When we came in from our Atlantic crossing this is where we first landed. It’s the perfect protected spot. When you get the energy to pump up your dingy and ride ashore, you are greeted by two pubs, plenty of drink and usually a warm fire. Mostly second homes litter this beautiful snug harbour. A short walk out of town past the 1904 school house takes you to a sandy beach with wild flowers and fern abound. 

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Castle town bear is a small port but is irelands second most important fishing port. We anchored snugly in the harbour and spent three days walking town, Dunboy castle and the back roads of town. We never found the stone circle. People here were super friendly and have a great love for there surroundings. We met several ex pats that felt the very same way. A cheese maker who set up a farm and made cheese said it was the best part of Ireland. The crepe maker, from Germany had the same to say about his neck of the woods. 

On we went to Glengarif , a sheltered bay at the end of Bantry Bay. This is a gardeners delight and there are three garden tours to be taken. One being the bamboo gardens, the town gardens and the Italian gardens on one of the islands. We chose to hike to the national park and hike old carriage roads and scramble up rock outcrops. I most enjoyed the coffee caravan that housed an indoor reading nook filled with surf and seaside books.

Plenty to do here in Kinsale. The yacht club is most excellent with showers, laundry and great food. The people here are really genuine. On our first days travel I met a gypsy who settled down to raise horses, an ex real estate salesmen who sold out and became a fisherman, and a young man who returned home to roast coffee beans in an old warehouse. Although Kinsale is a tourist town with plenty of bus loads of people it still has its characters.
A short walk out of town takes you stone throw from people s windows and through there gardens up stilly walk towards the fort. I enjoyed this walk emmensly as I was able to admire people’s building styles and garden idea.s. 

Back in town I spent time at local library which has enough local books to get a gist of Ireland. I ventured up hill to the cork design building where I purchased a marbled blank book, wooden garden dibble and garden tools all made locally. 

The grocery store, tucked in the back corner had everything one could want all crammed into a small space but bustling with fresh bread, sweats and local caught fish. The back streets have bookshops, used and new and plenty of coffee and tea shops. This is a great place to spend a week. 

  • First we found rotten wood under the teak decks on the port side. This project set us back a full month in our schuduled departure date for the crossing. A bit stressful as we had crew and hurricane season approaching. 
  • Waiting an extra day in Provincetown to finish shopping and fueling up cost us 5 long days at sea motoring. We should have jumped on that lumpy ass low but there was still so much to do .Because we only carry    40 Gallons of fuel we had to head into St. John’s newfoundland with out charts. We were able to do it when Julien found a navonics chart downloaded four years prior still on his iPad!!!! I found it rediculious as Julien had sailed around engineless before I came into the picture. It was an ocean we were crossing with no obstructions. Oh well captains orders. 
  • Captain Julien hits a weather buoy along the coastline of St. John in fog with the auto helm on and the engine blasting. Who auto helms into a new place with out charts and in fog? We found out a day later that we passed a tanker size ice burg . 
  • our prevented main does a jib in a building brisk wind with the Aires steering and breaks the wooden boom. Two days of repairs during 2o – 25 knot winds with out a main and we are back at it waiting for the next low to bring us heavy 30-35 knot winds. Let’s hope the boom holds out. He slyly repaired it with a 2 by 4 scarf in three spots, west system and several large hose clamps. 
  • Tomorrow is half way day and I have been told to keep the captain crunch cereal at bay until we are tied up at a dock.  Captains orders.

We were preparing for an Atlantic crossing on our cold molded wooden sloop tiger Maru, when Julien spotted rot in the port deck. ” people do ocean crossings in open row boats” I said knowing how long our project list was already. It was to late he had already chiseled back the rot and was letting it dry in prep for his Dutch men repairs.

He knew it would be a messy job so we headed across the Hudson River and tied up to a rust barge where he proceeded to get loud and dirty. We also pulled the mast and placed it on the barge for a total refit. New inter stay with running backs for a storm sail. New halyards, rigging, staylocks ( norsemen is out of business) and new beefy spreaders.
Re doing a teak deck

Julien has decided to us west system g flex as the glue for this project.

  •  our decks are plywood with double diagonal mahogany. Once the decks were repaired, we milled the teak wood and scarfed the pieces together full length. Most of the source of rot was at butts so Julien wanted tight splices with no end grain exposed. next we removed all fastenings and filled the holes, while fiberglassing thin spots on the deck.
  • First deck piece was thru bolted with 2 by 2 cross clamps. This clamp would bridge the following strips so that we could wedge each strip with out fastenings.
  • It is a messy affair. I lay down g flex with 403 and 407 filler on the teak strip. Julien spreads it on the cambered deck with a sculpted plastic squeegee. We only lay enough goop for one teak strip.
  • Next we bend the teak in the shape of the deck, the breadth of the boat, while trying not to mash up our glue. We tuck it under the cross clamp and wedge the ends tight as we go down the deck.
  • Next we insert our separating string which is . 155 inch weed walker cord. This creates an even separation of the teak strips and a breaker for the future caulk.
  • We clean up epoxy that has used out of the wood strip so that we will not have to scrape and sand tommoroow when installing the next strip.
  • Each day we knock out the wedges and install a new strip. It takes a long week to do the port side.
  • After all the strips are laid  down we remove the cross bar and plug and fill the holes that were holding the cross bars. We sanded the deck with a belt sander and caulked with PL roof polyeurithane. We has sampled it 8 years prior and ir worked better then the expensive teak deck systems caulk. It is easy to remove and does well in the sun and costs $ 5 a tube at Home Depot.

We estimate about 100 Hours  ( we charge $110 an hour for both of us so that’s about 10,000 plus $2500 dollars in materials for this job.)

After two months of determined work we are almost ready to hit the high sea. It has been a long time dream for both Julien and I to cross the pond in our own boat. Little did I know the amount of energy it would consume. I am tired, frazzled & worn. To view our journey by tracking latitude and longitude goto https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/TigerMaru

Two months prior to leaving , Julien was putting in some structural beams and found rot in the deck. Here we are replacing the port deck without fastening. Up came the old teak. A bit of scarfed wood went in and then some fiberglass. On top of that we g flexed new teak wood clamped down with bolted down cantaleviered 2 by 2 . We then wedged the teak as we went. We also used .155 inch weed whacker cord as a bond breaker between the caulk and bottom.  It was difficult to work with. Next we pulled the clamps off and finished the deck with black roofing pl bought at Home Depot. I found it easier to apply and less air bubbles then teak deck system. It also only cost $5 a tube. We had previously tested it seven years

We also installed an inner stay to hang a storm jib on. Running backs so the mast won’t pump. I have just finished sewing 116 drogue cones with the help of Michele, Julien daughter and crew. We deliberated about how to get weather out at sea and finally came up with predict winds offshore weather and an iridium go. Michelle has been setting it up and soon we will be able to receive weather and get texts and email as well as calls. Our Eperb, Winslow life raft and spin lock PDF were bought at landfall navigation in Stamford conniticut. We will use C- Map on the iPad for charts of Western Europe as we don’t know where we will land. Once I pay the $40 I can download them for keeps. This is very scary for us as we are paper chart people. I will let you know how iPad navigation works out for us,

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Elliot Hopper & Silver Cloud
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Le Select
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Silver Cloud
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Innards of Silver Cloud
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Walking St Barth;s
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Dave Wegman in St Barths
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GOD MADE IT st barth’s
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Hands of a sailor

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Sara & St Barth’s wine in Silver cloud’s hold

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