Hurricane Season

On the hard II

On the hard II

It’s finally time to reassemble and the screws are turned clockwise. However, there are still many jobs to be done. The entire deck has to be sprayed with gelcoat and anti-slip coating, the now completely ruined hull has to be completely repainted and the teak in the cockpit has to be regrouted and sanded.We clean the boat and the sofa cushions, bring food and books from the bungalow back on board and Esmen installs the generator. Then it’s time to say goodbye to the Rio Dulce, to Martin and Rikki, Kira, Naia and Thomas, to the boatyard, to Guatemala and our temporary life on land. Although we are still moored at the jetty, we sleep on board again, then it’s off down the river to Livingston, where we clear out. Our next destination is Providencia, a small Colombian island 600 nautical miles away. The trip is the first general test after the refit on the Rio Dulce. We still don’t know when the sailboat refit in Guatemala will be completed, when we will be able to re-inhabit Mabul and when she will be swimming in the waters of the Rio Dulce again.

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Gallery – Rio Dulce

Gallery – Rio Dulce

For over three months we have been living on and around the Rio Dulce, while Mabul is being refitted in the boatyard. We share the boat problems with Riki and Martin from SV Arancanga and the family of Pablo and Dini. They repair their boats in the neighboring boatyard and also live in our little jungle commune. Thomas from SV Irmi is also part of our sailing community, but still lives on his boat. We discuss boat problems over an evening rum tasting and together we go on adventures outside Rio Dulce and travel to Antigua and Tikal, cheer on the gauchos at the rodeo, get annoyed at the growing number of screaming roosters and laugh at the imaginary turkey. It is this community of like-minded sailors that makes living around Rio Dulce so unique – despite the heat, rain and lots and lots of work.

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On the hard I

On the hard I

For more than four months, from August to early December 2023, Guatemala is our chosen home. This is where we spend the hurricane season and where we get our Mabul ready for the upcoming sailing legs. There is a lot to do, the list is long and never stops growing. I put many projects on hold for weeks and months, “You can do it all in Guatemala during the sailboat refit”, I said to myself. At the time I was still thinking that three months should be enough if you just get down to work… I still had no idea how exhausting and chaotic everything would become.

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Gallery – Guatemala Refit II

Gallery – Guatemala Refit II

It took six weeks to put things back together for the first time during the sailboat refit II in Guatemala. The deck project is going well. After some touch-ups with fiberglass, two coats of polyester filler are applied to the deck. After an incredible amount of sanding, seven coats of gelcoat were sprayed on. Meanwhile, Alex rebuilt both toilets, relocated a thruhull, glued in new plastic seacocks, and tinkered with what felt like 100 side projects.

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Gallery – Guatemala Refit

Gallery – Guatemala Refit

In this first gallery we show how Mabul is disassembled during the sailboat refit in Guatemala. Only three days after we arrived in Rio Dulce, our dear Mabul is already hanging in the slings. Karin flies to Switzerland and the prop has to come along. After an inspection of the underwater hull, I get to work, the list is long. Soon Kevin and Joel, the Guatemalan workers, start with the deck project. First the old teak has to come off, then gelcoat on the deck and new paint on the stern and waterline.

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