Saturday, November 24, 2012

A few more days to wrap up the boat work, and back she goes to the storage yard. Final photos when everything is back in place. Right now, everything is in disarray. Paint and varnish cans everywhere, sawdust, tools...and the thing that you need to put your hand on always requires a trip up or down the ladder. Almost done!

To see the listing, go to

Monday, November 19, 2012

Work continues. Paint, varnish - those are the clean days - sand, scrape, scrub, those are the dirty days. It's too bad that the boats around us in the yard don't stick to our schedule. We try to make educated guesses about when someone is going to start sanding their bottom paint or hosing down their topsides. We're getting pretty good at changing plans or judging wind direction and crap-drift. There's always something to do. 
We've listed the boat with a broker - Tom Morton at Edwards Yacht Sales, and are much relieved to have done so. By this time next week, we're hoping that the masts will be stored on deck, the deck covered with sun shade, and Nancy D will be back in the storage yard. 
In the meantime, as I said, work continues. Good news is that our plans for US Thanksgiving are firming up. Yum yum!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

An exciting night at the old Inn last night. At three in the morning, there was a loud pounding on the door, also pounding on the door next to us, and next to him, and Bob and Janice's door, and so on down the line. My first thought was "fire?" and then I realized that there were a couple of really young kids doing the knocking, and a woman, all hunting for Donnie who they thought might be in one of the rooms at the motel. Somebody's daddy was AWOL and there was hell to pay. Soon there were a couple of police cars on the scene and the banging on the doors stopped. There were cookie crumbs outside our door in the morning. Sad.

So a bit of a groggy morning, but we took the day off and went to St. Augustine and sauntered around and looked at incredible buildings and had a lovely lunch with Bob and Janice. Tomorrow, back to the boatyard saga. Big plans when you have staff for a few days. Finish stripping the rails, wash the masts, scrub and paint the spreaders, paint the bowsprit and the dolphin-striker. Do we have to give them a break for lunch two days in a row? 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lots happening. Yesterday, we got the sealer coat on all round the rails, only the port side forward to strip. Today, the masts came out. 
Very satisfying to see the first coat go on.
Bob and Janice arrived yesterday to visit and work. They got here just in time to share in the  fun that is removing the masts. We actually had about eight guys help shift the main from the trailer to the sawhorses.

The mizzen has left the building. 

Fresh sawhorses. So nice to have a guest carpenter.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hard to top the purchase of a toaster for improving things around here, but I'm all about the new heat gun. Randy and I had a hard look at the rails, thought about doing a patch job and realized that it was time to strip and start again. So off I go to Ace Hardware to purchase a heat gun. 

Ace Hardware is all over the Caribbean, and some of them are big and modern and full of stuff to gladden a girl's heart. The Ace in Green Cove Springs is not this kind of store. There's a drinking fountain, and the sign over it says "Do Not Spit In The Fountain." I did not. I went nowhere near the fountain. But they had a heat gun, replacement blades for the Red Devil scraper, and a chisel-tipped paint scraper. Lock and load. 

There was a moment this afternoon when the aft rails, top and bottom, were just about cleaned off. "Randy," I said, "Remember when we scraped the rails and let them go gray?" We pondered that for a full five minutes, then talked idly about paint and then admitted that we're going to sand and varnish for as long as it takes. 

Other purchases we've taken note of in the vicinity: our Russian neighbours have added to their tablescape. We're calling it "the dinner of the damned." 

