Wednesday, 30 May 2007

The decks are done

We’ve been consumed all week with the mammoth task of refinishing the decks. What a lot of fiddly little things there are on a boat! The taping alone took one day and a half. We had carefully chosen the colour from a chart in a catalogue to match the existing colour, but when it finally came to roller time it actually turned out to be much lighter and less green. So we now have slightly greyish decks, which are much cooler under foot than before.
The decks required one primer coat and two top coats. The paint for the top coat, a two-part poly urethane, required a working temperature of below 27C. In the morning, it took the decks until 9.30 to dry off from the heavy dew fall (and this with a lot of help from a towel) – by which time it was already 26.4 degrees! But we pressed on and luckily some clouds came in and helped us out. Of course, the night after the first top coat a rainstorm descended with the dreaded sand-bringing wind from the South. Luckily, the paint was already dry and there was only minimal sand, but we did have to finish the job in extremely high winds, only sheltered by a bed sheet rigged to the lifelines.
That was two days ago and since then things have relaxed a little. We’ve been doing lots of different jobs – refitting the cockpit gratings, swinging our new batteries on board, washing and putting up our sprayhood.
Tonight we will meet some previous owners of Fettler, the ones who sailed her here from England and spent years living on her in the Med. They will give us the lowdown on all the equipment, which will save us a lot of time and headache figuring things out. It’s funny, we feel as if we know them a little already, after a few weeks living in the same small space that they spent so many years in and fitted out so beautifully.
We haven’t had a lot of spare time but we did manage to get out one afternoon to a small park nearby to see what kind of birdlife is around. There were actually some very interesting ones, including the Hoopoe and a Sardinian warbler. Our regular animal companions here around the boat include a Little egret, Spotted flycatchers and fish of assorted sizes. The larger ones seem to jump out of the water a lot and repeatedly. A loud splash will catch one’s attention and looking over, the fish will frequently be seen leaping clear of the water another 3 or 4 times. I suppose something larger might be hunting them but have no idea what.
There are quite a few nice people around too and, whenever we feel active in the evening, it’s easy to find company to hang out with.
All things being equal, we should be in the water within the next few days.


Marc said...

Wow, next few days,eh? That's pretty exciting! Make sure to give a list of your potential ports-of-call for the first leg.

Gordon said...

The boat is looking great and it will be interesting to hear from one of the previous owners.It will also be very interesting to hear how the boat handles compared to the Vagabond.
No great changes here although John had to go back into the ERI for a transfusion on Friday. Should be out soon.