Wow, I'm feeling just a touch guilty as I've realised it's been nearly a month since I updated the blog which I didn't even notice as I put a post on our Facebook page a few weeks ago and clearly got too sidetracked with Christmas and New Years to even think about updating our blog.
I hope this finds you all well and you've enjoyed Christmas with your loved ones and all toasted 2017 goodbye and welcomed 2018 with open arms. We sure did. While we still have a fair amount of work ahead of us, we are super excited about what 2018 will have in store for us. We will be launching Camara and set off for the islands once again. First time on this boat, however we have done this trip many a times before on our old boat and can't wait for the passage up, our first swim in the warm tropical water AND having fun in the sea & sun doing all the things we love doing and most of all going kite surfing every day and living the island life again!
But as I've just said, heaps of work ahead of us yet. Saying that, we have been busy inside while waiting for gaps in the weather to continue work on the keel which is now finished as well. If you are following our Facebook page you would have already seen her new keel all painted and finished, but for anyone who isn't on social media, here are some pics of the keel sandblasted, primed, faired, sanded and finished painting.
We are really stoked with how the keel has turned out and are equally happy to have been able to move on from this part of the project at last! Well, it was nice to be done with the dirty steel and back braking lead work, however this also meant to get straight back into the grinding to start tackling the next part of the interior job. The starboard diesel and water tanks. Having already done the port side we knew what to anticipate and how much grinding and dust was coming our way but it had to be done to start building again on the next part inside. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the tanks after the grinding and glassing was done but took some photos once the main work was done and the first coat of epoxy flow coat was on as well as once the tops of the tanks were glassed closed again.
We also once again landed up demolishing and removing the entire section of the boat so we could start afresh to build a more practical bathroom with a toilet, shower and to save space the vanity built into the cupboard space of the adjoining berth that will be built above the tanks. To accommodate guests and their needs, we also built a separate head with just a toilet and vanity. As mentioned, above the tanks will be a double berth with cupboard space, however this is open and not a separate cabin as such and can also be utilized as a daybed/couch. Here are some pics of the 'rough' initial built stage. As you can see it becomes more difficult to capture the area with my camera off my phone. I will try and capture some better photos with my proper camera once I get a chance but it gives you an idea of what we are doing. Once again, the focus is on simple, functional and hopefully avoiding any queues for the head (toilet) due to two separate ones available :-)
We've also done little jobs here and there that are hard to capture in a photo but are all the many little things it takes to get the bigger jobs done. It certainly has been a bit more challenging for Peter as well since we have taken down the shed and are more exposed to the elements, especially when it comes to jobs like the building phase when we need to cut ply and can't fit full sheets inside the boat anymore. Luckily on the hard he can still utilize the space below the boat, just a lot more dependent on the weather gods.
This is one of the reasons we have decided to postpone our launch until June. This means we can have everything finished when we launch rather than trying to finish some of the building projects while on the water. The logistics of transporting sheets of ply in our brand new dinghy and then cutting on the deck on the water don't seem very logical or time efficient. June also offers us a few more higher tides which we are relying on in order to launch at Norsand Boatyard due to our draft and the slightly unknown of where exactly she will float after all the modifications.
The plan is to launch in June, do some shake-down sails and then depart for Fiji once we have given all the systems a proper check over. While it is a month or two later than we initially anticipated, considering the size of our project we are more than happy to still make it this season and can't wait for the launch, passage north and living the sailing and cruising lifestyle again. 2018 - here we come xx