We arrived at Nanny Cay, Tortola, British Virgin Islands on January 10th, getting in fairly late in the day. We’d flown to St. Thomas in the USVI, then taken the Roadtown Fast Ferry from Charlotte Amalie, USVI, to Roadtown, Tortola. Even though we reached the hotel around 6:30 PM, almost dark, I strolled around the boatyard until I located Ocean Angel. The crew had moved her from the storage yard to the working yard in order to carry out the few repairs I requested. She appeared to be fine, and I returned to the hotel for a night’s rest.
I got up early the next morning to begin recommisioning the boat and readying her for launching on Thursday, January 12th. As I opened the companionway I was shocked to discover a green fuzzy carpet covering the interior, mold and mildew everywhere. What had happened? I found that one of our brand new dead light seals had failed allowing water to gush inside soaking everything in its path. Enough water that Joy’s inflatable PFD was saturated and the device fired auto-inflating the PFD.
What a mess. I spent all morning scrubbing and brushing, soaking away the mildew and throwing out anything that had been damaged beyond repair. Fortunately, we only lost a few items, a pair of shoes, some T shirts, a treasured little cedar box that we carried on our boats for over 30 years, and a few other odds and ends – all forgotten now. It was interesting to see what the mildew attacked and what it didn’t. Plastic was clean as a whistle; our upholstery was untouched; the bright varnished cabin sole was clean; the satin varnished bulkheads, cabinets, doors, and so on, were lightly dusted. We had used Murphy’s oil soap to clean and polish the satin finish prior to leaving the boat in June 2011. Wherever we used the oil soap, we found heavy mildew; wherever we used vinegar and water to clean – no mildew. Lesson learned.
Believe it or not, we took no photos of this damage. We were so consumed with the mold clean-up and repairs to the dead lights we gave no thought to photos. I hate to even think back on it; just the memory is enough for us.
While we’re discussing failures, here’s another – 1 year old dinghy gas tank purchased at West Marine. It spent six months sitting in the shade with no fuel in it. The threaded neck on the tank split at the seam allowing water to enter the tank. Now I know where I got water into the fuel system just before we headed home last June. Interestingly, West no longer sells this tank, but one with a molded in threaded neck. Wonder why?
We spent several more days than planned at Nanny Cay Marina with all the cleaning, and the repair / redesigning of the sealing system. So much for 3M’s VHB tape. I plan to have some words with 3M for all the good it will do me. The tape bond failed on one fiberglass side; the Plexiglas side might as well be welded together. We drilled and thru-bolted the glass and frame per the original design.