26 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
Christmas is approaching and with it mixed feelings. I associate Christmas with snow and a hot fireplace burning the yule log. Here in the boatyard in the swamp in Georgia there will be no snow of course, but a different kind of Christmas is taking place. There is a huge 14 foot Christmas tree in the center of the boatyard. Underneath it we held a pot luck dinner with all the boatyarders who would be staying over the holidays and some who were departing to celebrate with family and friends somewhere else.
Back on board Kaimu I continued working from the top down, the cabin tops were painted and solar panels in their new mounts, not yet bolted down, photovoltaic wiring crimped and connected to the batteries. The old batteries were on their last legs but still functioned well enough to power the interior LED lights and the radios in the pilothouse.
I began on the port cabin side, outboard, and coming aft, grinding bad spots in the fiberglass sheathing, fairing the edges, exposing bare wood. At the stern I followed up over the coaming and onto the aft deck, above the furthest aft compartment which held the water heater and holding tank. The deck sheathing was blistered and came off too easily. An area of about 15 square feet of glass sheathing in total came off. The wood underneath was damp but not rotten. I covered the exposed deck and cabin side with heavy plastic drop cloth to prevent rain or dew from getting into the bare wood.
The rain did come and continued for a few days. It had been dry weather for so long, and now that I had exposed the wood it rained. The plastic drop cloth kept the wood dry and when we had more dry weather I primed the wood with unthickened epoxy, then glassed it the next day.
During the rainy days I did a lot of reading or worked inside the port hull where the full sized main bunk had been chopped up into two counters on either side. The counter above the port battery bank had a hatch cut out of it, exposing the tops of the batteries. Maintenance on the batteries was difficult because the space above the batteries was small and their water level could only be seen with a mirror. It was dark in there also. Now I could look down with plenty of light and see the water level and have easy access to add water. They were very dry and reading only 6 volts, nearly totally dead. After adding water and giving them a charge they came up to 13.4 and an indication of 75 percent. Perhaps the electric toilet, which is in the port hull aft, could now be flushed.
It looks like the weather will continue to be mild, not falling below 60 at night, not going above 70 during the daytime, right up till New Year’s. The image is from saatchiart.com, by ALDYN Alexander of Romania, called Crystallization 2 - Solar Flare, available for purchase. I found it by searching “solar”.