Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Long Haul (out) - Week 2

The Sick Day
We both woke up feeling so sore and tired. Rene: 'I wish it was raining so we could have a day off!'. I brewed us strong coffee and started getting ready to go on deck with the angle grinder until Rene ordered me to have a 'sick day' due to my ladder-falling injuries from yesterday. I tried to argue that I need to keep working as we've already been here for one week and want to be somewhere nicer but was right, I don't need to worsen my already sore muscles. 

Rene did some more diagnostic tests on the existing paint using the Jotun #17 thinners. He was quite worried about it and emailed the Jotun guy in Penang with example photos showing the problems. It seems that whoever painted Anima last, did a really bad job. The paint is cracked right through the first few layers and in some areas, is really gluggy and not quite hard. He thinks that the past painters didn't mix the hardener correctly and now we're having to deal with the consequences. 
The sanded topsides after being wiped with thinners. See all of the cracks? Very BAD!
The Jotun man said to do a test section of paint over the problem areas - we'd already done that and it was OK so, around midday Rene fired up the orbital sander and angle grinder and set to work again. I had to drill extra holes in all of the sanding disks as they are the wrong type for the sander - but, being Malaysia - it's all they have. 

I busied myself trying to work on the next unit for my TESOL course. It's on the present tense and MY GOSH why did they have to make it so complicated! Ergh! My dreams of finishing the unit off today are long gone - this will take me ages to finish. 

My first batch of Christmas Macaroons.
I got into the Christmas spirit and baked some Macaroons. Rene's mum usually does a huge batch of these and I was really missing them. My attempt are much smaller than hers probably because the eggs here are really strange and runny. They taste good though! If I could find fruit mince, I would also attempt to bake fruit mince pies which my Mum baked today. I'm lucky that I still had the ingredients for Macaroons stashed away in the freezer! 

Rene continued to sand the topsides for hours. 
Rene sanding the portside topside.
The Black Capricorn Day
Today began with some sad news. A friend from an Australian yacht currently in Thailand passed away before he achieved his dream of a circumnavigation. Our thoughts are with Daphne and her family. 
We gathered more advice about the paint (the saga continues) and realised how big this job is becoming. Rene's perfectionist qualities are definitely coming out in force. Today I had to put my foot down when he said that he was going to reorder different paint (again) and paint our topsides with a matt finish until we can afford to sandblast the whole lot (apparently in 5 years). Noooooooo! 
I pointed out that the boat next to us has used the exact same paint as that which we plan to use and he is steel and he looks fine - great even! Rene went and chatted to Sven next door and eventually conceded that it was all OK. Phew! 

He sanded the rest of the port and starboard sides and now just needs to do the stern and awkward bits.. oh and the decks too. I sanded by hand and felt pretty miserable for it. There's just barely any progress to be seen when slowly chipping away at something so large! I had a go with the orbital sander and enjoyed its speed but not its dust. 
After lunch I set to work inside on my TESOL unit - I'm currently tackling present tense and am finding it difficult to remember all of the rules that I usually just apply without even realising!! A storm blew up this afternoon, forcing Rene to finish at 5 for once rather than 7 (when the sun sets here). He was really happy about it! 
Quickly painting Jotamastic 87 over exposed steel patches as stormy clouds threaten from the East!
The Blur of Days
I've lost track now of how many days (between 2-4) that we've just been heads down, bums up (literally). I've been sanding and sanding and mixing Jotamastic 87 and painting - all while looking at the looming clouds which every day have dropped a massive storm upon us! We have made some progress - though not enough to be back in the water anytime soon. The topsides are sanded now and all of the rust spots have been ground back, sanded, gouged, cleaned and painted. The deck is slowly getting done too - though progress is incredibly slow due to the thousands of tiny specks of rust that are embedded into the paintwork and need to be painstakingly removed - one - by - one. I've been using the orbital sander, angle grinder, sand paper by hand, rust buster (acid) and files. 
Rene angle-grinding rust away from the winch holder.
Rust busting the deck. Notice the difference?
For the most part - I've been OK.. today though I had a bit of a tantrum and got too angry and I shouldn't have let the anger get to me like that. I've managed to only cry when I think about home so I'm trying not to so much (but that's really hard). Oh dear - change the subject!! 

Ummmm... Oh! I booked bus tickets to head outta here just before Christmas. We're going to celebrate with family - Nick and Jan are in Langkawi

The Slow Progress Day
The clouds loomed low and grey all day today causing us to cast nervous glances skyward, hoping the heavens wouldn't drop their load just yet. Rene and I both set to work hand-sanding in the tight, awkward areas of the deck that power tools can't reach. I continued to rust bust but Rene asked me to hold off on that job in case he inadvertently creates more mess to clean up with the angle grinder. After lunch I got to work inside on my verb tenses for the first time in many days.
Hand-sanding is excruciatingly slow!

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