Friday, 8 April 2011

Still in Spain, Still working on Balvenie ….. Apr 2011

Filling up the gas is not so straight
forward round these parts.  
 We bought a special adaptor and
purchased a local  camping gaz bottle,
 then Skipper ties it upside down to the
anchor and it drains into our NZ bottle,
 gets there - eventually!!!
 01 – 08 April 2011

April has arrived, it has brought with it “European Summer Time”, warmer weather, the return of the Cruise ships, transient yachts going east, a steady trickle of sailors returning to their yachts that have been unattended over winter, and even a few unwelcome mosquitoes.

The days are getting warmer, April 1st being a real scorcher – a taste of things to come.  The evenings are certainly drawing out with darkness falling after 9pm but the mornings are dark till around 7.45am, great excuse to stay tucked up in bed. 

The ever present list of boat jobs jumps out at us each morning, demanding our ongoing attention but finally we are down to the "nice to haves" rather than the "must do".  So most of our jobs now are cosmetic, all the varnishing is finished, both bathrooms totally refurbished and looking so good, new mosquito nets made to keep out all the irritating buzzies during the long hot days of summer, endless small sewing repairs completed, we are looking good.

Now that there is seldom any morning dew, the painting has begun. We first started painting Balvenie in Turkey, repainting the top of the cabin top. Then last winter in Malta we continued and did the sides of the cabin top (with their countless portholes), all the hard dodger and the aft cabin top. This year we will complete all the outside areas, with the stern/sugar scoop area of the boat being the first to attract our attention.
The sugar scoop with the first coat of primer on,
 looking much better already

It's a big job, we remove (unscrew) everything we can, sand it all back, fill any holes, sand again, refill, and keep sanding until we are happy with the finish,  then mask everything up - ready to paint.  First day we put on the 1st coat of primer, next day it's the 2nd primer coat, then daily it is followed by 2 coats of the 3 part epoxy finishing coat.  The finishing coat gets rolled on with a tiny roller and then tipped with a brush to remove any bubbles, it creates an excellent finish.   If it needs non skid, well that's another day, then another finishing coat on top of that.  We need good weather, any rain at all ruins it and dust kicked up by wind is definitely not welcome.  We need to finish the painting by 1pm to give it all time to harden, just in case a dew settles overnight, because if a dew comes down is ruins the finish of that coat - this is not a good thing!!   Wish us luck ...............

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