14 July 2012 Deltaville, Chesapeake
Glenys spent the morning polishing the hull, which is turning into a marathon effort. I worked on getting the windlass put back together and managed to install it just before lunch - I was so relieved to get it working again because without a windlass, it would be difficult to go cruising again. The only slight damper on my joy is that there appeared to be a slight oil leak through a seal on the top of the gearbox. I had a quick go at opening the gearbox, but it didn’t seem to be easy job, so I’m going to leave it and see what happens.
It rained most of the afternoon, so Glenys tried to clean up the dinghy while I installed the new depth instrument panel and pulled down the head linings in the back cabin, so that the new winches can be installed on Monday.
We had a quiet night in.
15 July 2012 Deltaville, Chesapeake
We laid out the anchor chain and put markers on it every ten metres, then I used my lovely windlass to haul the chain and anchor into our nice, freshly painted anchor locker. Glenys then went back to polishing the topsides, while I fitted a new hatch to the back cabin.
The old hatch came off easily enough and I cleaned up the fibreglass. Unfortunately, when I dry-fitted the new one, the damn holes are in a different position – sods’ law… I had to fill the old holes with epoxy and drill new holes. It was a bit of a mission in the beating sun and I annoyed Glenys by not covering our bed which is directly under the hatch - there’s nothing like a bit of fibreglass dust to make you itch all night.
I managed to get the hatch finished by mid-afternoon – only two more to go. Glenys took a break from the hull and cleaned the bottom of the dinghy which looks great – we now need to find the small pinhole leaks in a couple of the tubes and make a cover to protect it from the sun and docks.
16 July 2012 Deltaville, Chesapeake
It’s the start of our fifth week in Deltaville. I wandered over to see Chuck first thing in the morning - someone should be installing the new winches this afternoon. We’re still waiting for the engine mounts which should be here soon. I was a bit surprised and annoyed that they haven’t ordered the parts for the generator or picked up the winches yet – they won’t order any parts over $1,000 unless I pay for them up-front. They've sent me a couple of invoices, but I wasn’t aware that I had to pay immediately. I paid out another $7,000, so that work could proceed.
Mack finally came to remove the cutless bearing. He tried to remove the prop-shaft, but it won’t come out because the rudder is in the way. He had a discussion with me and said that we might need to remove the rudder. This is a very major undertaking and I didn’t want to do that. The cutless bearing is in a bronze housing on the outside of the boat and I suggested that there must be some way to remove the housing. I rang the Hallberg Rassey dealer in Annapolis and he said that it’s threaded onto the end of the stern tube. Ten minutes later, with the help of a huge wrench, we had the housing removed – what a relief.
Glenys continued polishing the topsides and she only has a small section at the stern to do now – she should be finished tomorrow morning. She took a break in the afternoon because it was so damn hot and wire-brushed our 35lb and 45lb anchors – I’m a slave driver... I fitted the new front hatch in the morning and then worked down below in the afternoon, fitting a new high pressure gauge and a valve onto the watermaker.
17 July 2012 Deltaville, Chesapeake
I went to the dentist – I chipped a corner off a molar five weeks ago in Norfolk. The dentist was going to patch it up, but there’s another crack, the tooth is almost all filling and they said that it would need a crown at some point. It’s going to cost $1200, but I told them to get on with it. They ground away the top of the tooth and fitted a temporary crown. I’ve got to go back on the 26th to get the crown fitted properly – I’ll bet $100 that I’ll have my tooth fixed before we get back into the water.
Glenys finished polishing the topsides and spent the afternoon cleaning and patching the dinghy. I went to see Sean who is trying to buy a cutless bearing and can’t find one of the correct size. It’s a metric bore and the only source he can find is Hallberg Rassey in Sweden – that could take a week to deliver. I gave him the contact details of the Hallberg Rassey dealer in Annapolis; perhaps they might have one in stock.
It was very, very hot in the afternoon, so I stayed indoors with the air-conditioning, did some admin and checked our bank statements depressing myself with how much we’ve spent. We had a quiet night in with a nice grilled steak, which was a bit of a challenge with my temporary crown, so I’ve requested softer food for the next week.
18 July 2012 Deltaville, Chesapeake
It was a hot, sweaty night even with the air-conditioner going full blast – I didn’t sleep well, waking up thinking of engine mounts and cutless bearings.
Glenys started to make a cover for the dinghy. It’s a major, three dimensional problem that she’s been putting off for months, but by the end of the day it was looking pretty good – hopefully another day will sort it out.
