Michael has been telling me how much he's wanted to be working on the boat stuff in the garage (settee, floor boards). But it got cluttered in the last few months, especially with computer stuff - we built Paisley a new computer for Christmas, and Mikey had some upgrades to his done too. But today I went in there, turned on heater (its FREEZING outside) and worked on tidying it up a bit for him.
He must have been excited about it because he immediately started sanding the corner piece of the settee so it would be flush with the front. He then sanded the plywood to put on another coat. Ahh to be covered in dust once again.
We then brought the settee into the house so I can paint the inside white tomorrow. I am looking forward to filling and sanding those floor hatches. I want a floor I can walk on again without falling in a hole.
Michael and I have already been talking about spring and working on the boat again. His office is moving to only about 20 min away from the boat, rather than an hour. We are excited about spending time on the boat again. Now if she was just on the water...
I can now check off one of my items on my 'If I ever get bored, do this' list. I have wanted to get my ham license for quite a while now. It started because I was looking at using Winlink to get email when we are out in mid ocean. I read somewhere I needed to get my general class. Now for those of you who don't know general requires morse code. I tried to learn it, I really did. But, I am a visual learner and I actually could read it better that hear it. I was very discouraged and gave up on it for a while. But recently the FCC announced they were going to get rid of the morse requirement. HOORAY! My motivation to get my license was back, and I had nothing to do for a couple of days.
I decided to study for the technician's class, the first requirement for a ham and a step below general. So once the holidays were over I started to study for the technicians exam. A great resource is QRZ.com I asked Michael if he could mind me going and taking the test, he asked me when and I told him I wanted to take one in three days. He said he wanted to take it with me, so I found a test a few days later and Michael studied like crazy.
We got to the testing place and got the testing done in about 20 minutes. As I figured, I was the only girl. Michael and I both passed our exams. I already call myself a geek, but now I think I can proudly call myself 'ubergeek'. Now just to get 'learn spanish' off that to do list.
I firstly have to state that I am not insane. Or at least I don't think so. :) Michael and I went out on Friday the 22nd to celebrate our anniversary. Two days prior we had a huge blizzard and this was the first time we went out of the house. I told Michael we could put it off, but after spending 3 hours shovelling out the truck, he was GOING to take me out.
We decided on Papadeaux's Seafood Kitchen restaurant and a movie afterwards. We had fried aligator, wonderful crab and crawfish. It had amazing service and outstanding food. We are definitely going to go back.
Anyway, Michael asked me what I would like for our anniversary next year. I told him to be on the water in our boat in the Bahamas. He said what if we didn't have the boat in the water yet? I laughed and said I still wanted to be in the Bahamas. He said 'You can't have the same gift two years in a row." Say what??
He smiled hugely and said he had been squirreling away money. He had done tons of research and arranged for us to fly down and stay on Bernie's boat for a week to 10 days. All he had to do was buy the tickets. He could have bought the tickets but decided to have my final approval.
As we had a great evening we talked about the boat and our dreams. I told Michael how much it mattered to me that he took all this time to do something special for me. However, my ultimate goal is to be on the boat permanently. We talked about what we could use the money for and we ultimately decided on a new deck. We are planning on putting tek-dek down instead of real teak. It will be a gift that gives for years and everytime I get to lay down on it, in the Bahamas perhaps, I can say Michael gave this to me for an anniversary gift. Sure beats saying he gave me a new set of fuel tanks.
Michael had time today and was in the area, so he went to check on the boat. There was about 3 to 4 inches of snow, so he decided to walk in rather than try the hill. It stinks going from a 4-wheel drive to a 2-wheel drive truck, but we make due.
We had a wind storm a few weeks ago, and to be honest I was worried about the boat, but didn't have the guts to go check and see if she was lying on her side, or smashed on top of the trailer. I also expected if that happened we would have gotten a call from Bernie (who is in the Bahamas now, btw - sigh)
Michael got up to her and she was still standing great. A couple of the staps could be tightened slightly and the tarp near the front was beating itself into shreds, but it wasn't affecting the upper part at all. She was nice and dry inside.
Michael told me he almost forgot how big and beautiful she is, he walked around her petting her hull... good thing she's a boat. :)
So all is well and we are trying to push through the winter blahs to get more work on her done. We took the floor hatches out last time we were there and have to sand them and fix them up. It helps walking around when there are no holes to fall into. Paisley figured that one out all on her own.
Michael worked on the floor hatch by removing the SS lifts, sanding and filling gaps. We also got our very first coat of varnish put onto the drawer fronts, and salon seat parts. It looks great. I am looking forward to seeing it come along.
I got motivated and finally cut out my sunbrella. I cut out, which is really a misnomer to those who have never used sunbrella before. You can't use scissors on it or it will fray terribly. You have to use a heat gun and melt it. At least you don't have to worry about edges that way.
I used some of it to set my sewing machine up with the proper stitch length and tension. I am using white UV resistant thread on the forest green sunbrella. Looks pretty good.
I used the measurements from the handrails and cut the smaller ones out. I thought I would try a small one first. It turned out nice, although I used one of the interior handrails we have here to check out size. I think I may have to make them slightly wider to account for the snaps. Now, I just need snaps.
