Marina Pez Vela

Sweetie Gets A Clean Bottom-Boat Chores

The yard at Marina Pez Vela is really nice.  However, as with most things that sit outside for an extended period of time, the boat gets really, really dirty.  So, in between managing our insurance claim, we have been busy working on lots boat chores.

Marina Pez Vela

Marina Pez Vela

Everything had to be removed from under our settees to enable the workers access to our house batteries, inverter/charger, COIs, and switches.  So, all of those items were moved to our master head.  In addition, the beds had to be opened up to get to the carts and bilge pumps, and cabinets had to be emptied to get to the fridge and freezer pumps.  All of that “stuff” plus our settee cushions that are normally stowed are now stuffed in other places.

It’s heartbreaking to see your home in such disarray.  So, we do what we can to keep it clean and organized as much as possible.

Before and After Photos

The salon photo below was taken “before” we put some nice artwork up behind the settees, but you get the general idea of how clean we keep our boat on a daily basis.  The bottom photo has all cushions removed, and our two sails (main and jib) in the salon.

Salon before and after photos

Salon before and after photos

The master cabin before photo was again taken before we put up our beautiful artwork.  The after shot has the bed folded up for easy access to equipment underneath.

Master cabin before and after

Master cabin before and after

I love our starboard master head because it is roomy, white, and breezy. Sometimes it is the coolest place inside the boat.  We keep it spotless because that is just how we are, but now it is stacked with stuff.

Master Head (Bathroom) before and after

Master Head (Bathroom) before and after

The port aft cabin is a office / cabin.  Typically we use this room as our “work room” so we may have some tools and our sewing projects out if we don’t have guests.  Now it is a bit of a disaster with stuff coming out of all areas.

Office / Cabin Before and After

Office / Cabin Before and After

The port forward cabin is full of our salon settee cushions

Port Forward Cabin After

Port Forward Cabin After

A few of the boat projects we have completed while on the hard….waiting.  Most of these chores or projects have been done two or three times due to the mold and constant mess from various workers.

All this work, on top of managing the insurance claim, three vendors, large budget, shipment of parts, visa renewals, extended cruising permit, Galapagos permit, and long stay visa for French Polynesia – good thing I’m a project manager.

Interior Chores:

  • Wiped down all surfaces to remove dirt, dust, mold
  • Cleaned all interior wood work and apply Howard Feed & Wax BeesWax
  • Removed mold with bleach and apply Concrobium Mold Control
  • Aired out all closets, cupboards, drawers
  • Removed silicone from ceiling panels and ceiling (access solar cables)
  • Cleaned and wipe down all bilges
  • Cleaned all areas of debris after workers left, daily

Mold grows within weeks of being clean as it rains every day here creating a great breeding environment.  So, you have to stay on top of it.

Exterior Chores:

  • Scrubbed teak hatches, sugar scoops, and swim ladder steps.  Then apply Star brite Teak Oil.
  • Restored all stainless steel by cleaning with ospho
  • Removed and replaced silicone around front & back bimini rails and around bimini port, back, starboard wood accents.
  • Cleaned up both props using muradic acid (smelly job) see photo below
Cleaning props with muradic acid

Cleaning props with muradic acid

  • Scrub both sides of all three sunshades that were covered in dirt and muck after a few months on the hard in the yard.  Had to do this twice due to the excessive dirt.
Cleaning the Sunshades

Chores: Cleaning the Sunshades

Scrubbed, sanded, and applied Star Brite Teak Oil on all exterior wood accents.

Wood accents chores

Wood accents chores

The bottom of the dinghy is always a challenge to clean.  Most cruisers will take her to a beach, flip her over and clean with sand and soapy water.  However, our outboard is so big and heavy that we cannot taker it off/on easily, so we cannot flip “Sweetie” over.

With the boat on the hard and the outboard on the stanchion, we could easily flip her over so I could clean her bottom.  This was not nearly as bad as many other dinghies we’ve seen, but this was bad for “Sweetie.”  Using a lot of elbow grease, soapy water, scrub brush and “On Off” on the fiberglass hull she came clean after 6 hours of hard labor.

Sweetie's Bottom job

Sweetie’s Bottom job

We left our helm seat cushions out for a comfortable place to sit and within a few weeks we had mold.  It rains here every day, for hours.  So, they had to be scrubbed clean before being stowed inside.  No more cushions outside.

Helm cushions moldy from rain.

Helm cushions moldy from rain.

Matt has been extremely busy as well.

  • Cleaning both engine rooms
  • Re-welded Starboard engine mount that holds alternator
  • Repaired leak in dinghy pontoon using Inland Marine’s Sealant Kit
  • Removed several ceiling panels to access solar panel wiring
  • Replaced big and small zincs on both props
  • Scrubbed down the topsides (over and over and over again)
  • Cleaned and lubed both props
  • Used ospho on stainless on the mast (since it is down and easy to reach and clean)
  • Cleaned out all storage areas.
  • Repaired two drain fittings that were leaking

Check out these clean props, freshly lubed and sporting new small and large zincs!

