The boat on the hard in Suriname
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As a result of the jobs on our house, the boat was a bit neglected and we definitely had to do something about that before we could leave for the Caribbean again. Maintenance doesn't only include repairs but improvements as well. That is why we started a glassfibre and resin project to make more re-inforcements behind the engine.
When this job was done, the boat was lifted. After three years (the drying out at Holsu last year not included).
There are not so many sailing yachts hauled out in Suriname (on Trinidad it costs a third part of the price) and the experiences were not very promising: our predecessor ripped the slings and two years earlier the travellift ended up in the river... But after a thorough inspection of the slings and the conclusion that there was some kind of rail to prevent from early launching, we were quite sure that everything was okay. We had to instruct to the travellift operator directly as the workers did not take any responsibility. The boat looked rather shabby. Once on the hard, the men became more decisive and within two hours they built a beautiful cradle for Miep to sit in. This costed no less than 100 euros, but the wood is ours now so we marked the parts for the next time.
Progress was moderate as we were the centre of attraction for colleague-sailors and local fishermen. The yard is crowded by Guyanese fishermen and they continuously admired our boat. During their lunch breaks (i.e. all day) they pointed out her lines to each other: the S-shaped hull with the deep keel and the V-shape from keel to rudder with the streamlined skeg, they were totally in love. 
Our jobs were also of interest so the typical picture was: we were at work while they rattled on.
Furthermore the job on the rudder (space in the upper bearing) took more time than expected. First: where would you find a  84 mm wrench? (The one on was still way too small.) And then: try to unmount the parts. It took JW three days in the crampy space underneath the cockpit and nobody volunteers for a job like that in the blazing sunshine. But when the rudder was eventually out, metalworkers came to measure the shaft. A fitting sleeve was made and the rudder could be re-mounted soon enough.

We were also extremely occupied with our new Head of Security, who could be a clone of Boris. He immediately positioned himself underneath our boat and he also found out which car was ours, thus showing how very much he wanted to come along with us... But however much we'd like it, this is out of the question.

Last year on Tobago we already noticed that the trimrudder was a bit loose. It appeared that the construction was beyond repair so we had to glue ithe rudder to the keel with fiberglass and resin. Epoxy resin is not available here so we had to strip the keel with a grinder, as polyester resin doesn't stick to the epoxy coating on the boat.
Our speedometer was also broken, i.e. the transducer, which had to be ordered from Holland. Unfortunately the supplier forgot to pack the Sikaflex kit we ordered with it, so this was flown in at the last moment. By special courier Dick Zuiderhoek, pilot with SLM and a sailor as well, so he grasped the importance of a leakproof mounting.
We could not speak of replacement of the anodes as they were totally gone. Furthermore we painted several layers of antifouling, because the sandy water of the Surinam River acts like sanding paper.

Cosmetically Miep was pampered too. She was painted eight years ago and the lacquerwork of the hull was quite worn out by the unnumerable times we lifted the anchor (which inevitably hits the hull sometimes); upon turning of the tide on the Surinam River the boat movements are so unpredictable that damage from the mooring buoy is inevitable; we once had a boat alongside when so many water scooters drove past that the fenders between the two boats came out; etc. Last year in the Caribbean several boatboys offered to paint the hull and we took this as a hint. So the tramp's look is gone and the boat is all European bling-bling again.
And all this without painting the whole boat (the ideal temperature for the kind of paint we use is 17°C and where would we find that here?). Only a little bit of epoxy filler, some paint and lots of polishing work by Karate-kid P.

We also had to make new mosquito nets, sunshade cloths and dodgers but on the last moment our good old sewing machine let us down! Luckily we found a sewing machine specialist in in Paramaribo and it was really a pleasure to see this man work. He spotted the problem in only a few seconds (P got a good scolding as he could tell how the sewing machine sometimes was treated “with brute force” (“you should never sew thick layers of sail cloth with this machine, dear!”) and within an hour he revised the machine completely (12.50 eu). This is the advantage of a developing country: they can repair anything, and in Europe we probably would have been forced into buying a new sewing machine.

The sailors who left Europe in 2007 have arrived now. Among them is Henk, a friend we met on La Gomera in 2005 (and JW knew him from long before as they were colleagues at work). In 2005 Henk was a crew member, but now he arrived with his own yacht. A very beautiful and fast boat, a former racer. We asked Henk to bring us a few cans of red pepper, mussels and calamares, only available in Spanish countries and a favorite dish with spaghetti. We expected 5 cans of each (which seemed quite a burden to us), but Henk surprised us with more than a hundred cans so we now have stock for years!

Departure from Suriname is scheduled for Monday 4th of February.

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