Pago Pago Projects

Living at a dock is quite a treat and the good thing is we’re not paying a penny more than when we were anchored out in the bay. Rowing Alunita in against the stiff breeze that blows through the anchorage most of the time turned out to be a little hard on Beatriz’ shoulder, so we decided to take up the chance to move in an open space at the Malaloa dock. It’s a mixed-use dock, in spite what everybody says, shared between the fishing boats and the cruisers. We do have to swallow our pride and smell the stink, bear the noise and rumble day and night, but most of this we would have to do it anyway. At anchor we were right next to the generator plant with roaring diesel engines and belching exhaust pipes at close range.

The good thing is you can step off your boat anytime and spread out your projects wide. We’re taking full advantage of the cultural vacuum to tackle all kinds of upgrades and repairs that always accumulate on a boat. Our bunk in the galley now finally received its multifunction capabilities intended in the plans and serves as a table when no crew is on board. It’s all a little tight in there but three people could snuggly fit in there if we don’t serve them too much food!


In the same space we’re celebrating a big step in the direction of civilized living comfort: We sold our old clunker outboards for the hefty sum of two hundred dollars and then didn’t wait a single day to get rid of that enormous quantity of cash. The local gas shop sold us a cute camping stove with an oven. Yep, that’s right, now we can bake cookies, roast a chicken or churn out loaves of bread. See who’s happy like a snapper dandy?

Alunita also has seen a lot of use and abuse lately. Sailing her is still a little too much of an adventure. When on the starboard tack in stronger winds her ama tends to dig into the water and we managed to flip her a couple of times. Not the kind of thing you want to do when going ashore with your laptops to check the latest and greatest news on the web! So I added a little protrusion up front that should help us avoid such circus acts in the future.

At the same time the iakos and the ama were in need of some protective coatings, so here you see gentle hands applying a layer of sanding base, tomorrow it will be followed by a coat or two of paint. Also tomorrow the seats will be cut out and re-glued a couple inches lower to provide better ergonomics and at the same time add a little stability by lowering the weight of the occupants.

Then there’s the cockpit cover. It’s always out in the sun and we’ve gone through two versions already. After less than a year the plastic is again disintegrating, holding back the rainwater, of which there is plenty here, just a little better than a sieve. Here’s an application that seems to be beyond the many good uses of tarps, so we ordered some vinyl cloth an clear plastic sheets for windows, since when hunkering down in there during a rain squall you want to be able to see what the sails are doing out there.

The nice thing with this stuff is that you can glue it with a special contact cement, but we will still have a seamstress run it through her machine so it won’t fly apart at the least opportune moment somewhere out there.

It’s all good fun, healthy exercise and a great way to get a suntan!

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