New Zincs on Both Props

New Zincs on Both Props

We removed our SSB plates to clean them.

Keel Coolers and SSB Plates Maintenance

Keel Coolers and SSB Plates Maintenance

Since we have been waiting to finish up this claim, we have had 5 months to do chores.  Since, I first wrote this post, we have completed more boat chores … at least we will be busy while we wait:

  • Created pattern to replace damaged ceiling panel in master state room
  • Cleaned and prepped ceiling area for new ceiling panels (three panels in master and 1 panel in office)
  • Applied VHB tape to ceiling panels and put them back up (4 months later)
  • Sewing projects: repaired wench covers, dinghy fuel tank cover, sail bag, hat.
  • Sewing project: created new sunbrella cockpit covers to keep the rain out
  • Cleaned wench handle holders
  • Repeated all projects above for Christine on Interior and Exterior before launch

New Boat Cards and Stickers

On the plus side, we did manage to create new boat cards and stickers.  We often trade boat cards with other cruisers so we can stay in touch as we travel.  These are much cleaner, with more information, and has a fabulous photo of us.

Sugar Shack Boat Cards

Sugar Shack Boat Cards

Matt created two designs for our boat stickers.  We ended up going with the top graphic with images.  Lots of places let you put your sticker up at their establishment which is fun to represent Texas.

Sugar Shack Stickers

Sugar Shack Stickers

Sugar Shack on the Hard in Marina Pez Vela.  Her boom lies across her bow, her mast is on the ground behind her and all her sails, rigging, sail bag, spreaders, etc…are down.   She desperately needs a new bottom job (even though her current one is less than 18 months young)…the elements will do that to your ablative paint.

Sugar Shack on the Hard MPV

Sugar Shack on the Hard MPV

White Water Rafting Savegre River

White Water Rafting the Savegre River

Costa Rica has a lot of great rivers to raft, but we chose to do our white water rafting adventure on the Savegre River with Pro Rafting Tours.  The Savegre River allows tourists to feel at one with the rain-forest and is considered the most pristine river in Central America.

Felipe, Louis, and Diego picked us up at 0730.  We were educated on everything local in Costa Rica as we drove to our drop off point.  Costa Rica used to rely solely on Coffee export and then branched out to include bananas.  Then the government realized it needed to diversify more, so now they export coffee, African Palm oil, rice, orchids, strawberries, and much more.   Click here to read the history on African Palm Oil in Costa Rica.

Start of our White Water Rafting Adventure

Start of our White Water Rafting Adventure

Costa Rican Road to the Savegre River:

We stopped and smelled several plants including the licorice plant, the teak leaf or Jagua plant which is used for henna tattoos, and the cintinela berries (aka Monkey Balls of Costa Rica photo above).  We stopped in a small town called Silencio which has its own currency called “Utis” see above picture.

Really beautiful views of the 75,000 hectares of African Palm Trees (see photo above).  The oil collected from the nuts are used for make-up, lotions, hair products, chocolate, and more.  The trees are grown in a lush area called the nursery for 6 months then moved to their forever home where they will produce for 28-32 years.

About 90-minutes later, we arrived at our drop off location.  Diego and Felipe pumped air into the raft, gave us a safety drill, and took the last photos of us in dry clothing.

Making Ready to Start our Adventure

Making Ready to Start our Adventure

The boys, experienced rafters, took the bow as I was placed in the middle.  Matt and Wayne had spent 10 days rafting the very challenging Futaleufu river in Chile with Class IV and V rapids.  Whereas, I have never rafted before.  Well, we went tubing down the San Marcos river but I am not sure that counts.

Diego was in the kayak and his job was safety first and photography second.  He ensured we maintained a safe route and was there in case we had a yard sale (flipped the raft or fell out).  Luckily, the only thing he had to retrieve were the boys flip flops.

Rafting Adventure Begins

Felipe navigated the river and tried to up the anty by delving us straight into the rapids.  For the most part, it was relatively rafting experience with a good flowing river.  We all took it seriously, but from the photos it looks like I was giggling the entire time.  Probably because I busted out laughing every time we got soaked.

Rafting the Savegre River

Rafting the Savegre River

Snack Stop at a Waterfall

Half way down the river, we stopped to walk to a waterfall.  Diego and Felipe put out snacks including pineapple, cookies, chips, and tea.  It offered a very refreshing dip in the pool just under the falls.

Waterfall off the Savegre River

Waterfall off the Savegre River

Felipe seemed to like to hear me laugh as he buried the bow in the rapids frequently.  The boys blocked a lot of the water, but not enough to prevent me from getting soaked each time.

