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Join us as we sail around the world - share our joy, experiences, trials and tribulations as we proceed.
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JAN
24
0

Revelations returning to Cape Town

Our sailing future remains unclear, it is costing a small fortune every month to keep Revelations in Trinidad and we miss our yacht. For these reasons, in October 2017 we decided to bring Revelations back to her home port - Cape Town, South Africa. On 2 November 2017, I flew to Trinidad for a 2 month period to prepare and get her ready for the return voyage. Barring a few great people, almost everybody there sees you as a walking US Dollar sign - the place is ridiculously expensive. Labour is expensive, food is expensive, yacht parts are expensive - even common labourers earn a small fortune simply to stay alive.

I had a hectic (shit) time in Trinidad and spend a small fortune fixing, repairing and hammering Revelations into shape. It is astounding the number of things which went wrong, broke for no reason or simply did not work anymore. A lot of "supposed" work previously done to the engines had to be redone due to the thieving, lying and cheating Adian Gittens, a Yanmar agent in Chaguaramas, Trinidad. What a thief! What an arsehole! Then to get the local tradesmen to work a fair number of hours per day was simply an uphill battle. Some of the workmanship delivered was pathetic to say the least and had to be redone a couple of times before it was done proper. For me, it was a very frustrating two months. On top of it all, when I arrived, I found a large number of items stolen - these items were locked up inside one of the cabins. Somebody gained access to the yacht by removing a set of burglar bars over a hatch and helped himself (herself) to almost five hundred thousand Rand of items and equipment. Damn thief! Now we probably face another big fight with the insurance company!

The delivery crew arrived in Trinidad on 30 December 2017 and had to work their backsides off to get the last remaining things done. Revelations finally managed to leave Trinidad on 20 January 2018 and set sail for Antigua - they safely arrive there in the early evening of 22 January 2018. They will leave Antigua within the next couple of days for the next leg to Natal, Brazil where they will stock up on supplies before the long voyage home. We simply cannot wait to have Revelations back home!

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AUG
10
0

Fittings

I received some images from Garth Walker, Trinidad showing some of the fittings being refitted to Revelations. Garth is now almost done with all the work he was commissioned to do on Revelations and he should complete the project by end of August 2106. There are still other work we have to do on Revelations but this will have to wait until we can get back to Trinidad.

Fittings

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AUG
03
0

Anti Skid almost done

Garth Walker from Trinidad emailed me some images of the anti skid work they have done on Revelations. As yet, I haven't seen the work but it seems like Garth has done a very professional job on Revelations. By sounds of things, they seem to be almost done with the anti skid and the next step will be to refit all the deck fittings they removed. According to Garth, all the work on Revelations should be done towards the end of August 2016. I certainly hope so as the Rand to US Dollar exchange rate is most certainly killing the available budget in leaps and bounds. 

AntiSkid

 

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JUL
03
2

Spray painting - more images

We received some additional images from Garth Walker of the Awlgrip spray painting job under the bridgedeck.

Spraypaint

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OCT
14
0

Epoxy work - replacing wet balsa. Episode 3

The work continues to open up the outside skin laminate and remove the wet balsa. The port transom bottom step is now completely redone, sporting new balsa core and epoxy skins, it has been faired - now awaiting primer paint coats. The starboard aft transom was opened up even more as Garth discovered more and more wet balsa. They are now into dry balsa and the repair work can commence. Whilst Garth was checking for other bits of damage to the hull, he found a section of laminate near the starboard transom which did not bond to the balsa. This laminate has since been removed, new epoxy skin was laminated applied and a fairing compound was applied - waiting to dry and be faired within the next day or so. The work done is thorough and much faster than experienced in South Africa.

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Repair10

Repair10

Repair10

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OCT
13
0

Batchelor style

With Sue back in South Africa, all the comforts stripped to a bare minimum, I am living like a typical bachelor here on board Revelations in Chaguaramas, Trinidad. Gone are the little perks I have been used too and enjoyed when she is around, no more great food, the yacht quickly becomes a mess and the dirty laundry and dishes are piling up. Living in isolation, detached and almost cut off from the world, the days and long nights disappears into oblivion. Whilst I'm coping and mostly enjoying the isolation, I do miss her in so many different ways and cannot wait for us to get together again.

