Working Harder … Enjoying It Less

 Fingertips sanded raw ... sign of a true sailor girl!

Fingertips sanded raw ... sign of a true sailor girl!

We’ve been laboring intensely on Nine of Cups this past week. We have sanded the side and forward decks, begun stripping the port cap rail and sanded the holly/teak soles of the forward head, forward cabin and saloon. We have, for all intents and purposes, sanded off our fingerprints and our fingertips are sore and raw. We’ve been joking that this would be the most opportune time to pull a major bank heist … no fingerprints.

N.B. - Any FBI agents reading … please disregard the comment about bank heists … just kidding. We’re just not fit for a life of crime … too lazy.

Back to reality, our short-term goal is to have Nine of Cups shipshape, so that we can depart in mid- November for a heretofore point unknown in Florida … perhaps St. Augustine? We haven’t decided yet. Without doing any advertising other than the notice on the JALF website, we’ve had some nibbles from serious buyers on the sale of Cups, but nothing firm at the moment. As much as we’d like to complete this chapter of our lives and move on, we’re being patient. We want Cups to show in her best self for prospective buyers and we’re putting in the sweat equity and TLC to make sure that happens.

 Morning dew limits our work hours and David's ability to paint early in the day.

Morning dew limits our work hours and David's ability to paint early in the day.

We’ve been stymied somewhat by shorter daylight hours, very cool temps and extremely wet, dewy mornings. David still insists on rising at 0530 (unless I make him a better offer) and begins working on indoor chores, writing blogs or articles, editing videos … whatever can be done when it’s cold, dark and dewy, but makes good use of the time. We fall into our bunk at night, exhausted, feeling we’ve had a productive day, but wondering why we haven’t accomplished more. Personally, I enjoy a rainy day … once in awhile . I can usually talk the Captain into taking a well-deserved day off.

 What a mess below ... and to make matters worse, I've been taking out floorboards for varnishing. We really have to watch where we're stepping!

What a mess below ... and to make matters worse, I've been taking out floorboards for varnishing. We really have to watch where we're stepping!

So, what’s left to be done? Well, the list seems endless, but there really is light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve begun the sole varnishing below. It will require at least 3-4 coats with sanding between. I’ve taken the floorboards out, a couple at a time, and used Blue’s empty cargo space as a workshop for varnishing. It’s a disaster area below decks with floorboards missing and stuff piled everywhere. Not much different than our usual project mode. While waiting for varnish to dry, I’ve begun the onerous task of cleaning out lockers and cleaning and polishing the teak walls and surfaces … which is virtually everywhere below.

 Round 2 - painting the decks

Round 2 - painting the decks

David is on round 2 of deck painting and will require at least one more coat of the shiny stuff before he starts doing the non-skid areas. More paint has been ordered and is on the way. Beyond being time, temperature and moisture sensitive, he’s had to contend with gnats that seem to be attracted to the paint and, of course, birds flying overhead that are always attracted to clean decks with an unwelcome payload. Once the decks are complete, all the of deck hardware, stanchions, lifelines, etc. which have been removed, cleaned and polished, need to be re-installed.

In our spare time, we are advertising some gear for sale on Craigslist (GPS, handheld VHF, hand-operated desalineator/watermaker for use in a life raft) and I’ve already sold my Sailrite sewing machine to a local fellow. Any interest in any of these, BTW, just check out Craigslist Norfolk, VA or send us a text or email … prices are definitely reasonable and they’re all small enough items to be shipped.

Blue’s “check engine” light came on this morning as we were heading to Home Depot and Walmart for our daily supplies. He has an appointment with the local Ford dealer for servicing on Friday morning. And our portable fridge/freezer that we intend to use on Blue is having problems all of a sudden and we’re trying to arrange warranty work on it. UGH! Luckily, the boat fridge/freezer is now operating properly, so it’s not as much of an issue at the moment. Just one more thing to handle when we’re already feeling under pressure fighting the calendar.

We reminisce to when we operated our own company and worked 60+ hours a week, maintained a household, did outdoor chores and gardening and had 3+ teenagers in the house most of the time and still had time to socialize. We’re obviously slowing down.