First, my apologies to everyone who has been so diligent in reading the blog entries and not seeing one since January or so.
Second, not making excuses, but I’ve been pretty busy and I’m going to remedy the situation right now.
I’ve been pretty busy working a part time job in the marina, as well as on the boat.
On the boat, I have been working on varnish and fiberglass, some major (attempts) at cleaning and a few minor things like doing repairs as I need to. I’ve gotten to MOST of the teak and have three coats of varnish on them. I’ll be adding another when I have a few days to work on it, when it’s not scalding hot, or raining and blowing hard.
I did some glass repair work on the side of the cockpit the other day. I’m not sure about this damage I discovered – hidden under a “fake boot stripe” (I’ll get back to that in a moment). Along the top deck, where the house part rises from the deck, there’s a wall built around the cockpit. The coaming with a kind of removable door/wall in the cockpit has a straight crack along the length. It appears to me that something hit the boat and did some damage in the past, though I’m at a loss where the hit could have occurred unless the boat was dropped or smacked against something like a lift.
When we bought the boat in New York, a surveyor didn’t notice or mention any problems and I don’t recall them. Before we left Colorado in July of 2015 to collect the boat, we had a bottom paint job done by the marina.
Worst of the worst of the places we’ve been at, this marina. I called them and asked specifically about the paint, the type, how it was applied, and asked about them touching up the waterline and boot stripe. I paid for paint, their time and an extra $300 bucks for the rest of the work to be accomplished (this included zincs etc).
When we arrived, only two zincs were installed. The paint was haphazardly sprayed on, and intake grids were blocked by paint runs throughout the holes. I couldn’t find an indication where the “boot stripe” was painted/cleaned up.
It wasn’t until I made the painter come look at the boat and clean up the mess they made that they showed me the “boot stripe”. A maroon strip of “tape” had been placed on the boat on the cabin top, along both sides.
So, when I was doing my work the other day and removed this stupid “tape” (and tape it was, a colored, stick-backed maroon-colored tape) I discovered this crack running the length of the starboard side of the cockpit and just forward of the cockpit in the coaming.
The crack was very “clean” like a break, but it wasn’t perfectly straight like a razor, but kind of jaggedy.
I ended up not being able to determine the cause, why it was there or even if they had attempted a repair (as it appeared to have some silicone material in it). I used my dremmel tool to remove the gunk, take it to the inner wood core, clean it up and have reglassed that part of the boat. I still need to sand and eventually paint this part of the boat.
As to varnish, I spent a few days cleaning, sanding, wiping, sanding, wiping, cleaning and then varnishing the cap rail, taffrail most of the wood around the boat. I have NOT finished (and have barely started) on the platform. I have completed three coats and will probably do two more, though I’m not sure yet. In any case it looks wonderful.
The topsides, near the waterline had a horrible, brown stain. I guess the stain has a name. It’s called the “ICW Mustache”, some people call it other names, which are not repeatable here. I had a few names for it, I won’t repeat either.
Anyway, we found that by using a small amount of toilet bowl cleaner with some water in a spray bottle worked wonderfully to remove the stains. I spritzed it on, went over with a soft bristled brush and it was gone in seconds.
I’m in the slow, laborious process of waxing the hull now, a little at a time to prevent this from happening in the future. I’m not going to haul the boat this year and likely not next eitgher, so I’m working from the dink on and off. A little here, a little there. When I get tired of one job, I go do another. And so on.
Being inside the marina as opposed to sitting on the transient dock is much better, and thankfully, cheaper too.
At this point we will likely remain here through October and depart sometime in November for the Bahamas (destinations to be determined) and stay from 3-5 months, depending on our ability to remain there.
Working at the marina has been a mix of very simple to very difficult tasks. I’ve done everything from repair the ramp for the golf cart we use to collect and move trash to the dumpsters (about a quarter mile away) to changing flats on the cart, bringing in boats, pumping fuel (diesel, gas) to selling ice, oil and collecting money, making change, putting up and taking down flags, handling the radios, coordinating slip assignments and boat moves during the dredging. Dredging was a royal pain in the rump too. Everyone hated it. Even the dredgers appeared to hate it. The poor manager here was inundated with constant complaints about noise to hating to have to move their boat for the dredgers to get their work done.
The dredge kept breaking. Things kept floating away. You name it. Thankfully, the dredging is finished. We’re slowly getting boats back into their proper slips, a few here, a few there.
The manager has called me in for extra hours several times to assist with various things. So, a few extra bucks is ok. I’ll feel more comfortable when the retirement pay kicks in from the military in a few months though.
Midges. AKA No-See-Ums. They are demons from hell. I hate them, and I will kill them all before I die. I’m apparently having allergic reactions to them. I get welts on my skin when they bite me, and they LOVE my blood type I suppose. If there were ever a true vampire, midges would be the creature. I am reasonably certain that the vampire mythology was built around these tiny insects. They run away in bright sun normally, come out when there is dampness in the air, and buzz around incessantly in your face, your ears, up your nose and somehow find places to bite you that is completely covered with clothing.
Deet does NOT help. So far, I’ve tried a dozen things. Today I used, Picaridin, a type of “Off” type stuff, which actually worked for about 5 hours today. The rest of it doesn’t seem to work. Home remedies, lemoneucalyptus whatever that is, somewhat worked. I’ve not yet been bitten by a mosquito, however, another of the creatures on this planet I’ve been trying to destroy my whole life because my body has begun to absorb deet to the point I feel I need it….. ok, maybe not true.
We went to Michigan in late January to go see my brother in the hospital. He is doing significantly better now, even though he doesn’t remember us being there.
We went for a day sail with our friend Jay aboard “Knot Working”, a 37 Beneteau. Beautiful boat, turns on a dime (ok, maybe a half dollar, and certainly in less than a full boat length I think – whereas we turn on two or MORE boat lengths given the conditions).
At some point soon, we hope to get out of the marina for a day or two, do a sail or two on our boat.
Finally, we’re going to try brewing beer in the next few days. Will be the first time for us to do that since we moved aboard. We will see how that goes.