Just got back from Palau where I spent 4 days getting ready to haulout. Measured all the thru hulls, got an apartment to stay in, bought a share in an old cool diesel van, and lined up some helpers. Soon we will have the boat out on the hard – meaning on the ground with some construction jackstands holding the boat upright. Hmm. Im gonna make a model of that to make sure I understand how it will work. While there I cut out the sawhorses which took an amazing amount of wood. 4 18′ 2×4 s for just 5 saw horses. Since we need 7 more I have more cutting to do when I get back down to Palau next week. We’ll also be removing the mast on this trip and building a new mast base and repainting it. Replacing all the seacocks and thruhulls as well.
Of course a trip that is all work is no fun so I took two mornings to go exploring in the dinghy. First I took an hour jaunt south to Ngeruktabel where I tried to find the “milky way”. A bay with ultra fine sand or marl that people have fun splashing around in. Instead I found the kayak zone which is a mile long shallow mangrove kayak run, which is really nice and the tide was just high enough for the dinghy to transit with the motor tilted up. On my way in I was able to surf some waves in the dingy, and on the way back I had to be careful transiting the surf zone as the dingy was almost getting airborne and with an onshore wind it was at risk of flipping over. Lesson learned. dont let the dinghy get airborne into the wind! Unfortunately I forgot my camera that day, but I did bring the handheld VHF, ELT and cell phone as it was a long journey with part of it in the open ocean. It turned out many tour operators were passing me anyway, so it wasnt as remote as I expected. Theres also a beach there from the survivor show which has nice picnic tables and a bathroom.
A few days later I went to German Lighthouse, which is on the same island. An awesome trail leads up the rock island jungle to an old German lighthouse about 100 years old that has been turned into a cell phone tower. Along the way you see crabs, snakes, cool birds and tons of WWII Japanese guns, shells and old structures. The trail starts in a remote pristine bay and at the top you can climb the old lighthouse/cell tower. Its really cool. Check out the pictures.
We have a very long project list on our boat. When I first bought her for $18000, almost nothing worked. No electrical, no water, no windlass, old rigging and chainplates, no bilge pump, all seacocks rusted open. I am able to get about 10 days in a row each month to live on the boat and fix her so at this point we have put in about 700 hours restoring her. I have a friend in Palau that I pay $200 per month to watch the boat daily and to do basic cleaning and painting.
When I first went aboard, the boat had water (mostly freshwater from rain leaks) up to the floorboards in the bilge – there was no bilge pump! Even the propane tank had floated out of its compartment which was full of rainwater and wouldn’t drain. Check out some of our before and after pictures below.
Ok, so this is our first post. We just got back from Palau and back to work. We finished 9 days getting ready for our haulout, but we managed to fit in some fun too. We had an underwater easter egg hunt which was a huge success with our daughter who learned to snorkel recently. She was Thrilled! Then we recycled the eggs, decorated in crayon with catchy phrases of easter and flags of Japan US Puerto Rico and Palau, for our son. Unfortunately the camera ran out of batteries and no charger with us so youll have to use your imagination, but trust me it was COOL!
What did we get done. Got the local hardwood Yellow Nara and made preliminary cuts for the new mast base. Looked for apartments and bought a half share in a super cool diesel van for $500. Love this van, even if it doesn’t go into third gear…max speed 30 MPH. We were so excited with the van that we took it for the hour drive up to the capital on the compact road ( a multimillion dollar US project to support Palau where the US built a cool road through the country side to a gorgeous new Palau capital building – part of the US. compact agreement with Palau.
We also installed some nice LED lights and are using our composting head full time. Removed the defunct propane stove and installed a nice hotplate and tile counter top and installed a new waterlock muffler and exhuust system to replace the old system which was installed wrong and sheared the mounting bolts off in the engine. We loosened all the rigging in to prepare to remove the mast and removed the headsail and learned to fold and pack sails. Great time and were ready to do a stint working in Guam to take a bit of a break. Pictures to follow soon. Chuck