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OCT
13
0

Epoxy work - replacing wet balsa. Episode 2

It is day two of replacing the wet balsa core on Revelations and Garth is making good progress. He already replaced all the balsa on the port transom which he opened on day one, inserted new balsa core and solid glass where the fittings will be bolted on and closed everything up again with a new epoxy skin, this will now be faired (made smooth) in the next day or so - ready for painting. In addition, he started work on the starboard hull, cut the outside skin and dug out the wet balsa core. This starboard wet area is larger than shown in the picture and will be opened up even more. Besides these two areas, there are other places around the yacht with wet balsa and which will also be opened up and repaired in the coming days.

Garth Walker really knows about glass and epoxy work, has a easy going manner about him and gets the job done. But these guys all talk in "Trini" which is a superfast dialect of English without the restrictions of the formal English language. So one have to listen very carefully as they talk this machine gun version of Trinidad English and they have to repeat things a couple of times for me to catch what is actually said.

BalsaCore2

BalsaCore1

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OCT
10
0

Epoxy work - replacing wet balsa. Episode 1

Revelations is a balsa and epoxy construction and there are a number of places on the yacht where the balsa got wet and spongy. This is due to holes drilled into the deck for fittings and the people who did the work never plugged the drilled holes with solid epoxy resin. Over time, water seeped through the holes and the balsa then got wet. The result are "spongy decks" - extensive damage, lots of hassles and money to get everything repair. Despite paying people to do the work properly and later instructing Jacque Basson and Johnathan in Cape Town to once again make sure that it is done correctly - it was never done.

Here is Garth Walker from Trinidad starting to repair the damage. He seem to know what he is talking about and comes highly recommended. He opened the soggy areas in no time and will replace all the wet balsa.

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SEP
01
1

Trinidad to Tobago Power Boat Race

There is a power boat race every year from Trinidad to Tobago and this year's race was held last Saturday. The race starts in the city of Port of Spain, Trinidad and after doing a small circuit shortly after the start, the boats then head for the first Boca (a narrow stretch of water between the island of Trinidad and a smaller island where the current runs very strong at around 6 knots on the incoming and outgoing tide.

The first Boca is around 4 nautical miles from the boatyard where we are and the Boca is only accessible by boat. With both the Revelations and our dinghy on the hard, we were desperately looking for a way or lift to the first Boca. The night before, we started asking around if anybody knew of a boat going there - but to no avail. We woke up at about 05H00 on Saturday morning an headed made our way to the waterfront - mere 50 meters from were Revelations is parked. The place was already busy with lots of people and boat activity, all heading to the same destination - the first Boca. But all the boats were privately owned and mostly full and after some 2 hours asking and looking for a way to get there, it appeared hopeless.

Then, at the last minute, a seemingly doped up guy of about 40 years of age arrived with his worn skiff which outboard motor constantly threatened to depart to the after life. A fee of 100 rand was negotiated and we piled in the rough an ready skiff heading to the Boca. When we finally arrived some 40 minutes later, we found the place packed with hundreds of pleasure craft in all shapes and sizes - all ready and waiting for the powerboats to race pass. It turns out that our doped up guy was not particularly under the influence of anything specific, it was indeed his permanent appearance and behavior - damage form years of substance abuse. Anyway, he was friendly and coherent enough to get us there safely.

Soon after arriving, the first powerboat raced passed and Sue managed to get some nice action photographs whilst I was taking videos. But with both eyes on the boats as they raced passed, I did not get one single boat in any of the video's I took (embarrassingly). This video footage is not mine - it was video recorded by another guy on a skiff close to us and on occasion, you will see us in the video footage.

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AUG
26
0

Trip to town - Apparently not by bus

On Thursday we decided to take the day off and go to town for lunch, few supplies, local sim card, a sander what what machine and to just take a break from unpacking Revelations for repairs to be done.

Very excited for the well deserved outing, we left at 10am for the bus stop just outside the gate at Powerboats where we are on the hard. The bus runs every hour on the hour to town, kinda a straight road. We've used the service the weekend before and were pleasantly pleased with the new, clean, ac bus. Only, on Thursday we waited for an hour and thirty minutes, no bus, in the heat of 35-40°C, feeling more like 45°C, humidity of 80+%, feeling more like +%. It's raining on and off, we are hot and bothered.

Eventually we decided to take a local minibus taxi, .... omw! A 2nd taxi had to be taken to where we needed to go, this time, a local car taxi, omw! We arrived safe to the hardware store, only, we got dropped off on the wrong side of the road, as in highway!

