This will only be a text update as I am not really getting good internet enough for pic's.
After finishing the Head, I carried on with the portside for the first time. There were a lot of issues to deal with on this side of the boat too, I just hadn't started it yet.
So I was still cleaning sanding and either varnishing or painting all the interior wood that has been stored outside in the tropics for over a year. It had all suffered from this treatment and it took a lot of work to refurbish it all. But I finally finished all the bits and pieces for the port bunk, had a trial fitting and after a modification to the bunk board itself, (I have cut three hatches out of the top so I can use this space better than as was) I gradually assembled it all together, this time no glue was used at all, this so it will be easier to take apart when needed. Once this was completed I concentrated on the remaining wood pile, and that was all finished as well........Now it was time for something completely different. A Holiday!
Feb 27 was the date I had to leave USVI, so I have left a bit earlier. That's because Guiding Light and myself need to be tested as a viable means of travel again.
Its amazing what I have forgotten about the routines of cruising in a boat! I didn't do it all and paid the price.
So with the help of Grace we set out from the Nye's dock at about 17:30hrs on the 11 Feb. bound for Crux Bay St John USVI. No sails just a journey on the engine to test it under load after a year of idling, and just charging batteries. It performed very well except it ran a little hot. We anchored the boat right next to the ferry dock, in everyone's face! then, when happy, we went ashore and joined in a shore party on the beach, I must admit to getting very drunk, think I bought myself a 'Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster' at some point during the evening, the hangover the next day felt as though I did.
Next morning I noticed the bilge pump was coming on a lot, and, it wasn't pumping properly. I had a look around the engine room and found to my horror that the bolt stopping the shaft flying out had sheared off. (I hadn't checked that) So found the spare after a lot of searching every dam place I could think of, and fitted the new bolt. Then attended the bilge pump. Ended up replacing the float switch as it had a high resistance and the pump couldn't pump. The extra water coming in is from around the stern tube, not the shaft. I'm afraid that's something else I hadn't checked. Secured some pipe's back into position and at 18:15 called it quits and had a dinner ashore with Grace as a thank you to her. (fell down the bilge whilst forgetting it was open, and had grazes all over elbows and other bits that stick out!)
Thursday was a lot better and I put back loads of little items I haven't had time for. Even made up 2 name boards as I haven't got the stickers yet.
I went to customs for a quiz on rules for leaving, and got the low down on that. Then went to the fuel dock for a quiz on their procedure as well, now armed with this knowledge I would be ready to checkout, fuel up, and leave for Jost Van Dyke early Friday morning.
When I tell you I didn't leave till 12 noon should give you all a clue it didn't quite go as planned! But I did arrive in Jost at 1500hrs safe and sound. Then rowed ashore and signed in to the BVI, couldn't row back as the wind had come up so strong I couldn't get back against it. Oh well back to the pub!
Saturday morning I woke to a howling hooligan blowing straight into the bay, very uncomfortable on the hook. But I had 2 jobs that just had to be done right away. After doing those, alternator excitation fault, and getting 110 volt ac supply to charge phone and computer and camera, I left Great Harbour bound for Sopers Hole Tortola. On the way across I met MiMu coming there with charter quests, first time I've seen the boat moving without being on it, Had a chat on VHF with Angus the captain and might even see them tomorrow. I managed to get ashore but only for a short time during a lull in the wind. Its a bit expensive there as well.
Sunday I had to sit and think a bit, I have promised MiMu to look at a few problems they have, and to meet at Road Town, but the wind has been a bit stronger than I would have preferred for my first sail, engine could have got me there, but I would normally have sailed. I decided that I will have to do this sooner or later, and the wind wasn't as bad, so with a lot of trepidation on my part, I prepared the boat for a rough journey to Road Town.