I'm pleased to report, the to-do list is growing shorter … at least the to-do list that has any chance of getting done. David has been working long, hard, hot days and it shows. Cups is looking great and David is looked tired. The topside repairs and painting are done … a tedious, labor-intensive project, but well worth doing. Cups' topsides are gleaming. We ordered a new vinyl decal for Nine of Cups, so she can have her name back on the stern … to be applied by a local sign company. The last decal was applied when Cups was christened in 2000. We got our money's worth. The cutlass bearing has been replaced, as well as the shaft seal. David will re-attach our carved Nine of Cups nameboards on the bow as soon as the varnish has cured.
Annual engine maintenance has been completed. The diesel and propane tanks have been topped up. David spent several days stripping the teak cap rail and trim pieces on the starboard side and then varnishing (actually Uroxsys, but I'll let him tell you about that). The varnishing, sanding, varnishing, sanding, varnishing process is also time and labor-intensive, but it was long past due and the results are stunning.
He's now working on replacing a through-hull and seacock. Unfortunately, it's located in the engine room, difficult to access and tough to work on. It has required cutting, grinding, pushing, pulling, grunting, sweating profusely, purchasing replacement parts and hoses and a significant amount of swearing. You'll definitely hear more about this in the days to come.
In between varnishing and through-hull work, he's still trying to revive the fridge. He tries and then temporarily gives up. He usually thinks about it for a day or two and/or sleeps on it and comes up with another thing to try. If the new idea doesn't work (and so far, it hasn't), he reverts to thinking and sleeping on it. He's persistent and resourceful. I'm hoping he's successful. The next couple of days will tell. We've decided we will not postpone our departure because of an inoperative fridge. We'll make do without refrigeration if we have to.
So what's left? I've just done our annual “ditch bag” and safety inspection (more on that later) and that's good to go. I've written a few extra blogs to keep you entertained while we're not in internet-land. We just purchased the bottom paint and we'll tackle that job very soon, as soon as the varnishing is complete. It's always one of those things that has to wait till the very last minute. We're hoping to splash within a day or two after the anti-fouling has been applied. Once we're back in the water, we still need a few days to get Cups put back together. We'll get used to living on the water again and get Cups ready for her first passage of the year.
David will reattach the head stay and we'll hank on the headsails which we stowed during our absence. The rig needs to be tuned. The heads need to be checked out to insure they're operating. All the instrumentation needs a thorough check. We'll launch the dink and make sure the dinghy engine is running properly. Things need to be stowed. There's last minute laundry and provisioning just before we leave. Provisioning this time will be a bit easier than it was the past few years … no oceans to cross and a few stops along the way to top up the larder.
Charting our course is always done just before we leave … mostly because we rarely decide where we're going till the last minute. We have downloaded the Carib and US east coast charts to the iPads though. Then there's the check-out procedure itself and, of course, waiting for a weather window.
Be patient … we're getting close.