Maintenance Update – Astican Dock Yard

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria


The quiet on board in the evening is very welcome. During the day there has been lots of noise the siren in the shipyard goes of regularly starting at 07.00. The contractors start coming on board soon after. Thankfully all the hot work has now finished so no more grinding. The contractors have been busy grinding and welding in the water traps, the 2 leading into the forward deckhouse from the main mast have had a major overhaul and there has been no access to the ship from there. This has meant getting into the upper mess from the deck level via the door by the foremast. To get below decks maintainers living in the foc’sle have had to use the steep staircase from the foc’sle to the upper mess.


When below decks all the furnishings from the PD cabins have been removed to the clean container shore side. The pipe cots were all taken of and painted and the lee cloths repaired ready to get re-rigged. Finding your way around below decks has been a variable feat. At times either port or starboard alleyways have been sealed off with plastic sheeting going into the lower mess. The doors by the bar and engineers workshop have been closed most days. Access via stairs from bar ok but only able to exit via the chart room as the water trap on the other side was also done.


4 of the cabins have needed new deckhead after various bits of pipework were attacked. The ship is now starting to be put back together. The pipe cots all need to be attached to the walls and re-rigged that will keep me busy. The linen cupboard needs a thorough clean then all the laundry in the container can come back on board. The mattresses also will need to come back. As the cabins are bare at least the cupboards are back on the walls and only a few deck heads to be remade, hopefully that will finish tomorrow.


The good news is the main topsail yard was craned back into position today. Lots of painting has been done over the side of the ship. And there has been a rash of red rope appearing on the ratlines for the new ascender safety system.


If you haven’t been on in the last 6 months the big change is in the chartroom the chart table is now facing aft and the electronic navigational gear has been remounted in grey, work has continued this maintenance to continue the changes in the chartroom.


Captain Darren has been holed up in his cabin at times as work was done on the watertrap right outside his cabin, making access a big stride over to get to his cabin and affecting access to the ships office. He has been seen in his boiler at times not just limited to the times when the smell of the paint outside his cabin chased him out of there.


Ali the cook has worked wonders with reduced access to the galley store at times, also having to negotiate with MR Chipps’ as to access to the veggie locker as he was redoing some of the deck caulking. Ali’s deserts though should come with a health warning, people want more of them. The engineers have been grateful for the extra help, the Hamworthy has had a lot of attention from Pickles and then Charlie Brown and Alan Grant did retire but has been out volunteering and sorting some of the aircon units. Marco has been overseeing them all and getting excited about a Chelsea win! The starboard engine exhaust has been given a revamp with new lagging and the deckhead put back today.


The Shetlanders are gradually trying to take over the ship. Barry has been on as mate and trying to keep everyone under control, whilst helping everywhere. There is another Shetlander BM Martha is on board. Stu the Bosun has just re-joined after being to the celebrations in Shetland, he has a big workload in front of him.


Jim has been busy trying to sort out electronics in the chartroom, but most of his time has been spent overseeing various contractors and translating.


Mikael the second mate has been busy dismantling part of the chartroom and making new gratings for the on deck cleaning locker. Dave the 3rd mate well his worst claim to fame this maintenance is bringing on a cold which he then liberally distributed to the rest of the crew. He has also been busy painting over the side and the pipe cots.


Alex has been on as Bosun and teaching splicing and knot tying in the bar in the evenings.


Vicki MP started the maintenance and I have had the last 2 weeks of maintenance, repairing lee cloths, medical stores stock take, cleaning and about to start reassembling cabins so that people joining on Saturday aren’t greeted with a DIY to assemble their own bunks.


As well as the permanent there is a small team of maintainers without whom we would not be able to get so much done so a big thank you to them


That’s it for now another busy day tomorrow


Jo Hicks Medical Purser