Saturday, November 5, 2016

Home Sweet Home

Dawn, Piper and I made it down to Charleston way back on Wednesday, but I haven't posted simply because I've been too exhausted every night. We've been working on the boat, and every night is taken up planning the subsequent day.

Monday night I got done with a trip around 5pm and then flew to to Indianapolis, where I met Dawn and Piper after a very long day from Dawn's parents in Rosholt, SD. On Tuesday we had a leisurely day exploring the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, visiting the Four Roses, Wild Turkey, and Woodford Reserve Distilleries. We were originally planning on spending the night in Lexington but ended up changing it to Knoxville to make it a shorter Wednesday to Charleston. We had decided that living on the hard here with a dog was going to be too hard, and so had rented a fairly cheap dog-friendly vacation rental in Isle of Palms. I think that was a good call - in our first four nights here, we've had Piper down on the beach all four nights and he's really enjoyed it. After 4pm the beach is a leash-free zone so he can run to his heart's content, playing with a bunch of other dogs whose owners have brought them down and getting his first tastes of saltwater. It's a good introduction to his new life, I think - well that and being perched high on Windbird's decks while Dawn and I go about our boatyard business. Bringing him up and down the ladder hasn't turned out to be too much of a hassle, and he seems to enjoy soaking up the sun on the teak.

Dawn and I have been hard at work on the boat for three days. We've moved all our boxes from home aboard but couldn't unpack many of them due to ongoing projects. I have the troublesome fuel system completely rebuilt, and it seems to be delivering a steady stream of clean diesel to the bleed screw but I guess I won't know if it's really right until we get the boat into the water and I can start the engine. Dawn scraped all the barnacles off the bottom and prop in preparation for a new coat of bottom paint once the water intrusion into the skeg has been addressed. We installed the new Tides Track on the now-detached mast. I made some LED lighting upgrades. We have the new masthead transducer installed and a new radar mount bracket designed - will have to find a machine shop to make it on Monday. I drilled a new hole in the mast for the radar power and data lines today, we'll be running the wires through the mast tomorrow. I cleaned the bilge and we both completely sanded the companionway hatch & surrounds today in preparation for a repair and fresh varnish in the next couple of days. The boatyard finally got the rig down last week and will be hopefully tearing out the chainplates this week along with a couple other projects. They're saying everything should be done by Nov 15th but I have my doubts. We're considering staying in Charleston until we head south but that would entail finding somebody new to work on the post-lightning electronics repairs. We have all the components we ordered at the Annapolis Sailboat Show and I have a good idea of what our new system will look like, but I'm loathe to install it myself give that insurance is paying for a professional install job. I'm all too aware that everything I do myself entails a steep learning curve, and usually several things done over. Still, I always learn from the things I do wrong. I think the trick is to find someone knowledgeable to work on the boat while allowing you to gain from their knowledge.

Amidst all the bustle and filth of the boatyard, I'm trying hard to imagine Windbird swinging peacefully at anchor in the Bahamas. That's the goal for this season. Wish us luck - we may need it.

Ok - off to bed. Yay for our hour extra sleep tonight.

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