Log #19G On the hard at Palma

March 29, 2001 in Log Series 11 - 19, Logs by Series, Series 19 Spain, The Logs

Log #19G On the hard at Palma

March 19 – 28, 2001

We limped into the city pier along Passeo Maritimo because our prop shaft was held on to our transmission by only a hose clamp. Peter, a very co-operative mechanic, had tried for several days (two to three hours each time) to remove, retap and replace the shaft to the transmission, unsuccessfully. He finally acknowledged, we would have to have the shaft taken out, which meant coming out of the water.

When? He didn’t know; he’d have to check with the busy marinas to see when they could take us out. That was March 21st, a Tuesday. Wednesday we were told by some official that we could not stay alongside where we were. No reason given, but we said OK, and stayed alongside. However, I didn’t know how long we could get away with it, so phoned Peter to ask about when again. He said to check with the Audax boat yard. So I took Sprite into the bowels of the expensive Real Club Nautico (RCN) where the yard was hidden away in the back of their slips. The lady in the office who spoke some English, said they were full, but when I indicated it should just be an in and out same day operation she felt they might have an opening next day, Thursday. So at 0845 we slowly motored Veleda over and through their narrow waterways to the crane at Audax, hoping we would not have to manoeuvre and go into reverse. We managed OK without reverse. We were promptly hauled out by a large mobile crane that deposited us right beside the office, where we were blocked up with large timbers.

Peter was not available as he had gone into hospital for a cyst removal when the opportunity arose. He arranged for another crew to deal with the shaft, and they were there at haulout. All day Thursday they worked trying to free the shaft. Friday a new crew took over, and to get easier access to the shaft had to remove the hoses from our cockpit drains and the muffler from the engine, before working on and pounding on the shaft to free it.

Meanwhile, I was a bit embarrassed as I had told the lady that we would be in and out the same day. However, they could not put us back in the water with the shaft out. It took all day Friday to finally free and remove the shaft. I then asked if it could be repaired and put back tomorrow, Saturday. No luck, they nor the boatyard worked on Saturdays. We were stuck until Monday.

This gave rise to an interesting situation which highlighted some of the differences between Judy and myself. In the afternoon, Judy went over town for some groceries. When I found out we were there until Monday, I thought it would give us a good chance to see the island by renting a car for the weekend. This was the first time we knew exactly how long we would be stuck there. Up to now, it was a hope that each day the shaft would easily come out, be repaired and back in for us to be on our way, and so had not done any major touring. I went off to try (unsuccessfully) to send some E-mail. AOL had still cancelled my password, even though my father-in-law had called them and they said it was restored. When I returned, Judy was back, announced that (as I already knew) they would not be working on Saturday, and she had gone and purchased over $100 worth of bottom paint with the intention of spending the weekend scraping, sanding, and bottom painting Veleda. This is like one of the definitions of the cruising life -– “The opportunity to do boat maintenance in exotic locations.”

As far as I was concerned, NO WAY! We had been fretting about and working on Veleda for the past week, living with the contents of our cockpit lockers spread over the main cabin, and I had already scraped, sanded and repainted the waterline stripe. We did the bottom paint only six months before in Jersey. We knew we had two days when nothing could be done about the shaft, we were in a secure location with Veleda, and we could safely leave her for a day or so unattended. I wanted to relax and sight see, Judy thought we should take the opportunity to do the painting. She was all apologetic and said she could take the paint back, with her dissatisfaction at this disagreement non verbally expressed, and her good intentions verbally justified. She complied.

However, she was embarrassed when returning it next day, as the chandlery had brought in another can of it from their other store in case we needed more. She has been too embarrassed to go back to that chandlery since. In addition, we had to pay a 10% restocking charge. It still cost us less to rent the car for two days, pay to see museums and ruins, and have a couple of lunches, than the bottom paint cost. It was an enjoyable weekend that I will briefly describe in my next log.

Monday they worked all day again, finally completing by 1750, as I had arranged for us to go back in the water as the last boat of the day at 1800. We made it, and were allowed to stay rafted off another boat overnight at the boatyard, to depart for the national park island of Cabrera at 0900 next day, Tuesday March 28. Operational at last!