The work goes on
04 October 2011 | Valdivia, Chile
While our long delay in making an update here might make one wonder if we are super busy, actually we are not. In fact it is slightly boring. The boat construction advances some everyday, though there is little we can directly do on the boat at this time. We continue to organize for a food provisioning that will need to last for 8 weeks, inventory and upgrade our warm clothes, and splice and sew specialty line assemblies for the storm drogue and shore tie lines required for Patagonian waters.
There are sailing hardware and instrumentation bits appearing rapidly now, and it is starting to look like a functional boat. The most dramatic visual feature however is the artist-painted floor, which today in the main cabin/saloon has been completed. We chose a painted floor over the imitation wood laminate flooring installed in most boats, because we thought it would look dull and detracting next to the bamboo finish wood. As we were trying to decide what color to make it, in stepped Nancy, an artist from Steamboat Springs, who has painted floors and pool bottoms and wall murals and assured us she could do a first-rate job placing true art on Helka's floor. First rate it is, her work is truly awesome, check back in a few days when I get a photo album together about it. The picture above does not really do it justice (it is all I have tonight), and that is not a tail sticking out of Nancy's butt but the tail of an intricate sea serpent.
Now that the saloon is free of the floor painters, final furniture and instrumentation installation will proceed rapidly. Already most of the wiring and instrumentation is installed in other parts of the boat. We expect to make the first tests of the electrical system on Thursday and put the boat in the water on Friday. The uhh, bilge pumps must be functional for that. Thereafter, intensive testing can begin for all of the systems that need sea water, such as the engines, as well as the many more electrical, electronic, refrigeration, heating, and water desalination systems.
Now that I have purged all of the German from my language processor and Zia is taking intensive Spanish lessons, we are becoming more comfortable with the language barrier. On Sunday, we had a great mid-day dinner with lots of happy families in a cheery sea-side restaurant, and in conversation with the owner I explained that we were staying in Valdivia, are from the United States, and in three weeks would be passing by his restaurant on a sailboat bound for Patagonia. I thought it was all well until I looked up the word I used for boat, "bota," which is actually a boot, and which would explain the puzzled look on his face at that moment.
Fingers crossed for a Friday launch...