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Refit and rest

Salty sailors versed in the ship’s life, know that adventures riding winds across the open waves are just a piece in the puzzle that represents owning, repairing, maintaining and running any sort of ship, moreover if that vessel is constructed around a centenary hull. Doesn’t matter if she is made out of the classical timber or the hardest steel, high maintenance requirements will keep many sailors busy for relatively long periods of time every year.

Scraping and sanding damaged varnish, applying new layers again and again will be part of your daily lifestyle in a timber ship or to maintain the wooden elements in any vessel. Osmosis blistering will threaten the fibreglass of your ship. And there is a constant war to brawl against rust in a steel hull.

With no sailing trips running for the next months, our Ocean Wanderer Europa can enjoy for once in many years the time for a longer refit and a rest, yet another consequence of the change on everybody’s lives the virus pandemic has produced worldwide.

From the early morning, hammers, wire brushes, but preferably power tools, are ready to use for one of the main occupations in the shipyard, rust-busting from below decks to up the masts. Varnish scrapers in hand for others, and later on brushes and paint often drive to the end of yet another day of a classic refit day. As usual characterised by the steady advance on all projects with the ship dipped in a cloud of noise, dust, every so often welding and grinding sparks and grit, wood shavings and paint.

For instance this work made for many interior areas of the hull itself to see the light once more after many years behind shelves, insulation materials and floor boards. Amongst the dust billows and noise from rust-busting and grinding in the dry stores area, her beautifully made shell out of old riveted steel plates surface and gets an overhaul. Busy engineers sorting out and replacing the maze of pipes running all around the engine room, crouch over the naked guts of the ship.

Boatswains, officers and captains assign jobs and straight ahead get hands-on with the rest, while dealing at the same time with inventories, invoices, ordering what is necessary for the jobs, and what it seems to be an endless amount of paperwork. Amidst everything, the galley as usual excels with the meals and ship’s organisation.

After weeks like that, a much welcomed Saturday resting day was spiced up with a typical Patagonian Asado, as a sort of event for the crew to celebrate our Director's, Leentje, birthday and the soon farewell of our Magellanic Engineer, Sebas, after his months spent on board.Jordi

Written by:
Jordi Plana Morales | Guide

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