Friday, October 7, 2011

Let’s Hear It For Cruising!

If you’re a cruiser or a cruiser-wannabe, are you a member of the Seven Seas Cruising Association? If not, you should be. The minimal annual fee is well worth the information derived from the monthly bulletins, and flying the SSCA burgee is a great way to meet new people in an anchorage. If you are a member and out there cruising, consider writing up your experiences in a letter for the bulletin. How many times have you drooled over descriptions of far-flung anchorages, or silently thanked a letter writer for describing exactly how to find that hidden Laundromat in some unfamiliar port of call (I’m thinking Beaufort, NC here). You don’t need a degree in the literary arts, and your subject doesn’t have to be about some exotic location. Write about your favorite anchorage, a must-visit shoreside restaurant, or the ins and outs of your home port. If you are cruising far afield, tell people about your experiences so that they, too, will realize that cruising is not just something to read about in a glossy magazine, but an obtainable and worthy goal. Send your letter to Barb Theisen at, and thrill to seeing your name in print!

This Is One BIG Travelift

I mentioned in a previous blog what a large Travelift they’ve got here at Peake Yacht Services (yes, sometimes size does matter). It goes back and forth by Mr Mac every day, hauling this boat or that. But sometimes, you really take notice. Recently they’ve been hauling these huge fishing boats and taking them over to their commercial craft yard. This one cleared the ground by only a couple of feet.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Work, Work, Work

Chris mixing up noxious paint; note his goggles and respirator

Look at the difference already between the dull hull and the shiny paint
We’ve been quite busy since we arrived back in Trinidad, working on the boat. Our biggest (and most dreaded) project was to paint the topsides (the hull above the waterline). Who knows how old the former paint job was; we’ve owned the boat nearly twelve years, and the paint job wasn’t new when we bought it. The paint had become faded and so worn down that you could see through to the gelcoat in some places. We considered having a contractor do it, but the price quoted would take too big a bite out of our cruising kitty, so we did it ourselves. And I must say, it looks beautiful! We met some folks here in Trinidad who use Awlgrip to paint their topsides, and they gave us lots of tips. Chris exhausted himself with the seemingly endless sanding to get the hull smooth and clean. We devised an efficient two-person method of painting—Chris rolling on the paint and making sure it was even and free of bubbles; me filling the paint tray, ensuring the optimal consistency of paint and reducer, handing him the brush for small sections, and being basic quality control—and were able to paint the entire hull in less than two hours, one coat per day. We lucked out and had several days without the typical noon-time rain shower. Five coats of paint, and we’ve got a terrific mirror shine! We’ve gotten loads of compliments on it and spent minimal funds, which makes all the effort worth it.
I can see myself in our shiny new hull!