Strange winds today, almost out of the north and luckily I've got a good separation from my neighbour, an Amel Maramu, but some of the other boats in the anchorage look rather friendly with each other. I'm not feeling better or worse and need to get my act in gear so am debating whether to head to the Dutch side today so that I can be closer to shopping and other activities than Grand Case, which is indeed rather isolated.
A Sunsail charter cat anchored between the Amel and myself and was very close and I knew that we would bump into each other when the wind shifted back to the normal direction. I had been sanding and not paying attention until they already anchored so hadn't warned them off earlier and now 10 people were on deck looking settled in. I've always found it very difficult to figure out how to ask people to change their position without being antagonistic and used something I'd just learned in St. Barths. While on my way to the hospital there I searched the crowded anchorage for an anchoring location, found and had just anchored when a man dinghied over with his son, waved and prefaced his greeting with “Bienvenue á St. Barths!” and then told me that the boats I'd anchored around, including his, were on moorings and I'd swing quite differently. While I hadn't noticed that fact and agreed to re-anchor, I was analysing how well he'd defused a potential conflict and how that had been the best preface to this kind of conversation that I'd ever heard! So I used the same approach to the Sunsail boat (flying an American flag and I could hear them speak English), getting my handheld out and attracting someone's attention on board and shouting “One One” and doing the sign of 1 twice to make sure that they caught on that I wanted to talk on VHF CH11 (why notify the others by using VHF16) and they told the skipper but it took them a couple of minutes to find the the channel. Once communication was established I called “Welcome to Grand Case, if this is your first time you might not know that the wind usually blows from 90° different to now, and when it changes we might bump into each other...” and the skipper agreed that he'd been thinking that we were too close anyway. The typical shouting or radio call of "Hey, idiots - you anchored too close to me. Get the heck out of here. Dontcha know what you are doing?" usually prefaces a somewhat more conflict-ridden conversation!
I felt energetic enough today to start and finish one of the projects on the list and since climbing the mast was out of the question I opted to go for the cockpit table project. I had stored Zanshin the first season without a cover on the teak cockpit table and the heavy rains and sunshine had combined forces to pit the table and I'd also left my aloe vera plant on the table at that time so there was a ring of unpitted, but blackened, teak to deal with as well. I had purchased a small orbital sander at the French hardware store weeks before with some sanding pads and planning giving that a whirl.
Much of the work was preparation. Now that I think about it, almost all of the work was doing things other than sanding! I first washed the table lightly with a mild soapy solution to get the dirt lifted and then let it dry. While it was drying, I removed all of the stainless fixtures and hinges so that the surfaces could be easily sanded and then cleaned the two storage areas. This might not have been a wise investment in time since I had to clean them again afterwards.
I gave the two folding leaves just enough sanding so that their surfaces were smooth, so there was still some slight discolouration instead of a uniform golden colour. But the tabletop itself, with the two hatches, had to see more sanding because the pitting went deeper. All I had was a 180 grit sanding pads, nothing coarser, so this took a while to do. But upon completion the table was transformed and I was very pleased with the effort. I'll make sure to take more care of the tabletop in the future to postpone re-sanding for a long time.
Putting the hinges and latches back on was a simple task (I polished and lubricated them and had kept their positions marked so they would fit again) but the large metal grab-bar held down with 3 bolts on each side proved a different matter, since these bolted to the 2 supports on the cockpit floor and those were made of big-diameter stainless and had to be twisted/pulled into place so that the bolts would fit. The first side was OK, but getting the second side to match up had me worked into a sweat before I got some help from some spare line and Mr. Winch.
The table took several hours to complete and afterwards I puttered around the boat a bit, napping on deck and swimming around the boat and after I showered and wanted to head ashore for dinner I wasn't sure if I could enjoy it, so I made some more vegetable soup from my stock and decided that an action movie was in order and watched Indiana Jones and the last Crusade on the PC before going topsides to look at the stars and then went to sleep. I still think I might get an iPad if only for the stars application which will let point the iPad at the sky and it will tell you which constellations you are looking at; how neat is that?

Cockpit table fixup The cockpit table has been looking rather ratty for a while so I finally attacked the sanding project. As expeced, setting things up by removing the fitting and later putting them back on took longer than the actual sanding. I had nothing rougher than 180 grit so it took a while, but the result was well worth the effort.
(2014-03-03 09:42:57 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/18.0, 1/10s] ISO 100)
Cockpit table fixup
Cockpit table fixup - all finished The cockpit table has been looking rather ratty for a while so I finally attacked the sanding project. As expeced, setting things up by removing the fitting and later putting them back on took longer than the actual sanding. I had nothing rougher than 180 grit so it took a while, but the result was well worth the effort.
(2014-03-03 15:25:08 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/11.0, 1/80s] ISO 100)
Cockpit table fixup - all finished
Cockpit table fixup - Cleaning The cockpit table has been looking rather ratty for a while so I finally attacked the sanding project. As expeced, setting things up by removing the fitting and later putting them back on took longer than the actual sanding. I had nothing rougher than 180 grit so it took a while, but the result was well worth the effort.
(2014-03-03 09:51:13 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/14.0, 1/20s] ISO 100)
Cockpit table fixup - Cleaning
Cockpit table fixup - leaves sanded The cockpit table has been looking rather ratty for a while so I finally attacked the sanding project. As expeced, setting things up by removing the fitting and later putting them back on took longer than the actual sanding. I had nothing rougher than 180 grit so it took a while, but the result was well worth the effort.
(2014-03-03 12:09:27 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/11.0, 1/80s] ISO 100)
Cockpit table fixup - leaves sanded
Cockpit table fixup - panels sanded The cockpit table has been looking rather ratty for a while so I finally attacked the sanding project. As expeced, setting things up by removing the fitting and later putting them back on took longer than the actual sanding. I had nothing rougher than 180 grit so it took a while, but the result was well worth the effort.
(2014-03-03 12:48:49 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/11.0, 1/50s] ISO 100)
Cockpit table fixup - panels sanded
Cockpit table fixup - sanding top The cockpit table has been looking rather ratty for a while so I finally attacked the sanding project. As expeced, setting things up by removing the fitting and later putting them back on took longer than the actual sanding. I had nothing rougher than 180 grit so it took a while, but the result was well worth the effort.
(2014-03-03 12:48:52 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/11.0, 1/50s] ISO 100)
Cockpit table fixup - sanding top
Cockpit table fixup - finished product The cockpit table has been looking rather ratty for a while so I finally attacked the sanding project. As expeced, setting things up by removing the fitting and later putting them back on took longer than the actual sanding. I had nothing rougher than 180 grit so it took a while, but the result was well worth the effort.
(2014-03-03 15:25:35 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/11.0, 1/60s] ISO 100)
Cockpit table fixup - finished product
Sailboat on the seas Sailboat on the seas
(2014-03-03 17:51:13 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/4000s] ISO 250)
Sailboat on the seas
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