Zeezwaluw Post number 3
Yes, Zeezwaluw is floating again after 4 weeks on the hard in Curaçao Marine. The last “Post” told the crew went to Holland for a drivers licence and came back with the flu, (and the drivers licence). It took some time to recover as this flu was a nasty one, or …. the crew have zero tolerance for the Northern germs. Hence, the planned “yard time” had to be postponed till February 26.
In the early morning of February 26 the crew pulled the anchor after about 3 months in Spaanse Water (SW). On their way to the narrow and shallow entrance channel, they found out the depth sounder did not work. Luckily it was on their way out of SW, so they knew to stick to the middle of the channel, the deepest part. All went well.
After 2 hours motoring they approached the Pondjes Bridge in the Anna Baai. The bridge opened after 10 minutes waiting time. Passing the bridge Zeezwaluw became the objective of many cameras along the bridge. The crew assumes Zeezwaluw will appear in many holiday pictures of the cruise ship passengers. Just before 10 a.m. they moored alongside the pontoon at Curaçao Marine, for the haul out.
At 11 o’clock Zeezwaluw was hauled out and rested on the trailer for pressure washing. By 1 p.m. she was standing on supports near our friends at “SV Hanna” (US) and “SY Rafiki”(NL). It was time for the crew to adjust Zeezwaluw to land conditions. (Hose pipe in the outlet of the galley sink draining in a bucket, digging out all the tools and paint equipment etc.).
Next day the real work started. First was to attack the Raymarine depth sounder problem. Could they get it working again or not??? To be honest, they did not try very hard for it was 23+ years. Due to the shape of the hull underwater, the depth sounder was installed in a “little boat-shaped” protrusion.
The first week Riens spent with looking at the internet and local chandlers, for a replacement Raymarine depth sounder fitting in the old housing. No success or way too expensive. By searching the internet Riens found at SVB in Germany a complete new set of depth and speed instruments (including 2 cables and combi display) for a third of the price as at the Chandler IWW in Curaçao. March 11 it was ordered and SVB would send it to “ship in Transit” at Curaçao Marine in Curaçao. Now the normal yard work could be divided between the crew.
Riens’ goal was to get out the leaking and temporarily fixed bronze thru-hull fitting (epoxy underwater putty and epoxy + fiberglass mats). This was the reason why Zeezwaluw had to go on the hard in the first place.
So the next few days Riens was busy on his knees, working upside down under the floor to get to the thru-hull. Once the old one was out, the new Maralon thru-hull fitting could be installed. So, one problem out of the way and a job well done, the columnist thought.
Ineke was in charge of “the bottom job”. Scraping the barnacles off and sanding the bottom. Thereafter she had to repair the tiny spots with epoxy filler to get the bottom smooth again. Together they applied 3 coats of antifoul (Micron 66) and a 4th coat on the rudder and the wind and water line. Job done too! (as well as the other haul out maintenance jobs)
Almost all jobs were done by the end of March except the installation of the depth sounder. Why???
Well the delivery by DHL Post of the parcel from Germany to Curaçao took some time. First the parcel was gathering dust at the collecting facility of DHL Germany for 1 week according the Track & Trace system. Thereafter it was at Curaçao Customs for a few days. Then the T&T system became confusing. Contacting DHL office in Curaçao learned that their office only does “Express” deliveries. Zeezwaluw’s parcel should be at the post office. The crew went to the post office for collecting the parcel, there the answer was; “no parcel”, yet. The following days, contacting the post office by phone did not work.
In the mean (waiting) time we enjoyed our view of the yard from the bow, while the yard staffs was renewing the grit so she would look at her Easter best!
Finally Melissa, of the office of Curaçao Marine tracked down the parcel, after 2 days of telephone calls. The parcel for Zeezwaluw was sitting in the other Post Office in Willemstad! Grrrrr! To make a long story short, Riens walked to town and collected our precious parcel and walked back with the large parcel too (total 5,5km). It was March 28 by then.
Just before Easter the crew was able to start the process of removing the old instruments, cables and display before installing the new equipment. Easter Monday (a holiday in Curaçao) they were ready with all the jobs. Time for consulting with the yard manager about splashing day! The first opportunity was April 4, the next day at 8 o’clock in the morning. Well, that was excellent!
The columnist was informed and he came for the splash party and made pictures and a little movie of the happening. Enjoy Zeezwaluw’s slow and careful ride on the trailer and getting into the water again.
The next few days the crew will prepare the boat in Curaçao Marine marina for the 500 Nm sail to Sint Maarten. Keep an eye on Marine Traffic for Zeezwaluw’s departure from Curaçao and arrival in Sint Maarten.
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