Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Re rigging the mast

Bonaire and Curacao Our plan was to get to Curacao and on the morning of the 4th remove the mast and replace the standing rigging. (just preventative maintenance) Gary had ordered the shrouds in December from Florida and was assured that they would be on island in plenty of time to start work. Well……….. The first problem was that the guy that promised to remove the mast was in Holland, and the boatyards equipment was too small to lift the mast anyways. We would have to rent a crane. The yard manager (the guy in Holland) had warned us that his crane may be too small but that there were several masts to be stepped that week, and we could share the costs of a crane. Well…except that the boats were in the upper yard and the trailer/travellift was broken and…………….the shrouds were not to be found. The local shipping agent took the tracking number and said “call me back in an hour”….an hour later ”I’m not sure where your shipment is” One long distance call to Fla “It arrived in Curacao last Tuesday”…..Well 3 or 4 days later we determine that the shipment did not leave Fla on schedule and that it might be in the container that was to arrive on Fri……We left the boatyard and motored up to “Spanish Waters” an enclosed bay near the eastern end of the island and had a nice weekend. To make a long story, well less long we got our packages the following Tuesday and the crane reserved for Wed afternoon, things were looking good. The local rigger, Gijs, was able to juggle his other work around so he was available. Wed afternoon arrived, and because of some rain in the morning the crane would be delayed until the next morning. Thursday morning the “crane” somehow arrived under its own power. In Canada this windshield missing rust bucket with exposed wiring, bald tires, and an absolute ass as an operator, would have been condemned as a vehicle, let alone as a crane. But by mid morning the mast was on the saw horses and the work began. Kevin from Solange, Gary, and Gijs worked tirelessly in the hot sun and by mid day Friday the crane arrived and stepped the mast, complete with a gold 5 guilder coin in the step. By the time Bob Matthews arrived Sunday evening the boat was re rigged, provisioned , watered fueled, and ready to go. Monday morning we checked out of Curacao and sailed to Baii Santa Marta, a secluded bay with a very narrow enterance near the Western end of the island in preparation for an early morning sail to Aruba.

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