Neptune appeased, fire dancing, Police visits and galley benches.

Well it has been an interesting week with all sorts keeping us amused. I have been recovering from a cracked rib which kept me very quiet and under control!

Our hotel from hell has been living up to it’s name with new neighbours moving in and livening up the place. Why is that some people think that all others WANT to know what their arguments are about? Do we really want to hear all the gory details? Ray and I don’t but admit we might be in the minority? So, Gary and his ‘wife’ (I think her name was bitch but I could be wrong) moved in for one night on the way to Alabama and decided that all their dirty laundry needed hanging out — right outside our door. Her leaning over the balcony and him in the carpark below exchanging declarations of love and understanding cleverly disguised, if I am not mistaken, as abuse and vitriol. Many names being slung about and aspersions on the ability of each other. Nasty nasty stuff.

Gary finally decided to stop serenading from below and came up to stand in the doorway and test the door jamb as many times as he could with repeated slams. (It survived by the way). By this time we were convinced that they really didn’t like each other very much! The Police finally put in an appearance and talked him down but sadly not down to the station. Turns out he was a veteran having served in Afghanistan and was suffering PTSD. I was really not interested but we had to listen to the whole nine yards and more but eventually he seemed to calm down and the Police left.

The second they left it got really nasty — he started belting the missus — you know the one called bitch! Back came the Police and another long chat was had. (Chatty Police here in the US.) Gary was counselled and advised to seek support for alcohol abuse — really? Think this may be too late. It did go quiet for a couple of hours then at 0330 they thought we had all had a couple of hours sleep and it was time to wake us up again. With great relief I can report that they have returned to ‘Bamma’ and were never heard from again.

For those of you with boats you will know that renaming boats is an undertaking steeped in superstition. Lots of rigmarole — old names off and offered to Neptune then libations of the alcohol variety are offered to Neptune again then the new name is brought onboard. Well we have just never bothered with the whole shebang but two young kids here in the yard have just purchased a new yacht and we were invited to attend the ceremony. Champagne and lots of laughs later they treated us to a fire dance. Fire sticks in the mouth, blowing big flames up in the air, hoola hoops on fire it was just like being back in Fiji outside Cousteaus resort. Fun and slightly silly but so well done.

Willow is nearly there despite all the delays and we should be back in the water within the fortnight but don’t hold your breath! As we are waiting on weather and fibreglass to ‘do their thing’ we have been bored with little we could do. So we decided to remove all the damaged trim. Water damage was extensive and it looked terrible so we had been shown some plastic sheeting that was perfect and we decided to go ahead. The photos tell the whole story with veneer peeling and falling off everywhere.

So many many hours and repairs later we have achieved what we think is a reasonable result. The sheet cost us $20 each and we used up two plus the glue. Bit of bog worked wonders on the wood that had rotted and we were seeing some improvement.

So the saloon is done and the trim is gone and we have a white/teak trimmed/veneer old fashioned boat. Lets face it a 40 year old boat is never going to be modern plastic fantastic or a classic in looks but it is starting to feel more like a home.

But now the next job was staring us in the face. The galley! Again you cannot make a silk purse out of a sows ear (or a Oyster Yacht out of a Kelly Peterson in our case) but the benches in the galley really annoy me. So wandering around Lowes the other day (the US version of our Bunnings in Australia) we found some fake bench top formica that looked reasonable. However our budget is now squeaking so when we found a sheet that had been broken into many smaller pieces. Woo hoo! A little negotiation later and we walked out with $15 worth of smaller pieces. Got to love a good deal when you find one.

So now the galley had to be pulled apart. That turned out to be easier said than done. Ever notice that this is a recurring theme with yachts? So today we pulled out the sink and lifted the ruined bench formica.

The fiddles have been removed and the sink is out but you can see what the bench tops looked like. Old and tatty.
This is the storage box in the only true work bench area I have.

Oh so many hours later Ray managed to get the sink out. At some point in her life someone obviously found a leak and decided to go overboard (scuse the pun) with liquid nails. The sink was literally swimming in a pool of glue inches thick. It might have solved the leak but it made life bloody hard to remove the sink!

Ray lying down on the job again.

Once the sink was removed we started in on the formica bench top and removed all that too. Lots of swearing and oohs and aahs later (the sound effects were because of the bites from the sandflies) we had removed it all.

Isn’t it a thing of beauty? Well it will be — we hope, we think………….well we are going to try anyway. The end of this story will be fulfilled in the next few days as we try out our bargain bits and keep our fingers crossed. The only true downside to all this is the state of Willow in the meantime. What with rudder work, blisters, engine repairs, thru hulls being replaced or removed, antifoul, paint work, bilge painting, trim removal and replacement, painting and now the galley repairs there is a side effect. We actually cannot see the floor anymore. Willow is entirely pulled apart from front to back!

So for now this is our life working all day and then returning to the hotel from hell to (hopefully) sleep, only to get up and do it all again tomorrow. Anyone jealous of this lifestyle is completely nanas.

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