(Bring Your Own Dinghy)
Take one large steel work barge, one length of concrete pontoon and a small tug; add a bar under a marquee roof on the barge and a band under a bimini on the aft deck of the tug plus some sizeable speakers, some bench seating and a large number of sailors and you have a unique concert in the bay. The three of us like everyone else arrived by boat at the floating concert venue moored in the middle of Clarke Court Bay, Woburn, Grenada on Wednesday afternoon. And like many people we came armed with vouchers for a free beer courtesy of Island World chandlery where we had been shopping for boat bits a few days previous.
By the time the band struck up their first notes there were around thirty or forty yacht tenders tied to the barge, pontoon or to each other. Water taxis delivered yet more of the audience and then the Rum Runner, a two storied steel catamaran, like a river fun boat turned up bringing another bar and a couple of hundred more people to swell the audience. A local sailing work boat with lateen rigged tan sails worked it’s way to windward then rounded up to come alongside the bar on the steel barge, it’s lady skipper danced her way through the concert in its foredeck.
The band appropriately named the Rocking Pontoons was excellent, the audience friendly and the sun shone. Paul and Kevin choose to sit on benches on the pontoon whilst I lounged leisurely in the dinghy chatting to the occupants of neighbouring boats. From four thirty until sunset the band played and we all had a great time. Then before darkness fell the three of us headed up the bay to Clarke Court Marina for a burger supper, dancing to another talented band (a former Icelandic popstar dazzling us guitar, a local physics teacher with an incredible voice plus an expat Brit drummer) for a few more hours. Finally around nine pm we sought out Temptress in the dim light of a new moon, getting more than a little damp motoring the dinghy up wind to where she lay at anchor above Hog Island. All in all one amazing afternoon of music and fun and you can watch a bit of the action here.
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
|The base showing the sheared bolts|
Within an hour a temporary repair was rigged tying the fitting at the end of the wire to the toe rail in three places using a length of dyneema (ultra strong rope like steel). The shroud itself is not too structurally important unlike the wires that run from the top of the mast to the deck but it is still part of the whole rig and would affect performance and could compromise things in windier weather on the other tack when it would be under tension as the mast leans away from it.
|The workshop - the blue box became the workbench|
By first light Kevin had thought through a potential solution which would involve drilling out the original bolts from the deck fitting, knocking through the remaining stumps in the deck then using the largest bolts we had on board bolt, bolt through fitting, deck and the under deck base plate. The heads of the original bolts had been welded into the fitting so it was going to be a tough job making the holes.
|Under deck the old bolts looked firm|
Eventually charging took so long that it was easier to empty the aft storage cabin and retrieve the big inverter tucked at the very back. Not an easy task at sea as all our storage boxes had to be stacked up carefully so they didn't fall about the rocking saloon or empty themselves over the floor. Everything survived but we were all hot and sticky by the time it was all tucked away again.
Once the deck plate was bolted in place the shroud could be re-connected and tensioned which was a bit tricky on a bucking boat but Kevin and Joe did a great job. The bottle screw was re-taped and unless you looked closely you'd never know the shroud had been repaired. The next step is to replace the temporary bolts with ones of the correct size, 16 mm purchased yesterday in a local chandlery. The marina staff at Whisper Cove have promised to take Kevin to a workshop later today where he can drill out the deck fitting more accurately with bigger holes as their own press drill is not big enough.
|Charging a drill battery|
|Eventually we had to dig out the big inverter from the very back of the stores|
|Filing the holes out|
|Ready to re-fit|
|Cleaning up the topside and being pleasantly splashed with spray|
|The new bolts in place with lots of washers|
|Re-fitting the shroud to the deck plate|