Thursday, 29 August 2013

Dr Mum

We've just gotten back from down south, where we did some snow kiting and skiing, and took part in Becca and Dale's fabulous wedding. It was absolutely perfect and they were both so beautiful, although dale was more on the handsome side of beautiful. It was a wonderful way to say goodbye to New Zealand, and gave us an opportunity to drop some boxes of stuff off with Garth's parents for safekeeping. Mostly books that we just couldn't say goodbye to. It's annoying that we had to dump our stuff on them, but nice that we both have the same weakness for a good book.

While we were down there, Dr. Garth's mum sorted out all our first aid needs. Christine went through the giant list of first aid equipment and filled 2 huge boxes with very neatly labelled emergency supplies, all packaged in tidy waterproof bags and sorted according to what they're for. She even colour coded it all and wrote directions on a lot of stuff so we don't have to think when we're panicking about dying. I can't even explain how organized and perfect it all is, and considering how much it all would have cost I can say with certainty that we would be a lot less prepared if we had done it ourselves.

She also sat us down with her lovely nurse Jacquie, who showed us how to break open and administer adrenaline, and how to give people shots. We got married on Jacquie's magnificent property, so it was kind of sweet that she helped us get married and then showed us how to keep each other from dying.

Christine also organized for us to have a million vaccines over 2 days, which saved us a lot of money and should have left us pretty protected against whatever the world wants to throw at us. Although I do feel like a pin cushion - on one day I had 1 in each arm and 1 in each leg.

Dr mum also sat us down with a suturing kit and a blanket and showed us how to do stitches, so we practiced that until she was confident that we could awkwardly stitch each other up. Which is probably the skill we're most likely to need from jumping on sharp coral or for when Garth decides to run around like a mad bull slicing himself up left right and centre. Christine even let us jab her in the leg with empty seringes to see what it was like to stab somebody with a needle. That was freaky. I think it's fair to say I would have been a bad doctor, but at least now we should have enough first aid knowledge to get by.

So now we've got 1 week to get the boat ready and clean out our apartment. I'm not sure how we'll get it all together in time, and I suspect I'll need to enlist the help of quite a few friends.

xxx Monique

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Back in the water

All of the stress.

The boat is back in the water again. It probably wasn't ready to go back in, but we dumped it in anyway. We ended up having it out for around two months, which was ridiculous. We're not just slow though, it was because of the whole rudder situation...

The rudder saga:

When we first pulled the boat out of the water the rudder had a crack in it, and it was full of water. George patched it up, drilled some holes and told us to let it drain for a while. Which we did. Then after a few weeks it was still full of water, so we drilled more holes to help it drain. There was so much water in some of them that it came gushing out when we drilled into it, some of them spurting on Garth's face.

It was drying out, but it was drying very slowly - probably because of Wellington's miserable weather which was giving us very little sunshine. It was at this point that we realized we should have taken the whole thing off and put it somewhere warm with a dehumidifier, but it was too late. We could have also hollowed it out and replaced the foam inside, as that's what was holding all the water. Also too late, as we didn't want to have the boat out any longer. After a few more weeks, with at least 1 week of solid rain, it was still full of water.

I did a lot of research and talked to a lot of people and came to the conclusion that it didn't matter - the rudder wasn't going to fall off, most of the water was out, it would probably get more in it anyway and the worst that could happen is that the stern would be heavier. So we decided to just seal it up and put the boat back in the water. Done. Which worked in theory...

So I sanded it back, injected epoxy filler into the holes and put duct tape over the filler to keep it smooth and in place. Then I came back a day later and removed the duct tape to find that the water from the holes had pushed all the filler out. So I sanded it back, dried the holes with a hair drier, made the filler extra thick and tried again. I then repeated that every day for like a week, with a few days of other experiments thrown in.

We tried spurting high pressure foam into the holes to chase out the water. I came back a day later when it was dry, cut the excess off, sanded it back and put filler over it again. Then the next day I sanded the filler back, and wet patches appeared underneath the filler. Fun. So then I decided to fair the rudder properly, which involved covering the whole thing with filler. More wet spots once I'd sanded it back.

Just before I went crazy, George managed to find some time out of his busy schedule to help us. He dried it out with a heat gun and filled it with quick drying glue. Just glue! Then he patched it all up so we could finally paint it and put it back into the water. The day we dropped her in we had epoxy that hadn't set, wet antifouling, and a last minute mad dash for some lock tite to secure our anode. It's all under water now, so none of that matters because I don't have to look at it any more.

I feel like we did a bit of a dodgy job, and we could have spent a lot more time doing everything better. But you have to draw the line somewhere, and its a million times better than it was, so I guess that's something. The hull is so solid that nothing is ever getting through, but the keel and rudder will need to be done again soon.

But we got it back in the water, which is good. Except the batteries were flat so the engine wouldn't start. Which is bad. Our friendly haul-out neighbour Dave tried hooking a few jumper cables up to a car to get some charge in it, while Garth pumped the decompression levers. That didn't work, so eventually Mark from the marina just towed us back to our berth. Awkward.

Lots of other things happened while we were hauled out, and lots of progress was made. I painted on my eye, which is obviously the most important thing. I don't have a picture of it finished from the side, so it obviously looks much better now that it's finished. I put around 4 coats of antifouling paint over it, so it might last a little while - Garth thinks it will be around 3 weeks. We'll see, won't we. I'm fully expecting it to come off quickly, but not that quickly. I'm sure there were more productive things I could have been doing, but I wouldn't be so good at procrastination if I had actually done them.

We had lots of fabulous friends come out and help us, including Rebecca and Zowie. Rebecca spent an entire day helping me sand back the go faster line around the topside, which Garth did not approve of because it wasn't listed as priority 1 on our to do list. However, I needed to do something pretty to the boat that would actually show up once it was back in the water after spending 2 months making the black bit black again - all the work we'd done was going back under the water where you couldn't see it. The stripe turned out really well, and definitely looks a lot better - there were a lot of osmosis bubbles in the paint of the old one, so it was probably a good idea to fix it. The friendly guys from the h20 paint place even gave me the paint to do it with - they've been really nice and helpful with everything.

Zo is wonderful with tools, and among other things she got our fridge all mounted and working - before the freezer bit was kind of just dangling inside of the fridge being useless and freezing everything around it. We opted not to get an actual freezer, but thought having a tiny freezer bit big enough for a cold pack or an ice tray might be a good idea.

We've done lots of sanding to prep the deck for new paint, mostly by hand because it's faster than using our crappy electric sander. We've tied lanyards to lots of things for cat 1, and also because it's a good idea. Oh, and this is what it looks like when your husband leaves a full $300 tin of antifoul paint on the steps in the companionway, forgets it's there and then kicks it over. Whoops.

So we're back in the water, things are getting fixed, and our departure date is getting closer. Phew!

xxx Monique and Garth