Ready to sail  Click for the chartlet
Click the photo's in the film to enlarge them; or click the photo banners in the text

Saturday February 3 was the last workday for the men, as we had planned to have the boat lifted on the 5th. There is only one yard where this is possible and this is Cevihas. What the name means, god knows. The slings were recently renewed as the sailing yacht that came before us, fell out of the travellift. Not a very comforting thought, especially not since the yard does not accept any responsibility for the work they are doing. This is different from the Netherlands and the UK, but not unusual in southern Europe. On Tenerife we also had to sign a contract that we would be responsible for everything. But with the history of our unfortunate predecessor in mind plus the fact that the costs would be 500 USD, we didn't feel much for having the boat hauled out at Cevihas.
Unfortunately we were obliged to lift the boat, as a reparation had to be taken care of. The deepest rudder bearing was rattling like hell during our Atlantic crossing. We had already calculated that the boat moved 6,500 times per twenty-four hours back and 6,500 times fro, so the rudder-stock touched the bearing 14x13,000=182,000 times during the trip. We suppose that the bronze of which the bearing was made, will not be torn apart immediately but naturally it will wear out resulting in unwanted forces within the bearing; and ultimately delamination of the GRP on the spot where it is attached. So better to take care of it before sailing.

The  day after new moon and full moon is always springtide. The highest and lowest water level varies per moon cycle but in the weekend of 17/18 Februariy a high spring was expected and we calculated that with a margin of 5 centimeters, we would be able to reach a good spot at Holsu to dry out on a beach, the boat leaning against a jetty.
The day before we built ourselves a nice berth. Drying out was never before showed in Domburg and furthermore it was entertainment of the highest level, so all sailors were present to help with the ropes, pull Witte Raaf to the jetty (very necessary as we were already aground before the boat reached the jetty) and toast to the success with beer and rum and coke.

The big drawback came next morning when Miep sank way too deep into the ground, which consists of sand over mud. The rudder was stuck deep in the sand and there was a lot of pressure on it, so we were afraid it would become dislocated if we would take off the bearing under those circumstances. Fortunately Gerben arrived at the right moment and also his colleague-fisherman Peter (our neighbour across) and they immediately put wooden planks and wedges under the boat, to prevent her from sinking deeper into the sand. When also Joop (Holsu's superintendent) arrived, Peter immediately organized the forklift truck to raise Miep's little ass. Now we were able to dismantle the rudder bearing safely. With chief metalworks Jeffry we already made an appointment and he came the second we called him to place a new bush in the bearing. It was a race against the clock but it worked out fine in the end. We also gave Witte Raaf two thick layers of antifouling paint. The last afternoon P was standing until her neck in the water, holding on to a rope to prevent her from sliding and the paint box floating under her nose. The stench was suffocating and the stuff is forbidden in Holland, so we are sure it will work excellent! All is well that ends well, with many thanks to Holsu and especially Gerben, Peter, Joop and his wife Cecile, who treated us to the Surinamese national dish: green peas soup with a touch of pepper.
Click to see the movie (9.34 Mb)

Some more jobs on the boat, enormous amounts of boat gear taken off and stored at home
as we are only leaving for a couple of months; and provisioning. During the Atlantic crossing we used lots of canned red pepper; widely available on the Canaries but over here not at all. But we have other goodies here, like Chinese pickled vegetables, sauces etc. And JW wecked again lots of beef and minced meat, so we have at least something to eat when we are anchored off one of those heavenly uninhabited Caribbean islands.
We'll sail on Saturday 3rd of March to Tobago, a sail of 500 nm so 4-5 days as we probably won't have too much wind near the Surinamese coast.

In the Caribbean we'll do a lot of snorkelling and diving, and in between read many books. In short: relax. Next stop are the Grenadines and from there we'll continue northward: to Santa Lucia and Martinique. By the end of May we'll return to Suriname, to start in June with phase 2 of the renovation of our house. Our men will be waiting for us!

For the last time Domburg's straydogs: We found Ramona a home. A few weeks ago we gave her some USP’s such as: anticonception injection valid until July, anti wurm injection and vaccinations against many scary diseases. She is now with Lieuwe, a Frisian who is often consulted by Holsu so from now on she is A-okay.
With Boris we have a new crew member as he seems to have moved in permanently. His behaviour is exemplary, not only on the boat but also on a leach when we go into Paramaribo. He is much stared at as a dog on a leach is very special here. JW had a conversation with a lady who was flabberghasted that you take your dog along. And does he really have a name? Men yell and whistle everywhere to us (i.c. to Boris) and call: “Browny” and “Bello” (the two standard names of a brown dog; a white dog is named “Whity”) and then we say his name is Boris and that he doesn't speak Dutch but Sranan Tongo (which is really true) because when we want him to jump into the car and we say: “Boris, in the car!” he gives no reaction. We have to say: “Boris jumpo!” The men found it hilarious of course.
But although the dog watch would become a piece of cake when Boris came along as a crew member, he won't join us when we go sailing.
Boris loves us but he hates the boat. And on top of this, on most former British Caribbean islands dogs are not very welcome. We tried to make him feel at home at Irene's, who runs a fruit stall on Domburg's market place. But on the first day already he escaped within 5 minutes after we left and the same evening we heard him barking on the waterfront. Day #2 we tried again but mister comedian showed very clearly how much he detested staying at Irene's, so we made an other arrangement with her. She'll feed him from food we supply and take care of him as good as possible. We hope for the best.

And now we will finally hoist the sails.
 “Klari!” as they say here.
And we say: “For the next three months no chicken for dinner!” Paradise!

Previous    Next