Damage from Hanna
09/08/2008, Deltaville, VA
September 4th... Deltaville, VA
The Marina was hopping today. With folks who think that they may be better off in a storm on land rather than in one of the small creeks around here, the boatyard workers hauled boats from 7am to 6pm... probably making a ton of money for the owner... who spent most of the day running the travel lift.
Hanna is more like a subtropical storm as opposed to a tropical, which simplified means that it covers a very large area with moderate, but not devastating winds. According to the best predictions here Hanna should be over here in VA sometime late in the day on Saturday. We should have a few good hours tomorrow am to batten down the hatches.
Unless the forecast changes between now and tomorrow morning I think that we will take down our bimini and dodger but leave our sails on. We will wrap the main halyard around the furled head sail and lash the main sail cover to the boom and mast and that's about all except for making sure everything is put away.
Our once empty meadow is now about ¾ full of boats and will undoubtedly be full by noon tomorrow. The new boats actually serve as a reasonable wind break.
We spent the day refinishing teak and watching people scurry around the grounds. It was really quite interesting.
September 5th... Deltaville, Va
I finished about the last sanding on the port side rub rails this morning under perfectly blue skies. There is a little more sanding to do on the port side toe rail but I'll need to go over it all again anyway after the rain.
I was able to walk to the shower today, so headed that way sometime mid morning. The cleaning ladies were busy there so I sat on a small hill and watched folk in slips attempt to prepare for the storm. More than anything I would fear the forecast tidal surge of 3 to 4 feet. After my shower we worked on misc. jobs... one that I'm sure all of you will be interested in was patching the dinghy. The dinghy was moved to the foredeck before we left for Michigan and at the time I noticed a spot where the fiberglass bottom is attached to the tube that was coming apart. It is the same problem that I repaired in the Bahamas on the other side. Since that glass work is still looking great, I used up the last of our resin and a little bit of glass to keep the two parts together.
The day was spent mostly reading and battening down the hatches. We took down the dodger and the bimini to reduce windage and are confident that we've done everything we can.
I am happy to report that my foot is much improved today. I had a minor ladder mishap a couple of days ago and have been unable to put any weight on my right foot. After icing it down last night it was much improved this morning. If it weren't for my cat-like reflexes it could have been disaster. When I landed I rolled and saved myself for the most part. Unfortunately, by right heel was not up to the task. With Hanna on the way it looks like I can keep off my feet for a day or two and speed up my cure.
September 6th... Deltaville, VA
It rained on and off during the night but there was no wind until about daylight. At about 10am we found ourselves under on of Hanna's outer bands and had wind that occasionally shuddered Sapphire on her jack stands. Any time the rain quit we wandered down to the docks, which are about a block away to watch the boats that were left in their slips bounce around and the waves crash into the docks
During the day our meadow about clocked roughly half of the wind in unprotected areas on the water. We were completely comfortable. At one point at the height of the storm we heard what sounded like the motor of a large helicopter nearby. We donned our raingear once again and went down to the docks to find a boat in the neighboring dock with its jib unfurled about ¼ of the way and flapping in the wind. It was ruined as we watched. Other than a few large limbs and a few blown biminis that were left on boats, there was not damage around the marina.
At some point in the afternoon, while stuck on the boat, I made a batch of oatmeal-raisin cookies and delivered a few to nearby boats when the rain let up enough.
By 5pm the wind had clocked to the northwest at about 30 kts and it was much cooler. By evening it was calm and the stars were out.
September 7th Deltaville, VA
We spent all day today working on port side teak ... and yes we are getting tired of the refinishing business. First we had to move all the jerry cans that were in the way and then it was a combination of scraping, sanding and taping until we finished at around 2pm. Then after a little lunch we started applying finish starting on the starboard side and working our way around the boat. Kathy worked from the boat while I stayed on the ladder. By about 4:30 we were finished.
After dinner we wandered around the marina speaking with some folks who are leaving soon to do what we did last winter. Then we stopped by the "Grill Area" which is a screened in patio with three tables and seating for about 20. We have been invited to join some folks for dinner there but lately it's been too far for me to walk at that time of day. We ended up talking to a couple from Ottawa who are here working on a trawler.
Today marks the last of the sanding. We have one more coat on the starboard side and three more on the port, which weather permitting should mean that we'll be back in the water on Thursday or Friday.
Deltaville Boat Yard
09/08/2008, Deltaville, VA
September 3rd Deltaville, Va
Our first job this morning was a final sanding to rough up the epoxy on our keel and then a coat of paint. I also hit leading and trailing edges as well as the waterline one more time for good measure.
Meanwhile Kathy was putting our living space back together. It was getting out of hand...mostly from my getting things out and not putting them back.
We spent the bulk of the day working our teak. With Kathy wielding the heat gun and scraper and me the sander we make a ton of progress. The starboard toe rail got its first coat of finish, the starboard rub rails and all deck teak got a light sanding and their 4th coat of finish and the port side rub rails and toe rail are about ¾ devoid of finish.
We grilled some chicken for dinner and had some broccoli and a salad.
