September 1994 - Trinidad

1 September 1994 Chaguramus, Trinidad
We got hauled out at about eleven o’clock and had someone scraping the bottom by two o’clock. It’s amazing how efficient they are here. We’ve had a quote of $900US to tart up the topsides, but that’s too much money. I spent the day trying to sort out where everything is. We ate out at the bar.

2 September 1994 Chaguaramus
I went into the Highland Plaza shopping mall to look around in the morning and then spent the afternoon ripping the workshop to bits to get the battery charger out. It took 4 hours to get it out and then 5 minutes to discover that a circuit breaker inside the case had tripped! Glenys went to Westhall in the afternoon. It rained very hard today and there were lots of power cuts. We had a Chinese takeaway and then had a beer in the bar in the dark. I tried to run the my air compressor, but for some reason the electric motor keeps tripping out (maybe it’s the wrong frequency?)

3 September 1994 Chaguaramus
I spent an hour on the phone trying to find a 5HP engine for the compressor. I didn’t have much luck because it’s Saturday. I took a bus into Port of Spain and had a look around. Very busy up to midday and then everything shut. I spent 4 hours putting the battery charger back and reassembling the workshop. Glenys cleaned the dinghy. We went to the bar for dinner - Brett has invented a concoction of ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard to dip his chips into - yummy!

4 September 1994 Chaguaramus
I checked the specific gravity of the batteries and found that one cell in one of the batteries is dead. I took out the back half of the gearbox, so that I can get the half coupling off. I replaced the packing in the stern gland. Glenys removed and replaced the front hatch. The hull is being scraped back fairly quickly. They should be putting on paint on Tuesday. We still can’t decide which antifoul paint to put on. Hard or Ablative?

I tried to design a new wooden box to house the compressor. The trouble is, that I don’t know exactly how big the compressor will be when it has a petrol engine fixed to it. It was very, very hot today - even the locals were commenting on it.

Craig’s spots are finally getting better after a concerted effort of washing his face and putting on calamine lotion and Savlon. We’ve even had him going to bed with socks on his hands to stop him scratching during the night. We went to “Rubiyat” for a beer and ended up having a communal dinner. I loaded lots of games on their PC.

5 September 1994 Chaguaramus
The mosquitoes and no-see-ums are murder. We have up mosquito netting and our 12V mosquito killers running all the time. The little monsters seem to love my ankles. Glenys went into town with Kirsty from “Tekaroa” to buy material for upholstery, bedding, etc.

I had a Tufnol spacer made for the rudder shaft. The guy started at $100US for 2 and came down to $20US for 1. I eventually got 2 for S20US + S20TT for the spare because he mistakenly made two. I got a quote of $500US to make the compressor box – he’s going to look at the price again! I greased the max prop.

I had a workshop remove the half coupling from the gearbox. I got it back to the boat and discovered that there was loads of play in the shaft. I suspect that they have damaged the bearings when they took off the old coupling.

The labourers put on the first coat of Antifoul. I decided to use Pettit Trinidad which is a copper based semi hard antifoul. We used 3 gallons for 3 coats.

6 September 1994 Chaguaramus
I took the gearbox back and they fixed it. The shaft runs on tapered bearings and they just needed to press the shaft into the body a bit more. Thank God for that, I thought that it was going to take days to get new bearings and seals. I removed some decking planks from the cockpit and bought some new pieces of teak.

Glenys went and bought some material for a new spray hood. She’s decided to do it herself. I went into town to get the cost & size of a new Briggs and Stratton engine and picked up some odds and ends. The gang has finished putting on the antifoul and started polishing the topsides. There is a bad oil/deisel stain at the waterline which is taking them ages to remove.

7 September 1994 Chaguaramus
I dropped the skeg shoe on the rudder and fitted the new spacer. The spacer is made from 4mm thick Tufnol and it’s a tight fit. I hope that Tufnol doesn’t swell when it’s underwater. I refitted the gearbox and coupling.

Glenys bought a new battery which I fitted. Glenys painted the anchor chain and repainted the name on the dinghy. We ate out at the bar again – I’m sick of chips now!

8 September 1994 Chaguaramus
I bought a zinc anode and fitted it onto the propeller shaft, I don’t know why I haven’t put one on before. Glenys went into town and got loads of cash to pay our bills. I went into town in the afternoon and bought a new 5HP Briggs & Stratton for the compressor.

Everything is finished and we’re ready to go into the water. I took some photos of a Corbeau which are local vultures. They are quite brave and apparently if you go to sleep on the beach they will come to check you out. I managed to persuade Glenys to cook an evening meal.

9 September 1994 Chaguaramus
We were launched in the morning. We checked out the stern gland which seems OK now. I had to spend an hour getting the fridge working – just dirty and loose connections. It rained hard for a couple of hours which stopped us doing a lot.

We had a nice quiet evening, had Cassoulet for dinner accompanied by a nice bottle of Cote De Beaune Villages which we have kept since Gibraltar. Our last bottle of wine!

10 September 1994 Chaguaramus
I had a bit of a frustrating day – I bought brackets for the spray hood frame, but they were 1” instead of 7/8”. I took them back but they don’t have any 7/8” ones and I’ll have to wait 2 days. I pottered around doing nothing in particular. Glenys worked on the spray hood. Pete and Kirsty from “Tekaroa” came for dinner. The fridge has stopped working again – it just blows fuses.