The last week or so working on Anastasia.

Dear Readers,

If you have been following along with our new journey, you are probably wondering where we have been! I was just saying to Maxwell the other day. We are SOOOOO busy! Even on the days that it rains! Tuesday of this week marks our 1-Month anniversary with Anastasia! When I think of it that way I feel really great about all of our progress. However, it is really easy to get discouraged and overwhelmed when you are staring at numberous projects all half finished!

We are still working on the mixing elbow for the engine. I am actually quite proud of the two of us! We have created a new apparatus completely! It was one of those "I have absolutely NO idea what I am doing," situations transformed (after a bit of research) into a "Gee, that was not too bad, whats next!" We ordered and received a new fiberglass muffler last week too. Now we just need my Dad to come by and help us to weld a brace for the new elbow so we do not suffer stress cracks from the vibration of the engine. It is funny, I actually sound like I know what I am talking about...I DO! Yay!! Slowly we are becoming cruisers!

We have had a few nice days here recently. It has gotten up into the high 70s! Woo Hoo! Nice weather speeds the work along immensely. We have sanded the entire toe rail and side wood trim in preparation for the new varnish. Check out the photo below. It shows a great before and after of the toe rail.

Here are some more so you can see the areas that we are focusing on now. Our motivation is to get back into the water ASAP so we are just hitting what will be unreachable at that time.

All along we were aware that the bowsprit was in need of some work. As we said in a previous blog entry, there is some delamination on the nose. After removing the windlass and the stainless steel plate that is mounted on the bowsprit, we found that the stem has some rot between the layers. See the photo below.

After careful examination, we found that the teak is in great shape! Thank our lucky stars! I checked on the price of teak and it is $$$$! About $39 a board foot! Only the white oak is rotten, and not completely. We can get all of the white oak we need for repairs for only $50.

Maxwell and I removed the bowsprit completely on Wednesday and are planning on taking it to my Pop's wood shop for repair. Anastasia looks really strange without it!

And I have to mention our neighbor in the yard. His name is Robert and he owns the Egg Harbor below. He is the NICEST man! He brings us food, he lends us tools and supplies, and he will stop whatever he is doing to answer a question or show us a technique. We could not have asked for a better friend to share this corner of the marina with!

Well, that is all that has been going on for Team Anastasia. Check back soon!

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Working inside while it is snowing outside.

Man! This cold weather is really hanging on! This time we have had a few inches of snow. It is CHILLY!! As I mentioned in previous blog entries, we are not motivated to work on Anastasia in cold weather. However, we are making progress at the house.

Anastasia's previous owner did a charity sail for breast cancer research. It is great to know that she was involved in such a great cause. Check out the photo below of her underway during the trip.

Unlucky for us however are the left over sponsor stickers plastered all over the main and staysail. On BOTH sides of each! We are all for breast cancer awareness and research as it has touched our family. But, we like clean white sails. So this was our job for the past three days. We lit the fireplace, stocked the wood pile and spread the sails out in the kitchen floor.

After hours and hours of peeling, heating, scraping, scrubbing, more peeling and finally more scrubbing, I can make this statement to you. I, Jennifer Williamson, do solemnly swear to NEVER EVER place a sticker on a sail unless I believe that it will NEVER be removed.

This was not one of the more enjoyable jobs to do. Some letters would peel off in one or two pieces. Others were so brittle that they had already broken up into tiny little pieces like a mosaic but still remained firmly glued to the surface. Once removed they usually left a gooey gluey residue behind that we either saturated and scrubbed with goo gone or doused with talcum powder.

We now, after much work, have clean white sails ready to be filled with a spring breeze! Today marks 3 weeks of ownership and I can see the light! In a small amount of time we have moved mountains. Anastasia will be back in the water in no time at all!

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York Haven Marina, Poquoson VA

I thought that I would give you guys a visual of our marina. There are much fewer sailboats than what we are used to seeing. I guess that is why I kind of felt out of place in the beginning.

Poquoson is a community built around the seafood industry. So, naturally there are lots of commercial watermen's boats in our yard. This is the time of year that they are hauling their boats and preparing for the upcoming season. We have had warm welcomes from many of the "regulars" and become customers of the watermen. Lucky us!! With some cash in hand you can quickly become the proud owners of the freshest, largest, yummiest local oysters in town! Maxwell likes to eat them right out of the jar! When we eventually move on to another marina, I will miss our new friends.

