Exactly one month ago a still beautiful but slightly tired looking Dorade was craned back into the water in Palma after her 10 day crossing from Bermuda on the deck of a ship. Despite it being a quiet time of year over here in Palma, with the majority of workers taking their holidays, we managed to employ a great team of people to get to work on restoring Dorade to look at her absolute best again. Its holiday time here for locals for a very good reason, its really very hot! For three weeks we lived under a tent where daily temperatures would reach over 100 degrees and the noise of sanding tools, giant fans and compressors echoed around to make the working environment less than pleasurable. A team of 5 painters, 4 riggers, 3 electricians, 2 nippers, 1 carpenter and me have worked solidly for the past 30 days and the result is pretty impressive. We are back in the water, hull gleaming with not a plank in sight, varnish work is fresh and the rigs are back in.
Boat yard work is rarely enjoyable. You go home filthy every day and for a long time everything seems to get way worse before it gets better. No matter how tidy and organised you try to be, arriving at work each day to a boat in pieces and contractors climbing over each other trying to scramble to get to their area of the boat can feel like a thankless task. Yesterday, despite searing heat and without the cover of the tent to shade us, we really started to turn the corner and Dorade is looking ready to get back out to the freedom of the ocean rather than the constraints of the marina.
We hope to be able to set sail for France on Tuesday next week to test her out in preparation for the Corsica Classics race at the end of August. Assuming all systems are go, we will be looking resplendent. Buffed, polished, cleaned, tested, tidied, serviced, painted, organised and above all beautiful. I must take this time though to announce that for those of you who follow the Dorade blog you will no doubt have heard of San Pedro, the lucky stick who has accompanied us for the last year and a half. Two days ago he decided that it was time to move in with his travels. When we went to retrieve him to lash him back in his lookout spot, he had gone. While this is sad news indeed, on behalf of the team I would like to say good luck San Pedro wherever you may be and thanks for jointing us for the ride.