While it was still cool in the morning, I removed the middle hatch and had to fill a lot of holes which were very close to the new screw positions. It will take 24 hours for the MarineTex to harden , so I put the old hatch back in position and sealed it with duct tape – what would we do without duct tape?
I chased Chuck to find out that the cutless bearing hasn’t been ordered yet – I emphasised that this was now on our critical path and he said that he’d sort it out. I saw Clifton who is making progress with the standing rigging, but we still haven’t had the new winches fitted and we’re waiting for parts for the engineering jobs. It’s so depressing. Dismayed, I went back to the boat and wrote out a list of things that need to be done and went back to re-iterate to Chuck what he should be doing.
After lunch, I borrowed the marina’s courtesy car, ran some errands and picked up the new cupboard doors from the carpenter -$390 for the three doors, but they looked very good – the hinges are a bit tight and I’ll have to pack them out after we’ve painted them tomorrow.
It was 105 degrees today and quite humid – very oppressive.
19 July 2012 Deltaville, Chesapeake
I was up before six o’clock because I couldn’t sleep thinking about the sequential nature of the jobs being done on our boat. I produced a detailed project plan listing out the various tasks that still need to be done and the sent a strongly worded email to Chuck saying that I wanted to have a meeting about the projects. After breakfast, I went to see him, but he told me that he couldn’t see me until the afternoon – a bit pissed off, I arranged to meet him at one o’clock.
Frustrated, I went back to the boat and finished off installing the third (and last) hatch. The sun was blistering, but I persevered and finished a few other jobs on deck including the tedious job of scraping the sealant off the front hatch, which took over an hour. Glenys carried on with making the dinghy cover (and wisely) kept out of my way.
After lunch, I had the meeting with Chuck – the guy didn’t help himself because he kept me waiting until quarter past one while he was on the phone and doing other stuff. To cut a long story short, there are quite a few parts still on order waiting delivery. He’s chased some of the orders (because I’ve hassled him) and discovered that some parts are not available, so he’s reordered alternatives. The cutless bearing is now on order from Sweden (at great expense), but the most worrying is that the heat exchanger for the generator is still not ordered and Chuck is trying to contact Panda Fischer in Florida and also trying to find an alternative in the USA (which I asked him to do three weeks ago.)
It would appear that most parts will not be delivered until the end of next week, so we’re looking at another two weeks until we’re back in the water. I was not impressed with his excuses and had a bit of a spat, resorting to the vernacular a couple of times. All he did was to agree with me that it could be better and admitted that they had organisational problems. That’s all very well, but doesn’t get me launched any faster.
I spent the afternoon doing errands on a bike burning up the anger that I feel about our situation. We’re trapped on the hard without a generator and a mast and there’s nothing I can do about it, but hassle the boat yard staff. I’m now going to be visiting Chuck twice a day asking the same damn questions until I get a satisfactory answer. Neither of us wants this aggravation, but if the yard can’t deliver their promises, what else can I do?
I wandered into the Marina lounge in the late afternoon and chatted to Robert and Heidi from “Nuwam” who’ve had a similar experience with the yard. They’ve been waiting three weeks to get their autopilot fixed and have similar stories about delays and unfulfilled promises. Stan from “Green Eyes” was listening in and offered to go and get Keith Ruse (the owner of the boat yard), who was on his boat in the marina – we sent Stan off to get him.
Keith suffered a ten minute rant from me and another one from Robert and Heidi. He listened politely and seemed genuinely concerned, and his response was that (obviously) he was sorry that we were unhappy, and that they had difficulties with resources and planning. Reading between the lines, it would appear that they have been trying to attract big powerboats, which pay hundreds of thousands of dollars and this has stretched their resources. Keith tried to placate us, but only results will really appease us.
After a few beers to calm me down, Glenys and I cycled a mile to Cocomos and had a fantastic seafood meal.
20 July 2012 Deltaville, Chesapeake
What a surprise – a technician turned up first thing in the morning to fit the winches. I had to make sure that he put them in the correct place, and help him but they look good now. I hassled Chuck and they’ve not managed to order the heat exchanger yet – apparently they’re on it?
I stomped back to the boat, cut away some damaged teak on front deck and filled it with caulking. I then cleaned up the sealant from the centre hatch. Glenys continued with dinghy cover – she’s struggling with getting it to stay in place.
After a nice refreshing shower, I did some more practice on the guitar for over an hour – I’m really enjoying learning a new instrument.
We went to barbeque with Robert & Heidi from “Nuwam” and Stan from “Green Eyes” – we had a little too much to drink thanks to Stan’s liberal use of a wine box. It absolutely threw it down at the end of the evening, but we just walked back to the boat and enjoyed the free cold shower.