Another week has passed, we still don’t have all our sails installed. Unforeseen events in our sail maker’s shop (deaths of two employees’ relatives) has brought work to a halt, understandingly so. At this point we’re resigned to ‘what will be, will be’ so, this past week, John and I concentrated on what we could handle ourselves. The heat was predictably unbearable so we frequently dashed below decks into the air conditioning to recover and hydrate. I actually got dizzy a couple of times as sweat poured off my body. To keep cool, most of our projects took place below decks, smaller and more doable:
- Added new gaskets to the freezer lids and filled with foam the cable entry into the refrigeration compartment, eliminating 90% of the errant condensation and icing, an $18 expense instead of a hundred for an expert to do it.
- Hooked up our Sirius radio and programmed the Smart TV/Bose system to stream internet to the TV via our Verizon hot spot. Not that we should do that except when at dock with shore power because the system swallows huge amounts of power. When on the hook, we’ll use our laptops with the hot spot, smaller screen but consuming much less power using the laptop batteries.
- Cleaned the bilge (a weekly chore to keep all smelling sweet). Our simple manual suction pump and a pail makes the job easy and quick.
- Tagged all the thru-hulls (openings where water comes in or out) and assorted strainers associated with such devices. It’s organizing on a grand scale.
- Made progress in replacing the igniter on the propane stove and started to replace the salon reading lamp. Easy.
Our biggest success what commissioning the dinghy, named “TTDV”, Tender To Dolce Vento. After an hour of re-rigging the dinghy davits pulley system originally installed upside down, we used web line to construct the forward and aft lifts that attach to the davits pulley system so we can store the dinghy above the water when sailing and quickly deploy it into the water when at anchor. The last step was to glue registration numbers on each side of the bow, a federal regulation. We also added line to the drain plug so John can reach it easily without contortions on his backside at the edge of the cockpit. We were quite proud when it was all done.
I am still working on the “best fit” boating insurance for our adventure. This week’s research has proven to be a journey in comparisons and contrasts of coverage options and prices. One policy allows you to sail both the Bahamas and the Caribbean at any time, but is astronomically costly. Another plan is relatively inexpensive, but forces you to be above the 31st latitude (north of Florida into Georgia) from June 1 through November 1 (official hurricane season) and disallows the Caribbean. Another is almost reasonable, allows the Bahamas, has no date restrictions for Florida, but eliminates the Caribbean (a rider with a detailed sail plan and crew is required and is costly). The last one allows you to sail both the Bahamas and Caribbean at any time, but drops coverage for “named” storms (aka know as no hurricane coverage). Both of us are willing to eliminate coverage for the Caribbean, but want to have the flexibility to be in Florida (east or west coast) during the fall and winter. A line by line policy comparison is on our list of ‘things to do’ next week.
Since 1993, John was an aging hippy fashion statement with his gray hair pony tail hairdo, a style that makes a simple tack under sail a complex dance. The wind blows loose strands across his face as he prepares the winch and lines, so we delay the maneuver until he pulls back his hair, reties his pony tail, and clamps his hair under his baseball cap which is frequently blown off as we execute, changing direction as we cross the wind. On July 30, one day after his 67th birthday, he kept the promise he made to me a year ago. He marched into his hair dresser and had it chopped off, going back to short hair. He now looks 10 years younger. His hair dresser and his wife, his captain, is very, very happy.
These past weeks have taught us how much we like working together. Sometimes he takes the lead and sometimes I do. We are learning from each other, becoming a well-functioning two person team. It’s exciting to experience that after so many months stuck in our apartment working in different rooms. We are happy and excited.
Our goal next week is that by Friday we not only will have all our sails, but also our Bimini, with enhancements, installed so we don’t bake in the sun anymore. We will sail again, after 10 months. Stay tuned!