Sailing Adventures on Clarity
After years of looking at sailboats or SV's (Sailing Vessels) online and in person we found the one for us - or Rick did. There have been a few that we let get away but this time Rick knew this was the boat for us. He knew she would sail well be large enough to live onboard. She is a solid boat when you're sailing and even I can feel how she wants to take off and keep going. She is a real ocean going boat and sails beautifully.
She is a 2009 Hylas 54 Center Cockpit and our new home for a good part of this year. It's an adventure which we are now a few months into - me the not so sure about this sailor and at the helm Captain Rick eager to get out there and do it all. A lot has happened in a few months and we've had some wonderful times with friends new and old. Here are some of the highlights so far......
On the Hard
Our launch date was October 26 and we arrived a few days early to start getting ready. We had arranged for a few things to be done over the summer and then there are things that need to be checked every year or every few years. On the new list was - new canvas which looked great. New rigging which unfortunately wasn't finished and would take another few weeks to actually be completed. But that's how it is. We also met with the safety people who inspect the lifeboats and we had instructions on how to deploy it and the opportunity to see it open! It's important to have a look at it and understand how to get on it and to also know what is in your survival kit which can be personalized. Not that we plan to use it but important safety info all the same.
We had cushion covers to put back on the mattresses, cockpit cushions to be brought back, and months of dust to clean off the wood. Then we had Starling to install for our WiFi - that was an interesting job of running wires, swearing and finally "Yay" we're connected!!
The photo above is from the boat when it is up out of the water, or on the hard, looking out over all the other boats sitting side by side. It's quite a site!
I found it fascinating to see the boats launched. This lift is quite large and can take catamarans and yachts. When they pull her out they send divers to place straps underneath her. Launching her they connect the straps and then she is lowered several feet and then they they wait to hear from the captain that she is sound and not leaking before they lower her fully!
Our friend's boat went in and then had to be pulled out again as he had several leaks - which happens. These aren't big leaks but maybe where the seal isn't tight or there's a problem with a seacock.. As he said there are 30 some holes in a boat and only 3 were leaking - that's nothing.
Grenada had a very hot summer and it was in the 90's when we arrived. In fact the locals kept saying it was too hot! So working on the boat with little air movement was uncomfortable and some days unbearable but there wasn't any place to escape to. The yard is hot and dusty with no shade and the air is thick with the smell of paint and people sanding. So we were ready to move on but we were held up for a few days which is the Tao of Boats. Ask any boater. It came to a head for me when I ordered a vegetarian pizza one night and it arrived. The vegetable? Peas!!! A Pea Pizza!! I've warned everyone not to order a vegetarian pizza there! After a few more HOT nights we were very happy to be heading to the dock Port Louis. Dock = electricity = AC.
Taking a break
After 10 days of getting the boat ready, getting work done, arranging for things to be finished, and a lot of cleaning inside and out, provisioning, and trying to get parts we were ready for a break. This is the beautiful Grand Anne beach. We have to remind each other sometimes to stop and enjoy where we are.
We have spent months in Grenada both last spring/summer and this fall. It's a beautiful island and one of my favorites. I like the people!!
The rental car agency has been great with us and we would rent for a few days and then they would pick up the car and then we would call and get a car for a week which was great. It gave us a chance to explore but it also gave Rick and I a way to run errands, to go to the grocery store, or marine store or whatever we needed to do. Or one day I grabbed my neighbor and we went in search of a hinge for one of her cabinet doors - there are a lot of Hardware stores on the island! And while we were at it we hit ACE hardware where they have a home goods section and also my favorite dollar store for containers. There's something nice about spending time in a place........ it's a great island with one of the most beautiful beaches, great chicken roti, hikes and places to explore and then there's always chocolate and rum!!!