Monday, April 02, 2007

Thursday 29th March

Tyrrel Bay

12 27.328 N
61 29.291 W

Like a nervous father of the bride Gerry was up ages before he needed to be, he was very quiet though so I managed to sleep in until 07.00hrs. Gerry had been out on deck and pulled the dock lines and fenders out of the lockers and placed them in the strategic places ready for the haul out. Just after 07.30hrs Dale and Lorie dinked over to our boat, Dale came on board to help us maneuver the boat whilst Lorie tied our dink to the back of theirs, towed it into the boat yard and tied it up there for us. This way we had the dink to be able to get around in whilst our boat was in the yard. The arrangement was for our boat to be lifted out of the water at 08.00hrs so at 07.50hrs we hoisted the anchor and motored over to the yard. Lorie was standing on the end of the lift slip with her camera in hand, no doubt taking un - glamorous photos of us as we maneuvered the boat into position. As we motored in forwards we threw 2 lines to the yard workers who held the boat steady as we pivoted it round so that we would be going into the lift backwards. It was like a perfect piece of ballet – it couldn’t have gone any better. Once we were facing the right way we stopped the engine and Gerry and Dale undid the back stays as these would have been in the way of the lift. Then it was time for all three of us to jump off the boat – we didn’t need to be hoisted aloft with the boat. The yard workers, assisted by Gerry and Dale walked the boat backwards into the hoist, the slings were passed under the hull and tightened up and then it was time to lift our home for the last five years out of the water. Watching your boat being hauled is a nerve wracking time, you just hope that everything is lined up as it is supposed to be. Minutes later the boat was suspended in the cradle of the 50 ton lift and moving backwards into the yard. The first stop was to pressure hose the hull, mostly to remove any loose debris and barnacles that dared to cling to the hull, happily the hull was reasonably clean and barnacle free (considering that we only had the anti foul done 6 months ago it should have been!). Once the pressure clean had been done it was time to move the boat to the stands where it would be for the duration of the job. As soon as it was secure on the stands Gerry found a ladder and propped it up against the transom so that we could climb up into the boat and then he plugged the power cable into the shore socket, this meant that we could run the electrics whilst in the yard. We were quite astounded that no one began working on the boat at this point – it was obviously going to take a while to get the paint off the hull and we thought that they would begin straight away. The yard manager, Tim, came over to us and offered to lend us any tools we might require – had we got this wrong? Were we going to be doing it ourselves? – this wasn’t what we had arranged. Tim was heading into Hillsborough and both Gerry and Dale needed to go there to collect parts / mail so they took off for the next hour, Lorie took her dink back out to their boat where she had some chores to do. By the time they returned from Hillsborough nothing had been started on our boat, Gerry and I were a bit annoyed at the lack of action so we got out a couple of scrappers and began chipping away at the paint ourselves, for the next 2 hours we were the only ones doing anything and then suddenly one of the yard workers, Alfie, joined us. For the next hour the three of us chipped away at the paint and then the yard manager told Alfie to go for lunch. We were making very slow progress and Gerry and I were beginning to worry that we would still be in the yard at Easter – that was definitely not our plan! We kept scraping and after a long lunch break Alfie rejoined us, the three of us continued to chip away until about 16.00hrs when two more yard workers came to help. Gerry and I had had enough by 16.30hrs and packed away our tools for the day, heading to the chalet for a hot shower and a change of clothes. We were pretty sure that the yard workers finished at 17.00hrs so they didn’t do much after we left them. We took photos of the day’s progress – it didn’t seem like very much and we were worried that we wouldn’t get it done before Easter. As we were quite exhausted and didn’t feel like cooking we arranged to meet up with Dale and Lorie and go for a pizza, which was quite delicious and just what we needed. There seems to be a lack of places to eat out around here, the yacht club isn’t open in the evening which we thought was a great waste of an opportunity – it would have an almost captive audience.
The chalet we are staying in is a bit sparse but it has 2 double beds, 1 single bed, 4 garden furniture chairs, a plastic dining table and chairs, gas stove and a fridge. The best thing is that it has all the power and hot water that we could possibly want! We went to bed very early as we were tired and knew that we still had the majority of the work ahead of us.



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