three hulls, two people, one trip around the world…

Linton Bay – On the Hard

A sailboat does not belong on land. But you can’t paint the underwater hull in the water. Since we still remembered from our stay in Vacamonte two years ago what kind of work we had to do, we were not exactly looking forward to the crane appointment. But “what must be done, must be done”. So we went to Linton Bay more often and pushed a little to get a place. Of course it didn’t work out for the announced date. Half a day of heavy rain had upset the schedule. We spent the night in the crane harbour basin. We thought that was OK, because we could be sure not to be forgotten the next day. We almost had to give up our waiting place again because a boat was towed into the harbour, that had stranded on a reef. It was supported at the bow with floats. But it was placed in front of the slip ramp.

The next day we only had to go out again briefly so that a catamaran could be lowered into the water, on whose landing place we were supposed to go. The catamaran still had engine problems and had to be towed to its marina berth. There was a further delay, as initially no operational dinghy could be found. Finally the time had come and we could be hooked up, or rather hooked into the harnesses. Mathias had collected many photos for the correct support on land. how it had already worked with our sister ships. We only wanted to have tripod supports this time, not large-scale supports on piles of wood, so that there would not be so many spots left in the new antifouling, that would have to be reworked on the last day.

Our boat was on the hard with a slight list to starboard. This is not unusual , as the rigging is not 100% straight either, but the list was stronger than usual and every time I climbed the ladder over the outer hull into the boat, I had the impression that it was even more leaning. It was my imagination, of course, but it reinforced the feeling that “this boat doesn’t belong here”. 

The work was not half as bad as it had been in Vacamonte. We had taken good care of the underwater hull, so we were able to clean it quickly. Then we repaired a few spots and soon it was time to repaint. We had bought too few paint trays and Mathias also thinks I don’t paint thoroughly enough. So he heroically took it upon himself to apply the antifouling alone. It took about 4 hours to apply one coat of paint to all three hulls. Because we had too much paint, there were 4 coats of paint in total. 

The marina in Linton Bay is unpretentious and is located in the middle of the jungle. On the premises there is the marina restaurant, some small snack bars, a petrol station, a mini shop. We didn’t try any of these out, but every day except Sunday Charlie comes with a pick-up full of fruit and vegetables and some frozen meat. And I bought fruit almost every day. So there was freshly squeezed juice in the morning and lots of grapes to keep Mathias’ morale high. We showered in the marina. The showers there are clean, but otherwise nothing great. Hot water is a matter of luck and one evening the water was completely out. 🙁 We couldn’t let any waste water run off the boat, as it would run over the hulls. So cleaning and washing dishes was difficult. 

But after only 10 days, the unsightly state was brought to an end and it we could go back into the water. We even spent half a day hanging in the straps on the travelift to paint the places where the prop heads of the tripods had been. We also had to use the time to remove the adhesive tape strips we had used to mask off the edge of the antifouling surface. This is normally no problem at all, but we had bought the masking tape in Panama and there are apparently differences in quality, as we were told. So we got the worse one, and it got wet and was therefor not so easy to remove. 

Full of anticipation, we walked alongside the SAN as she was slowly driven towards the water by the travel lift. But to avoid unnecessary hectic, there was a heavy rain shower and we had to wait a while again. Then finally: Ship in the water, us on board and off we went. Almost. First, the helper on the jetty pointed out that the engine was not spitting out cooling water. Keep calm, don’t panic straight away. Mathias went into the engine room, took a look around, came back up and tried again. Now the water flowed. Maybe it just took a while for the engine to suck in water again. It doesn’t matter, the main thing is that it works. We happily left the harbour basin and drove a few metres further to the petrol station. Fully fuelled, we sailed to our old anchorage in front of the marina.

All that was missing now was a big shopping, so that Mathias would feel we couldn’t starve. On Tuesday, we had ordered a taxi for this purpose, which drove us out of the jungle and to the nearest town with a larger supermarket, that is, a supermarket at all and not a mini-market as usual in the area. You have to drive for an hour to get there. The taxi waits and also takes you back. The ride costs 60 dollars. To make it worth the effort, you have to buy a lot. So our pantry shelves are well stocked again. We even took a few fresh things for another boat. For them we’ll play supply ship.

Mathias had met a Danish couple through his anchor calculations who were currently in the San Blas archipelago, our next destination. We set off the same day. Sailing genoa only should at least put us in a more favourable starting position for the trip to the San Blas Islands. Unfortunately, the wind was not enough and at the end of the day we had to motor. It was getting dark and just as we were about to anchor, it was raining cats and dogs, no moon was shining, there was zero visibility. Romantic sailing is something different. The anchorage was a bit rolly, but the joy of being back on the water with the boat outweighed it all.

In this area, wind is a matter of luck. Since there was none for the trip to San Blas, Mathias decided to give the turbo of the engine a good blast. The freshly cleaned hulls, the cleaned and well greased propeller reduced the water resistance and we were cruising at an average of 7 knots and 2300 RPM. The second autopilot still needs help, it is not yet properly calibrated and still sometimes runs out of control.

At our destination, Cayo Coco Bandero Island, we got a warm welcome and were invited to dinner the next day.

We are back with the palm trees and and the breathtaking sunsets. 🙂

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