Splash Down

Hello all,

We arrived at Green Cove Springs on Monday, Nov 12th. As the yard doesn’t move boats on Mondays, we had arranged to be transferred to the workyard the next day. The boat was very dirty after it’s summer storage but had little mildew below decks. Washing everything down with diluted vinegar before we leave seems to really help.

Once the interior was cleaned up somewhat and the remains of my chemical factory disposed of safely, we moved clothes, food etc aboard and started to work. First job was to rinse off some of the summer grime. Then, clean and wax the topsides. We have found an inexpensive wax that is easy to work with – Starbrite’s Premium Marine Polish. It had been recommended by friends and also had a great report from Practical Sailor magazine. Once the waxing was done, time to re-new the bottom paint. Murray scrubs the existing paint with a wet 3M pad before applying new coat of an ablative bottom paint. Meanwhile, I cleaned and polished the prop. In my spare time, I continued to unpack suitcases, sort and put things away. Murray replaced all anodes, checked and greased all the thru-hulls.

Launch was scheduled for Tuesday, the 20th. Finding a space on the dock was the next obstacle. Marina staff helped by building a fender board to prevent the boat from being pushed under the pier ( it has happened to others! ) and we were tied to the north side approx 3/4 of the distance out on the pier. Not a good spot when a front comes through, with strong north winds pushing us onto the dock. Oh well.

Yesterday, we put the sewing table back together ( Mur cut it in half to store it in our locker ) on the pier, dug out the fabric and sewing machine. Time to start work on the dodger.

But, today we awoke to rain and it seems to have settled in for the whole day. Sure hope not as the marina is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. The manager is supplying turkey and ham and everyone brings a dish to share. But, instead of making patterns today, we have been sorting, putting things away ( constant job aboard ) and reading the instruction book about building a dodger. It seems a scary, daunting task but once we start things will make more sense, I hope.

I know that it isn’t Thanksgiving in Canada, but Happy Thanksgiving anyway. We will think of all of our extended family as we share a feast with friends here. Best wishes to you all and stay in touch.

Heather & Murray

New Adventures

Hello everyone,

Perhaps some have you have heard the rumours. Yes, it is true, we have bought a house! Possession takes place on Nov 8th and the house is located in Tillsonburg. It is a 1400 sq. ft, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom bungalow. After a boat, it will seem like a HUGE space.

But, it doesn’t mean that we are giving up the cruising life. In fact, we will close the deal, move in the tiny bit of furniture that we have, winterize the place, turn off the water, turn down the heat and head south for the winter. Pretty crazy, huh?

I had been searching for just the right place, mostly using the MLS website, checking out many different areas of the province. Tillsonburg has many of the things that we wanted – a small town but big enough for a hospital, doctors, shopping and basic necessities. It is fairly close to water – about 30 minutes to Lake Erie. The house is located in an adult community, which has a clubhouse with a pool and scheduled activities. Next summer, we will have new windows installed and a new furnace. Currently it heats with an electric forced air furnace. Thank goodness we will have the heat turned down this winter. Since gas is available, that is probably what we will install. Then we will start working on putting in hardwood floors throughout the space,except for a little ceramic tile at the front door and in the bathrooms. So, I think that you can figure out from these plans what we will be doing with ourselves for the next few summers!

Once we have a bed for the spare room, we will be open for visitors. During the past 10 years, we have stayed with many of you and now, it is time for us to reciprocate. The phone will be installed next summer and we will be easily accessible. Please come to visit.

Our trip south was delayed for one week. But, there is not too much work to do “on the hard” – just wax the topsides and paint the bottom. There may be some mould to clean up down below as the area had some heavy rain storms this summer. Hopefully my wipe-down with vinegar before departure did its job of keeping the mould under control. Then, once we get launched, the work on the dodger will commence. This shouldn’t take much more than a week or ten days. Stocking the boat is the next big job but we have it almost down to a science now. Do you realize that this is our eleventh year? Time has flown by.

The fishing regulations in the Bahamas had been revised this past winter and severely reduced catch and possession limits. According to cruising friends, these have been relaxed somewhat. The newest regulations are attached for those interested and will be posted on our website.

The next week will find us still in St Thomas, filling in time, filling out forms, closing the deal and cat sitting for Steve. Drop us a line and perhaps we can get together. Hugs to all,

Heather & Murray