Boat Work … Mostly

Life on the hard continues for the crew of Beatitude. We had originally hoped to splash just five days after our haul-out, however, our plans were thwarted by the law of cruising: All boat repairs are more complicated than they first seem, take longer than first planned, and cost a lot more money than first budgeted. The sail drive parts will not be in until sometime next week, so we are likely going to be high and dry for at least another five to seven days.

Beatitude on the hard

Beatitude on the hard

Patience is not necessarily my strong suit, but we’re trying to make the best of the situation. On Tuesday we replaced our anchor bridles on the bow (the two pieces of rope which run from each forward hull to the anchor chain). They had nearly chafed through and their replacement was definitely warranted. We also replaced our outdoor shower which is located on the aft starboard steps. The nozzle had broken and leaked constantly. The new one looks quite nice. We also checked on all our larger projects which are underway: Having the new mainsail made, refinishing our tables, servicing and replacing the seals on our sail drives, and the performance of the warranty work on our Garmin electronics. Its a full-time job keeping a fire lit under Garmin. On Tuesday evening, we enjoyed a nice dinner at the beach bar on the waterfront.

Our old stern shower

Our old stern shower

Cindy finishing up the installation of our new stern shower

Cindy finishing up the installation of our new stern shower

One of our old anchor bridle lines (nearly chafed through at the end) and the new one to take its place.

One of our old anchor bridle lines (nearly chafed through at the end) and the new one to take its place.

Both new bridle lines attached to the chain clip.

Both new bridle lines attached to the chain clip.

Dinner at the Beach Bar at Grenada Marine

Dinner at the Beach Bar at Grenada Marine

The obligatory canine at every restaurant in the islands.

The obligatory canine at every restaurant in the islands.

On Wednesday, we rented a car for the next five days. We’ll be tourists and visit sights around the island, all the while continuing some boat work. In order to rent a car on Grenada, the rental car gentleman had to take us to the Grand Anse Police Station so I could obtain a temporary Grenadian driver’s license. (This was also required on the island of Anguilla when we visited). Our first stop after becoming a legal driver was unfortunately a return visit to the Saint Augustine Medical Clinic to see Dr. Amaechi again. It seems I’ve developed a bad case of Otitis Externa (Swimmer’s Ear), which has made the entire right side of my face quite painful. I have Beatitude pretty well stocked with antibiotics if one of us gets sick, but I forgot the drops for swimmer’s ear. On the way back to Beatitude from the doctor’s visit, we stopped at the well-stocked IGA for groceries (and Diet Pepsi!).

View as we are driving to Saint Augustine's Medical Center

View as we are driving to Saint Augustine’s Medical Center

In the evening, we ventured out on the road after dark. Even in the daytime, driving is an adventure in Grenada. Besides navigating the narrow, curving roads, one must continually swerve back and forth on the road to avoid wandering pedestrians and stopped vehicles along the way. Crank the difficulty level up a couple of notches after dark. Anyway, we successfully made our way to True Blue Bay and back for another evening of good “street food” and live music at the Dodgy Dock. The fall-off-the-bone jerk chicken was amazing!

Dinner at the Dodgy Dock

Dinner at the Dodgy Dock

"Street Food"  One of those containers houses the most tasty jerk chicken!

“Street Food” One of those containers houses the most tasty jerk chicken!

The Dodgy Dock's Obligatory Doggie.

The Dodgy Dock’s Obligatory Doggie.

On Thursday morning, we decided to tackle another job that we had not intended to tackle. Our anti-fouling paint was passable, but since the boat is out of the water, it is difficult to pass up the opportunity to put another coat or two on her. Instead of paying someone else to do it, Cindy and I decided to have a crack at it ourselves. So, we spent the morning getting filthy while lightly sanding (and sometimes not so lightly sanding) the bottom. What a mess!

Cindy sanding the old bottom paint.

Cindy sanding the old bottom paint.

I'm a mess.

I’m a mess.

No more Barnacles for Cindy now that she has a fresh coat of anti-fouling paint!

No more Barnacles for Cindy now that she has a fresh coat of anti-fouling paint!

After all of our hard work, we took the afternoon off for sightseeing. We didn’t have time for much, so we decided to take a trip up the eastern coast of the island to the River Antoine Rum Distillery. These people still make rum much as they did back in the 1700s. The sugar cane is harvested by hand and the machinery which crushes the sugar cane to extract the juice is still powered by the original waterwheel from 1785. This is the oldest functioning waterwheel in the Caribbean (our tour guide said in the Western Hemisphere). Of course, when we were done we were able to test the rum, which is made to 75% alcohol content — That’s 150 proof! (Typical rum is usually around 40%). Let me just say that my palate was destroyed by the high alcohol content although the ride back to St. David’s Harbour was much more relaxed. No… I didn’t drink too much, just a couple of tastes. 🙂

This is the interior of an old abandoned Catholic Church near Grenville.

This is the interior of an old abandoned Catholic Church near Grenville.

The sugar cane fields

The sugar cane fields

The 1785 Water Wheel

The 1785 Water Wheel

The water wheel (on the other side of the wall) turns the gears in this room which in turn crushes the sugar cane.  The juice runs  out from beneath and is directed to another room.

The water wheel (on the other side of the wall) turns the gears in this room which in turn crushes the sugar cane. The juice runs out from beneath and is directed to another room.

The concentrating room.  The juice sits in here for a while and is gently heated to concentrate the sugars in the juice to about 65%.

The concentrating room. The juice sits in here for a while and is gently heated to concentrate the sugars in the juice to about 65%.

Off to the left you can see water and molasses being added to the sugar cane juice to bring up the sugar content.  During the rainy season (now), the juice is often too dilute.

Off to the left you can see water and molasses being added to the sugar cane juice to bring up the sugar content. During the rainy season (now), the juice is often too dilute.

Fermentation going on.

Fermentation going on.

The distillation process where the rum is made.  If the alcohol content is less than 75% it is run through again to achieve the desired concentration.

The distillation process where the rum is made. If the alcohol content is less than 75% it is run through again to achieve the desired concentration.

Cindy in front of a pile of "bagasse," the dried out sugar cane fragments after it has been crushed and the juice has been extracted.  These are used to either fire the oven to heat the juice or as mulch in the fields.

Cindy in front of a pile of “bagasse,” the dried out sugar cane fragments after it has been crushed and the juice has been extracted. These are used to either fire the oven to heat the juice or as mulch in the fields.

8 thoughts on “Boat Work … Mostly

    • This particular distillery produces “Rivers Royal Grenadian Rum.” But they don’t produce enough to export it. I guess there are too many rum drinkers in Grenada.

  1. Wow, you two will be experts at boat maintenance and sailing! When I see stuff fermenting and I really think about it, ugh!!

  2. Very Interesting 🙂 Glad you didn’t have too much of that rum before you drove (your driving is bad enough-ha I mean, it could be dangerous 🙂
    Beatitude will seem like a new boat by the time you get everything done! It’s great that you were able to do some upkeep (i’m sure it is probably some cheaper there to do than it would be to do here, huh?) How did the bottom turn out with you & Cindy doing it? Looked like a dirty job, but if anyone could do it you guys could 🙂 Love you guys!

  3. Wow guys it must seem some days your in full time boat maintenance engineers !
    What a labour of love you have for Beatitude. Hope it’s not too long before your back at sea Xx

    • As they say, “No pain, no gain!” It’s painful now, but we’ll enjoy some nice sailing and relaxing in tropical islands not too far down the road.

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