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Has it been a year already?

It’s been almost exactly one year since we last updated our blog.  But though the blog has been dormant, we’ve still been hard at work on our boat.

No, we’re still not in the Caribbean, and it looks like that goal will have to wait a while longer.  We’re nearing the end of the time and money we budgeted for this adventure, so we are planning to rejoin the “real world” later this year.  But while our adventure hasn’t turned out the way we envisioned, it’s been an adventure nonetheless, and one with plenty of positive experiences for which we are grateful.  Certainly, the opportunity for Philippe and I to spend every day working together has given our marriage an exceptionally strong start, and we’ve become an even more rock-solid team than we were before.

What happened?  A combination of things.  Despite our best efforts to educate ourselves and have the boat professionally surveyed, the boat ended up needing more work than we anticipated.  We also fell victim to the desire to make more improvements than were probably strictly necessary but were hard to resist (“well as long as we have X removed we should probably do something about Y while we can access it, because hopefully we’ll never be removing X again…”).  And we also had what felt like at times more than our share of just plain bad luck.

We’ve however gotten feedback that people have found the information we’ve posted useful, so we’re going to post some more information about the projects we’ve completed in the past year as well as our ongoing work.

We also haven’t given up on our dream – it’s just been put on hold and may ultimately take a different shape.  We like to joke that we’ve used up our supply of bad luck, so who knows what exciting opportunities are around the bend!  In the meantime, we’re excited that our boat is looking better every day as we continue to reinstall things, and we look forward to turning heads the day we are finally able to sail our beautiful bright YELLOW boat!

Deck and Topside Painted

 

Island Fun (not THAT kind island!)

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Wedding Bells (and a trailer)

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A Story of Teak

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Rain, rain, rain…and our ark isn’t ready yet!

I never promised Philippe that Virginia would have the perfect climate of southern California.  In fact, I warned him that it gets cold in the winter and can be very humid in the summer.  But as I have been swearing to him nearly every day these past nine months, it’s not usually this bad.  After a long and frigid winter, nearly no spring, a tornado that ripped through the center of town, a blazing hot and humid summer, a hurricane, and now seemingly unending rain, I don’t think he believes me anymore.  With this sudden cold spell, we even had to break out the long underwear to work at the boat today.  But hey – at least we don’t get earthquakes like they do in California…oh that’s right, we had one of those too!

Tree blocking our way the morning after the hurricane

The remains of that tree blocking the road. It's apparently free - and still available if you're interested...

The current rainy weather has us so frustrated because we’re currently hard at work on preparing our exterior teak to apply Cetol (an easier-to-maintain alternative to varnish) and preparing our deck to be painted.  We plan to Cetol the teak before we paint the deck, but we need the wood to be thoroughly dry before we can sand it and apply the Cetol, and then we need about a 5 day window without rain to apply all the coats.  Then we’ll need a similar rain-free window to paint.  Every night we check the various weather websites and say to each other, “just a couple more days of rain, and then we’re supposed to have a week of sunny weather.”  Only problem is that every night, the rainy forecast is extended a day or two.

There’s definitely no shortage of work that needs to be done on the boat, so we’re able to work on indoor tasks while it’s raining.  But we’rereally looking forward to applying the Cetol and painting the deck, because it will give us such a sense of satisfaction to finally have a big task like that completed.  And then we’ll be able to start re-installing all of the things we’ve removed from the deck which will also feel good.

Unfortunately, we’ve still got many big projects in various stages of incompleteness.  We’d originally envisioned sailing south shortly after our wedding on November 5, but that has definitely been revised.  The boat needs more work than we thought, and everything takes way longer to do than we thought.  Naturally we’re disappointed at the delay, but we’ve made out peace with it.  It is said that the definition of cruising is “doing boatwork in exotic locations.”  Hopefully by taking the time now to do what needs to be done and to do it well, we will minimize the chance of significant boatwork when we finally get to those exotic locations!

In the meantime, it sure would help if we could get those cool but sunny fall days that I swear to Philippe are coming.

Reducing Windage in Preparation for Huricane Irene!

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Metal and Salt Water Don’t Mix Well

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Our first cruise on the Chesapeake Bay…but in someone else’s boat

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Bow Platform (Anchor Chain Well & Anchor Locker) – Part 1

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One and half months into our new jobs: Boatyard workers

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