Work, work, work
Mike and Kathy
09/03/2008, Deltaville, VA
Beware! This is about work-the less glamorous aspect of boating.
Friday August 29... Deltaville, Va
After coffee we signed the car out for a provisioning trip to the grocery, the hardware and a stop at West Marine for a new prop shaft zinc On our return I worked on sanding the hull and applied a coat of West Systems (epoxy) to the leading edge and the bottom of the keel. During the process of scraping barnacles from the bottom of the keel I also lost most of the barrier coat. The epoxy should do the trick.
After lunch I fired up our new heat gun and began the task of removing the Cetol from our rub rails. Most of the brite-work can be done from the deck but the rub rails are impossible and need some attention while we are on the hard. Kathy did laundry as the washer and dryers were amazingly free. The laundry room seems to always be busy here.
We worked all day ... but quit early for a dinner of grilled chicken, broccoli, and salad. Later we began watching the "Deadwood" series that were gifts from Ellie and Matt.
(The bad guy may be too bad for my taste but the setting is interesting.)
Saturday August 30... Deltaville, Va
We were up at 8am, which is late for us. After wasting the requisite amount of time, I moved the ladder and continued removing finish from the rub rails. Kathy headed back to the store for three or four things that we forgot yesterday while I scraped.
When my feet started to hurt from standing on a ladder, I mixed up a batch of West Systems, added as much filler as possible and patched the keel where we lost a hunk of fiberglass last summer. The stuff ends up about the consistency of peanut butter which is troweled into the area that needs filling. Then I used wax paper to cover everything ... smoothing the epoxy into the shape of the hull. I taped the wax paper in place and let it cure. I will have some grinding to do but over all the patch seems perfect. There were three of four other small spots that needed attention and before long the job was finished.
I went back to ladder work and by about 3pm finished removing the finish from the rub rails.
The boat "Bold Endeavor" joined us in the meadow yesterday with about the same agenda as we have. We've seen them for the last year but this is the first time we've met. We pop back and forth when we need a break.
In the evening we listened to the Spartans on the computer...before calling it a day.
Sunday August 31... Deltaville, Va
Taking a lesson from my sisters, we went for a walk as soon as we got up this morning. It was warm and humid but mostly clear. On our return and after a couple of cups of coffee it was back to work on Sapphire. Kathy used the heat gun stripping the teak on our deck, the hand rails and eyebrow on the cabin top, while I sanded the repaired keel. In the afternoon I finished preparing the starboard rub rails for varnish and then sanded the teak that Kathy had stripped.
We quit at about 4:30 and showered.
There is one house on the perimeter of the meadow where Sapphire is parked and we are close enough to hear them talking when they are on their porch. We are thinking that it is used as a cottage or fish camp. When we were here in July it was well kept but empty. This weekend there are about three couples here.
During the afternoon one of the guys came over to borrow a drill bit...and returned it in about an hour. Later when they returned from fishing they dropped off a bag full of Spanish Mackerel for out dinner.
They ranged in size from about a foot up to 18 inches. I knew that they are a little oily so we grilled them in some tin foil with lots of drain holes. It tasted good, not at all strong but was a little soft... similar in some respects to a Whitefish.
Monday, September 1st... Deltaville, Va
Today was the fourth day in a row that we have worked almost nonstop. I started this morning sanding the epoxy on the bottom of the keel in preparation for painting and then shifted to the final prep of the starboard rub rails which consisted of a final sanding, a light hit with bronze wool and finally taping.
Then I mixed up and applied some epoxy to finish up our keel repair. We also applied epoxy to any place on the hull where bottom paint has chipped or flaked off.
After some lunch I began the process of scraping the toe rail while Kathy finished sanding the teak on the deck. We spent the afternoon sanding and scraping. At about 5pm I applied a coat of finish to the rub rails and the deck teak finishing up about 6pm. It was a long day and we have about three more until we can relax a little.
Tuesday September 2nd... Deltaville, Va
Out of bed at 7:15 we walked for an hour between the two rivers that dominate this area. Kathy made some coffee on our return and then it was it was time to get the bottom ready for painting. I sanded and all of the filled spots on the hull and then wiped it down with solvent. Then I took a shower to get the dust off. Returning, I taped the water line and we both began painting. After about 2 hours we were finished. I went back for another shower while Kathy worked with the heat gun removing finish from the toe rail. My next task was to fill one small spot on the bottom of the keel and apply a coat of resin to the bow portion of the hull. ( I left those spots unpainted) Finally I applied a coat of finish to the starboard rub-rails and the teak on the deck. Kathy finished while I talked with the kids in London via Skype. ( She had chatted with them the night before)
By that time we could smell our dinner of sweet potatoes and ham. We watched an hour of "Deadwood" and went to bed.
It is looking like we will feel the effects of Hanna on Saturday and will keep our eye on the weather. We are in as safe a position as possible, our preparation will be determined buy the wind forecast.
We have been doing so much outside work that Kathy has not had time to post the blog lately. Also, the inside of the boat is starting to look like a disaster area and the hurricane is still far out at sea, so it couldn't be from that! Time to do some posting and inside cleaning before heading back out to scrape some more on the toe rail.