Monday, December 5, 2016

October 17, 2016 Paint prep/ bilge cleaning

Today, Dave started sanding the bottom of the boat.  He doesn’t need to remove the old paint.  But he needs to make the surface rough to help the paint adhere to the boat.  The boat yard had a sander attached to a vacuum that Dave was able to use.  He still had a disposable suit to wear and a mask.  He didn’t want me to run any water inside the boat because it drains overboard and down the side of the boat or onto him.  We place a bucket under our galley sink to collect the water then empty it as needed.  We don’t want food particles on the ground to attract bugs or “varmints”.    He even had to move that bucket/hose. 


I had one load of laundry I wanted to do.  So I loaded that up and headed for our laundry area.  I also did some work on my phone making lists for provisions.  And there are always people to visit with on the shaded porch. 

About the time I finished, Dave came and asked if I would make coffee for us and 2 neighbors working on their boat.  Richard and Jill are from England.  They have been coming here for several months at a time to work on their catamaran.  They stay with a relative about an hour away.  They had been discussing coffees and the different ones we have been trying on the boat.  So Dave offered to make them a cup of the Cuban coffee we like, Bustelo.. 

We enjoyed our mid day coffee and conversation at a picnic table in the shade.  Dave saw Adrian walking in the boat yard and yelled at him “we have new friends now!”. 

When I returned to the boat, I decided to check our food supplies that are stored in the bilge.  Dave usually helps me get into that area, but I felt confident that I could do it myself.  This was the last area of stored provisions that I needed to check to finalize my shopping list.  And I wanted to verify what was actually stored there. 

There are 2 sections for access to the bilge in the saloon area.  I only needed to check the aft section.  Besides, there were a lot of things in the way if I wanted to access the forward section.  You have to empty the bench seat to be able to tip it over out of the way.  And there all kinds of things stacked on that bench.  I swept the floors in the area first.  Debris on the floor gets into the bilge between the floor boards everyday, and I didn’t want to add to that.  If it’s not kept clean, the debris could clog the bilge pump drain and flood the boat. 

When I lifted the aft floor board, there was a gooey substance at the forward section where the board was supported.  I did the “swipe and sniff” test and determined it was soap.  We store a bottle of liquid laundry soap inside the bench seat.  It was inside a plastic bag, just for this reason.  So……… we go.  I had to move all the things off of the bench seat.  When I opened it, I found the bottle squeezed against the end of the inside of the bench.  I’m not sure why the bag tore open, but there you have it.  I thought I could just wipe around the edge of everything, but that hope disappeared pretty quickly.  Next, I emptied the bench and moved the tool boxes that were under the table.  After tilting the bench to the side, I lifted the other floor board.  It really was best to clean the soap off of all the surfaces it had touched. 

It was good to see that there was no water in the bilge.  There shouldn’t be since we are out of the water.  But that also told us that there wasn’t rain water leaking in somewhere and running into the bilge.  I was also glad that I didn’t find any live or dead bugs.  Earlier today, I was putting away a cake pan under our stove and found a live one.  Our galley faucet has been leaking and we have ordered a new one.  I found a little standing water in the galley lower cabinets which probably attracted the bugs.  We won’t mention what kind it was, but we’re pulling out the bait.  I am ALWAYS concerned about insects on the boat and take all kinds of precautions. 

Back to the bilge.  Now was a good time to clean the dirt and hair that falls through the cracks.  I was down on my hands and knees reaching deep under the floor boards right about the time Dave put the sander on the hull right underneath me.  It was a good thing there wasn’t anything close to my head, because you can imagine how much I jumped.  He had no idea I was even working on this project. 

I ended up cleaning all the compartments and the outside of the boxes we store in the bilge.  Then I went through the boxes as planned to take my inventory.  Nothing is ever simple on the boat!!


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