Is anyone else's life flying by as fast as mine is lately? I can't believe another month has passed since I wrote anything here. Things are happening but our to do list still feels really, really, long.
We just got back from a week in Florida where it is lovely and warm with bright sun. I got a sunburn merely from long walks with Jon outside in the morning hours. Even though Vero Beach is getting more built up by the day, there are several sand roads within walking distance of Jon's parents' house where there are all kinds of animals, birds, flowering orange groves and pretty fields. I hope the owners don't sell out anytime soon.
We had a great visit with Roland & Mariette, played with their nutty dog, got some medical care done and visited with friends Lois & George. They took us to an outdoor concert featuring the Land Sharks band in downtown Vero on a beautiful evening. I had this vision of getting our teeth cleaned at the same time as establishing with our new dentist while there but was informed that with group dental, which is what we now have, you never get a cleaning on the first visit, so that is not done. I really do miss the ease in many countries we visited where you can buy routine medical care like you buy a loaf of bread. You just get it done. We also drove down to Lake Worth to pick up the custom water tank we ordered for the RV. A company called Dura Weld made it and so far it seems nicely fabricated. By picking it up we saved freight charges and also the probable damage we would have incurred given our luck with shipping lately. Driving all the way back to Washington for 12 hours with it in the back of the car required us to have our seats all the way forward so it was like a torture chamber which is bad for Jon's aching back and we couldn't go to the gym today because of the sequelae!
We are embarrassingly known for getting lots of packages since we always have some ridiculous project going on for the boat and now this RV. During the week we were away, there is now a new, huge shelf at our marina right near the door with a big sign that says "ALL PACKAGES" which probably means all of Evergreen's packages. Jon has been ordering things like cupboard door latches, heat exchangers for our heating system and other little bits. Spring is pretty much here in Washington although things are still kind of brown overall. There are 2 sets of Canada geese hanging out on the lawn here making a big scene whenever they land behind the boat and a golden retriever who visits to jump into the water and torment them.
So over the past few weeks we have focused on the sitting area some by adding the pedestal for the table and making an elevated platform for the footwell with lockers underneath it that will have latches. Jon adhesived on some of the wood flooring and made a maple border for it. We really like the flooring we got and can't wait to get it all in. It was on clearance at lumber liquidators and it was our first choice which is unusual. There will be a heat exchanger in the footwell area on my side for the heater and another one in the bed area. The electrical panel is made, varnished and installed. The wiring comes later. We got a great deal on the panels from a place called Overton's whose warehouse is just a few miles from here. But due to their shipping, the panels went halfway across the country and back before we got them. The freezer and batteries are in place and the water tank fits the hole we left (yay!) so we can bond that in tomorrow. Its about 100 gallons. The boat carries 160 and we have a watermaker we can flick on whenever but we still think we'll be OK with enough opportunities to fill up or pull from streams if need be. The pressure water pump is in along with the filters. We still have to run all hoses.
Then in the bed area, the headboard cabinets are all installed, painted/varnished and the overhead clothing cabinets are in place and being varnished. There is space for a piece of artwork in the middle of the headboard area. Everything needs doors still but they will be easier to do all at once we think and should go pretty fast. It's really taken some gymnastics in the bedroom area to fit & bond all these cabinets in while balancing on the bed framework since it sits 42 inches off the floor and we have the slats removed. It appears we'll have just as much storage for clothes as we have on the boat. With all this woodworking we do have quite a mountain of wood shavings going on in the back 40 at the workshop. I have been depositing them in a corner of the land up against the fence where I'm hoping no one notices them.
In thinking about how we use the dinghy for our sailboat as our car and also remembering how when we traveled around for 3 months doing the western US parks in our Scamp camper we would often detatch the camper and just take the truck places, we were somewhat concerned that there will be times when we don't want to move the RV or try to take it to a particular trailhead or some out of the way place we might want to go. So, Jon bought a used motorbike (Kawasaki Super Sherpa 250cc) to mount on the back of the RV as our smaller, more economical mode of transportation. I like the idea of parking it somewhere so that we can do a throughhike so maybe it will come into its own. Jon thinks we got a good deal on it and while it is another project to fix up, we like the idea that we won't have to worry about it too much since it isn't new. In the meantime, it means at least Jon has to get a motorcycle license and we have to add a place for the motorbike on the rear mount that we have planned for the spare tire. Shouldn't be a problem. We're not planning on becoming motorbike enthusiasts, we just intend to use it like I describe here. I've never been interested in them and that was affirmed when we were on a motorbike in Phuket- I was riding on the back- and a bee flew into my mouth and stung me ( I don't blame it) and then as I was spitting it out, I got another jab on my lip on the way out.
With the tease of warmer daytime temps I got lured into starting the spring maintenance on the boat so the deck is all waxed (and now covered in exhaust fallout again) and the teak refinishing is underway. We have all manner of varnish on the boat from all over the world. We had to buy whatever we could find wherever we were and then once subjected to miles of bluewater sailing, everything was put to the test. It feels good to be getting it spiffed up again. We had to replace our Dutchmar sail track because it had broken down from UV over the cruise so there was a lot of back and forth with Dutchmar getting the right measurements done on a template to order it up. On a recent morning we installed the new track up the mast and it has the best fit of the three we've had- nice and tight. This is good because we'd noted that the tri radial mainsail we have does have a lot more power than previous sails, thus putting more strain on the track.
It felt good to take a break from the truck (and wear some different clothes!) but now we are ready to attack it again and get a few more things done.
I had to drop Flickr (and they in turn dropped most of my photos from previous blog entries but oh well) so now Jon has showed me a way to embed photos that is only a few hundred easy steps. So I will try a few here for the first time.