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A week in review!

Well it has been a very, very busy week working on the good ship Anastasia. The first part of the week was cold and windy but yesterday the high was 64 and wonderful. The week started Monday morning with a visit to Trans Atlantic Diesel to purchase a new mixing elbow for the exhaust system. We thought no sweat, we'll just show up, show them the elbow and they'll retrieve a new one from there vast inventory of parts. That was when our smiles turned to frowns. Marcus the incredibly gracious owner informed us the mixing elbow had been fabricated, and on-top of that incorrectly. So with advice from Marcus and Randy, one of the diesel re-builders, we were off to redesign an exhaust system.

So the better part of Monday was spent online doing research, and taking measurements of our engine compartment to formulate a design. Tuesday it was buying parts online and at various stores around town. We have everything we need with the exception of a new Vernalift muffler which should be here soon. So hopefully this time next week we will have a new and improved exhaust system.

Wednesday and yesterday were spent outside enjoying the warmer weather. As you can see from the lead photo Anastasia is getting a "nose" job. The bowsprit is showing signs of minor de-lamination and is in desperate need of a good varnishing.

So in order to make proper repairs some out patient surgery is needed. This process so far has involved removal of the whiskerstays, bobstay, forestay/Harken roller furling and bowsprit platform. If we can get a good stretch of warm dry weather we can begin the actual repairs with West Systems and lots of Epifanes. We have gotten a great start on stripping and sanding the beautiful wood on Anastasia's side trim.

And finally today we continued our progress with some self maintenance. We made a visit to our now favorite doctor, Dr. Greer. The purpose of the visit for us both was to discuss needed immunizations, and for me a much over due physical in preparation for cruising.

So that's it for now, hope everyone is well, talk to you soon.

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Jen has new digs!

So today was pretty nasty too as far a weather goes. In fact as I am writing this entry it is snowing outside! We decided to make progress in other ways than working on Anastasia today. We went SHOPPING! Yay!

We visited some marine stores in Hampton. I cleaned up! Because it is reaching the end of the season for 2008 gear things are starting to go on sale. I was able to find some awesome Gill bibs and a great offshore jacket. These will be really nice this fall when we leave on our trip. I know we are heading to the Caribbean, but we live in Virginia and we will be leaving here in November. It will be COLD!

Above I am posing with Bailey, our Boxer. This is her blog debut so everyone say Hi! Below are some other great poses with my cool new digs!

Pour some water on me!

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03/03/2009 | Rick - S/V Godspeed
Is that a Ronstan jacket with Gill bibs??? Say it's not so....


Up to our elbows in Happiness!

Today was a cold day, again! It seems that on these cold days it always takes just a little bit longer to get motivated once we get to the boat. Thank goodness we have a great space heater! It was one of those unexpected "extras" that came with Anastasia.
Maxwell's Dad stopped by just as we were getting ready to pull the engine cover off. That is him above with Maxwell. He shed some light on how we might attack a few of the engine tasks on our list. During the survey we were shown a few things that need attention. One being the mixing elbow and another the muffler. The photo below is of the mixing elbow.

At first both seemed to be quite daunting but, as we have found with everything else so don't know how until you try!

It took just a little while and we were VICTORIOUS! Thats the mixing elbow below that Maxwell has just removed with no sweat!

Earlier in the morning while Maxwell was hogging the heater I decided to do some polishing. There is plenty to be done so I am going to just chip away at it slowly.

The marina that we are currently at has turned out to be great. Everyone is extremely friendly and willing to help as needed. The guys, Kevin, Curt & Jamie have all been really warm. We will be sad to leave but happy to find somewhere closer to our home. On average we spend 1 1/2-2hrs in the car commuting to Poquoson. But the price was right to keep her at York Haven.

It is funny, but on the way home we were both commenting about how content we are right now. It is so fulfilling to work on Anastasia and prepare for this incredible trip. It is truly a labor of love! We are so lucky to be having this life-changing experience.

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Team Anastasia
Who: Maxwell & Jen
Port: Gloucester, VA
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