Wednesday, 6 February 2008

My hero!

It's a scorching day here in Guatemala, only 10 am and already the sun is blazing down. TBH is at work on deck replacing a piece of teak that had worn through. He really is my hero, and I don't care who knows... Able to repair almost everything here onboard as well as making me laugh, what more could a girl want! Alright think I might get the perfume I want now.....

Our beloved boat has a full teak deck, totally impractical but I love its beauty and the 'traditional' air that it gives us. After 16 years of hard use it is getting rather thin in places and this is the second time we have had to fashion a repair.

In his childhood TBH was rather fond of making, flying...and crashing model aircraft. He could never have imagined then how well the skills he was developing would serve him in years to come!

I am full of admiration as he painstakingly makes a pattern for the piece of teak that he has to replace. As he fashions a tool to scrape the caulking( sort or grouting) from between the neighbouring planks.He bent a screwdriver to exactly the right angle, how clever!

I have never had any semblance of fine-motor skills and I am truly impressed at his delicate cutting and chiseling to ensure that we will be left with a neat and watertight repair to our deck.

The deck is something that we will have to think seriously about in the coming few years. It is paper thin in places and before long will need a complete replacement. We are obsessively careful of it and clean only with the gentlest of clothes and usually only with saltwater. It always surprises me just how dirty it gets, and coupled with the extreme humidity here in the Tropics, we have had quite a job keeping it in good condition. One great incentive is that the last quote we had to replace it, from our home yard, was over 20,000 pounds sterling!!! That's a good enough reason to care for it to the best of our ability.

We saw a boat that had their teak replaced in El Salvador and it was an appalling mess. Boards curling and warping in the sun and already lifting from the topside of the boat. We have seen teak replaced with what looks like some kind of fake lino, coloured to look like teak, very nasty. And, worse of all, replaced with cork, which shows every stain and mark!!

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