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A BUSY WEEK September 21, 2015

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.

I finished prepping the cockpit cap rail. That included 3 coats of varnish. Then I got 3 coats of Bristol laid on before I ran out of Bristol. Today I found out that not only did I run our, but the whole island is without. Their boat comes in around the first week in October. In the mean time I have started on the second and worst phase. That is the taft rail around the back of the boat. Back to the borrowed heat gun and running the generator.

Today I put the finishing coat of varnish on the wheel. I do that at least once a year. I took it down to bare wood when we first got the boat. Swore I would never do that again. It is an old fashion style wheel with 12 spokes ran through 2 rings and the hub. The kind of wheel that people use for coffee tables. It took me a week to take it to bare wood, working with it fastened to a work bench. Just to many little parts that you have to scrape and sand. So todays projects were a light sanding and varnishing of the wheel and changing oil in the generator so it is ready to run the heat gun and sanders.

On the social side of last week, we went to a birthday party for one of the ladies we had dinner with the previous week. We did that at the restaurant at the marina. It was hamburger night, so we all had hamburgers. That was a fun evening.

Thursday we did a tour. We started at the largest distillery on the island. It is called Clarks Court Distillery. They produce at least a dozen different brands of rum. During the 50’s it was a sugar refinery with rum as a by product. The sugar industry was died, therefore, rum became the main product using molasses for its sugar. The molasses is imported from South America.

The old sugar refining equipment is still there and it has been turned into a museum. I have been in several sugar refineries mostly dating from the slave period. It is a labor intensive crop and Grenada is a very rugged island and does not have a lot of flat land to raise a large crop like cane.

After touring the sugar end of the plant, you move into the distilling part. That is a transition from large steam driven roll crushers to large vats, lots of piping and separation towers. Just a little larger scale then they had back home in the woods. They import I believe 100,000 gallons of molasses a year and distill a good number of gallons of pure alcohol. This is then blended into the various products they sell. Some of them are very good. I did not realize they have a distiller like a brewery has a brew master. He is responsible for the consistency and quality of the alcohol. That gives him the base for blending the various products. It is a continuous process, but like making paint, there is slight variations from keg to keg. It is aged in used whisky kegs. After they uses the kegs a few times they are made into furniture.

After visiting the sampling room for a while, we headed up into the rain forest for lunch and the next adventure of the day. Lunch was very good.

After lunch we went tubing down this river. Rapids, rocks, boulders, deep pools, the hole bit. Both the mate and I capsized once. I banged a knee and elbow, but no blood, so I survived. It was fun. I do not like going into the rapids backwards, but that seems to be the way God intended. You have to hang out arms and legs to push off rocks to get headed the right way and keep your rear end up so it does not bounce of the rocks. I would do it again. The mate, not so sure. Kind of like “been there, done that”.

So much for that week, time to get back to the scraping and sanding.
Make sure to look at my Facebook page for the pictures of the day.



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