Friday, November 09, 2012

On the way home for lunch, we stopped by Fred's discount store and paid 6.95 for a toaster. A small purchase is going to make a great big happy difference in the joy factor around here. Breakfast just isn't breakfast without ... toast! Indifferent bread is made better than tolerable by toasting! Our next trip to the grocery store will be for Thomas's english muffins.  I was describing how you can do the total microwave breakfast thing (scrambled eggs, bacon) to my daughter, and she said that it sounded like when she was tree planting.  She's way ahead of me in the motel tolerance factor. Youth. It helps. 
Work progresses really well. The booms have four coats of varnish so far, the cabintop has been prepped and painted - a nice light tan, giving a bit more contrast than the off-white - and inside, more paint inside of drawers and lockers. Fresh and clean. 
Cabin sides are prepped and painted nice bright white, Randy is working on the eyebrow, and I'm in the process of scraping and sanding the companionway doors. I can sit in the sunshine, with hoodie or without depending on the temp, and scrape and whittle away. Varnishing this afternoon. 
The yard is really busy, boats shifting from the storage yard to the work yard and lots going in the water this week. We're set up for next week to haul the masts and get to work on the big sticks. Randy brought spruce boards from home for the mizzen repair, and there will be enough left over to rebuild the control box in the cockpit. 
We have a long list of stuff to do, but plan to be here for another three weeks, so all is on schedule. You really don't want to be living in a motel longer than that, and you certainly don't want to be living on a boat on the hard. Squalor will take over and you accumulate ugly microwaveable plates and bowls and other cheap dollar store stuff to eat and drink out of and before you know it, people are posting pictures of your crap on the internet. See below for our view from starboard. Our Russian neighbours ... and their stuff extends well beyond what we see. There's even a candelabra! 
But we have a toaster.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Boatyard bug. Looked just like a leaf with appendages.

Booms are now stripped, sanded and ready for varnish.

Boatyard life. Up high, dusty, hot.

Cabin top scraped, sanded, ready for paint. Eyebrows have since been stripped, cabin sides scraped and sanded. Hope for good weather. Days of it. 

So nice to have the interior CLEAN. 

Clean head. Very important.

There will be some interior painting and varnishing, but we're saving that for a rainy day. Literally. 

Randy had a shower when we got back from the boatyard tonight. He said "I'll shave tomorrow. My arms won't reach." 

Work is progressing. The booms are off and mostly stripped (hence the Capt's rubbery arms), the cabin top is scraped, sanded and vacuumed, the bilge has been dealt with, and the interior has been thoroughly cleaned.  Salad and fried chicken from WInn Dixie, a bit of vintage Batman (Holy return from oblivion Batman!), and we're off to sleep. Photos tomorrow.

Friday, November 02, 2012

You can make real food with a bbq and a microwave. Just not everyday.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Never thought I'd find myself living in a motel in Florida, but here we are. It's less depressing than you'd think. The room is clean, we have wheels, but it's not as good as a boat.  A galley would be nice. We resorted to take-out burgers for lunch today after a hard-scrubbing morning, and then we remembered how depressing fast food is. While I waited (and it wasn't quick food - Abe was the new guy on cash, and he was traumatized by special orders. I regretted ordering the cheeseburger special without cheese), I saw several very large people order giant burgers and pop, and ask for their large fries "without salt." A healthy choice. 

Last night we decided to eat out at a real restaurant, and found a terrific little family-run Mexican place, La Casita, and stuffed ourselves with refries, chili rellenos, and a huge plate of beef and rice. As we were eating, a nice-looking man came in and set up a mic and amp and got out a very pretty guitar, and proceeded to start his set with a heavily accented version of "Sweet Caroline," followed by heavily accented versions of 80's rock tunes, country songs, and anything else anyone requested. He introduced us to his wife and father-in-law when they came in. It was very fun. Randy manages to take me to unlikely and charming places. And a few really crap motels, but it all evens out. 

We're also back to boatyard life, another place with unusual folks and the occasional unlikely encounter. The yard manager was dressed as the Bride of Frankenstein on Wednesday. The boat next to us is having a major refit, and is home to a largely silent group of men - Russian I think - and their large white cockatoo. The cockatoo is in a big steel cage next to the boat, and sits on top during the day repeating his few words of Russian, and occasionally screaming at passers-by. Next to the bird's cage, beside the boat, are four fancy chairs and a dining room table full of dirty dishes and food. I had to pay close attention when I was washing the deck so I didn't soak their stuff.  

The yard is dusty, but the boat is a lot less dirty than it was when we arrived. She looks a lot less neglected, and belowdecks looks and smells like home again. Next up, get the masts and booms off, and start prepping to paint the cabin. 

Then varnish. Once the new varnish starts to go on, Randy will cheer up. 

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