There's nothing better than relaxing in the cockpit after a busy day varnishing and getting the boat ready to leave the dock. A bit of wine makes it all even better. Just sayin'.
Teak measles are definitely NOT on my agenda. Every day I have to walk down the dock several times, passing s/v Flatlander, a newer Island Packet that has perfect varnished teak. Also the older Valiant 42 s/v Limerick that now has perfect varnish... So the past 4 days have been monopolized by stripping all the old cetol off the boat, brightening, sanding and now I have 2 sealing varnish coats and 2 "real" coats of varnish on... only 3 more "real" coats to go....
Here you see the varnished caprail in the distance, the freshly stripped cockpit trim piece and the UGLY dark grab rails still covered in old cetol. But tonight, things are looking better -- the companionway no longer has measles and although it's not mirror finish varnish yet, it's getting there!
Quick detour from our original plan, but our diver doesn't clean all the barnacles off the Maxprop until Saturday. But our freshwater flushed diesel started perfectly today .... after six months and after we turned ON the seacock.
Back aboard Winterlude! We planned to spend our first 5 1/2 days getting the boat liveable and then sailable. But our diver doesn't have Winterlude scheduled for an every other month bottom job (and prop cleaning) until November 12 ... seems like forever. In the meantime, I got diverted by teak ... again. After 2 days back, the boat was pretty liveable and the sails were even back on. So I get the brilliant idea that the caprail teaks still looks fabulous, but needs another couple coats to keep it that way. And the grab rails, cabin top trim and companionway and hatch boards are FILLED with mold spots. They're still Cetol left over from a couple years ago, so wouldn't it be a great idea to strip them ALL and restore them with varnish like we did the cap rail. I could hear David groan. So we spent two days stripping, brightning, sanding and now varnishing. But it's looking good so far with 2 sealer coats and one coat of Flagship varnish. Only 5 more coats to go on the cabintop, grabrails and companionway ... and only one coat to go on the caprail. And then we should be good to continue getting the boat ready to sail! That will make David happy! :)
OK, so we've been gone for 3 months and I'm worried about my new varnished cap rail. It was WAY too much work and mental anguish to just abandon it to the summer. I'll have to call our caretaker and make sure it's still OK. If not, I may have to spend a bit of unbudgeted money to have our caretaker (Teak Artist!) add a coat or two.
Heading back to the midwest - do we look like the Beverly Hillbillies? We just transferred stuff from the boat to the truck! But we didn't have any good ideas on what to do with the kayaks for hurricane season and we didn't want them adding extra windage aboard, so they came with us. Bikes are only for the marina, not aboard, no room! So we start the annual transition from cruiser to commuter!
So it looks like we're sailing at the dock.... luckily it was very light winds so the lines held us in place & no problem. Amongst other projects today, we raised the sails, did a fresh water rinse, dried them, packed away the jib ... now stored in the shower and rolled the main... We also installed one of the kayak racks on top of the truck ... took the dodger off the boat -- we're taking it to Riverside Canvas -- we volunteered -- to get it fitted for the sunscreen over the dodger isenglass tomorrow morning. AND finally I gave up with the overwhelming hot & muggy weather ... and rented a condo at Keel Club. Wimpy, wimpy wimpy... but it sure feels good tonight to sleep in air conditioning!
Winterlude has ALOT of teak! Yesterday it was the inside teak that needed to be cleaned with Murphy Oil Soap and then lemon oiled - pretty much an all day project, but we fit in a few more things before. Since we leave the dehumidifier running all summer, it's especially important to get a coat of lemon oil on it so it doesn't dry out and crack or warp over the summer.
Also completed: Water Topped off in our Trojan T105 batteries
Fresh Water Flushed Diesel & Shut Down
Waxed 1/2 of Topsides
We're getting there! This morning I'll add a final coat of varnish to our caprail, Rodney will come over & finish the bow patch/awlgrip match and I'll finish cleaning out the bilge -- uggg!!!
OK, so we knew this winter was going to be a mini-refit and that we'd be doing projects to upgrade Winterlude all winter interspersed with a few brief respites to go sailing. I guess I just didn't realize I'd feel so cheated after the season was over ... wasted time. But the reality is we accomplished almost every re-fit project on our list, added some new ones, and now it's time to put Winterlude to bed for hurricane season. I am so bummed.
Usually every other year or so, we clean the upholstery below. Luckily because of the upholstery we chose, it doesn't show dirt and is still in great shape 6 years later, but when you live on a boat, it absorbs salt from the sea air and eventually starts feeling damp all the time. At that point, we strip the covers off all the cushions and launder them. We turn them inside out, and launder in cool water and hang to dry -- no dryer even on fluff because if they shrink one iota, we'll never get them back on!
I remember the first time we decided something had to be done with the upholstery. We were in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala and there is no such thing as a dry cleaners.... I was fairly certain that they had to be dry cleaned (having lived in corporate america forever in a prior life), but with no dry cleaner available, I chanced laundering them in cool water for the first time. To my surprise, they turned out great!
And it's a lot less expensive than to have a professional upholstery cleaner come to the boat or to take them to the dry cleaner! If you decide to try this, be sure to test one before plunging into washing all your upholstery just in case you have different material that doesn't tolerate this approach!
It seemed like a good time to do it since we still had the condo the kids stayed in for an extra couple of days ... voila, washer and air conditioned location to dry the covers! :) Now they smell fresh and even though they don't look any different, they don't feel damp anymore!
More on what we do to put the boat away for hurricane season in future installments!
Vacation over, we sailed out to Cayo Costa to spend a few more days at anchor before we have to put Winterlude to bed for hurricane season. We walked over to see the sunset (and green flash) from the beach instead of our usual cockpit view.