|Perry on the hard, complete with a grand staircase|
|After seeing The Karate Kid, the boys have been into beating|
each other up. Okay, they were already into that.
The trouble started when the company we were using to take off the bottom paint showed up and started work by blasting away with a new machine that's similar to sandblasting, but more controllable and less damaging. It's a bad sign when workers start shaking their heads and looking at you like you were just diagnosed with a terminal illness. The test strips they blasted away revealed a large number of small cosmetic blisters in the gel coat of our bottom. It seems that being in warm water can accelerate blistering and we have certainly spent a lot of time in warm water, especially in the last year with the warm, El Nino waters of the Pacific. Because of the blistering, it appears we will need to take off more than just the old paint and also remove the gel coat. Unfortunately, the garnet blasting method is not the most effective method for doing this. As a result, we are looking at a much more expensive removal method, as well as additional repairs to fair the hull. The good news is that we caught the situation early enough and the blisters aren't in the fiberglass, so nothing structural is compromised. Still, grrr.
The over 17,000 nautical miles Perry has traveled over the last three years have taken their toll. Our mainsail and dinghy, which have limped along for the last 12 months, have been taken out into the field and shot. New ones are on order. Matt will also be restringing our trampolines, replacing our main halyard and reefing lines, installing new shaft seals, as well as a bunch of other projects we have been postponing until we returned to civilization.
We are getting used to being on the hard, which has good and bad points. The yard is paved, which means we don't have dust all over our boat every day, the staff is friendly and competent, and the facilities are nice . We are getting our exercise from the quarter-mile walk to/from the bathrooms and the climb up and down the stairs to get into the boat. The available of free, fast Wi-Fi has turned Conrad from a book-loving boy to an internet-obsessed maniac. He has downloaded an app to learn karate, has started emailing his grandparents and new bestie Michael, and loves to window shop on-line.
We are excited to start the road trip portion of our visit. We have also been getting used to the local lingo. Did you know that Kiwis (and Brits) spell it 'kerb' instead of 'curb'? I know, I'm easily amused.