This week has been a lazy one. We have done little things, but nothing that has done much to dent the overwhelming to do list.
Today Michael completed the table seat veneer front, where the drawers go. He also got the little spots on the side that popped up, fixed.
We were cutting down the drawers when we discovered just how bad the delamination was to them. The teak front was fine and the bottom had no water damage, go figure since it had to be totally immersed. We ran to home depot to get some nice oak plywood. *3* stores later we found some. That was fun - NOT.
Michael got the drawers together fairly quickly. While he was doing those, I worked on portlight #2. Michael brought home a drill press and I could use it with the wire wheels I was using in a drill. It was much easier to be able to stand there and hold it rather than hold it and the drill at the same time. I still use the drill to get tricky spots, but the majority I do with the press. I am a powertool queen!! WOOHOO
Michael also got the salon seats ready for varnishing soon while I stripped the 2 drawer fronts and the portside salon trim.
Although the week was slow, we made good progress today.
Yup, it happened again. Michael gets great ideas during his sleep. He did it with the stringer and came up with a great way to put them together so they will be strong. Gotta love when the sub-conscious helps you out. I would love that skill.
We packed up fairly quickly and got everything loaded just as it started to rain. It tends to rain a lot around here. I am just glad it isn't snow.
I got out of the boat when I heard Bernie outside. He was loading an old car onto a trailer and I helped him put some metal to recyle into it. When there was no more for me to do there I went into the boat and finished measuring the nav station.
I tracked down the propane system. It goes from the propane locker in the lazarette to the stove, but also T'd off to somewhere else. It ended up hanging free in the engine room. I suspect it might have been connected to a water heater. We will never know. We may end up moving the propane locker as well. This one is very small and we plan on carrying 2-20lb tanks.
We worked on school work and I checked out the forward storage tank - whew it stinks. The port water fill goes nowhere under the V-berth. Yup, I can just see it now, some guy filling our water tanks and asking us if we happen to have a huge tank. Note to self - NEVER use that fill.
After lunch, Paisley and I worked on the chain locker. It was a terrible job. The chain was rusty and tangled into a big heap. Have you ever gotten a necklace into a knot. Think that, but with 100's of pounds of chain. ugh
At least it was nice after it was cleaned out. I saw a bag made for a chain someplace - maybe that will do. I labelled the 3 parts of all the portlights so they don't get mixed up when we remove them.
When Michael got back we looked over the floor. Michael got temporarily discouraged figuring out if we should remove everything from bulkhead to bulkhead or piece it together. But sometimes piecing together can take more time than ripping it all out.
I told him if it takes longer, it takes longer. I originally thought this refit would take 2 years to get her back into the water. Anything faster than that would be a bonus. Right now, Michael is trying to target the fall of next year. It would be nice to be there if we could - of course we haven't decided where to put her in yet. At least we are in the middle of the country and pretty much everything is equally far away from us.
I asked Michael if we could PLEASE do something about the port wall. There was major water damage there. My whining must have worked because we started removing layers of plywood - it took a couple of layers but we got down to stable wood quickly.
Paisley helped remove the veneer along with me. While working on that Michael took the plywood off the starboard cabintop side along with a second portlight.
We then gave up for the night and headed next door to Bernie's for a couple of hours.
Michael sanded a small section of the teak veneer this morning as we loaded the truck to go to the boat. It looked great.
Michael drove us to the boat and headed off to work. The nice thing about doing this time and time again is there is less and less for us to do when we arrive to set up for the weekend.
Since Bernie's car was parked next to the pumphouse where I string the power cords I didn't hook up power. The kids started schoolwork and during breaks I got some stuff I needed to do done.
I measured the handrails and the winches for their covers. I wanted to find out where the galley sink drain came out, it had been bugging me since I could not find the thruhull. To my surprise it drained directly into the bilge. THAT is going to have to be redone.
I discovered the rear head discharged directly overboard but the forward head has a Y-valve to discharge overboard or to go to a storage tank.
In the afternoon it started to rain but the boat stayed nice and dry with the tarp overhead, gotta love it. I watched 'The Black Hole' with the kids. They laugh at the special effects but I love the movie. It was a great time to write in my journal, later to be transcribed into this blog.
After the movie I tracked down 3 more below the waterline thruhulls. Two are transducers - one I think is a speed sensor and the other is a depth sounder. Since we have no electronics it can be anything we want anyway. I found and marked 3 more above the waterline thruhulls before Michael got home. 2 of them didn't even go anywhere so I marked them blank. All the holes in the boat are accounted for. Finally.
When Michael got home he looked at the location of the thruhulls and wiggled himself into the engine room. The 2 in the engine room didn't go anywhere and we speculated. I hope one becomes the sink drain.
Then for fun, Michael removed the fittings from the watertanks - a very oily job. To make it worse Michael hates getting his hands dirty. Go figure.
Before Michael went to work, we HAD to see if the epoxy worked. We hoped the parchment paper worked and the epoxy didn't soak through and glue the plywood to our salon seat. That would be a problem.
We removed all the weights and lifted off the paper. TADA! it worked! We carried it to the table and put it teak side down. Michael cut the excess off and we turned it over. It looked great. It had some sanding to be done, but we now had our first piece of teak plywood. It is a good day.