I generally reserve Mondays for the From There to Here series, but it’s hard to think about “there” when I’m most decidedly very much “here” in the moment. Recently, our days have been spent, dawn till dusk, working on Nine of Cups. She’s a demanding girl, but worth the effort. Here’s a quick update …
David is still working on the deck painting project and has applied the second coat of non-skid to the starboard side and bow areas. The available work hours for the deck are short with cool temps and dewy mornings, so progress has been slower than expected. What a surprise! The port side seems to get less sun and the captain hasn’t been as satisfied with the port side “shine”, so he’s decided to complete the starboard side and then we’ll turn the boat around to complete the port side. Nothing’s ever easy on a boat.
In the meantime, there’s been no dearth of other chores to accomplish while patiently waiting for morning dew to evaporate. He wipes down the decks each morning to hasten the process. He’s cleaned, waxed and buffed the coach roof and the cockpit. The trim on the liferaft cradle needed replacing, the dinghy needed a good clean, engine maintenance needed to handled … and all have been ticked off his long, long to-do list.
We weren’t happy with the initial results of the saloon sole varnishing, so together, we’ve stripped the floor boards and sole and begun the varnishing (it’s actually polyurethane) process again with much better results. It’s a mine field below decks with floorboards missing and the clutter of supplies, tools and stuff everywhere, BUT we can see the promise of things to come.
So, what’s the first mate been doing? Eating bon-bons, sipping mimosas and polishing her fingernails? NOT! We’ve been taking turns on the varnishing and sanding … David does the fixed boards and I tote the removable floorboards to Blue for varnishing. After all, Blue’s a family member now and he needs to do his part. Each board is varnished twice, sanded and varnished once, twice or three times more (with a bit more sanding in between) for desired results.
I’ve cleaned out locker after locker and painted the interiors where necessary. The microwave locker, after cleaning, scrubbing and sanding, got three coats of new paint and now looks quite presentable. Of course, the contents of the microwave locker, including the microwave, is now sitting on the galley counter which inhibits the cooking and clean-up process significantly. This, too, shall pass.
Going through drawers and lockers, emptying, sorting and disposing, hasn’t been all that difficult. I’d started the process a few months ago. The tough part now is actually removing everything once again to wipe down walls and soles. During the process of sanding the decks and now the soles, layers of dust have been deposited on virtually everything. Being able to write my name in the accumulated dust has never been appealing to me. It’s gotta go and I’m plowing my way through it … thankfully, no bulldozers required.
Now … to the title of the blog … louvers, the bane of my existence. You know what louvers are ... those little slats in doors and blinds that let in light and air ... and collect dust and grime. Louvered locker doors make sense on a boat because they allow air to circulate inside the lockers and thus reduce the mildew, mold and general boat smell. Our teak louvers are lovely to look at … when they’re clean. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that cleaning them is a bear. It’s easy to run a dust cloth along each louver quickly and make them look somewhat acceptable when company’s’ coming, but in actuality, after awhile all the grease, dust and schmutz of just living aboard eventually builds up especially in the corners and it’s gross. Thorough cleaning is tedious and time-intensive and includes Q-tips, Murphy's Oil Soap (which, incidentally, does NOT contain any oil) and lots of patience. I have Q-tips and Murphy's …
There are 766 separate louvers enclosing the lockers on Nine of Cups. Yup, I counted them. Now, you might think I have too much time on my hands if I’m counting louvers, but I had a method in my madness. I want to get all the louvers cleaned by the end of the week, so I figured out how many I’d done and how many were left to do. I’ve finished 328, so it looks like I’ve got to do about 88/day to get the job finished by Friday. I figure it takes about a minute a louver to get them cleaned … about 7.3 hours total or 1.5 hours/day to get the louvers clean. I’m a goal-oriented woman and my work is cut out for me, albeit a disagreeable job. As I clean the louvers, I clean out the lockers and nearby drawers ... and wash down the adjoining walls ... and floors and ... Easy-peasy!
Now, please excuse me, 438 louvers and 15+ lockers await.