Sunday, October 12, 2014

St Maarten. Again. May 2014


Dear friends,

We had a lot of things on our to do list. Repairs and maintenance. Lots of trips to Budget Marine and Island Water world. We also met Carlos and Sandra of SV Namaste, Gabriel and Monika of SV Rodeo, Rita and Rubens of SV Doris, Ria and George of SV See You, Marco and Isabel of SV Vento Macio and so a great group of people. Happy hours, tec support, dining at the best Moroccan restaurant on the Island, more tec support and more happy hours. …

We had decided not the get the boat out of the water (paint was still ok), and the rudder shaft bearings I could easily do with the boat in the water (so I thought…).

This project alone was supported by our new friends and with a lot of hard work, managed to change the said bearings.. only to find out a couple of hours later that the alu pipe surrounding the shaft had become swiss cheese and so the whole engine compartment was full of water…. Big shocker of course and we had to take Onda Boa out of the water (again). We did this on the French side (PolyPat) just after the bridge. And since the boat was on the dry, we did decide to clean and apply a new layers of antifouling paint. As time was running, I decided to go for the McGyver solution… and Tony from the UK, master in fibre glass applications, made a fibre glass structure around the alu pipe all above the water line, so that problem was solved. Of course one thing led to another (in a nut shell, had to purchase and replace: a new Vetus raw water filter (the old one broke when I tried to re install all the hoses etc), two new iron elbows for the exhaust at both engines, now I got the originals from Volvo ($$$$) and we ended up sanding and applying two coats of a great brand of antifouling.

As usual, a boat on the dry is always a stressful situation, but we managed. Boat back in the water, 5 days later. We were able to get the boat clean again, as the marina yard is just sand and dust, and with the tropical St Maarten breeze, you can imagine how things looked after 5 days on the hard. We had the Onda Boa cleaned (inside and out), just to have all our work destroyed in a couple of minutes… another boat was lifted out of the water and on the dry, just next to the dock where the Onda Boa was happy back in the water. The keen workers blasted away with their power wash machine to clean the bottom of this boat, and so the wind put a big part of the black antifoul paint back onto the nice and clean and White Onda Boa… Needless to say we were rather P..ed off, and had to start all over again. All in all, it was not such a good experience to be in this ship yard (dusty/dirty and still pricy)…

Anyway, we were back in the water, and a big thanks to Gabriel of SV Rodeo, for all his support (electrical issues mainly). Then we needed to concentrate on prepping the boat for the crossing. In the meantime, it was decided to add Pedro on our crew list (he was all of a sudden without a boat to go across and so it was an easy fit).

It took at least three days to get all the stuff on board. Planning on max 30 days, with 4 people, how much do you need of everything? This task was mainly figured out by Dora. Not only what to buy, but also where to store it all once on board? Finally, we were ready to go…. A farewall dinner at a local Moroccan restaurant with Carlos and Sandra from SV Namaste and Gabriel and Monika from SV Rodeo. The next day we sailed (back) to Tortola, BVI.. to pick up the genoa sail and also our last search for the mystery SUP paddle board….


St Maarten, French Side Marigot                   View of Marigot Bay



Happy hour, the boys                                  Birthday of Gabriel, on board



Alu tube turned into Swiss cheese                 The glitter, glamorous Caribbean life



  Haul out once again                                     Some deserved R&R



A little grocery shopping….                              …Plenty of storage room ?



The true heroins, Monika, Dora, Sandra             Farewell guys and thanks….

All the best


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