Launch and The Job List

Hello everyone,

On Thursday the 11th, Windswept IV was lowered into the water once again. The engine started on the first try and we motored the short distance down river to Reynold’s Marine Park where we had reserved a dock. The wind was behind us as we powered into the slip but, with the able assistance of a marina staffer named Alan, Murray put her into the space as though he did it everyday. Soon the lines were secured and we were able to relax.

In the morning we scrubbed the dirty decks from bow to stern, getting rid of the work yard grit and grime. What a relief that was! The sails were bent on and she started to look like a sailboat once again.

Our huge order from West Marine had arrived just before launch, so that box needed unpacking and the new items installed. The EPIRB was a simple job, removing the old one and installing the new. The registration form for the new one was completed on-line and that job was finished.

The new head installation wasn’t quite so quick and easy. I planned to be ashore, doing laundry while Murray tackled that job. But, upon my return 2 1/2 hours later, the job was still on-going. Other cruisers had convinced him to change the system to a fresh water flush. This has several advantages. Urine combines with salt water to form crystals and those crystals deposit in the hoses, eventually closing them completely. To prevent this happening, I pour strong acid into the toilet monthly. Switching to fresh water eliminates that problem completely. The fresh water flush also will eliminate the odour some of the salt water exudes. But, that decision increased the head installation job into a major production and a two day job. Luckily the toilet was usable overnight just not completely finished. The only negative to the change will be the increased use of fresh water requiring running the watermaker for longer periods.

New LED reading lights arrived and Murray installed those one evening. Wow, what a difference they have made! Bright lights to illuminate the cabin, what a concept. The best part is that they use so little power that I can have lights on everywhere. Murray was so impressed that I ordered another reading light for the aft cabin, two ceiling lights for the main salon and bulbs for two other ceiling lights. They should be here soon and, in fact, I just got an e-mail confirming the arrival today.

Earlier today the new spinnaker halyard went into and up the mast along with a new topping lift. Then Murray spliced in the shackles to finish that job while I worked on the computers below. A few days ago, Murray finished a shelf for the small computer under the dodger. This will allow us to view our digital charts from the cockpit instead of requiring me to go down below to the nav station to check information.

Hopefully the refrigeration system should arrive by this weekend. Meanwhile the old system needs to be torn out and the box re-insulated before installation. But, in order to remove and install the system, we need to take our stove out. That will be a big job and one that I am not looking forward to. We may wait until the new one is here before beginning the removal, just to lessen the time without a stove. Luckily I can cook almost anything with an electric frying pan.

At a ham flea market this summer, Murray purchased the wire to replace the old coaxial cable in the mast. I will have to crank him up to the top of the mast ( 60 feet ) where he will install the new VHF antenna, splice the wires together, feed it down from the top while I will pull the wire out at the base of the mast. This will then be hooked to our VHF radio. A second VHF antenna was installed on the arch and that wire will need to be fed through the cupboards and lockers to reach the navigation station. There it will be connect to our AIS system, which gives us relative position, course, speed and name of commercial traffic around us. That system saved us from having to purchase a new radar unit when the old one failed.

As you can see, we are keeping busy. Luckily the days have been sunny and warm with cool evenings for good sleeping.

Friends ( Doug & Connie on High Stepper ) have already crossed the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas but we will be on their tail as soon as we can. Just a few more jobs…..

Hopefully all is well with you and yours. Write when you have time as messages are always appreciated.

Heather & Murray

In Florida

Just a quick message to let y’all know that we arrived safely at the boat on Thursday and were moved into the work yard. There is little or no mildew and, best of all, NO ANTS!!!

So, the inside work is going quickly. Outside is another story. The temperature dropped overnight and everyone here is in parkas. As it was in the mid 60’s F (18C approx ), we wore shorts and sweatshirts. But, it is chilly to chip away at bottom paint. But that job starts tomorrow. Murray is going to scrape the bottom to remove some of the built-up coatings of bottom paint. Although we use ablative paint, there still seems to be a build-up, probably due to the fact that we were twice sold the wrong product!!

Launch is scheduled for Nov 12th and then we plan to be at Reynolds Marina for another two weeks or so. The new refrigeration system has not arrived yet but we hope to see it soon. I am drooling over LED lighting for the boat ( a chance to have several lights on down below at night and not chew up the battery power ). Hopefully that order will go in soon as well. The West Marine goodies should arrive in the next few days and it will seem as though Christmas has come early, as we open the packages containing things like new halyards, a new head ( toilet for the landlubbers amongst you ), VHF antenna and, the all important, anchor ball. This ball is a daytime marker to indicate that the vessel is anchored. Insurance companies have successfully avoided payment in collisions if the anchored vessel has not displayed an anchor ball.

The cell phone has been re-activated and the number is unchanged from last year.

The wireless is up and running but not necessarily the fastest connection in the world. But, try us on Skype if you see us.

Hugs to all
Heather & Murray