Once again, it was time for another haulout. We went with Norsand again because we really liked them last time and they sweetened the pot by giving us a good deal. Incidentally, we learned from the owner, Murray, that Norsand got its strange name before it was a boatyard. Murray used to run sand barges up and down the Northland coast and the place where the yard is now was once where he offloaded sand for Whangarei.
Another Haul out...In serious need of some paint!
Unlike the previous year, where we had a lot of work that needed doing, this year, we just needed a dose of regular maintenance. The job that took up most of our time was sanding and painting the bottom. That took a while, not just because of the effort of the job itself, but also because we needed drying time between coats and we were also trying to fit the job into sunny patches between rain showers. I started sanding eight days before we went back into the water and put the last coat onto the bottom of the keels by headlamp as the last light of day was fading the night before.
In between, we squeezed in all of the other jobs that needed doing. We removed and serviced the props, changed the oil in and then painted the drive legs, installed new fairings, then reinstalled and repainted the props again. We replaced some of the older switches on our circuit breaker panel, redid some seals, greased a bunch of stuff and finally got around to replacing the clevis pins in our standing rigging with good, hefty stainless steel bolts.
Kyle does all the toxic work (and the climbing of the mast)
Maryanne is allergic to paint, so that and many of the other especially physical jobs became mine. She spent a lot of time trying to smooth out a gazillion computer issues that have been waiting months for us to finally have good internet. She also did all of the necessary errand running, using a car lent to us by our friends Dave and Lyndon, who delivered it to the yard in advance of our arrival just so it could be of use to us when we got there. All of the boat store, hardware store and machine shop trips, not to mention the grocery store, the post office, etc. were done by her. She even took our old chain to the second hand boat shop (traded it for a spinnaker!), and was up first thing in the morning to drive our anchor to a nearby foundry for re-galvanizing.
We had one night off - for the local cruisers 'Meet and Greet' with a charming display from the local school kids
Despite the fact that there wasn’t as much for us to do this haulout, we also had less time with which to do it, so it seemed much busier. Every morning, we got up in the dark so we would be ready to start working as soon as the light of day started. Then it was a countdown until darkness on the other side of the long, summer day. We tried to have a policy of finishing up at a reasonable hour so we could have the evenings to ourselves, but there was just too much work to be done. Even by taking overly long lunches or just a little too much time to think about what needed doing next, we probably still managed to put in twelve hours of hard work into the fourteen hours of sunlight we had each day.
One particularly rainy day, as we were getting on with our inside jobs list, one of us rescued Ben, one of the boatyard cats, from what was to be a day of trying to stay dry while avoiding the cold winds. He liked it so much aboard Begonia that he stayed snuggled up on our settee for twenty hours straight, purring almost the whole time. He was happy to dutifully do his job as hand warmer, foot warmer and lap warmer for the price of staying out of the rain.
Kyle enjoying plenty of cat time
With the boat out of the water, our heads (toilets) don’t work and we can only use one sink. EVERY trip to the bathroom was an ordeal since we had to climb off of the boat and walk all of the way across the boatyard to use theirs. Waking up in the middle of the night to realize we have to pee and that there’s no way we’re going to be able to ignore it and go back to sleep was especially unwelcome, particularly when we also realized it was raining outside. That round trip was almost certain to wake us up, which got us worrying about the upcoming day’s jobs, which made it that much harder to fall back to sleep. Often, we’d just give up when we knew it was about to start getting light out. Because of this, I think we did the whole 10-day haulout on about 45 hours of sleep. We were SO glad when it was finally over and we got to go back in the water again.
And a rainbow appears just as we are ready to go back in the water
When we got our bill, it was a lot different than last year’s. This year, we did all of the work on Begonia ourselves, so we only had to pay for haulout and storage, minus the discount, so it seemed a lot more tolerable. I guess all of the stores Maryanne went to got our money instead. Norsand even gave us an extra deal. The last line on the bill said: Cat Hire (Ben) – One Day ------------FREE.