We’ve been busy aboard Nine of Cups. That’s the “royal we”, it’s actually the captain that’s done most of the work. I tend to write, cook, clean, supervise, scavenge for parts when required, pay bills, keep up communications with the world, assist when asked and otherwise, generally stay out of the way. The arrangement suits us both just fine. I’ve given up feeling guilty about not participating every moment in every project.
So what’s been happening aboard? Lots! First of all, we replaced the galley stove which was original equipment on Cups 30 years ago. I think it was about time. One of the three burners hasn’t worked for a few years, the oven rack was in need of some welding (again), the temperature didn’t hold constant (450F or 200F … depending on the day), and just generally tired and beat up. Getting the new stove on the boat and down below was a bit of a hassle. It didn’t fit through the companionway, so we hoisted it up with the windlass and lowered it through the saloon hatch with about .000001” to spare. Tight fit, but it made it without any scars on the varnish … or the crew.
We purchased a new Force 10 3-burner propane stove which had the same footprint and hook-up as my old one. But, of course, it wasn’t “exactly” the same and some slight modifications were required for the gimbal pin. It’s quite different from the old one … a lock on the oven door which will be handy when at sea, but a bit of a pain when you’re on land; a window on the oven door (what a novel idea!) and actual temperature settings on the oven knob. I haven’t used the oven enough yet to determine if the settings are actual or just suggestions. Time will tell.
Having been on shore power for quite awhile, we broke down and actually bought a Mr. Coffee. The Nescafe instant just doesn’t cut it for this spoiled crew any more. Since we didn’t have an AC outlet in the area, David installed one to make the coffee brewing activities more convenient. I do love the smell of brewing coffee first thing in the morning. What a luxury on Nine of Cups!
A leak had developed around the starboard side desk prism and it needed to be rebedded, so the captain tackled that one dry day and while he was doing it, he decided that the saloon hatch should be attended to as well … and while he was at it, why not check out the aft hatch. You can see how this leads to project after project and very busy days.
While in Tasmania about 100 years ago, we replaced three of four portlights in the saloon. We had the fourth, but ran out of time for the installation while there. David found it the other day and decided it was time to install it. He checked the others while he was at it and the saloon portlights all look great. The aft portlights in our cabin are crazed, however, and probably need replacing. That goes on yet another list.
Between projects, Cups has been washed down, scrubbed and given lots of TLC. She has a new alternator, of course, and all the engine hoses and hose clamps have been checked and replaced as needed. A new faucet has been installed in the forward head along with all new hose. A new head has been installed as well and all the sanitation hose has been replaced. Then there was the new chain and the forepeak and anchor lockers and don’t forget he tested and passed his Master Electrician’s exam … in his spare time.
We’ve been behind on varnishing and that always nags at the captain. He began sanding the other day … just the eyebrow, he said … but soon determined that the winch and cleat pads in the cockpit could use some attention, too. Then, of course, he checked out the handrails and included them in the project. And while he was at it, the portlights in the saloon and the aft cabin that I’d varnished three months ago needed some extra coats … maybe just two or three, he thought … or perhaps, four. And the companionway handholds? yeah, might as well include them.
So … midst all of our Virginia exploration, Nine of Cups has been getting her share of attention, too. You can see why I’m compelled to whisk him away on weekends. Living on a boat … repairing, replacing, maintaining … and sometimes exploring … in exotic places. It never ends.