Monday, 26 January 2009

Nurses visit the Boka

A week of pure fun with Andy and Cath (The Nurses) reminded us (like we need reminding!) of two things. Firstly, that we are incredibly lucky to have found such a great place to live - I felt so proud of the place and it was great to view it through fresh eyes. And secondly, how much we miss our mates.

This is the Boka Kotorska, at sundown, on Cath and Andy's last day.

But you can't have everything and after spending the first 36 years of my life in the highly urbanised West then East Midlands, I wouldn't change this for the world. I've mentioned this too many times to remember but I'll say it again - the first thing I do every morning is gaze at the view and it still astounds me.
Anyway, we had a top week. Loads of "good, clean fun" was the quote from Andy. I'm not sure why people would usually associate me with something other than "clean fun" but it sounded good, nonetheless, so I will repeat it. I didn't even get to wear my old pink wig that they kindly rescued from their house and had brought out with them.
In between all the fun, we managed to make arrangements for a new windshield to be fabricated in the UK and the Nurses were going to take the old one back with them on the plane for the fabricators to use as a template. This was all well and good until we got the windshield off (after the usual hassle of seized, broken screws dealt with calmly by the Nurses) and we discovered that at least one panel was not the original and it began to flex out of shape (thus, we decided, no use as a template). And at that moment, Raki the chandler, walked past and gave us his tuppence worth, saying that you could definitely get a replacement in Monte.

So the Nurses went home empty handed having spent the last morning of their holiday labouring. Cool!
After a bit of following up, a local guy called Alex came to see us a few days later. Took one look at the windscreen and shook his head. No way this is going to get done in Monte any time soon. There WAS a place in Podgerica but their machine was "broken". Eee, bollocks, but of course, not exactly a huge surprise.

So, the upshot is that it DOES need to be heat formed and the UK company can still use the existing screen as a template. Sooooo, somehow we need to get it back there without it breaking into a million pieces. Tis a costly affair but an essential repair that, unless it is done very well, is going to cause us no end of nightmares in the future. I made the mistake of searching for "windshield" in my gmail the other day and found this horrible list of mentions of the sodding windshield and associated leaks going back to the second week we moved onto the boat.

On many things we seem to go round and round in circles but this particular job is in a class of its own. The constant liveaboard boat issue of weighing up quality versus cost is all too apparent and on this particular occasion, we've just got to shoulder the cost I think.
Now we're being told that there is a place in Zadar (12 hours from here) that MIGHT be able to do it. GAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Oh and now we have no windshield during the wettest month of the year (though the plastic and gaffer tape option is actually more watertight than the window ever was!).
Jeez, am I moaning again? Really don't mean to - this was meant to be a jolly post about our lovely week with Cath and Andy. We did have a brilliant time - thanks so much, you two, and can't wait for you to come out again in June when, fingers crossed, Monty B will be shiny, fixed and ready for visitors. Roll on summer, I reckon.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Thank you to all my friends and my mum!

for making me feel loved on my birthday.

Gareth, you've come up trumps again and yes, the Grace bit made me cry. Check out Gareth's birthday message

This is one of my favourite tracks, ever. Love and miss you all so much.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Never bemoan the lack of live music in Kotor again

Check this guy out.

There're not many things I miss about home but music is one of them. So, you can imagine how devastated I was to come across this poster on the bus stop in Kotor and find that I had missed the opportunity to see this guy play at Disko Maximoooos. Bugger!
It's my 38th birthday today!! Hooray for me. Sadly, I'm still plagued by a cough, a snivel, aching limbs, a bit of a sweat on, sore throat, bad temper and suspected terminal illness - ie. Man Flu. So I am being SENSIBLE today and having a quiet one (one bottle of fizzy cooling in fridge). Well, not that sensible from the dogs' perspective as I've been following them around the flat, doing my (very realistic) zombie impressions and scaring them to death. This is what happens to me when I've been confined to the settee for a few days.

Tim is (don't fall off your chair) meant to be cooking dinner tonight. Veg chilli, anyone?

There has been tip top progress on the boat over the last few weeks. We've managed to get all the sails off and the genoa is booked into a sailmaker in Dubrovnik to have it's sacrificial strip replaced. We've had "men who know" on the boat to look at the structural strengthening issue and have come up with a plan. We are now on the hunt for marine ply and West System epoxy which, of course, requires importing from somewhere. Tim has been dismantling the interior of the boat which is now almost completely stripped down on one side.

Our friends Denise and Steve came to help us for the day. Denise and I unseized the hanks on a stubborn foresail whilst supping Baileys coffee and Steve managed to get our posh Cetrek autopilot working! At last. What a star! Despite the old Lefkas rat chewing up the wiring diagram!

The Restoration Handbook! What an amazing find. We found an incredibly useful, step by step book which has recently been published by a couple who have completely renovated their North Wind Mistral yacht!

We are battling importation issues about getting a new forehatch, communicating at length with plastic fabricators about replacing our windscreen (first quoted £1600!!) and emailing Croatia in terrible Croatian in an attempt to get the bits we need.

Tomorrow we re-enter the modern world with a visit to Dubrovnik to find various bits and bobs, go to Lidl (luxury) and pick up our mates, Andy and Cath from the airport.

THEN we can go out and celebrate my birthday! Hooray!