Voyage Number Nine
(To the tune of Love Potion #9) with apologies to Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
We sailed Kalunamoo down, to the south
You know the way that we, always do
We had a trip down to 10 degrees North
Sailing with the wind and
Com_pleting number Nine
I said we always come, this way
We left last November and was, on our way
Squalls sometimes had to block our way
Had a few detours but that’s ok
Com_pleting, number 9
That generator gave me whine
It said buddy its about that time
It ran and ran but gave no juice
I held my breath, I gave a sigh, it died and died and died!
We pulled in to Trini at the, break of day
Couldn’t believe when I, heard him say
Fill out the forms that were stacked up to the sky
We com_pleted, number Nine.
Kalunamoo on the Hard
Our ninth voyage of the modern cruising era ended on June 7 when we hauled Kalunamoo onto the hard at the Powerboats boatyard. What is the “modern cruising era”? We owned sailboats since 1982 and sailed on weekends, and on vacations while working, and eventually lived on board for the summer. We didn’t make the full jump to full time live-aboard and cruising until 2011. That full time live-aboard time is what we consider our “modern cruising era”. Each voyage covered a season in the sun but did not necessarily began or end at the same port.
Voyage nine covered 1015 nautical miles and about 65 port calls between Trinidad and Antigua. It included land excursions, short hikes, snorkeling, swimming, sundowners, beach bbq’s, restaurants, street food, squalls, sailing with our daughter and son-in-law, jam session on board and ashore, seeing cruisers we met years ago and meeting new cruisers. We even got to experience some local medical communities. Maureen visited several doctor and medical facilities. They were written about previously but the main issue, a new hip, will be addressed this summer in New York.
Between voyages, Kalunamoo goes to “shipyard” for M&R. We still live aboard but usually take extended visits back to New York to see family and friends. This time is no different other than Maureen’s anticipated surgery in NY in August. We hope to be back on board in mid to late September.
So here we are on the hard in Power Boats along with a number of other cruisers that we know. Most spend a few weeks here and then leave for the summer at their home base or continue to travel sans boat. The community of cruisers are always on the move even when off their boats. I suppose that is one common element that is shared by all.
We will be here until mid-July which gives us time to do some M&R. I have already pulled the main engine heat exchanger. On the day we motor-sailed down from Grenada, I noticed that the engine temperature was creeping up. Lowering the RPM’s also reduced the temperature. That was a good indication that the cooling system needed to be looked out. Thinking back over the last few months, whenever we used the engine it seemed a little louder than usual. The problem was that less cooling water was flowing into the muffler and made the sound louder. That is a very early sign of a restricted water flow. The exchanger was cleaned out with muriatic acid and reinstalled and looks fine now.
The Heat Exchanger
We contracted with Tony, a local worker, to strip, sand, repair, epoxy and varnish Kalunamoo’s interior wood flooring. He will also do some touch up varnishing to the companionway ladder and some bulkhead areas. This will all be accomplished when we are off the boat. If all goes well, it will be completed by the time we return. Keeping in mind “island time”, I hope the three-week job will be completed in 2 months.
I will need to re-bed some ports and hatches as leaks always develop in these areas. Fortunately, the main deck that was extensively repaired three years ago is leak proof. When we return and before the boat returns to the water the boat will get a new coat of bottom paint.
A good cruising friend didn’t come down the Caribbean this season but worked on his boat up north. He did a lot of work on his boat during the winter and wondered if that would be considered a “re-fit”. There is a fine line between “re-fit” and “M&R” and I’m not sure where that line lies. All I know is that cruising and living aboard full time requires constant attention to keep the vessel “seaworthy”.
In the meantime, not all our time here is spent on boat work. Tonight, as on all Thursdays, is pot-luck BBQ night. Cruisers gather to cook something on the barbie and share a dish with all. Friday night is music night with a musical jam session with whoever is around. Unfortunately, after many years here the main organizer, Peter, left Trinidad along with his sound equipment. A few other long-time jam cruisers and locals have also moved on. This means that in the last two weeks, only myself and a guitarist were playing. This is somewhat disappointing, but maybe more will show up in the weeks ahead.
Sunday afternoon Dominoes is still going strong along with the local Shark and Bake Saturday night dinners at the Wheelhouse, Wednesday’s Fish special and Jesse James’s island tours and events. Trinidad always seems to have events going on where music and a good time can be found. We recently took a tour to see a local craftsman that makes Steel Pans (AKA Steel drums). We also visited the Angostura Bitters distillery in Port of Spain. I wrote an article about these for the Caribbean Compass. They plan to publish it in the August edition. If not, I will post it in this blog.
Voyage number 9 is complete and after a “re-fit” over the summer, for us and Kalunamoo, we hope we will continue on to our next voyage.