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