I spent some of the summer time in the UK. It was was nice to catch up with friends and family and also to be able to get out and ride the bike. Besides some good rides in the Peak District and elsewhere, I also rode the Devon coast to Coast route from Ifracombe to Plymouth, there and back again. Hilly in parts, laden with camping gear but a great ride.
Back in Trinidad and at the boat my first task was to make a list of jobs to be done. I quickly filled a sheet of A4, some essential maintenance like service the seacocks, other more cosmetic like repainting the red sheer line band. But it was a daunting list and I was glad I had plenty of time before the end of the hurricane season. Back in UK boat maintenance, mostly done in March was always a cold affair, bundled up in many layers to try and keep warm in a boatyard on the edge of the Straits with a cold NE wind blowing.
The novelty here was that it was hot, almost too hot, but so much easier to tackle washing the boat down clad in just shorts and a pleasure to turn the hosepipe on oneself. Painting too much easier, no worrying about minimum temperatures and such like.
First job I tackled was the red band, it had never looked smart even when I bought the boat. I decided it had to be sanded down, an exploratory attempt made me realise the magnitude of the task with no power tools and led me to enlist some help. I contracted Rawle to do the job and after agreeing a price he set too. He would turn up at 6 in the morning because he wanted to get started before the heat of the day. I’d make tea and we’d chat a bit. A few days later the band was repainted, and small GRP repair to the bow effected and the topsides cleaned down, buffed up and polished. Sea Bear was looking OK for a 29 year old lady.
Not all work no play.
I’d missed my bike so when I flew back one item of my baggage was a bike, a folding one so that it would stow more easily aboard. One morning I cycled up the road though the forest to Morne Catherine at 540m – well actually it was hard work but nice all the same passing through the forest, a multitude of different types of trees and vegetation and lots of noisy birds and insects, with plenty of butterflies. A glorious freewheel downhill for 6 miles led back to the coast.
Another day I cycled along the Tucker valley to Macqueripe Bay on the north coast. Here I swam along with plenty of pelicans who were fishing unconcernedly amongst all the bathers – quite an incredible experience.
The other day I decided to have a roti for lunch, time passed in queuing at the roti shack watching an iguana in the trees nearby and a butterfly as big as my hand with flashes of incandescent blue, flitting about the shack. Mmm the roti was good too.