Boat jobs finished – time to explore Guatemala

Friday night we went to the Cruiser’s Palapa for Happy Hour.   Quite a few people turned up and was great fun with lots of stories being shared…

Cruisers Happy Hour 1 Cruisers Happy Hour 2 Cruisers Happy Hour 3

Saturday morning and the guys were back varnishing again…..this was the ninth coat.  Only one more to go….   We popped into town and got some provisions and, once they had left for the day we took ourselves to the pool for a while.   The guys also returned our drawer with two of the sides replaced with solid wood rather than the original marine plywood.  With some final tweaks it fitted very well and we’re hoping that this will survive the wet atmosphere under the fridge better than the original design.

New drawer

Sunday morning and the guys were back for the final push.  They did the rub down and the final coat on the companionway and the helm seat but then decided to watch the weather as it was looking ominous.    Yep then it started to rain……    So they abandoned the idea and we all had some beers before they left.     Later on we went to the BBQ area and enjoyed another social evening with the cruisers.

Monday morning, bright and early, and the guys were back.     Yay….a nice day looming…with low cloud cover enabling us, unusually, to have a mountain view from our slip.

Mountain view 1 Mountain view 2

They worked hard and got the varnishing finished.   Anxiously we sat in the cockpit with all our flexible appendages crossed and, yay, it didn’t rain until later in the evening and the varnish was dry enough not to sustain any damage.   Job done!!!

For those of you who are actually interested in the varnishing process:

  • Remove varnish back to wood using a heat gun and a scraper
  • Rub down with 150 grit paper
  • Apply sealant
  • Sand down sealant using 220 grit paper
  • Alcohol rub between every coat
  • Sanding down between varnish coats one to four using 220 grit paper
  • Varnish 50:50 with thinners for coats one to four
  • Sanding down between coats five to ten using 400 grit wet and dry
  • Varnish 70:30 with thinners for coats five to nine
  • Varnish 70:30 cut with Turpentine (which gives a glassy finish) for final coat ten.

Tuesday morning and the guys came back and started to remove all the blue tape.   Once they had done this they climbed down into dink – with us on the coach roof – getting the steel work reinstated.   All the screws were replaced and sealed in with silicone.    We had one casualty in that the large crack in the stern piece actually broke through – and we were frustrated because this was the bit we wanted welding…but no-one turned up.   Oh well…never mind…..we’ll have to replace that piece at some point but in the meantime it was reinstalled and didn’t look too bad.

We are very happy with the finish – fantastic job guys!

New varnish 1 New varnish 2 New varnish 3

After an exhausting time working in the heat we planned a pool afternoon but we had the odd heavy shower….so decided instead to go across to the Shack.   We arrived around 4.30 pm and had a cold beer and some great food….and was enjoying ourselves….suddenly the heavens opened and the storm started.   So we sat it out for a while watching the clouds and the rain stopped.   Then the sky got ominously dark so we made a run for it, wearing our oh-so-trendy pack-a-macs!

Storm brewing

We got back to Morphie and all hell broke loose, so we sat in the cockpit watching the thunder and lightning show before retiring for an early night.   Richard, however, had to brave the storm during the evening as dink was full of rainwater and needed bailing out.

Wednesday morning we were up early and got on with the clean up.   We washed Morphie’s topsides;   I cleaned the stainless again (sticky finger prints!);  Richard reinstalled the cans although frustrated that the stainless handles had rusted badly in a single year so they are added to the list of purchases;  we put the pole back into its position;  and we moved the ropes back onto the cleats.

Reinstalling the boards Rusty....

Here is Morphie looking fantastic!

Back together and sparkling

Next jobs are the saloon doors to the heads which got water damaged a long time ago when Morphie was in charter – and have annoyed us ever since.    They are solid teak but have veneer insets so we were a bit concerned about tackling them ourselves.   And all types of products have failed to restore them.   So we agreed a price and handed them over.  The other job is some gelcoat repairs – the main damage being on the binnacle – which occurred while we were on the hard in Grenada and away in the UK.    We think it is a rope burn….   Anyway – the quality and price of the work here is amazing – so we’ve agreed a price and this work will happen while we are away exploring.

Gelcoat damage

Later in the afternoon we headed into town and purchased our bus tickets to Flores – all in Spanish as they do not speak a word of English.   When we got back to Morphie we reinstated dink onto the arch as we realised that leaving him in the water might not be the best bet while we are away.

We were completely exhausted and overtaken by the heat so we decided to get a takeaway cooked chicken for tea.   Once back we had a siesta to cool down and ended up literally just tearing the chicken apart with a few cold beers in the cockpit before having an early night.

This morning, Thursday, and the canvas guys have just been by to deliver our new rope tidies for each side of the companionway.  We are very pleased with them but won’t install them until next season.

New rope bags

Richard is now doing some sewing while I’m blogging.    We will pack later and head into town for the 3.30 pm bus to Flores.    We are very excited about exploring Guatemala before we get back to the rest of the boat jobs in preparation for Morphie coming out of the water.

Bye for now