Walk A-Bout "on-the-hard" in Green Cove Springs, Florida
26 January 2013 | Jacksonville, Florida
It's been a long time since my last update so I thought I would post something to catch up. Bill and I are both back to work, unfortunately. We are settled into our apartment in Jacksonville. We have a new crew member "Swabby". He is a Yorkiepoo (half Yorkshire terrier and half poodle). He's a great little dog and he doesn't shed hair at all! He spent the first couple of months on the boat with us, not sure he will ever become a good sailor though. I think he likes the apartment better than the boat.
After over 2 years living on Walk A-Bout she is in need of some time out of the water, some much needed rest and repairs. She has now been pulled out of the water and in the work yard at Green Cove Springs Marina. If anyone out there is in need of a cheap place in Florida to store their boat this is the place. We are in the work yard, they allow us to do all our own work but also have the experts there if needed. The Marina is way down on the St. john's river which I believe will be a great hurricane hole.
We have come up with a long list of repairs we plan on doing over the next couple of years. We think the biggest challenge will be replacing all the sanitary and water hoses. I am totally convinced the designers of these boats never thought (or cared) about people needing to replace them in the future. From the minimal amount of info we have found on this subject we are going to need to take out teak walls and flooring to get to some of the hoses. The hoses have become so hard and inflexible over 30 years that you can't just unclamp them and remove them. If anyone out there has had any experience with this we would love to hear from you.
Other projects will be redoing the outside teak (once again). Getting someone to look at our standing rigging to see if it needs replacing. Getting the Perkins diesel engine looked at. We are hoping all we need is to have some gaskets and hoses replaced. Getting new lifelines. Lots of sewing for me to do: finish the new cockpit cushions that I started over a year ago (foam for them is very expensive), new settee cushions, new dodger, new mainsail cover, binnacle cover, winch covers and repair our headsail. Lots of other things that need replacing i.e. batteries, led lights, running rigging, etc.
Walk a-Bout has been a great boat for us, as a 30 year old boat she got us where we wanted to go with really the minimal amount of mechanical problems. On our 2 year voyage we had more issues with our outboard motors and dinghy than with the boat. Our last dinghy was beyond repair so we cut it all up and threw it in the dumpster.
We recently got together with some of our old sailing buddies - Mike and Francie on Anan Cara and Dean and Chris from Rubiyat. Dean and Chris are back home in Michigan with Rubiyat on the hard but came down to Florida in a land yacht for a short visit. Mike and Francie are still on their boat spending the next several months on the gulf side of Florida. Another cruising couple that we keep in touch with are Paul and Gaynor. They are back home in New Jersey. Luckily their boat made it through Hurricane Sandy untouched. Our dive buddy and Erie Canal helper, Craig, is still enjoying retirement, his new Gold Wing motorcycle and is in St. Pete for a few weeks staying at a marina working on teak refinishing on several boats there.
About all the news for now. I plan on taking pics of work on the boat as we go along and will post them here.
I wanted to say hi to all our former boating buddies back in Silver Bay - we miss our summers there and all the good times on the "booze cruises" aboard Destiny, trips to the Apostle Islands, sitting out on the docks having a sundowner or two, hanging around the fire ring on those many chilly summer nights and good friends. Dan and Pam, we got your voicemail the other night - something about looking for your dinghy buried in the snow??
Cheryl, Bill and Swabby