29 May, 2013

Short Haul

All through the ICW I was struggling to keep up with Jack Tar and Eye Candy because of the growth on the bottom of the hull.  I had tried to clean it on a number of occasions but it soon grew back again and I lost almost a knot in speed.  It was time to do a short haul onto the hard to clean off the weed and apply a fresh coat of antifoul but the cost to stay on the hard in this area is just too high. 
I found a marina who would haul me out on one day and drop me back in the water the next so I left Norfolk and Portsmouth after lunch and steamed down the channel flanked by more and more US warships even the nuclear powered aircraft carrier Enterprise.  The amount of hardware in this area is just amazing.  I don't know if all are operational but they must keep many people occupied and on the payroll.
I approached Little Creek entrance to be confronted by a boom, flashing red lights and a vessel with a machine gun on the bow.  Keep out, this is the harbour of some extra landing or amphibious force's vessels.  I turned to starboard and found Cobbs Marina. Be careful of the shallow spot going into the slips but I backed out and tied to the end of the jetty.
The next day I went to the office to sign in and wait to be hauled which took place just after 10.  The evidence of Malua's slowness was there to see. Thick green growth with many patches of barnacles.  I used the scraper while the power wash did its magic.  By the time Malua was blocked I had removed all the dark blue antifouling which seemed to come off far to easily.  I gave the hull a good scrape and a hand sand - it was ready to paint but I still had to remove the dark stain of the water of the ICW.  I had been told of this product The Works from the 1 dollar shop.  Let me tell you it works wonders with just one wipe on a soft cloth. I had the topsides clean and washed to meet my deadline of 4pm giving me 3 hours before dark to apply the Micron Extra dark blue.

One gallon and 2 1/2 hours latter I had completed all but one side of the keel.  I had a spare tin of the French antifoul so I was able to complete the job before it got cold and dark.  The autoprop was the next task.  I cleaned that down to the bronze with wet and dry paper.  I gave it a good grease in the bearings.  That was all I could complete in one day.  A hot shower, some food and off to bed.
Next morning I covered the prop with my Aussie lanolin but the 220 volt heat gun hardly gave out any heat so the lanolin only just melted to form a coating.  I was in the office at 9:30 when they opened.  The total cost was $700 which included the $300 for the gallon of antifouling - normal cost $240 but that is the price one pays for them to get it at such short notice.  I was in the slings and back in the water by 10:00 - a 24 hour turnaround for a complete antifoul and clean topside...not bad.
I exited this navy harbour and turned towards Yorktown only to find JT and EC had the same idea. We met for a drink but I fear for the last time as we all have different plans.
A magical moment on Malua.

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