Work hard, play hard. That was always Dave’s mantra, even in the workplace. His associates knew and appreciated this. As long as the work was completed on time, Dave would be first in line to play ping pong or foosball or hang out at a bar. Our boat life is very much the same. Friends ask us what we find to do all day. But anyone who has followed our blog has seen Dave ripping apart heads, me hanging upside-down behind refrigerators, and our visitors getting their hands dirty to help out. A boat just isn’t the same as a house. The environment is very hard on electronics, plumbing, rigging, etc. There is always a laundry list of things to do. And speaking of laundry… We do not have a washer and dryer, so I get elbows deep in buckets washing and wringing our clothes before hanging them on a line strung all around our cockpit. It’s not an easy life and it’s not for everyone, but it certainly has its perks.
We might be “fixing our boat in exotic places,” but we also get to explore and play in those places. If we don’t, it is entirely our own fault. The day after we arrived in St Martin, I received an invitation from Caroline on Lequesteau to go to the Women Who Sail Luncheon at the Princess Port de Plaisance Resort and Marina.
It is always nice getting together with other lady sailors and swapping stories. I was fortunate enough to sit with Caroline, Susan from Alpenglow, and Sally from Milly.
After lunch, we had access to the pool, which wasn’t deep but it was long and great for laps. I think I did two. Haha! This was play time after all. After swimming, talking and eating, I felt relaxed and refreshed and ready to continue the boat work.
First on the list was fixing the wind generator. Dave and I had taken it down to try to replace the yaw bearing, but failed miserably getting in way over our heads. We were able to replace it on the pole but could not hook up the wires. Dave from Custom Fit Marine came to our aid and it took all three of us to get the job done. We still haven’t replaced the yaw bearing, but the noisy wobble has mysteriously disappeared. We’ll just go with it. Shew! That was enough work for one day. More play time needed.
More friends arrived, so we planned a happy hour at Lagoonies with Brita and Jason on Blue Moon, Ed and Cheryl on Slow Down, Milly, and Alpenglow. Ed arrived prepared as usual and shared his bug spray with the rest of us forgetful people. I always forget how bad the mosquitoes and sand flies can be. Now we have the Zika virus to worry about! This is a bad one for pregnant women, so if you don’t know about it please Google it. It is an epidemic in the states as well. I am glad to be past that stage of life!
Mason from Out of Africa provided entertainment for the night. I think he just played and sang straight up that night, but he sometimes does his own mixing where he records a few bars and plays it, repeating the process several times. So that when he plays the song he has 4 or 5 tracks he recorded going at the same time. Quite impressive. Mason is a bit of an institution around St Martin and you should go see him if you are in the area.
We admired Dan and Melissa’s LED strip lights that they installed in their boat, Slow Dancing. They are really bright and light the cockpit up — just what we need. We found the LED strip we were looking for at Budget Marine and bought 40 feet of red and black wire to install it. Believe it or not, we decided to do this project all on our own.
We decided where to put it, cut it to size, ran the wires through the bimini down into the hull and to the electrical panel at the nav station, temporarily affixed the strip with adhesive, and then permanently attached it with brackets. Anyone who has run wiring through a boat knows this was not an easy job. But we came and we conquered.
It came out looking professionally installed! We were very proud of ourselves. And you know what else?
It worked! You can’t tell from the picture because I focused on the lights, but it lights up the cockpit like daylight. I mean it is bright! And it uses less than 1 amp hour of power, less than the cockpit lights. Awesome! We received a package days later that included a 12v dimmer switch that Dave has also installed and it works great! What an awesome solution for boats. The strip is encased in rubber or silicon and Dave finished the edges with silicon to seal it and keep it waterproof. Perfect!
We truly earned a night out with that job done. But, aside from the food, the best thing about Lee’s BBQ is the bathrooms. I could sit in there for an hour reading all the fun things they have posted on the walls.
We started out having our engines professionally serviced. Then Dave learned how to do it and now he takes care of them, too. It is a dirty job, but not as gross as the plumbing! One of my jobs was provisioning. I hate shopping but Dave hates it worse, so I took the car and ran the errands. St Martin is a great island for shopping. I found kitchen items and parts for another project of mine at Ace Hardware, bulk items like drinks and paper towels at Prime, some favorite flavors of home at Grand Marche’, and the normal grocery items at Carre Four. I also found a sewing shop that sells machines. I had to leave my sewing machine in California and have been missing it – like when I hand stitched the patch onto the dining seat cover. My fingers were sore for days! I bought a machine and was trained on how to use it, what threads and needles to use for what projects, and why the machine comes with so many feet. So you can see what my next chore will be. Again we earned some fun time, but that deserves a blog of its own. Next up… The Heineken Regatta.