16 October 2015

Milly on the hard

Milly in the Peake parking lot, looking like a fish out of water.
Well, we have been in Toronto for five weeks now and soon will be returning to Trinidad where Milly has been waiting on the hard - actually in a huge, fenced lawn space surrounded by barbed wire fencing supplemented with guard dogs at night.  We are sure she is secure at Peake Yacht Services in Chaguaramas, Trinidad!

The days leading up to our departure were full, busy and so hot that it looked like we had just come on board from a refreshing swim - no such luck.  We spent a few days at dock and, for the first time since our one nighter at Frade, near Angra Dos Reis, nearly four months before, we had unlimited fresh water to desalt, scrub and polish Milly.  We were like kids in a water park.
Approaching the slings.  A diver placed them in just the right spot under her hulls.

 We were also able to plug into shore power - although one of our two lines was not working and must be attended to on our return.  We had enough power to use air conditioning which we used with wild abandon throughout each hot night.  Unlike an anchorage which most often has a breeze even on a hot night, marinas are sheltered with no cooling afforded by moving air.
Hung and coming ashore via the travel lift.

Our two days at the dock were spent replacing oil and oil filters on our three engines, flushing the raw water coolant on four engines (including our outboard on TomTom), spraying and taking down our screecher and genoa, and other odds and ends.
The power sprayer guy has been doing the job for years.  He's an expert, getting into all sorts of contortions to get into every nook and cranny.

Two months worth of corrosion on anodes and barnacle growth on propellor.  Doesn't take long!


Set up for the next leg of the journey on a flat bed truck with six huge legs holding Milly up and level. 

Off she goes

Then Milly landed and we followed her to the pen.  I made friends with the head of security - wise move since she handles the dogs and we did not want to be in the pen at the same time.  And an incredibly sweet woman once you acquiesce to the very seriously followed rules.  
Arrived in new home.  Note rickety ladder that slid back and forth on Milly's sugar scoop as you climbed aboard.

Propped.  Solid?

Milly on land is a different beast.  You climb up an unsteady ladder, spray water from the hydrant below, work with no breeze but lots of humidity and look down fifteen feet to green grass.  Knowing that salt would be our primary foe once away, drawing moisture, mildew and mould to all surfaces, we cleaned everything!  I have never washed floors as often as on Milly but this time it was not just floors - all cushions, wood and leatherette-covered walls, tables, counters, mirrors, head fibreglass - everything was wiped with vinegar and water.  The bilges were cleaned and dried.  Heads were filled and covered with plastic wrap.  Mattresses were flipped and propped so they aired underneath.  All bedding, towels, clothes that were remotely salty were laundered (at the laundromat) and packed.  The freezer was defrosted and fridge and freezer cleaned and dried.  We have a dehumidifier on constantly with multiple extra dehumidifying devices.  A caretaker is looking in on Milly and cleaning her deck of bird poop each week.  
Ant grease applied.
Peter spread a thick coating of grease around every strut or cord that went from land to boat to discourage the ants that forage for food on Milly.  He meticulously covered every through hull and hull drain - and there are many more than you expect - with a plug, tape or mesh to stop flying insects like bees or enormous cockroaches from nesting or coming aboard.  Hopefully, rats will also be deterred.  
Scuppers covered with mesh and tape to keep out critters
Over the last days aboard, we had madly attempted to eat our overabundant supplies which I had so diligently collected.  Tinned or well-sealed food that was left, was binned and placed in storage under the settee.  All cupboards and anything that had been touched by food - pots, pans, cooking utensils, sinks, oven, stovetop - were cleaned of all crumbs.
Ready to go!
All this was done in sauna-like heat and humidity over five days.  I picked up lunch at street vendors who set up shop outside the gates - home-made Trini delicacies like rotis and curried stews with lamb, beef or chicken stew.  Each week day there were seven or eight vendors who brought only enough food for that day.  Once the food was finished, the hard-working mostly women, went home to cook for the next day.
Nightly entertainment
After working from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. - we made sure we were out before the dogs came in at 5 p.m. - we sat on our marina hotel terrace watching the iguanas and boats while enjoying a cold beer and some take out.  Often other working cruisers would come by and share their stories.  Bedtime was about 9:00 p.m. for all!

It was a great but exhausting week.  We left Milly in good shape and good hands.  And are looking forward to our return.

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