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Sunday, 8 June 2014

Almost Launch Day

A vacuum hose collects sanding dust
My aft locker work
Work started on Traversay III with grinding away and re-priming any rust spots on the bottom.  This was done at the start to avoid contaminating any finish-painting with rusty steel dust.  While this painting was delayed by hot dusty weather, I did my much smaller jobs involving some interior varnishing and clearing up and re-painting some small rust spots inside an aft locker.

When work got going, I was very impressed with the care and attention to detail of the workers.  All the correct products and procedures for the paint system were used, the yard was kept clean and tidy and the workers all wore the latest protective clothing and respiratory gear for the work being conducted.

Raúl installs new sonar transducer
Now, as I write this a couple of weeks later, the hull sides between waterline and deck gleam with a mirror-like finish but below the water line is still a patchwork of grey epoxy primer and old-but-sound black anti-fouling paint.  A lot of waiting is going on as a result not of the yard, which is very efficient, but of delivery delays.
With the upper hull paint complete, we need sunglasses on to look at our now highly reflective boat in the endless succession of clear sunny days.  Under the heading of Exceeding-Our-Expectations: not only has the name been reapplied on the bows as before, but even the small builder's marks on the quarters have been duplicated in color, size and font

So why the wait?  Our anti-fouling paint is late arriving. Perhaps we should have used the excellent name-brand product they hold in stock here, but this was all planned before we knew that.  Also the refurbished propeller and another item that must be installed out of the water are wending their way through Mexican Customs a few miles north of here in Tijuana.  We are productively using the passing days to have some outside varnishing done and, to minimize the time from launch to leave, we are provisioning and refueling the boat here in the shipyard rather than waiting until she is in the water.

Repaired varnish - their work - not mine
It is all a bit holiday-like.  Because of limitations in grey water tankage aboard, we can't do a lot of dishes.  This has resulted in the longest string of restaurant meals in years.  A nearby cine shows first-run movies, some in English with Spanish subtitles and some in Spanish - we've mostly been choosing the Spanish ones.  And around the yard and marina conversation is never in short supply as a succession of sailors, mostly from California, come and go having various repairs done to their boats.

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Principal work: adding reflections to boat sides!
Now, as I place this in our blog, the bulk of the waiting is done.  Our refurbished propeller has returned - to be mounted tomorrow, the anti-fouling bottom paint has been applied and a replacement sonar transducer has been mounted.  We are now beginning to anticipate [is this a mistake?] a launch on Tuesday morning [the 10th] and a departure for Hilo, Hawaii a couple of days after that.  The weather predictions suggest very light winds for some days at the start and then good sailing winds, first from the side and then from aft as far into the future as we can see.  There will be an early season tropical low starting to spin up and head west but it will be far to the south of us.

Of course, mindful of all the possibilities, we will delay our final shopping for fresh veggies and the visit to the various government departments for passport stamps and exit papers until we are actually floating. Nonetheless, A pizza-party for the workers has been arranged for tomorrow to thank them for the great work - so we must be nearly ready.

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