First week in the yard

Sailing south to Almerimar from Denia. Being hauled out for the first time. Meeting great new people and a lot of work being done. You can read it in our first blog. 

We left Denia early on Friday morning after a last supper with David’s parents and hoist our sails to make passage to Almerimar, a town between Malaga and Cartagena. The sunrise was beautiful when we were just out on the ocean but unfortunately we had to motor quite a lot because there was not much wind.

After a few hours we did have some lovely sailing though, on my night watch I had a steady 12 knots for two hours and later on in the day, David enjoyed some sailing with 20 knots on the beam. We even got the ballooner out, which was the first time setting up for me and was absolutely great fun!

We arrived in Almerimar the next day around 23.00h. They didn’t give us a berth straight away but we stayed on the waiting area dock where we slept overnight. Both tired we hit the bunk fairly quickly. Oh and btw, we arrived with only 5 liters of diesel left in the tank, we al know David is a star in maths…”there was no need to get some diesel back in Denia”. Always trust the captain, that can be difficult for someone who can be a little cautious and forthright sometimes, like me. But right he was, I smiled and embraced trust.

In the morning we checked in at the marina office.  Our main question was if we were allowed to work on the boat ourselves whilst in the yard. This is not allowed in most marina’s, where the work has to been carried out by the boatyard staff. I can hear you think, a phone call would have done the job, uhm let me think about that, yes, but we like to keep things exciting. Anyway, the answer from the marina office was ‘yes’. The prices for being hauled out and the daily rate was cheap compared to other marina’s so we were really happy we came down here. And the place itself is not too bad to stay for a few weeks either. I absolutely love the view across to the Sierra Nevadas . There are many English & Dutch people around, they tend to be fullime sailors but they are actually staying here for a long time, also known as ‘dock-rotters’. Some of these sailors also have the gift of telling you what you should and shouldn’t do on your boat. I don’t think I have to tell you the expression on David’s face when this happens.

We spend two days in the marina, to relax, to see the place (a marina in the middle of nowhere) and to prepare the boat for the haul out. No big things but the Genoa had to come down for example. Which was in the end quite a thing. It didn’t want to come down because the upper swivel was stuck in the top so David had to go up the mast trying to get it down. Luckily it did in the end after some world class language.

Early on the day of the haul-out David went to see the yard guys and asked them when we should come over with the boat. The answer was ‘now’! David came back on the boat and within 5 min we had the tender on the deck and left our berth. We arrived at the haul out dock but had to wait for 15 minutes because they just hauled out some one else before us. There was not much wind so waiting around was not a problem. After 15 minutes the crane was ready and the boys were telling us we needed to come aft in, and prepare four lines. Quickly we prepared the lines and David manoeuvred the boat very well into the dock. The boys were rapid and everything was going so fast, in the meantime they told David to take down the radio mast as well. As you can read, first time for everything, next time we know exactly what to do. 

It all was so exciting and somehow weird, there was Ker Marie, on the land. A bit lost we wandered around and met lovely Sam & Rose. They are from Bristol and working on their boat ‘Zora’ at the moment. Funny Sam is sanding away his blue antifouling off and you can guess what he sometimes looks like when he comes over for a chat.

David started scraping the 24 years old antifouling of the hull, just to see if it came off, and yes it did. I can tell you, if you meet Sam sanding away on his hull, you are very happy if your antifouling comes off by just scraping. A lot less dirty. In the meantime there are some decisions to be made, one of them is, are we going for ‘copper coat’ or not. Copper coat is a combination of a specially developed solvent-free epoxy resin and high purity (99%) copper, but expensive. It has a proven lifespan of 10 years plus, so no more lifting and re-painting the boat each year. After a few phone calls with one of the founders of this company David ordered the whole lot. Done. Next decision to be made is to put an osmosis treatment before the copper coat. The hull is in an immaculate condition after all those years and after some deliberation the answer was ‘no’.

So David has been scraping away, where I stopped this after a day and started on maintaining the winches and some electrics. We have two gps systems and the associated mushrooms were attached on the backstays as well as our sat sat phone antenna. It doesn’t look very pretty and therefore we preferred to remove them. We will sell the sat phone but keep the gps systems and connect the mushrooms inside instead of outside on the boat. We tested it inside and there is no difference in accuracy of our location. A very nice result.

We met the crew of ‘Nathape’ from Switzerland. They have the same boat and bought it new back in the day and have done a circumnavigation of 15 years and are still going strong. They are so welcoming and naturally they loved to tell/teach us all about their boat and their experiences. On one visit we spent more than 3 hours on their boat, asking and sponging all sorts of information. We love the four windows they made on the boat and especially the 220 volt strips (you can ask me later what the strips are for). We are grateful to have met such people.

We finally did some kiting after a long absence, with some strong wind too. The spot is a bit strange but we already found a better spot to go to next time. Very nice to do some exercise after a while.

Meanwhile living in a boatyard is quite strange. You can obviously not use the heads and we made a system that our bilge water is collecting in a bucket. It isn’t too bad but we both will be very happy the day we go back into the water again. So, what happens over the next weeks? The copper coat should arrive and will be applied. To apply the copper coat is quite something, five coats all in one day with only the two of us. Apparently it is important to stir the copper regularly and in between coats we also have to tape the waterline. Don’t even mention the square meters of the boat and that copper is not like paint on your paint roller, but heavy stuff. It will be a challenge for sure!

We also have to sort out the rigging, the sails, auto-pilot and our head mast unit. As you can read, there is enough to do! Stay tuned and subscribe below if you would like to be the first notified for our latest blog. Or check daily updates on my Instagram account.

Love,

Kelly, David & Floyd

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