21 December 2010 | Charleston City Boatyard
Things have somewhat settled back into a routine for me. The routine is a bit off because the boat is still on the hard and it's still very cold, but at least it's the boat routine.
The first day back aboard I caught up on all our paperwork and put up our Christmas decorations. Bud will never decorate, but despite his feigned indifference, he always reminds me to do it. So the stockings are hung by the portlight with care.
Sunday we worked on the anchor and chain. We had bought a shackle to attach the anchor to the chain that was rated at the same strength as the anchor chain. Unfortunately, it won't fit over the anchor roller so to deploy or weigh the anchor you actually have to lift it up and over the roller. That seems like a recipe for crushed fingers, so Bud thought we should replace that shackle with the fitting we had, and only use the shackle if we are in a storm situation where we think we'll need the full strength of the anchor chain. While we were doing that we decided to replace the markings we had on the anchor chain for length. We had used zip ties every 50 feet, but they are too hard to see. So taking a tip from an article in "Cruising World" I sewed strips of nylon webbing to the chain links. We'll see how well my stitching holds up. We also fed the first 50 feet of the 200 feet of chain into the lower locker, so the rest of the chain would go into the chain locker without getting hung up. Unfortunately, the last 25 feet still would not go in. The problem is that the chain piles up below the hawse pipe and doesn't fall back and down into the space available. For now I think we're going to put more of it into the lower locker. We may try to find pipe to extend the hawse pipe so the chain piles back further where the chain locker is deeper.
Yesterday Amy took us to run some errands and then loaned us her car for the afternoon and evening. Thanks Amy! Bud used it to go grocery shopping. Today I am going to pick Amy up and she and I are going sightseeing in Charleston. Bud is going to stay on board with Fuzzy. He says he's seen the city, it's just a city and he doesn't need to see it again. I'm not at all sure that driving through in the marina van is seeing the city, but I'm happy Fuzzy will have company.
The best news is that the prop is back on the boat. As you can see from the picture, it looks pretty new. One of the yardmen was giving it a final cleaning after the install when I went out and took this photo. It also feathers easily and now has grease fittings, so we can keep it moving nicely.
The bad news (isn't there always bad news from us) is that when they came aboard on Friday to check the engine alignment they found a cracked engine mount (as Bud had expected). They took out the bad one and found the only replacement comes from the state of Washington (teach us to buy a West Coast boat). So a replacement was ordered yesterday to be shipped overnight (the shipping charges are going to kill us). Hopefully with these heroic efforts the boat will be in the water, if not today, then tomorrow.
My mom asked me yesterday where we'd be for Christmas, and I told her then what I know now, on the boat. As to where the boat will be... I think that level of uncertainty is part of the charm of cruising life. It's a good thing I find that charming, isn't it?