As we prepare to leave Gibraltar, we’re getting Pintail ready to get going again after her three month rest in the marina. We often talk about her as though she is a living, breathing creature and she certainly has two very distinct personalities. Somewhere along this adventure so far Stefan said “One minute she is our life support machine, the next the place where we watch telly” and that pretty much sums it up. All at the same time she is our transport and our home.
Underneath the carpeted floors and behind the wooden walls which make her so cosy as our home are the life systems that enable us to live on and sail Pintail. I have watched in awe over the last three years as Stefan has got to know those systems and their tangles of wires and pipes like arteries and veins under our feet.
Pintail needs a lot of love to keep her going. We spent a lot of time Getting her ready before starting this adventure and we have not been idle during these three months. She has kept us busy with all the maintenance and repairs necessary to keep her afloat and us safe and happy on board.
Somewhere along the Portuguese coast Pintail’s very old fridge finally bit the dust. Luckily for us we were able to use the freezer (which we have never used) as a back up fridge. It wasn’t big enough to keep all of our drinks cold so just in time for Christmas we got a new fridge. It doesn’t look like your typical fridge but we have cold beers again!
Her winches have been taken apart and given a thorough service, with thanks to Adrian for bringing out all the parts for us and helping out. I am not sure how he and Stefan worked out how all the hundreds of tiny parts went back together but the winches are like new!
Sue the engine has been serviced and new spares bought. We’re hoping the engine won’t get used quite as much as in the last six months but we’ll wait and see whether the wind is in our favour.
We did some cosmetic work too to keep Pintail looking neat and tidy. I repainted the non-slip surfaces on the deck. We replaced the top guardrails and treated ourselves to a new helm cover. I am rather proud of my stitching!
With guidance and help from our neighbour, Steve, we refurbished part of the teak deck. It looks beautiful now but shows up the rest of the deck. We have a lot more work ahead of us to get it all looking so good.
And finally, we had to say farewell to the old generator. After a saga only Gibraltar could conjure up, we took delivery of a brand new one. Fitted with a day to spare before our departure by the brilliant Dave from Marine Electrics Gib, Pintail is now ready for anchoring around all the Mediterranean islands.
For three months Pintail has simply been home, the place where we celebrated Christmas in Gibraltar, entertained friends old and new and enjoyed the luxury of Netflix and BBC radio thanks to internet access direct to the boat. But the sun is starting to get higher in the sky, there are lots of exciting new places to explore and we are more than ready to move on.
Pintail is also ready to get back to sea and tomorrow, from the minute we switch on her engines and instruments, she becomes our transport again.