Friends, countrymen, cruisers….lend me your tools

Monday ended up being rained off – so we had a very lazy non-alcohol day on board sleeping, eating and reading.  

Tuesday and it was sunny with blue skies again.   Hurrah!    So we got to work early.   I topped up the varnish repairs with another coat and Richard got on with mechanical jobs.    Finally assistance turned up to help him get the impeller out – this had frozen solid and had broken in situ – and we just didn’t have the correct tools at our disposal which are needed because of the very small tight space we are working in.  Well mission accomplished – sigh of relief – and we now have the very expensive piece of kit that we needed in our possession, so future impeller changes should be a doddle.   The refrigeration guy also turned up and fixed the fridge which was a gas pressure issue.  Very happy about that – we can have cold drinks on board now!    But we also realised that the stuffing gland is leaking – not its customary two to three drips per minute which is acceptable – but one drip per second!   Not good… and we do not want to be on anchor with this issue unresolved, so decided to book into the marina for another couple of days.   Morphie does seem quite comfortable in her slip!

Morphie at Le Phare Bleu

As we were now staying, we headed off to the pool for a few hours bobbing in the sun before an early dinner and evening on board.

View out from the pool

Wednesday and Richard works on another issue we found – a leak into the forepeak from the anchor locker.   Another problem resolved.    Yea!!!    But Richard continues to struggle with the stuffing gland.  The locking nut should be ‘finger tight’ only but this is absolutely ceased solid.    It is down a really small hole which he can barely get his arms into as well as two wrenches – which he’s borrowed from Cutter Loose as we are still waiting on ours to arrive….   Well – he still can’t do it.   He comes up for a breather now and again and at one point we both end up laying on our stomachs with one wrench each on the offending nuts – but we just don’t have the brute strength or length of arms to do this job!    And we’ve tried penetrating oil too…   Grrrrrr……   

Stuffing gland

Eventually we give up and get ourselves ready for the evening as there is a concert in the restaurant tonight – our favourite Grenadian pan band, The Wizards, and Madison Violet are doing a set.    Lovely time had by all – good music, nice food and great company.   Enjoyed spending some time with Eric and Pat (Cutter Loose) although how they manage to look so cool in the heat is beyond me!

Wizards 1

Wizards 2

Madison Violet 1

Madison Violet 2

Group shot

Pat and EricUs feeling the heat!Thursday and we continue to persevere with the stuffing gland to no avail – we have asked the guys to come and help us but still not sure when they will fit us in.   Really wanted to leave today….   Anyway, we bumble around all day, chasing the shop down but in the end they admit they can’t fit us in until first thing Friday morning.    Oh well – what can you do?    We are going a little stir crazy here in the marina but need to get this sorted.    So we had another quiet non-alcohol evening on board.

Friday and the weather is starting to close in – there are big seas and strong winds forecast for Saturday and Sunday so need to get moving today.   Jason turned up – and he is a very very strong guy with long arms – just what we needed!   But it still took him quite a while.   Being optimistic I busy myself getting our water and electricity meter read, picking up the laundry, and generally get the boat ready to go to sea.   Hurrah – job done – we are on our way!    Marina slip paid for and we head out around lunchtime into Prickly Bay where we plan to anchor and sit out the weather. Getting stormy out

The five mile trek was pretty uncomfortable in building seas but we arrived in good time and found a spot – although the bay is pretty busy – and anchored easily.   Went ashore to the chandlery for more bits and pieces and we suddenly realised that it was Friday the 13th December!   Glad we didn’t know that before we left Le Phare Bleu…    It was great to see Morphie back on the hook and she seemed pretty happy to us!    Morphie back at anchor

Later on we headed into Prickly Bay Marina and enjoyed listening to New Dimensions – not as good as the Wizards though – and met some really nice people, particularly Sylvia and Peter from Tradewind of Lynher, who had just returned to Grenada having been cruising in Venezuela for many years (and who, amazingly, are in their 70s!)…

New DimensionsSylvia and Peter

We were back on board relatively early for a light supper and settled down to our first night on anchor this season.  It was a little rolly – but nicely so and quite soothing.  Well, it was until about 3 am when I was taken really ill.    Not sure what started it as we have both eaten and drunk the same for the last few days….  

Saturday morning and I’m still feeling rough – we go ashore to get some provisions from the local shop – and Richard has breakfast ashore while I try some toast and tea.   On the way back we spot a couple of boats a bit too close together, especially with the wind getting up and 30 knots forecast for later today.   Then we realise that one of them has actually dragged into another and the guy on the front is trying desperately to stop his boat getting damaged.   Getting back on board and turning on the radio and we realise that this is not an isolated incident – the volunteer rescue service is being tested today!    We also see a large helicopter moving low over the sea followed by the Grenada Coast Guard zooming out of the anchorage….   Fingers crossed it doesn’t mean anything serious going on out there.Dragging.....

After all that excitement I’m still feeling really poorly so take to my bed for the rest of the day while Richard gets on with some really useful jobs like taking out the dimmable tungsten halogen overhead lights and converting them into LEDs.  This has taken down our lighting load from 160 watts to 24 watts which will be much better for our batteries.   He also cuts the hard wiring to all the other lights and fans and puts in connectors so that they can easily be removed for cleaning and repair in future.    And now the wind is really howling – so he did a last minute check around – and we settle down for the night.   Didn’t sleep much – the creaking and groaning combined with significant howling and heavy rain wasn’t conducive really!

Sunday and I’m still feeling rough – Richard carries on working on boat jobs and I settle into the cockpit for a cuppa.   The wind still howling and it’s very grey out there – with huge seas running – but at least the rain is intermittent now.   Then we noticed a bit of excitement when we realise a very large trimaran had run aground on the reef – and luckily Rescue One were out there helping them get free.  Hope the boat isn’t too badly damaged….   We had been invited out for dinner tonight but had to give it a swerve – I haven’t been able to eat anything substantial yet and, with the weather continuing to howl, we really didn’t want to leave Morphie.  So another quiet night on board.

This morning – Monday – and thankfully I’m feeling a bit better, the sun has come out, the wind has moderated a bit, and we have come ashore to take advantage of the internet.   Hoping to have a beach afternoon today if the weather holds.

Bye for now