May 6, 2014

Still in Las Palmas

N 28° 7.643', W 15° 25.510'

You know how sometimes days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months... This is what has happened to us. We are still alive and doing well, our minds have just been a bit too occupied to write anything to this blog.

When we arrived here in Las Palmas in the beginning of the year, our plan was to do some boat maintenance for maybe a month or two and then explore all the Canary Islands.

But there are times when everything does not go according to the plan. 

First we replaced all our three hatches on the deck. It was supposed to be an easy task, but it wasn't. It took way more time that we thought it would. The old and new ones are sold under exactly the same name, but over the years there have been some modifications. All the parts are a bit different and of course the holes for the screws are in different places. But we got them installed in February.

At the same time when we were working on our hatches we also installed a new windlass. It's exactly the same kind of Lofrans that we threw away last June. The old Lofrans had served good for two circumnavigations, but it was old and tired and had to put to rest. In between we had a Lewmar installed and some welding done to the deck. So it was again very much work to fix the deck so that we could install the windlass. This time we didn't get anyone to do any welding, instead  Timo made a base from teak. I feel like under the windlass our deck is starting to look like Swiss cheese.

Our deck is once more ready for a new windlass.

Our life has not only been hard work. My niece and nephew spent one week with us. We had so much fun with these two teenagers. Even though we don't have any own kids, we are lucky that we have some kids in our life that we can love and watch them grow up.

All the fun and games are about to end. Last card game before taking Siiri and Kasper back to the airport.

Our next task on the list was to take out our water tanks. They have never been taken out in the whole 25 year history of the boat. We knew there would be some rust under them, but we were quite shocked when Timo started removing rust and there was so much of it that came out. We have never owned a steel boat before and we have never worked on one before. We got so worried that we might not stay afloat that we lost our sleep for quite a few nights. Finally after two weeks we had the worst spots measured with ultrasonic and now we are not worried anymore. In some spots the hull is a bit thinner, but not too much.

First of our water tanks is ready to go out to the deck. We have two tanks that can in total hold a bit more than 300 liters of water.

And this is where all the fun begins. We want to see all of the bottom inside the boat. Some parts are easy, but some parts are not. Under the bunks there is urethane foam and glass fiber on top of it. It has made a nice storage place, but impossible to check and maintenance. Our head and storage room (the later used to be a sauna) in the bow have what you could call bathroom kind of floors. They are water tight and both have a floor drain. These are easy to take apart with some force, but building them back needs a bit more time. Then there is still our aft cabin left and it's small floor that is built under everything else. We haven't decided yet how we are going to take that apart, but somehow we will.

Our sailor friends are flying back to Finland for a couple of months and we are going to move to their boat while they are gone. We haven't done much work in the last month, because everything is so much easier when we don't have to sleep here. When we started removing rust it took me two hours every night to clean up so that we could go to sleep in our bunk.

There was so much fine dust to remove that I had to use a mask when cleaning up. And this I did every night for about 10 days.

This food locker I did not clean every day. We didn't know how much dust there would be. When we next continue our work we do a bit more work to protect our stuff from the dust.

We had some friends here for a week during Easter time. It was nice for a change to just relax and only think about where we would have our next drink or meal. But we do know that after we have done all this hard work our home is good and ready to go to the adventures to come. We had been planning to sail to Azores this summer, but now that won't happen. But one day when we are ready we'll head somewhere. Only time will tell what direction our boat might then be heading.

It was definitely the best lunch we had that came from this counter. I can sure recommend Amigo Camilo, but don't go there too late, it might be full...