Cruising so they say is really about fixing boats in exotic places. Here in Rabat there is no shortage of either jobs or the exotic. In the morning before the sun gets too high or in the early evening crews are tootling around on their decks doing bits even if it is just washing off the red dusty sand that seems to cover everything or simply hanging out the laundry.
Laundry day for Temptress was yesterday. Today we made a determined effort to cross off some of the jobs on our boat list which is surprisingly short at present with only twenty or so entries. Kevin washed around all the hatches, the inside surrounds were a bit black with that mould that grows on dust gathering in the nooks and crannies. Keeping the porthole seals clean means they form a more watertight closure at sea (no leaks) so is a regular task. Meanwhile on the foredeck I stitched in place the replacement protective leather cover on the pulpit. I’d cut it out yesterday. Afterwards shut inside whilst Kevin hosed down the decks I sent a couple of emails either requesting info on future ports or sharing with fellow cruisers info we’d been given on anchoring in the Canaries.
We’ve been quite constructive during our time in Rabat. Kevin’s planks purchased from a Salé wood merchant, have now been turned into diesel can holders though we’ve yet to find reasonable quality cans. The plan is for three cans of fuel to be tied on to the planks on each deck – six times twenty litres in all means a further thirty hours of motoring. All part of our transatlantic preparation as our route to Brazil will almost certainly take us into the ITZ more commonly known as the Doldrums. There may also be space for two cans of water as an emergency supply. A third plank is to become two fender boards for when we have to raft up against fishing boats or lay against a rough quayside; by putting a board between the fenders and the object it helps protect both them and the boat from damage. For the landlubber fenders are large inflated plastic sausages that cost a fortune each but tied along the guard wires prevent direct contact between the boat hull and whatever we are alongside so save a lot in labour intensive hull polishing and maintenance. There is at least one port in Morocco further down the coast that will require them if we call in as Temptress will be moored with the fishing boats.
Port side diesel can support
Spare plank – to become two fender boards
The same source has also provided us with an extension to the galley work surface. Many years ago I purchased a huge expense a teak chopping board designed to fit in the sink recess making the space a useful place to prepare food or rest a hot saucepan. However there are two sinks so I have long wanted a second board to double the work surface but wasn’t prepared to spend £75 on another lump of teak. In one of those light bulb moments I realised that the hardwood planks Kevin had purchased were rubberwood, ideal for a chopping board. Back we went to Rashid the wood merchant, his shop is small with two narrow aisles between vertical stacks of timber of all sort, below ground level underneath the office at the back are various cutting machines. He supplies the furniture makers in town and there is a wonderful scent of cedar and other woods. We presented him with our well worn teak board, could he help? Yes he could supply the timber and knew someone who would make one for us. No idea of the price but it wouldn’t be expensive and would be ready tomorrow, in fact when we collected it the price was 150 dirhams. Another Moroccan bargain!