La Creole was safely at her mooring in St. Thomas.  The wind generator is installed but more power was needed to keep up with the refrigerator and separate freezer. So, solar panels had to be ordered.  After a rigging inspection, three swageless eyes had to be replaced as well as all the chainplates.  All the hatches were either broken or leaking so they had to be replaced too.  Ok, no problem…time to go shopping.  By the way, there are three separate blogs right there.

 First, the solar panels.  We decided to go with four-140 watt panels but they couldn’t be purchased in St Thomas so, several hours of internet searching and we decided to go with e Marine Systems.  We purchased a solar boost 50, four Kyocera solar panels and a remote display.  Then we put the purchase on hold because the shipping was going to be astronomical.

 Several weeks went by while we tried to find a solution to the shipping expense.  In the meantime, I was still researching for the rest of what we needed to start our refit.  The swageless eyes could be purchased in St. Thomas if you are willing to give up your firstborn.  I wasn’t.  The hatches could not be found on St. Thomas. 

Thank goodness for Mauri Pro Sailing.  We ordered our swageless eyes and four Lewmar Ocean Series Hatches.  FREE Shipping!, I almost fainted.  So, of course, I started thinking, “What else can I get from them.”  Turns out we needed to replace our Genoa Lead Car so that too was purchased from them.

Now, on to the chainplates.  They would have to be machined.  Getting that done in St. Thomas would require me giving up my second born.  I’m not doing that either.  Our new found relationship with Charlie who also does machining would become a true godsend.  He offered to do the remaining 11 chainplates at a very reasonable price as long as we could get the materials.

Charlie told us about USA metals so I gave them a call.  While I’m on the phone with them, I’m thinking about how much the shipping will be on raw stainless steel bars.  Heavy bars.  You guessed it, expensive.  That sale got put on hold too.

 All this running around, internet surfing and complaining about the cost of shipping caught the ear of a sympathetic person who just happened to have a shipment coming on Tropical

Tropical Shipping

Tropical Shipping

from Ft. Lauderdale.  She graciously offered me a spot on that shipment because they had room for more stuff.  FREE.

 A quick call to e Marine and USA Metals and our solar panels and stainless steel were on their way.  Now the real works begins.

 To be continued…