By now we are ready for anything, walking through a field of mud, we jumped the highway safely. Only to find no sander thingymajic. Back to jumping the highway, through the open field. Walked to the Market, it was closed. Sim card, .... long story, by no means off the shelve buy. Anyway, lunch was good ... roti.

Back to the bus stop. We found a bench, next to an older gentleman. Uncle Mikey. We started chatting, his got upper teeth and one lower tooth (from what I could see), this tooth flapped like our South African flag on Revelations in the wind. His 70, saw 3 buses .... just now, 3, ... so we wait. Uncle Mikey gave us a "steeldrum" mimic performance,.... see, he leads the band. He then gave his own performance as leader of the band, to cute, all the steps and rhythm with his arms going much better. He has a flag, no drum.

After an hour, no bus, ... we go back to taxi.

We arrived back at Revelations just after 5pm, drained and exhausted, .......with only a simcard

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AUG
13
0

Bare Poles

The sail people from Ullmann came around earlier yesterday morning and removed the mainsail, stack pack and jib. So Revelations is now bare pole without any sails. I will be going around to their loft later today and discuss the various bits of work which needs done. The also took the torn spinnaker which is beyond repair, they will use this to work out the dimensions for a new spinnaker. A mast rigger came around and spend about 2 hours trying to remove the broken topping lift which fell back into the mast - only partly successful. The remainder of the topping lift is stuck higher up in the mast, so we will have to see whether it can be done. I also learned that the electrical wires within the mast are not in tubes or channels - this means that the up and down movement of ropes will eventually chafe through the wires. To fix this, the mast must be taken down - why the job was not done right first time by Sparcraft in Cape Town beats me.

In the interim, Sue has been packing everything within Revelations into boxes for soon the boat will be swarming with workers doing all sort of repairs. She should be more or less done by Friday. Shit, we have a lot of stuff on board!

GOPR0384

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AUG
05
0

Check what comes trapping past!

We have been smacking our lips ever since we heard of the various Indian curry roti's here in Trinidad. We went to get our share yesterday afternoon but was bitterly disappointing when we were told that they have old out. Damn! So we went back today, but much earlier and as it turned out, we almost lot out again - we received the last two plates of food. Pleased to be served, we at down and had a delicious lunch - me; roti with duck curry, Sue; roti with chicken curry. Man, it was great and tasted delicious!!! Right there and then, we pre-paid for another two dishes of roti tomorrow as there was no way in hell we were going to be disappointed yet again.

The next minute, this Green Iguana makes it's appearance and comes trapping past. The photograph is quite deceiving - but each floor tile is 300 x 300 mm - making this stunning creature at almost 1200 mm in length! And there was even a bigger one in a tree nearby. Sue almost be-kakked (shat) herself with fright. You can read more about these Green Iguanas on wikipedia.org - a native specie throughout the Caribbean and South America and sold as pets for thousands elsewhere in the world.

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AUG
05
0

Recent photos sailing to Trinidad

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AUG
05
0

Pulled out of the water

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Early this morning, Revelation was pulled out of the water on a custom built flat bed trailer. We untied the yacht at the fueling dock, slowly moved away from the jetty and motored to the slipway where a bunch of crew from PowerBoats were waiting. It was a bit tricky to maneuver this big yacht around the tightly confined spaces - but it all worked out in the end.

The flatbed trailer was partially submerged and it was a simple matter of lining Revelation up in a straight line and slowly motor onto the waiting trailer. The workers then made quite a bit of adjustments to the various bits and pieces of the flat bed trailer before tying her down. A big tractor was initially employed to pull Revelations clear of the water and up the 10 degree or so embankment. But the tractor was not up to the task and they then brought in a small bulldozer to do the job. Soon after this, Revelations was steered into her allocated spot and lowered to the ground with supports under the keel and struts at the front and back of the hull.

Water and electricity was connected and we can now go through the entire boat making list of all the things damaged, needs replacing or to be repaired. A short while later, a small tractor with a compressor built onto a trailer arrived to high pressure clean the hull in preparation of new anti fouling paint. PowerBoat must have well over 1000 yacht of various shapes and sizes in the yard and the place is a beehive of activity. There is nothing quite like this anywhere in South Africa - not even all the yachts in the entire South Africa will be able to match the scale of this boat yard alone - let alone all the other boatyards. It is simply astounding to see so may yachts in one place and the shear scale of work going on here. We are meeting with the yard manager tomorrow morning to discuss and arrange all the work which needs to be done on Revelations.

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