If you follow our Blog, you may have noticed that there hasn't been much going on lately. Well, that is not the case at all! A LOT has been going on, it just hasn't been all that glamorous! Yes, there have been recent posts about some of the projects we've been doing such as fixing the bimini
and renovating our dinghy
. There have other posts about taking time off and having some fun around Port Aransas. Right now, those fun times seem like just a distant memory as we buckle down and make a mad dash towards being ready to go when October 1st rolls around.
Yes, a mere 15 days separates us from real CRUISING! We are feeling the crunch and working feverishly to have as many of our projects finished as we can. Yes, we know that we can still fulfill the Cruiser mantra of "repairing your boat in foreign places"... but it would be so much easier to do it here, where we have a slip and a car. One way or another, we will be out of the slip come October 1.
Our "plan" is currently to go anchor out somewhere nearby for a few days to kind of regroup, then maybe head over to Rockport, TX. and take a slip for a week. We will do some last minute things there, or maybe just ride around on our bikes to get a feel for Cruiser life.
Somewhere near the 10th of October, we plan to meet up with some new friends from the Houston area in Espiritu Santos Bay. From there, it will be "for real". We will be Cruising up the Gulf Coast and making our way towards Florida, where we hope to spend the Holidays before jumping over to the Bahamas. Ahhhh, just typing it here takes my mind to a better place...
(insert sound of scratching record)
So just to prove that we haven't been slacking... here are some of the things we've been doing.
We serviced our steering: Ever since the day the chain parted when we first brought the boat home, Bruce has been very vigilant about making sure that the cable and chain are regularly inspected and greased. This is not a difficult job, just one that takes a little time.
We installed a valve to allow us to switch from fresh water to salt water from the foot pump in our galley. There was already a foot pump with fresh tank water, but we wanted the option of pumping salt water from outside the boat so that we could conserve fresh water once we are under way. Of course, we won't be using that until we are in cleaner waters.
Update on that: We spent half a day trying to figure out why we had air in our water hoses making the pump go nuts. Turns out that this valve was intended as a diverter of flow going out, not of flow going out, so it leaked. We removed it...
We spent several weeks preparing for the radio license tests. Our friends at BYC hosted the study sessions weekly and provided the testing venue. I got the Technician and General licenses and Bruce stopped at Technician. We are so glad to have that particular chore in our past...
I've done several sewing projects. One of the major ones has been to create a sunshade for our aft deck. It took many days to come up with a plan, sew the fabric
, put together the frame, and then do the final tweaking and make tie downs. It turned out very well.
I also made some modifications to a dinghy cover we purchased from Taylor Made. We wanted to be able to use the cover while the dinghy was hanging on the davits. I cut some slits in the top so that the lines can pass through. Now all of our hard work in resurfacing our old dinghy will last a bit longer.
We've spent a bit of time getting legal. The hailing port on our boat has been missing for MONTHS! I finally got around to putting on the new one. This job was huge in my mind but turned out to be not so difficult as I thought.
We also went through the rest of the regulations and recommendations and did some things. Our flag can now be flown in the appropriate manner, we have ample fire extinguishers, our engine room is now ventilated... the list goes on and on...
We had some issues with an electrical cord. We have done some trouble shooting and have replaced both the cord and the fitting. We also learned a few things about keeping the system healthy. One word: dielectric grease (OK two words)
Another Biggie has been preparing and listing our cars for sale. We spent days shampooing, vacuuming, wiping, washing and waxing three vehicles: The BMW, the Miata and the Van. We have sold the Miata but, as I write this, we still have the BMW and the Van.
It will be inconvenient if we don't sell one or the other of these. We aren't too driven to sell the BMW, as it is really a great car for us and we can keep it either in Corpus or take it to Florida.
Bruce has been keeping a close eye on the zincs and making sure that everything is "ship shape" down under. Our slip has electrolysis pretty bad and the zincs disappear within 6 months. We have spares in hand and will be SO glad to get out of this slip and into some cleaner waters.
|Even Jezabelle has had enough!|
I have spent long hours on the computer researching financial institutions
and working to get our online banking set up. It won't be all ready by the time we leave, but it's getting close and all that remains can be done over the Internet.
I've become intimate with the mail man as he has made multiple trips to our door. We've ordered spares and parts of every description. Please let me not have missed something...
We have spent long hours troubleshooting a problem with a waste tank monitor we installed months ago
. We FINALLY got the issue resolved and the monitor is working nicely. We have one more monitor yet to install... hopefully that gets done before departure.
We put together a new spinnaker pole
starting from just the end pieces. We sourced and collected all the parts to make a very nice pole for a fraction of the cost it would have been to purchase it pre-made We did have a bit of trouble, but resolving it just took more time...
the water tanks after getting another kind of little shock! Look at that nasty stuff we found in our strainer! By the time we sourced a new strainer (because that one leaked when we re-installed it) and got the tanks bleached and rinsed, the project took the better part of two days...
The list goes on and on and on. These are the things that have filled our days. We still have a couple of projects we would really like to finish before departure like mounting our life raft, installing the forward tank monitor and installing (creating) the mosquito netting for our hatches...
We still have windows/hatches that need gaskets replaced, we still have provisioning to do... and everything takes at least three times what we thought it would to complete... It's no wonder we're feeling like Cinderella. The summer has come and gone and we've worked and sweated our way through it. But please don't think that these are complaints... as it is very much the contrary. We couldn't be more happy with all of the progress we've made. I have enjoyed each and every sweaty, grimy, smelly day working alongside my husband in our efforts to get our dream off the dock. We are SO CLOSE we can feel it. Imagine it... in 15 short days... we will be off to the BALL!