Pro Rafting down the Savegre River

Pro Rafting down the Savegre River

Super Soaker

It’s like the “Where’s Waldo” scene on water.  Diego did a great job of capturing the photos on the rapids.

A bit of a soaking on our rafting trip

A bit of a soaking on our rafting trip

These photos crack me up – I was having such a good time.  Boys look serious as they prepare to be drenched and I’m about to duck.

Matt, Wayne and I Rafting

Matt, Wayne and I Rafting

These are my favorite three photos.  Thank goodness for the bright blue helmets otherwise you’d think we fell out.  Check out the ass of the raft on the last picture.

Rafting at its finest

Rafting at its finest

It was a great day, even though the rapids were only Class II with an occasional Class III and we weren’t on the water as long as we anticipated.  With that in mind, Felipe and Diego did a really good job entertaining us and making the best out of what we had.  I would recommend rafting the full day (we did the 3/4 day) to get bigger rapids or perhaps rafting the Naranjo river during rainy season.  But this river, was beautiful, scenic, and great for family fun.

A perfect start for me and fun had by all.

Coco Loco: Wayne and Matt

Monkey Madness with Wayne

Wayne flew into Costa Rica on the same day that my dad was scheduled to leave.  We had two days and two goals: Get us some monkey madness and go on a white water rafting trip.

We stopped by crocodile bridge over Tarcoles to show Wayne the bunches of crocs and they did not disappoint.  There were more crocs on this visit than previously with my dad.   Can you tell the difference between the crocs and logs?

Crocodile Bridge over Tarcoles River

Crocodile Bridge over Tarcoles River

Goodies:

Our ever trusty travel mule, Wayne, brought us some goodies from the states.  Matt ordered a few mastervolt parts and our friends at Manu Kea Incorporated sent us some swag.

New from Manu Kea: custom jacklines made specifically for Sugar Shack.  Super cool stainless steel clothes pins, lightweight, high strength polymer carabiners, set of all silicone spatulas.   Can’t wait to put these into action!  Lots of really good stuff for Sugar Shack.

Manu Kea Incorporated Swag

Manu Kea Incorporated Swag

It was time to introduce Wayne to some Monkey Madness.  We returned the rent car so we headed to the park on public transit.  Photo: Boys waiting at the bus stop (off the main road).  Matt had to show off our giant bamboo lining the driveway at the apartment.

Bamboo Love and Bus Ride

Bamboo Love and Bus Ride

Manuel Antonio National Park – Monkeys, Monkeys, Monkeys

On the way to Manuel Antonio National Park, we spied a family of Capuchin monkey’s.  They were far more focused on eating marmons and flowers than paying attention to the paparazzi. Check out the momma and baby below.  Not the monkey madness we were hoping for, but there’s still time.

Capuchin Monkeys Near MA Park

Capuchin Monkeys Near MA Park

Once inside the park, we thought we knew where the monkeys would be since this was our 3rd visit and all.  Alas, we were wrong.  They were no where near the places we had seen them before.  At first, we were afraid that the only monkeys we were going to see would be the ones outside of the park – which would suck.

We took the “short path” toward the beach as its so pretty and much more cooler.  Matt had us crawling over some boulders to get to a smaller beach and the boys goofed off a bit around the water.

Manuel Antonio Park Beach

Manuel Antonio Park Beach

Deer, Crabs, and Sloths

We did manage to see a few deer (which are not hunted in Costa Rica), a cool red and blue crab family, and a super friendly 3-toed sloth eating breakfast.

3-Toed Sloth at the Park

3-Toed Sloth at the Park

As we were leaving the beach, we finally saw a family of Capuchin monkeys.  They were fabulously playful and wrestled with each other.  True monkey madness.

Check out this funny 11 second video – Monkey Madness and Mayhem

There was only one path that Matt and I had not explored within the park, so we conquered it with Wayne.  It led to a “seasonal” waterfall at the end of many stairs.

Waterfall and a few more monkeys

Waterfall and a few more monkeys

As we exited the park, the boys felt compelled to try a Coco Loco.  The vendor takes cold coconuts, wacks off the end, adds rum to the fresh coconut water and bam – you have Coco Loco!  They polished those off before we got to the restaurant for lunch.

Coco Loco and More Cold Beverages

Coco Loco and More Cold Beverages

After we fed our bellies, we headed to the yard to check on Sugar Shack.  Bristol Marine was supposed to be finished with all 4 jobs, but alas the rain and tico time had another date in mind.

Wayne has seen our boat in stellar condition ready for guests, in “standard” condition, and in storage condition.  Yet, he had never seen her in such disarray.

And it’s fixin to get worse as we will have Bristol Marine finishing the exterior beautification projects and AG Marine delivering some parts all at the same time.

Another capuchin family was playing by the apartment as well – so we saw three different crazy monkey families.

Having successfully fulfilled our monkey goal, we set out to conquer the Costa Rican Rafting Adventure…stay tuned for our next blog.