Working in Chatham

7 May 2018    Saline Bay, Mayreau
I spent the morning finishing off some more jobs in the bilge.  The automatic bilge pump has a pneumatic switch that has never worked properly, so I ripped it out and need to get a metal bracket made to fit a more modern rocker-type bilge switch, which I’ve already bought.  

Another damn charter catamaran anchored right in front of us and ignored Glenys’s pleasant complaints.  I’d had enough and went up to the bow and shouted insults at them at the top of my voice.  Everyone in the anchorage stopped and stared, so eventually, in embarrassment, they moved.  I think that the next time we come here, we’ll anchor further away from the beach - it’ll be less stress.

New Purchase

The Brazilians came back to us and asked what we would think is an acceptable price for the boat.  It’s a bit odd negotiating the price when they’ve not seen the boat, but we know that if we sell the boat in the USA, we’ll have to pay a broker 10%, so we’ve some flexibility if we sell directly.  

This enquiry for the boat has made us look at our future.  Do we really want to stop cruising?  It’s very pleasant sitting here in a beautiful bay in the Grenadines and I’ve been looking forward to having a final six month cruise up to the USA next year.   Do we really want to go back to the hustle and bustle of the UK and the very changeable weather?  What are we going to do in the winter?   We decided to sleep on it.

I was very excited in the afternoon because I was bidding on eBay to buy a second-hand Les Paul electric guitar and won.  The guitar was in Reading, so our son, Craig picked it up for me.  He sent me some pictures and it looks good.  I’m very keen to get my hands on it because although I’ve been playing an acoustic guitar for 5 years, I’ve never played an electric guitar.  Unfortunately, I'll have to wait for 2 months until we get back to the UK.

8 May 2018    Saline Bay to Chatham Bay, Union Island
After breakfast, we popped into the small supermarket and bought a few things.  We then upped anchor and had a lovely sail downwind to Chatham Bay on Union Island.  It’s a lovely big bay with a nice beach, but after our recent tussles with the charter catamarans, we anchored a long way from the beach at 12°36.22N 061°27.06W in 7 metres on a big patch of sand. 

Mayreau High Street

After much debate, we’ve decided to continue to try to sell the boat now and let fate decide on our future.  We wrote back to the Brazilians giving them a counter offer.   However, I made it very clear that this was our bottom price and there would have to be something majorly wrong for us to drop any lower.  I also disclosed a list of the maintenance jobs that I’ve been planning to do and said that they will have to accept the cost of these jobs if they buy the boat before I have time to do them.

We went snorkelling in afternoon, just to the south of Rapid Point.  The visibility wasn’t very good, but there are some interesting small walls on the rocks.  The reef is in good condition as you head south-west.

9 May 2018    Chatham Bay, Union Island
I woke early thinking about the logistics of selling the boat.  If the Brazilians come back and want to proceed how are we going to manage the mechanics of the legal documentation and money transfer?  They’re in Brazil; I want the money in a UK bank account; and the boat is in Grenada. Thankfully, we had a very good internet connection, so I was able to do some research on-line. 

Polishing Light Fittings

It turns out that the legal ownership of a yacht can be transferred by both parties signing a simple Bill of Sale, which then needs to be shown to the authorities in the country where the boat is to be registered.  Alba is registered with the British Small Ships Register (SSR), which is only available to British residents, so the Brazilians will have to register the boat in Brazil or somewhere else.

Logistically, the transfer of money from Brazil to the UK will take several days, so we might have to get a UK solicitor involved, so that they can hold the money in their UK client account while the final documentation is signed.  It’s a similar process to selling a house, but more complicated by the international aspect.  

While I was slaving over a hot laptop, Glenys started the process of systematically working her way through the boat, cleaning and polishing any chrome or brass fittings.  There are 55 chrome handles on the cupboard doors, which have to be removed, disassembled and then polished.  In addition, there are five swivel reading lamps that are looking very grubby plus a plethora of small stainless fittings, clasps and hooks.  By the end of the day, she’d done most of the front cabin - it’s going to be a long job.