Saturday 25 April 2020

Diary of a live aboard during lockdown - CV Week 5

Sunday 12 April to Saturday 18 April 2020

Week five started on a high as it was Easter Sunday and although the weather was wet and gloomy, it was a day to enjoy.  Normally I would have gone to church as the mass on Easter Sunday is usually very joyous and uplifting.  This year there was no service, except for those being broadcast on the television, but the bells did ring out at midday.

I couldn't help but reflect on the difference to last year.  We had spent the Easter weekend in Estepona and Easter Sunday had been a wonderful day. I had gone to mass at our local church and seeing all the children, parents and grandparents in their Sunday best had reminded me of when I was a child and we would do the same.  Mark had joined me for the procession from the church and we had followed it for a while.  We then had lunch in a very local restaurant surrounded by lots of families all talking and laughing and we felt a real part of the community. No wonder we love Estepona so much! 

Easter Sunday treats
We did celebrate in style though with video calls to the grandchildren (who were bouncing off the walls with the sugar rush) in the morning, followed by a full roast dinner, nice bottle of red wine, delicious rosquillas from our friend Paci and Laphroig from our friend Peter (this was Mark's treat!). All in all, a lovely day. 

With the weather forecast for the week continuing to be unsettled we looked at getting on with a project inside the boat.  There were a number that we could have chosen, but Mark decided that he would 'crack on' with the aft cabin.  

Man on a mission!
First major project was to remove the foam/glue in the storage area.  This would involve removing everything that was stored there which is mainly sails, dinghy equipment and our sailing gear and as this had to go on deck, timing with the weather was critical.  Removing the foam/glue was a long tedious job using the heatgun, scrapers and the electric multitool.  As you can imagine, it was rather a messy job but Mark managed to get it done and together we cleaned the aft cabin storage area and got everything back in place before the next band of rain came through.

Second project in the aft cabin took a bit longer and involved having to sleep on the bunks in the cabin for two nights.

Back in winter,  before Coronavirus and lockdown hit us, we had decided to insulate our side of the aft cabin (where we sleep). We had made this decision based on our experience last year in the Balearics. Mark had already bought the insulation so we were ready to go.

Before we left England for our adventure,  Mark had insulated the ceiling in the saloon cabin with reflective lining which reflects the heat off the boat and keeps the temperature cooler than otherwise could be.  In the heat of summer last year and using an infrared thermostat, he took a reading of the saloon cabin ceiling and the heads ceiling, which highlighted a difference of between 5° and 10°, a lot when it's  35°+ outside.

🤔 no words needed!
In preparation, I had previously stripped the foam and glue off the walls, so it was all primed and ready to go.  The plan was to first glue on the insulation and then cover the insulation with cork, which could then be either varnished or painted. We set about removing the mattress and covering everywhere with protective plastic.

To cut a very long story short, we only got as far as putting up the lining as we ran out of adhesive and with everywhere shut, couldn't buy anymore.  The fumes of the glue from the lining forced us to sleep in the saloon, with the aft door shut but aft cabin window open and fans on to try and expel the smell.

As with all projects we do, why do one when you can do three!  Next day, Mark decided it would be a good time to fit an extractor fan in the aft cabin above our bed and do some plumbing ready to fit a flexi tank under our bed.  Unfortunately it wasn't possible to complete both these jobs in one day and as much as I love the idea of sleeping under the stars, I didn't fancy sleeping with a hole in the roof with possible showers on the way. Hence our second night on the bunks in the saloon.

I'm glad to say though that true to his word the work was completed the next day and order was restored. And boy was that bed comfy after two nights on cushions with little foam.

The Coronavirus situation in Spain this week has, if not improved, at least plateaued and people are hopeful that the measures put in place by the Spanish Government are working with the results being fewer new cases and less deaths than last week. As of Saturday, the total number of people infected with Coronavirus stood at 99,576 and sadly  the death toll had reached 20,043. There is still a long way to go before free movement will be restored, but hopefully we are heading in the right direction.

There was a semblance of normality returning this week in the fishing port with the lifting of restrictions on non-essential workers.  It was quite reassuring to hear the sound of the fishing boat engines and the voices of the fishermen as they set off early in the morning for their days fishing.  Watching them return was a treat too and I know the Seagulls were overjoyed!

Birthday celebrations 
The highlight of the week though has to be our grandson Finlay's 6th birthday.  How do you celebrate a birthday when the family can't get together? You have a party via videoconferencing of course. It was great fun and was really special, especially when we sung happy birthday whilst he blew the candles out on his cake.  True 21st century celebration.

I think he had a good time, but after an hour of complete chaos I had to have a very large glass of wine!

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