We finished all of the grinding and painting on AT, and returned home last Thursday to spend Christmas with family and friends. I honestly can say that I was dreading the cold and snow, but I am seriously enjoying it! It wouldn’t feel like Christmas without it. The chilly nip in the air, the white snow on the ground (albeit there isn’t a lot, just enough to barely cover the grass), the beautiful bright sunny cold days. It just wouldn’t be Christmas for me without these things.
So, to share some “working” photos during our time in the Caribbean. First we ground/sanded out all of the spots of rust that we could see on the steel part of the deck (top part of the boat), to bare steel, then we had to wipe it down and paint on a 2-part primer. The next day, a 2-part white paint to those spots on the deck. You have to mix these paints 2 to 1 (so 2 paints, I guess one is a hardner). This needed to be done twice (so 2 separate days). After the white was painted on the deck, the non-skid needed to be done. The non-skid is the part on most of the deck and is called “non-skid” because it is painted with a paint with sand-type particles to make it rough, so you don’t slide or “skid” on the deck. So after all that white was dry, I needed to tape the white, so the non-skid paint wouldn’t get on it, and then Greg briefly sanded down these big areas. After that was done, I painted the non-skid, twice, on 2 subsequent days.
This was a lot of work over many days!
The finished product looks pretty good!
So once we got the deck done, we needed to start on the hull (the part below the water)! Well first, Greg had to wet sand the entire blue part, what a job he will never do again! All that blue is really soft paint, so he ended up looking like a smurf, for about 3 days worth of work, and dang if I didn’t get a photo! So after all that wet sanding, again, had to find all the spots of rust on the hull. Greg ground them down to bare steel, and I came behind him and wiped them down and painted them with a silver paint for under the water. This will prevent any more rust from forming. We will need to do this every year because she is a steel boat and we need to keep the rust under control.
So between the deck and the hull work, it took us a little over about a week, with all that grinding/sanding, taping and painting.
These were the biggest projects this year! After we got all this done, we went to the smaller projects that had to be done: sanding and painting the anchor,
cleaning out the diesel filter, etc. During all this time, Greg was in constant daily contact via email, with the previous owner, Peter, asking questions to be sure we are doing everything right! I’m not sure what we would do without him! He’s a gem!
Despite all the hard work, we did find time to enjoy the beautiful weather and beaches, and came back with a pretty good tan!
On one of our favorite beaches in St. Anne, we saw this sailboat from hurricane Maria. Luckily Martinique wasn’t affected too badly by her, and had minimal damage to land and boats:
We weren’t without days of rain, however. We were lucky, though, that we had warm sunny weather for our painting! We had only 2 days of constant rain.
We took Thanksgiving Day off and drove to hike Mount Pelee, which is an active volcano and the highest spot on the island at 4,600 feet. In 1902, it erupted and killed 30,000 people in the town of Saint Pierre, within minutes of its eruption. It was the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century. This is NOT a photo of the top…the top is under those clouds!
One of our favorite places to eat, getting ready for Christmas, just had to take this!:
The challenge this past 3 weeks was our wifi access. We were suppose to have wifi at our unit, which we did, for a time. But it was super slow, then non-existent! And because I was still doing work while there, I needed the internet access so I bought internet access from the Marina across the street from where we were staying.
But this was intermittent as well, and I found was the fastest at about 5am! So that was our biggest challenge. I’m thinking that perhaps the hurricanes have affected this, since I don’t recall this being the case when we were here in Jan-April.
So we are finally home for the holidays! Downtown Rochester, MN:
We are planning to spend precious time with our families, and hoping to find some time to see some friends as well before we head back down for the sailing season.
Next steps when we get back down to AT is for 4 more layers of paint on the hull before she is put into the water! More work to be done!