Chocolate and Anti-Fouling

On Friday morning, we continued our work on Beatitude. While Cindy did some interior cleaning, I did a little more sanding on the boat-bottom. I also liberally applied Mary Kate On & Off Hull and Bottom Cleaner to the stains all around the waterline and especially over the rust stains beneath several of the vents and drains. Being out of the water is an ideal time to do this kind of thing. On and Off is miraculous (Although it does eat through two layers of nitrile gloves)! I guess the combination of hydrochloric acid, oxalic acid, and phosphoric acid will just about take care of anything.

Stains beneath the engine exhaust.

Stains beneath the engine exhaust.

Around one in the afternoon, we took a repeat drive up the eastern side of Grenada to visit the Belmont Estate in St. Patrick’s, located not far from the River Antione Rum Distillery. It is a fully functional 17th century estate and plantation situated in a lush, tropical setting. Our tour guide, Meshach (I did ask him if his brothers’ names were Shadrach and Abednego. They weren’t.), was friendly and informative. The plantation’s primary product these days is chocolate although a good amount of nutmeg is also produced. At one time, the Belmont Estate shipped their cacao beans out of the country (to Hershey, for example), but now it all goes to produce their own brand of chocolate, sold only on the island. Mmm, Mmm, Good!

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Cindy stands in front of the split tree.  The 300+ year old bell was rung when it was time to dance on the chocolate beans in large copper pots in order to polish them.

Cindy stands in front of the split tree. The 300+ year old bell was rung when it was time to dance on the chocolate beans in large copper pots in order to polish them.

Every 30 minutes, the chocolate beans are walked through to turn them and mix them to aid in drying.

Every 30 minutes, the chocolate beans are walked through to turn them and mix them to aid in drying.

A sampling of the fruits which grow on the plantation.

A sampling of the fruits which grow on the plantation.

After picking the cacao pods, the beans inside are extracted and placed in these bins to ferment for several days.

After picking the cacao pods, the beans inside are extracted and placed in these bins to ferment for several days.

After fermentation (when the sweetness and flavor develops) they are laid out in these large trays to dry.  Cindy walks through the cocoa beans.

After fermentation (when the sweetness and flavor develops) they are laid out in these large trays to dry. Cindy walks through the cocoa beans.

Hmmm... I bet her toes taste good!

Hmmm… I bet her toes taste good!

Two baby cacao pods growing on the "chocolate" tree.  They not only grow on the branches, but also on the trunk.

Two baby cacao pods growing on the “chocolate” tree. They not only grow on the branches, but also on the trunk.

The 6" long Frangipani Worm (a caterpillar which develops into the Pseudosphinx tetrio moth).  The frangipani tree  has poisonous sap (similar to poison ivy).

The 6″ long Frangipani Worm (a caterpillar which develops into the Pseudosphinx tetrio moth). The frangipani tree has poisonous sap (similar to poison ivy).

The chocolate tasting station.  We tasted 100%, 71%, and 60% chocolate.  The 100% is quite bitter while the 60% is sweetest.

The chocolate tasting station. We tasted 100%, 71%, and 60% chocolate. The 100% is quite bitter while the 60% is sweetest.

The ruins of the mill with waterwheel.

The ruins of the mill with waterwheel.

In the late afternoon, once we had returned to our vessel, I turned my attention once more to the hull. In preparation for applying bottom paint, I masked where the bottom paint meets the topsides and around other objects on the hull onto which we didn’t want to apply anti-fouling.

All masked and prepped for painting (notice the lack of stain, compared with the earlier photo, beneath the exhaust.)

All masked and prepped for painting (notice the lack of stain, compared with the earlier photo, beneath the exhaust.)

Saturday was “Anti-fouling Day!” We weren’t sure if it was going to happen though. We awoke just before 8 a.m. to the sound of rain beating down on our deck. It threatened and rained lightly off and on up until around 11, when we saw blue sky in the direction from which the weather was coming. That was our cue to get down and dirty… literally! We climbed down the ladder off the boat and opened our anti-fouling paint. We purchased four gallons (the stuff is not cheap!). We both attempted to cover most of our bodies with old scrub bottoms and old Georgia Bulldog long sleeve shirts. This would have kept us mostly paint-free if I hadn’t spilled some on Cindy’s leg. 🙂 It took us a little over three hours to apply one entire coat to Beatitude’s bottom, and then apply a second coat over the heavy-wear areas (like the waterline, the front of the hulls, etc.) We were happy when we were done. It is of course almost 90 degrees with tropical humidity, and we were in long pants and long sleeves. The final product looks great, though! Cindy and I feel a sense of accomplishment in having painting our own vessel’s bottom.

Cindy mixing the anti-fouling paint.

Cindy mixing the anti-fouling paint.

Ablative anti-fouling paint going on.

Ablative anti-fouling paint going on.

Painting the port rudder.

Painting the port rudder.

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Laying down on the job.  She actually tripped over the jack. :) The knee held up well.

Laying down on the job. She actually tripped over the jack. 🙂 The knee held up well.

The finished product.

The finished product.

8 thoughts on “Chocolate and Anti-Fouling

  1. I can’t believe that’s chocolate!! I bet it smells yummy!! You two are the most awesome TEAM I know!

  2. Very informative blog, both about your painting and the chocolate bean processing.
    Love the photography.
    Your resume. . gets longer, as you both work on the Beautitude.
    So glad to hear Cindy’s knee is doing so well.
    Wishing you both continued God’s blessings in your travels.

  3. I’m impressed with the paint job! How do
    You paint under the jacks? My boat needs the bottom painted. You may have given me the nerve to try it myself.

  4. Hope you guys publish a book one day about your adventures. Always feel I’m right there with you and you take incredible pics to coincide with your journaling.

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