November Update

Hello all,

We arrived in Green Cove Springs on Mon,Oct 31st and got the boat ready to move to the work yard. It was in fairly good shape with some mildew here and there. When I started to clean, I discovered that the cushions were missing! But, at least it appeared as though our berth cushions were still in place, so that we had a somewhere to sleep. When I climbed onto the bed to clean there, I found that those cushions were gone as well! We called the place that was making our NEW cushions. Yes, they had come aboard and taken them earlier in the summer. OK, could they please return at least our bed? No, they couldn’t as they had cut them up for patterns! But, the new ones were ready. With the grime and dirt of life in the work yard, we didn’t want the majority of the cushions aboard but did need the ones for our bed. And, was it comfy, with 3 different layers of foam.

That was our first problem. Now the work started in earnest. We filled, polished and painted accomplishing everything on the list in time to launch just a week later, on the Tuesday the 8th. Monday night, we had celebrated Mur’s real 60th, with beer, snacks and cake for all of the cruisers around.

After launching, we spent a whole day washing a summer’s worth of dirt off of the decks. Now, she looked better. Our mainsail arrived and we put it into place. But, it was disappointing to discover that it was still very difficult to pull it up or drop it back down. More phone calls to the sailmaker. We tried several other “cars” that he sent us, but the sail continued to bind against the sail track. Finally, he came up with a solution which he would sell us at his cost. As it is a serious safety issue( if the main doesn’t fall when you loosen the halyard), we had to go forward with this option. This was the second problem.

Now the boat was ready for the new cushions. We had done some varnishing in the head, aft cabin and main cabin and the wood was looking very good. The cushions were delivered and were truly lovely. There are still a few fit issues to be resolved. The man who is doing the work has serious back problems and is due for surgery in just a few more days. Meanwhile, he is trying to finish our new mainsail cover, between episodes of terrible pain.

Taking the weekend off, we headed to Melbourne for the Seven Seas Cruising Association get-together. There we met up with many cruising friends and had an enjoyable time. At the flea market on Sat, we found a new/old (but un-used ) 2-speed manual windlass. Somehow, it followed us home. And became the next problem.

Our chain didn’t fit the windlass. To get the correct part ( the gypsy )would cost another $300. So, instead we bought some new chain that DID fit. Then Mur worked very hard to install the windlass into our anchor locker.

Oh, and the frig wasn’t working well most of this time. Cold beer is a requirement for the captain’s happiness! Especially in the heat and dust of the work yard.

So, we have had some issues to resolve this year. A few are still out-standing. The cushions still need some work, the sail cover hasn’t even been finished yet and the mainsail track system hasn’t arrived.

But, the lockers are full and the shopping list is very short. I also spent one afternoon shopping for new pillows to go with the new cushions in the main salon. And, did I find some beauties! There were many Ooh’s and Aah’s from the female cruisers when I unloaded the trunk . The main salon looks absolutely lovely.

When will we get away? I am not sure. There now is another tropical storm churning away and rumours are that it will follow Wilma’s track. That is not a good thing. Once the outstanding issues are resolved, we will likely head out,keeping our eyes on the weather reports. Hopefully, that departure will be by mid-week.

So, that is what is happening here. Life on boat is seldom dull. If it is, just wait a while and something will break. We laugh, but it is all too true.

Hugs to all up north. Write when you have time.

Murray & Heather back aboard Windswept IV

Florida Update

Hello All,

Well, we arrived safely in Green Cove Springs one week ago today – Monday.

The boat was in pretty good shape with just a little mildew here and there. We were moved into the work yard before lunch and began our list of jobs.

First, I washed down the mold and discovered that there were NO cushions aboard! What would we sleep on? After a quick call to the canvas shop, we found out that they had taken our old cushions away this summer and cut them up for patterns! But we didn’t want the new ones delivered into this mess of on-the-hard living. He delivered the vee-berth cushions so that we had someplace to sleep and we put cockpit cushions, foam etc on the settees so there was a spot to sit.

Murray worked on the keel access ports once again and we made epoxy/filler to smooth that area out. We wanted to get that done quickly so that it would have longer to cure.

Bottom paint and hull polishing were next on the list. But first we had to take off the “waterway smile” using toilet bowl cleaner. Yes, you read it right – toilet bowl cleaner. And it did a great job. Then, clean the sides before we wax. By yesterday afternoon, we could hardly lift our arms! But, she shines and her bottom is newly painted.

Today, they will move the jack stands so that we can paint those spots and we will launch tomorrow.

Then we can wash that filthy deck! Sand, dirt, mold etc from a summer of storage still litter the decks. We itch to wash her, but it will just create mud at our worksite. We can wait one more day.

Once we get clean, I will unpack the car, we will put sails in place, scrub the dinghy, dodger and bimini and waterproof the later two. Check that the autopilot works, try other electronics to make sure they function. And finally, fill the lockers.

In approx 2 weeks, we should be on our way once more. Already have been in touch will cruising friends and have made plans to meet up down the way. We cannot wait to actually be cruising once again. All of this work can stop any time!

Today is Mur actual 60th birthday and we are planning a little surprise this evening here. Cake, drinks, snacks etc. My joints and back have behaved during all this work. Some stiffness and aching but, hey what can you expect?

We sure hope things are not too cold up there in the north country. Ha ha. Take care all and write when you have time.

Hugs, Heather & Murray