Windbird was moved today for the third time since coming out of the water. The boatyard needed the space to put new plastic sides on their painting shed, but it's for the best - it was pretty cold in the shadow of the shed and we could use the sun as we're about to apply several coats of varnish to the cockpit caprail. The other big news today was that we finally got the machine shop's estimate to fabricate new chainplates and stem iron. The dollar amount is about what I expected, but the timeline to complete the job is a lot longer than we expected: a full two weeks. Add on probably another week of work after we get them back, and we'll be lucky if the boat is in the water by Christmas.
With that in mind, we went ahead and just rented our beach condo for the full month of December; it's about the same cost as two weeks rental anyways. We'll be back in MN & SD with our families from the 14th to the 20th, and then I'll be working the 22nd through the end of the month with only the morning of the 25th back in Charleston. So really, unless the boat is ready to launch on the 21st, it probably won't happen until after the New Year. Florida and the Bahamas seem very far away right now but all we can do is keep plugging away at our "before going south" list. There's actually a fair amount that can be done out of the water. A lot of it consists of ordering spares, supplies and provisions, and we've started doing that in addition to all the big and little projects in & around the boat. Tomorrow I'll be doing the annual service on the outboard, replacing degraded soundproofing in the engine room, and running wiring for our new AIS transponder. This afternoon we taped off and sanded the companionway hatch and cockpit caprail, and Dawn will get the first coat of Epifanes clear varnish on tomorrow morning and a second on Saturday before the weather turns rainy on Sunday.
I actually picked up a three-day London trip for Saturday to bring my December schedule back up to full-time (I had dropped two overnight trips). With the yard not doing anything on the boat for two weeks I can spare the time, and we could use some extra cash to pay for the ever-spiraling refit. And I can order stuff from Defender whilst belly-up to the bar at a local pub just as easily as I can from home (probably more easily, considering the slow wifi here). I don't commute to Atlanta until Saturday afternoon, so Dawn and I are having another Friday Night Date in downtown Charleston tomorrow night. Dan and Isabella from s/v Epic (the Jeanneau 41) will be joining us, should be fun.