Friday, 20 March 2009

What they give with one hand

So, we get up bright and early, full of enthusiasm for our first day of work on the boat now she is out of the water.

For starters, I'd left my car in Dobrota a few days before so off we trekked - to find it with a flat battery. Grrr. Friends came to help and we were back on the road within the hour but it wasn't a great portent for the day ahead. A lurking feeling started in my stomach.

We arrived at the boatyard, excitedly trying to spot Monty B on her new cradle. But she was nowhere to be found......or was she? Wasn't that a North Wind ketch, swinging from a mooring buoy near the boat yard.

Yes! Of course it bloody was.

After all that, crew and all, a seemless entry into the dock and problem-free lift, they had decided to put her back in the water while they "made some space" in the boatyard.

We left them to their own devices with a promise that they would take her out later that day.

We rang them this morning. Monty B is still on the mooring buoy.


Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Hold on to your bar stools Part II


Unbelievable but true. And despite the ton or so of mussels growing on her bottom, she is looking pretty good.
But we are avoiding the boatyard today as we left Monty hanging in the sling yesterday as the cradle she is meant to be going on, has been taken by a salvaged yacht that was washed up in Budva last week ,after sailing itself back from the Italian coast in a storm.

They grunted something about swapping our boat with another blah blah, quite how they are going to do it with only one travel lift and no spare cradle I don't know. So instead of bearing witness to their Balkan shennanigans, we are staying at home, nursing our hangovers and hoping that by tomorrow, Monty B will miraculously be sitting pretty on a cradle.

We are being charitable at this hungover moment in time.
We are still in shock that SOMETHING has actually happened. Are we really still in Montenegro? Or is this just some strange dream?
It all went like clockwork too and we had great crew: Laura, Ben and Emma. Cheers all.

Monday, 2 March 2009

A change is as good as a rest

Snowy scenes - the Bura blows, the snow falls, Monty B becomes Snowy b and the view from the Prcanj apartment.

After avoiding even glancing at our blog for weeks on end, I thought it was about time that I moved it on and put something a little more joyous on view.

Before I start, we'd both like to say a big thank you to everyone who sent us words of consolation about our John. We were really touched and it helped a lot to know that there were people out there who understood what we had lost. For such a small creature, he has left a huge hole.

Anyhow, enough.

Progress - there has been some:

1) Our mate Tony, who spent all of his twenties sailing the seven seas and is now a desk monkey (well, an important part of the soon to be Porto Montenegro marina), has spent the last three of his hard-earned Saturdays aboard Monty B. After Tim spent days stripping down the saloon to the fibreglass, the past three weekends have involved building the new wooden ribs that are providing one hell of a solid support for many years to come. Monty B is going to a beast! Tony expertise has been invaluable. As well as his years of working and living on boats, he is also a chippy by trade so we definitely found the right man for the job.

The ribs are now in but not glued. And we have decided to ditch using cheap polyester resin and go for West System epoxy on Tony's advice. If you're going to do a job, do it properly - and it will be a good pro job which is far more than we could ever have hoped for. Of course, we are now back in the "how the fk do we get WS epoxy in Montenegro?" and the answer is "you can't". For lots of reasons getting this stuff from anywhere to here is also a major headache - but we are getting there.

2) The best bit of news we've had for a long while is that A Day out on Monty B is now official! We are now part of Avel Yachting and have full public liability insurance so all we need now is a boat. Our new website is at if you want to take a peek.

3) Windshield, ahh, the windshield. Well, almost got all the years/layers of silaflex off the GRP. Our current plan, supported by some and poo pooed by others, is to use 8mm plexiglass and a heat gun. And somehow, miraculously, a windshield will appear. I think it is time to invest in a camcorder.

4)After resigning ourselves to the fact that the boat wasn't going to come out of the water at all this winter (except for a 24 hour clean down and antifoul), a friendly Russian called Yuri has offered us his boat cradle for all of March. Of course we found this out just after I'd booked my flight back to the UK for a week so we hope to come out for the last two weeks and get the bare essentials done. Better late than never, as they say. Or, I'll believe it when I see it, as I say.

Of course it is impossible for the boatyard to book us in or even consider scribbling it in a diary - we have to "ring them a few days before". Ok....

5) It snowed, a lot. Monty B was covered in snow which was quite a sight. Most of the month has been clear, cold and snowy - exceptionally beautiful.

6) I haven't had a proper drink for a month then made the classic mistake of mixing vranac (local red) with Nik Gold (local strong piss) on Friday night in quite significant quantities. This is why you shouldn't have time off booze, your hangovers are definitely worse; I felt DIABOLICAL on Saturday. There seems to be an unhealthy chemical reaction between said tipples which combine to create the most hardcore of hangovers. I actually uttered the words "this is the last hangover I ever have" and meant it (at the time).

7) Oh, and we've moved house. Not wishing to outstay our welcome in the lovely Harvey apartment, we are now living in a gorgeous stone building in Kotor Old Town, right on the back walls. It is a stunning place, all very country-cottage inside but top floor apartment so great views of the walls and battlements. Tim is in his element, I can tell ya. We traded a month's accommodation for 2 cruises on Monty B - a great deal for all of us.

8) I'm flying home for a week on Friday. This is the first time I've gone back to the UK since August 2007 so it is all rather weird.

WE HAVE FOUR WEEKS TILL WE HAVE TO MOVE BACK ON THE BOAT. FOUR WEEKS. FOUR WEEKS. FOUR WEEKS. Lots of jobs are started, none, I repeat none, are finished. We have no saloon, no windshield and still don't have a bed big enough to fit a Tim in.

The countdown begins...........