S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Hanging out in the Caribbean

Tuesday, June 20
Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou

Another tropical wave came through yesterday. Because this one was fairly fast-moving, and because our weather guy does not transmit on Sundays unless a hurricane threatens, we did not have a lot of time to anticipate it. We are anchored in the same spot where we rode out the previous wave, so we did not have much to do to prepare for the heavy rain and higher winds.

I did figure out that our frail bimini, when partially collapsed, would make a good catchment for rainwater. The previous owners had left a helpful spigot in the middle of the fabric, indicating that they had done the same. We hate our existing bimini and rarely have it open when rain starts, so our attempts so far to capture rainwater have been pretty feeble. Now that it is rainy season, we might as well take advantage of what we can get for free, regardless of the "dust from Africa" that some cruisers complain falls with the rain. On Carriacou, nearly every house and business we have seen boasts its own cistern--or two--with a system for funneling rainwater off the tin roof. What we are paying 30 cents a gallon for and lugging from the dock five gallons at a time is probably the stuff we could be getting for free.

All we have to do is strengthen the existing frame to withstand the higher winds that often come with the rain, and then, using the old bimini as a pattern, sew a new one with the fabric left over from the new sail covers. When I say "we" I mean Dean, using Kim's sewing machine. Kim does not own one of those super-fancy, heavy duty machines that they sell to sailors for a thousand dollars, but she has a standard machine from the fifties, so it is indistructable and can handle canvas.

But we won't be working on that this afternoon. Today Dean and I will be, once again, scrubbing the inch-deep forest of barnacles and grass and moss off the bottom of our boat. Dean has borrowed, for free, a tank from one of the dive shops, so the job will be a lot easier than previous attempts, which we've done by holding our breath and diving for a few seconds at a time.

Last year we had the boat hauled and painted, but it seems that I did not drive home to the yard that did the work that we would be taking the boat so far south, where the water is warm enough for whole forests to spring up on the bottom of an unprotected boat overnight. It seems that New England's water is cold enough to discourage even barnacles, but not here! The one thin coat of antifouling bottom paint the yard rolled on is no match for them, and it has pretty much been overtaken ever since Delilah spent time in the foul murk of Luperon. We are just hoping that we can keep it down for the next few weeks, until we have Delilah hauled and paint her bottom ourselves. (Okay, stop smirking, I know I wrote "paint her bottom." Get your mind out of the gutter and read on.) Rumor has it that, in Trinidad, you can buy paint so effective, meaning bad for the environment, that they won't even sell it in the States. Ironically, this is the stuff they put on the bottoms of vessels belonging to the U.S. Navy. I'm tempted, but the environmentalist in me won't let me go through with it.

The other big plan for today is to watch some world cup soccer--er, football. There are two big games playing simultaneously this afternoon, and one of the local bars will have them both on, along with free pizza for the people in the bar. You would think that we are only tempted by the free food, but Dean and I (mostly Dean) have watched several games this past week, including the very exciting match between the U.S. and Italy.

What amuses me the most are the unusual places we have found to watch the games. The U.S. match we watched outside, on a dirt driveway under a thatched carport owned by a local dive shop. We just plopped ourselves down next to the owner of the dive shop. The next day, which was rainy, we watched a game from inside the dive shop...while sending our email.

Dean has also spent time on the couch in some stranger's living room. Granted, the room is part of a guest house, but when Dean wanted a hamburger, the owner just went into her kitchen, which was next to the couch, and fried one up for him. Dean and David have also become good enough friends with the owner of one restaurant that, even though the restaurant is closed on Mondays, the owner has twice turned on the TV for them, sold them a few beers, and left them alone in the place for the afternoon.

So we like it here in the rainy season, which is still less rainy than any season in Boston, I think. Carriacou is small and friendly and quiet. I am enjoying being in one place long enough to become known to the locals. Even the boat vendors here are low key, and there are only two. One sells Chilean wine (my favorite cheap wine from days in Greensboro, good ole Concha Y Toro) for better prices than one would get onshore. The other sells oysters he harvests from the nearby mangrove swamp. I tried them...once.


Blogger Gregory Burd said...

I'd get the foul anti-fouling paint without a guilty thought at all. You've gotta combat the marine live down there. Its kill or be... well overgrown. Good work on the water crunch. Maybe someday I'll finish my prototype watermaker and bring it down to you. I think you'll appreciate it.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous terrry said...

Jill & Dean,

Happy Anniversary!

Jill--I had an adult student in my summer school class from Galway of all places. What are the odds...

Miss you! terry

6:30 AM  

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