Learning Curves – Part 1

Learning curves are steep around here…

Story 1:

Jon arrived at 2:30am, after 24 hours of travel (involving 2 cancelled flights, 1 missed connection, and 1 ten-hour bus through the Mexican desert)... but by the end of that first day, he had half the boat scraped (2" at a time, with the carbide-scraper)


Cracked gelcoat

...But what did all that scraping unveil? What was underneath 30 years of built up old bottom paint? A tiny little crack in the keel...


...Which it turned out was actually not just a little crack at the bottom of the keel, but actually a giant crack running up both sides of the keel, parallel to the rudder. NOT WHAT WE WANTED TO FIND!!!


gelcoat crack

What to do? Ignore the problem? Hope it goes away? Or grind the damn thing down and see what's underneath...


working on the gelcoat crack

Jon ground out all the cracked / old material, and then started the process of rebuilding it


Workyard Teachers at Marina Seca

Once we (aka: Jon) opened up the crack, we discovered it was actually a joint, most likely from the original lay-up of the boat. Thankfully the workyard here at Marina Seca has lots of Teachers (as above) so Jon's been getting lots of advice on how to fix & re-fibreglass this area. Only time will tell if this permanently fixes the problem!!!


Lesson learned: Under 30 years of old bottom paint, you may find 30 years’ of problems. Also, cruisers in the workyard are *ridiculously* helpful and wonderful and willing to impart advice (and tools) and general moral support / ribbing any time of day 🙂

This was my Monday… How was yours??

First things first, I climb down the ladder and shake my head at the amount of work this bottom needs... see that little white spot in the middle? It all needs to look like that.


But then I walk around to the stern, and smile at the fresh slate waiting for the new name (I scraped off all of the old one with an expired credit card :P)


Head for the showers, avoiding any cucarachas on the floor...


Stop at the cabinet makers, where I pantomine "shelves" for a bit, then sit on that bucket for about an hour while I wait (I think??) for my shelves to be cut! The grand total for two shelves, custom cut, and the stringers to support them on is $4.50 CDN


Come back to the boat, try to mount the shelves, discover I need to go back to the school of "measure twice, cut once" (but I will make them work tomorrow); get a quote from the workyard to sandblast our bottom for us... for $650 USD (3 weeks worth of our budget, so that won't be happening); but discover that there's still half an onion and a potatoe so I have the ingredients for a meal I actually know how to make: fried onions and potatoes 😀 Notice the gorgeous sheen of sweat from the 7:30pm temperatures!! Or maybe from those potatoes...

Vancouver > Phoenix > San Carlos

The compulsively-weighed luggage... pretty sure I weighed each piece ~45 times, only to have the airline lady say "any luggage over 50 pounds?" I said "nope", she said "great", and off we went. Brother!!


Disaster area ~ Trying to unpack the aforementioned luggage!!!


View from the dry storage @ Marina Seca ~ pretty darn nice!!


Phoenix wins the “paint-store-with-the-best-customer-service” award; having followed my carefully plotted & pre-printed bus route to get the ICI/Dulux store (where J had pre-ordered all the paint we needed for the boat), I discovered that actually there are six ICI stores in Phoenix… and this was not the one that had my paint!

Demonstrating super-star customer service, the manager called all the paint stores, tracked down my order, sent a guppie to pick it up AND deliver it to my hotel (the ever-so-lovely Econolodge, in the best part of town), and then drove me home!!

I was seriously impressed.

Luck held for the bus trip; me and my 4 bags made it on to the bus without any hassles (despite many signs stating “one bag weighing a maximum of 60 pounds per passenger”), through the border without any trouble (I pushed the red light / green light thingy… got a green light… and was sent on my way!), and then on to the boat without any issue (literally 4 of the guys at the work-yard came running to help me get the bags on to the boat… amazing!).

So for all the pre-trip stressing, it was an incredibly easy and wonderful trip, and now I am so so so SO happy to be onboard Brio!! I’ve been cleaning and organizing and sorting for the last two days… and have even found an internet connection for when we’re actually in the water! Happy-happy-happy!!!

SO impressed with my new "banda ancha movil" (aka mobile internet stick)


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