prep for paint. Contact B&G electronics dudes to see about our green auto-pilot light light that is out. Big beer, early dinner, listened to French presidential debate via web radio, collapse.

4 May
Gigantic breakfast ! Paint bottom, ran out of paint, order new paint in a panic (will arrive tomorrow morning). B&G guys show up and do a software upgrade. Apparently the green plastic they used for the controller doesn’t let enough light through, so the software upgrade and settings help to put more light in the green areas. (what happened to the good ole days when that sort of problem was just an electrical connection?) Changed zinc on sail drive. Washed (filthy) fenders with Black Streak Remover, rinsed and inspected mooring lines. Repainted depth marks on anchor chain. Checked new “Wifi Away” traveling internet system (20 GB at 4G speed for 39 Euros / month all over Spain and Balearic island). Beer. Shower. Gigantic buffet dinner. Collapse.

Haz Mat Pat is back !

"Open wide and say Ahhhhh."  WD40 cures just about anything.

5 May
Gigantic breakfast ! (less enthusiastic now). Finish bottom paint; travel lift up so we can paint keel fully down. Pick up bimini from repair shop. Pick up out-board motor from winter storage shop. Relaunch boat. Move boat to marina choosing a spot facing the wind so we can put on the sails. Too much wind for sails today. Clean toilet. Toilet joint leaking slightly. Order new toilet joint kit. One solar panel seems to not be charging, but kicks in when we make a large demand on the battery with the fridge. Lazy bag on boom. Inventory of dry stores (food stuff) left on boat over winter in preparation for shopping trip. Gigantic buffet dinner. Patrick decides to add one more night in the hotel. We’ve got a lot more work to do, the interior of the boat is a jumble, and we like buffets.

6 May
Happy Derby Day Kentucky Friends ! Gigantic breakfast then SAILS ON ! Whew ! Always good to get that job done, especially in excellent conditions. Check PC computer navigation programs and GPS. Biked out to huge commercial center and grocery store (Carrefour) to see if they deliver. Yes ! Unpacked clothes, sheets, towels, etc., stored on the boat over the winter in vacuum-seal bags. No funny odors, no spots, excellent. Cleaning, arranging interior. Gigantic dinner. Back to boat after sundown to check out nav lights. All well. Collapse.

7 May
Last day at the hotel. Gigantic breakfast, check out and move stuff to boat. Move boat to a new pontoon with electricity and water. Wash boat !! Neighbor tells us it has rained mud (red Saharan dust) for the last month. Even clean, Mareda now has a sort of “tan”. Wash stainless railings. Dodger on. Drain engine fuel / water separater. All looks well...no water, no black sludge. Flags on, buoy and Man-over-board sling installed. Fill water tanks and prime pump (takes quite a while and pump did not want to prime). Check cooking gas. Clean bikes (chains a bit rusty). Dilute acid on small rust spots around boat, rinse, polish. Big whiskey while listening to French presidential election results. Vive la France !!

8 May
Ahhh…. Corn flakes and coffee on board Mareda. Mega shopping trip (2 hours) with delivery to the boat. Bimini on. Wash floor rugs. Changed gas filter and chased resulting air bubble from fuel lines; changed water pump propeller, cleaned water filter. Check air filter. Lunch (swordfish) and dinner (gambas). Showers. Check weather. Collapse.

Can watch over Mareda from the hotel.

9 May
Laundry day. Market day. Took bikes to bike shop for gear tune-up (still under guarantee). Mopped floorboards. Filled up 5 liter gasoline jug for outboard engine. Lunch (swordfish again). Filled water tanks and jerry cans. Store and secure everything. Plan to leave marina to anchor just outside for the night. Canceled that – 20 knots sustained winds and we can’t leave tomorrow until 2:30 pm anyway because of the currents around Gibraltar (probably the last time we’ll have to deal with currents during our Med tour). Off to Shepard's ship chandler in Gibraltar for toilet parts not available in La Linea. Loaded up on Marks and Spensor’s Sicilian Lemon Curd (dangerous habit). Spent last of our Gibraltar pounds on ice cream. Showers. Dinner (calamari with chorizo and pimento peppers). Blog post ! Collapse.     

Ready to head out into the Med tomorrow !


Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor said...

I love your gigantic breakfasts :-) Although, no matter how big of a breakfast I eat, I still want lunch. Great diary of the special kind of hell that is boat prep.

Sailing Mareda said...

Hey Ellen. I did want lunch, but it was around 5 pm. Boat prep is physically exhausting, but being in a 1/2 price 4-star hotel afterwards was quite nice ! Highly recommended.

Anonymous said...

Whaou ! Mareda fait sa toilette de printemps ! Vous devez être heureux de bichonner de nouveau votre bateau. Vous avez bien mérité vos petits dej d'enfer ! Nous avons hâte de vous retrouver. Bisous
Françoise et Didier

Sailing Mareda said...

Merci Francoise et Didier ! Il ne manque que vous deux abord. Chaque jour un croisiere de 30M avec vents portants entre 15 et 25. Demain Almerimar et repos !!

Astrolabe Sailing said...

Phew! I am exhausted just reading that! Good job!