Apparently, I am making a series of blogs to catch up until the present moment. I am not sure how many parts the ‘Making a blog’ will have, I’ll just keep on writing! I also want to make videos about the first months, but I am figuring out how I want to make them and how editing works. It is really fun!
This post is about the time from the 18th of January 2023 until the 21st of February.
After living on a motorboat, we were lucky to go housesitting in a house in the kunuku. Kunuku is Papiamento for ‘the countryside’ or ‘outside area’ and it is quite remote for Bonairean standards.
The house is off the grid, so it has it’s own water well and electricity with solar panels. It is still connected to the electricity and water of WEB, but we didn’t need it. As you can see on the picture there was also a pool and a unicorn! Lovely to dive in and heat up again in the sun. The hammock on the first floor gave a spectacular view of the surroundings, especially during sunset.
It was relaxing and fun to spend some days here! We cared for the two lovely dogs Puma and Goto, both adopted from the Animal Shelter of Bonaire. This is a great organization and I would love to volunteer there when our boat is ready. They help out with the ever expanding group of street dogs on Bonaire. A lot of pet owners don’t castrate them (although it’s free) and often they don’t have money to provide food, vaccinations and medical care for them. It would leave a lot of dogs (and cats) in a terrible situation if it wasn’t for the Animal Shelter. They (or the Animal Ambulance) pick them up, castrate them, provide the necessary care and give them a home until they find a new one. Puma is a 10-year old male (sort of) Labrador. He is very kind, sleeps a lot and loves to play with the younger (female) Goto. I have no idea what kind of dog Goto is, but she is very playful and she has a friendly character. They love to run, play hide and seek and cuddle. I hope they enjoyed our stay too.
Apart from our cheeky housemates, we were waking up with the sound of very early and very active birds and frogs, cooking in a very well equipped kitchen, we enjoyed the view with all the surrounding nature and we could watch some Netflix! That was a while ago. It felt like a holiday! Apart from the ear infection that took over my other ear, but it was a very fine place to take some rest.
The progress on the boat continued. We sanded the cockpit and put epoxy filler in the ridges. A lot of work, but hopefully we only have to do this once. The black epoxy filler we used instead of the normally used caulk, is still looking very good. I am going to make a video about the whole process, but I need some more time for this.
On the 31st of January the residents of the house would come back, so we were a bit desperately searching for a new place to stay. Everything was quite last minute, but that night we could stay at a friends house. The residents even offered us to stay longer there, but although it was very comfortable and luxurious, it was compelling to chill and relax everyday there, and with the longer driving time, it would leave less time to work on the boat. So only if we couldn’t find something closer, we would gladly take the offer. Another friend of Peter said he had a spare room and now there were other friends on a holiday staying with him, but when they would leave, we would be welcome to stay. The friends would leave around the 21st of February.
Another friend suggested to call our old neighbor in the harbor, Jos. When we would stay on Eddies boat (by coincidence the same spot as the motorboat) Jos was our neighbor and he was (partly) living on his very well maintained monohull and sometimes taking people on tours around the island. According to our friend he had a second monohull in the harbor and he would rent it out on Airbnb, if we were lucky, there might be room for us. And there was! The arrangement was that we would work on some projects on the boat and then we could stay there for free. Truly amazing.
Back to the harbor
So we had arranged a place to stay for the next +/- 2 months. Only if necessary, because we would have LIV in the water by then ‘for sure’. The boat where we stayed was a 36 feet Bavaria. Jos made an Atlantic crossing on it with two other people, which I find very impressive. There were three bedrooms, but the salon (the living room) wasn´t so big, just as the navigation corner. The kitchen and fridge were very useful. Very well equipped for a boat and enough space.
The weeks went by so fast! Here we also got in a rhythm of working very hard and long hours on LIV. After we applied the teak deck epoxy filler in the cockpit, we made one layer of clear cote epoxy on it. When it was just done it looked beautiful, but now (a couple months later) we see that the epoxy is not strong enough for outside. Peter is now looking for another form of epoxy that won´t wear off as quick as this one. We see new spots and cracks in the wood (also because the wood we used it on was untreated) and when you scratch it lightly, white marks appear. With the UV-light it is probably not enough, although we thought it would protect against it.
Next to the cockpit, I was now starting with the rust removal from the front to the back. This would just take a couple of weeks, I thought. Another boat owner on the boat yard, who also had a steel boat, told me it took him three months to remove all the rust. Three months?! That would really change our plan… I better hurry and get it done. So I made a planning and worked extra hard. Day in, day out. In the most uncomfortable positions, on every centimeter of the inside of the bottom of LIV. Removing rust is a dirty job. First I would use a hammer to get the biggest rust pieces away or to remove some loose paint. Then I sanded the surface so the steel would appear again. Different sort of sanding discs in different shapes.
This would create the most sticky and biggest dust clouds. Now, three months later, I can say it takes way longer and the dirtiness doesn’t get less (I still have a half salon, part of navigation corner and kitchen to go). During these days, what I found most uncomfortable, was that there was no warm shower on the boat. This could make me so grumpy. I was really dirty and I sweated all day. By the time we were in the harbor, I was cooled down and getting cold. Then I had to go from the boat on the other side of the marina to the bathroom area. This bathroom had three toilets and three cold showers with not so much privacy (really weird) and I don´t think they ever got cleaned (the dead mosquito’s I saw on the wall of the shower the first day, were still there at the end of February). And with cold, I mean really cold, not lukewarm that is sometimes the case when some water pipes get warmed up in the sun. It was a cold shower and I had to scrub down the dust. Wim Hof would have been proud of me, apart from me whining about it. That was my thought train every time I went under that cold shower. So unnecessary! I told myself that I should be happy for having a place to stay and a shower, and that we had the beautiful view of the harbor and Klein Bonaire, that we had a kitchen and that we made progress with LIV. Now I can also say it wasn’t the work or the dirt or the cold shower, I just wasn’t really out my stress-work-modus. I am still removing rust and I got to like it a lot. It is really nice to make the surface shining again and to protect it from rust forming again. It is very satisfying work.