Boat Chores - a never-ending saga

Yes, we're in exotic Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni in French Guiana, moored in the middle of a river and yes, most definitely, as David pointed out, we're doing boat chores. It's a fact of life for a liveaboard sailor that the boat always needs attention, especially after a long ocean passage. And so, midst our excitement about arriving in a new port, we're also allocating time to getting Cups back in shape. She looks great from a distance, but when you get close up … she needs work. cups at a distance

I removed all the dorades, polished them and sanded the insides to prepare them for painting. In the meantime, after removing the dorades, I found even more Luderitz sand clogging the dorade bases, so I cleaned out the sand before replacing the dorades. Once the dorades were painted. I got started on the stainless.

dorades ready to paint

David has been working on scraping and sanding the port cap rails, eyebrow and deck boxes which are in desperate need of re-varnishing. It's hot and steamy during the days, so we've been trying to get up extra early and work when it's cooler. Varnishing and painting, unfortunately, have to wait till later as it's quite dewy first thing in the mornings.

sanding the cap rail

There's a long list of little chores to do. David's been flitting from one tiny chore to another when he can't work on the sanding. A couple of snaps have pulled out of the dodger windscreen cover and he replaced them with twist-locks. Of course, nothing's ever as easy as it seems. Before replacing the snaps with twist-locks, I needed to sew in little reinforcement pads.

twist locks on the windscreen

And then, the DC connector on his laptop was flaky and needed replacing. He added a fan to my side of the bunk in the aft cabin (thank you, thank you, thank you!). The watermaker got pickled (too silty in the river to make water) and he changed the water filter on the fresh water pressure system. He climbed the mast for a quick check and fixed the HF radio antenna at the same time. In the heat of the day, we've been trying to get some writing done.

new fan

In addition to boat maintenance and repairs, there was two month's worth of laundry that had accumulated since since we left Luderitz. Lots of heavy sweatpants and shirts and fleeces from the “cold days” had piled up, not easily washed by hand. Plus sheets, towels...oh, was nearly overwhelming. Additionally, with the heat, we go through t-shirts and shorts at an alarming rate. There's one washer at the marina office, a super-duper industrial size that holds 15 kg, and I've filled it to capacity twice... and there's still more to do. With 10 boats on moorings here, you have to wait your turn to use the washer. The dryer doesn't work well and takes forever, so I bring the wet laundry back and hang it on the line to dry. With the heat and a light breeze, it dries in a snap. It's just a major time waster getting it ashore, waiting for it to cycle through, then bringing it back to hang on the line. It is, however, what it is.

a pile of laundry on nine of cups

David has been hauling water since we can't make water in the silty, brown river. We filled our tanks while still at sea, but we're consuming lots with cleaning, bathing and just drinking. He fills water jugs across the street from the marina, while I'm doing the laundry or disposing of the trash.

hauling water

There's the usual clean-up after a long passage. I continue to sweep up Luderitz sand and the decks need scouring, but not until the sanding is done. Additionally, the locals burn wood fires and we regularly find ash and soot on the boat. There are lockers to be cleaned out and gear still to be stowed. Luckily, we haven't felt much like eating in all the heat, and we're content to subsist on salads and sandwiches and fruit, juices and water...and cold beer. Easy on the cook.

Of course, the incentives to completing the long list of tasks are that 1) Cups will look lovely again, and 2) we get to do some fun stuff which is all the more appreciated after the hard work is done... a visit to Cayenne in the near future seems likely. Then, we'll be ready to leave and start all over in some other exotic place...Suriname, maybe?