Dispatches from the Boatyard #8 (Tucson again)
A little over a week ago, on Sunday morning, we arose in anticipation of starting the 6-day process to finally paint the deck, cockpit, and cabin tops on Calla Lily. Mike got to work organizing the supplies (the paint is literally 4 different chemicals: converter, reducer, brush additive, and the actual paint itself.) If it sounds complicated it is because it is complicated. Complicated things create more opportunities for mistakes, and Mike had made one. He had ordered the wrong converter for the paint we are using. We now found ourselves dead in the water, or boatyard, so to speak. It would take at least 5 days to get the correct stuff ordered, shipped to the border, and to drive up and retrieve it. So we put all our painting stuff away and took a break for the rest of the day.
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we moved down the ladder to work on the bottom of the boat. The steps to getting the bottom done are: 1. Sand, 2. Repair with fiberglass, 3. Sand, 4. First coat of barrier coat primer, 5. Fill and fair low spots to make the bottom as smooth as possible, 6. Sand, 7. Second coat of barrier coat, 8. Third coat, 9. Fourth coat, 10. Sand, 11. Apply Copper Coat, 12. Sand. We got through steps 1 and 2. We also repaired some cracks in the Lazarette cover (a wooden hatch that allows access to a storage locker under the aft deck. We also exercised our 10 seacocks which are valves that allow water to come in and out through the hull below the water line. Water comes in to cool the engines, supply the watermaker, saltwater faucet, and heads (toilets). The going out ones are for the sinks and heads. They are very important parts of the boat and we exercise them weekly and we refaced and greased them last year when Calla Lily was in the boatyard in Guaymas. Like most of the systems on the boat, that maintenance was way overdue.
Monday was an especially exciting day. Mike inadvertently activated the EPIRB (Emergency Position-indicating Radio Beacon) and Shelby was bit by a local chihuahua. Shelby is fine and the bite was mostly superficial. On the advice from a local pet clinic worker, we got her some broad spectrum antibiotics from the pharmacy. Because the dogs were domestic and belonged to a house, the risk of rabies is low enough to not require rabies shots. The EPIRB activated when Mike took it out of its wall bracket to give its monthly testing. We got a call from the US Coast Guard as did our children who are our emergency contacts. So we know how the system works. EPIRBs get a GPS fix and then send a message via satellite to the appropriate authorities. Technolo
gy like this means that if you ever have to abandon ship, you are within a few days of someone showing up to fetch you.
We had things to do in Tucson that we couldn't bunch up, so we will be here for a week and we will bring back lots of paint and supplies and our new ditch bag.