Friday, June 24, 2011

Working in the Philippines

We arrived in Cebu and visited the yard first thing to see Silver Tern. She is actually looking like a boat although it will probably be a couple of weeks before the hull is completed. The lines look good and we look forward to watching her progress. The yard is working hard to keep us on schedule and avoid any mistakes.

Most of the Philippino yard workers live on site with room and board provided. They work 5 1/2 days a week and go home on weekends. We have 4 workers on our boat. I looked across the yard at a larger fiberglass catamaran that is being painted and counted 12 workers painting in unison on the deck.

We settled in at the SDR Apartments on Mactan Island, Cebu. We have a furnished single that is very comfortable with rattan furniture, cable TV, full kitchen and bath as well as a desk area. It as well as most buildings in the city are air conditioned.

We are on a quiet street where motorcycle tricycles go by, sometimes loaded with 6 people. There are nice restaurants just a 10 minute walk away.
We spent the first week organizing our shipments from Seattle and Australia into a 20 ft container at the yard. We brought in rigging, engines, electrical & plumbing- everything you need to outfit a 48 ft catamaran, we hope.

After the initial work is completed at the Harwood yard, we plan to move the boat up to the Mumby beach boatyard, where the designer, Tim Mumby is fitting-out two other Mumby catamarans that were just released from the Harwood yard last month. He is also fitting out his own. We will supervise our own fit-out there. The fit out consists of installing all of the interior pieces; electronics, plumbing, furniture and interior walls. It is a very labor-intensive process.

We are spending our time driving between boatyards to observe their progress and are now the proud owners (we hope we stay proud) of a 2000 Kia Sportage SUV. We are adjusting well to the tropics. While it is hot and humid, it cools down nicely after a rain squall which are common this time of year.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Heading to the Philippines

A few months ago, I didn't even know how to spell Philippines, now we are off to spend around 6 months there doing the "fit out" for our 48' catamaran. Silver Tern is now right side up and ready for Steve to start the interior framing. We leave for the Vancouver airport today and will be in Cebu, PI on Wednesday. We are excited to begin our new adventure.

Last February we visited the Harwood yard in Cebu, PI. We stayed at a local lodge and were picked up by Harwood's driver for the half hour ride to the boatyard. Juju, the driver was thrilled that he was the first Pilipino, pronounced Filipino, that we met. When he arrived at the lodge he asked for Steve and Fat. That was the first of many laughs we had with him. He later drove us up to the Mumby beach boatyard about 2 hours north of Cebu City which turned out to be right by his home. He lives in a one room house with his daughter and mother, having lost his wife a few years ago. The Pilipino people are small and very few are overweight, so I feel a bit like an amazon women next to them.

The designer of our catamaran, Tim Mumby, has developed an informal boatyard on a private mangrove beach in Carmen, an hour north of Cebu City. Several new Mumby 48 catamarans are here being fitted out. We hope to put our boat here after one of them leaves and use his workers to finish off the interior of our boat.

In Cebu, we hear that there are two seasons, the hot and very hot ones. Yesterday,June 12, I looked at the weather forecast while in Canada and it said 30 degrees C but feels like 40. The humidity is 80%. Anyway, we are now on our way and will find out soon enough. I am looking forward to wearing shorts and sandals again but feel nervous about the enormity of the project.