With Windependent in Valencia for so long I took the opportunity of having some more work done on her, opening up the starboard fore peak to make a sail locker, fitting a gangway, a shoe rack and getting the engines and fire extinguishers serviced ….. and of course I had to come back a couple of times to check up on the work.
My first visit at the end of May was pretty un eventful, with the work just starting but my return at the start of July was busier.
With the work in the starboard forepeak complete I have now acquired about 4 extra cubic metres of storage. So my first job was to fit 12 large cleats in my new sail locker on which to hang mooring lines and control lines for my cruising chute and the Code Zero sail I am buying from North Sails who have a sail loft in Valencia.
Windependent also needed a good wash down. First I found my compact expanding hose had rotted so my hard plastic hose came out and then I broke the handle of the deck wash brush. We had bought it with us from the UK and, realistically, it was never meant for scrubbing decks, more suited to gentle car washing. That said it did sterling service and has now been replaced with the marine version; you could pole vault with this version, it’s massive – apparently, with the correct attachment, it can become a boat hook as well!
The gangway was simple to fit but with the outer end resting on the pontoon it risks damage if the boat moves around too much, or we get to a marina where the boat is lower than the quayside – I needed to support the outer end. So I have now fashioned a bridle which attaches to the Main Halyard (the rope that pulls up the Main Sail) which keeps the gangway off the pontoon, and a couple of guy ropes to stop it waggling about. This is the working prototype and the design will evolve.
The other job that needed doing involved the washing machine. To keep it still it is anchored with a ratchet strap and previously it had broken free, the strap was secured to by 2 brackets and 4 small screws. I made some large wooden brackets at home and have used some proper screws. Fitting those went well but I found the strap had worn badly at the brackets; it will fail soon but I now have a new one on stand by and will use bits of the old one to protect the new!
The fire extinguishers are only a year old and ‘as new’; however, they should be inspected and certificated annually, so I did. It’s like insurance, you’ll never actually need it, will you …..?
And so we can now look forward to our return on 1 August, to begin our life as ‘live aboards’. But there are 25 busy, busy days of down sizing to get through before then.