Sunday June 12, 2005. Barometer 29.5. Steady. Departed Key West in easterly direction about 9:30 a.m. under partly cloudy skies; winds moderate SSE.
Actually the Sirius II with crew aboard departed Peninsular Marina, Stock Island, earlier in the morning, about 6:00 a.m. to return to Key West for fuel and minor provisions. On Stock Island, the only fuel dock, Oceanside Marina, able to accommodate the draft of the Sirius II was closed for electrical repairs, as it had been the entire time the boat was in the boat yard.
The Sirius II was in the yard primarily to clean the marine growth off her bottom and for a new application of antifouling bottom paint. Over the last several years, whenever the boat comes out of the water, I check closely for water blisters that form inside the fiberglass below the water line. As usual, there were several. Before painting, first I had to identify the blisters, drill out the damaged area to a depth of about 1/8 - 3/16 inches, fill and sometimes refill the holes with two-part epoxy and fiberglass cloth, and sand each repair smooth for painting. This is a dirty, time-consuming job.
In accordance with recent EPA rulings, at least the local interpretation thereof, only certified personnel may do the sanding and application of antifouling paint. The yardman explained that the water from the initial wash down when the boat comes out of the water is now filtered before it flows back into the harbor. Yeah, right! The light sanding is done with a sander attached to a vacuum hose, and a thick, absorbent drop cloth covers the ground while applying the paint. This, of course, is an additional charge for me for which I had not budgeted.
But I must admit, in watching the process I am not sure that it works to keep the dregs of the antifouling paint out of the water. For openers, when the newly painted boat goes back into the water, minute particles of paint immediately begin to slough off. This is the nature of the paint. The blister drilling and sanding that I was allowed to do sent a lot of bottom paint into the air and onto the ground. However, this process was developed, I am sure, by someone in good authority and I am utterly convinced that it is working to improve our environment.
Of course the Sirius II was also in need of much bright work for the teak, the stainless steel, a thorough polish for the hull, and miscellaneous repairs including plumbing (ugh) fore and aft and replacing the 12 volt Adler Barbor refrigeration unit.
Crew members nephew Mike Jones jr., from Los Angeles now Seattle, his friend Tennile Monroe, from San Diego now Seattle, provided most of the labor for the maintenance of the Sirius II. The third crewmember, Jim Wiggins, arrived from Los Angeles on his motorcycle the day before we left. All had some sailing experience, which made it an easy task to assign responsibilities and point out the peculiarities of the Sirius II.
Tennile was never asked to, nor was she expected to, but she assumed the role of galley maid and did a remarkable job at keeping the galley organized and our meals on schedule, something I donít do well when left to my own devices. Tennile was quick to see what needed to be done and set about the task.
Crew members were asked to provide minimal dried or canned food to last the length of their stay aboard, in the unlikely event that we would not be able to re-provision in The Bahamas, and liquid refreshments of their choice. (The Sirius II carries 80 gallons of fresh water, plus two jerry cans, but some people prefer bottled water.) Also, they were to bring their own special needs equipment, snorkeling gear and, in the case of Jim, fishing gear and tackle.
Copyright © 2006 Steven Jones. All Rights Reserved.