We’ve been very busy doing stuff around the house and working on the boat.  With several projects completed, we are well on our way to being ready to head south in the fall.  Skip removed the old windlass and replaced it with a shiny new one.  The old windlass was so rusted with big chunks of the motor casing missing.  I’m amazed that it worked all season!  The new windlass has a regular switch and a remote.  We tried it out at the dock but I’m anxious to try use it for anchoring.

Old Windlass - protected by plastic and duct tape
Old windlass motor - a bit rusted!Shiny new windlass


Shiny new windlass
Shiny new windlass

I washed and waxed the sides of the boat.  Our blue hull really took a beating in all that salt water.  I also used some touch-up paint and a tiny brush to hide the scratches.  Several days of work resuling in sore arms and shoulders were worth it to have a shiny blue boat again!

New Radar
New Radar

Skip also removed the old radar along with the display and wiring and replaced it with a Garmin unit that talks to our chartplotter.  To reach the radar dome mounted on our backstay, Skip built a sturdy wood platform on which he stood on a step stool.  Someone should have filmed us trying to install the new (larger) radar dome.  Once hooked up to the wires, we had to maneuver it around the backstay and screw it into the platform without dropping it into the water.  With one close call (I got whacked in the face) we didn’t drop it  but I’m sure the entire episode would have made it to America’s funniest home videos!  We’re trying to sell the old radar unit (which still works) on Craigslist.  What fun — a lot interest by tire-kickers but no luck so far.

Making our way through the boat projects list, I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning.  I scrubbed all of the lockers and removed items that we didn’t use.  I also cleaned the interior with Murphy’s oil soap and varnished some places that showed a lot of wear.  Skip replaced the fan on the refrigeration unit and now it’s working great. 

And that’s just what we’ve done on the boat!  At home, I caulked a large crack over our garage door and painted the trim on the front of the house (at least as much as I could reach with a small ladder!)  I also replaced the screen material in most of our window screens.  Skip brought all of the boat hatch screens home and replaced the screening and varnished the frames.

Whew!  Yesterday, we both declared that today would be a day of rest.  We were going to see a movie but the one we wanted to see (Star Trek) is no longer showing.  I got a few good movies from the library so we’ll have a home movie night instead!  We have seen many of our friends since coming home but still need to catch up with a few of them.  I had dinner with a former co-worker last week and enjoyed getting caught up with her.  I also found that I wasn’t very interested in what’s happening at work — maybe retirement mode has really set in!

We haven’t yet made it to any of the boat club gatherings.  Plans to attend the Margaritaville rendezvous were thwarted by threats of severe storms.  We are planning to attend the Baltimore Sabre gathering in mid-July and we’ll definitely make it to a CSC raft up soon.

Plans for a road trip this summer out to Denver have morphed into a flight/rental car trip instead.  While doing some planning, both of us started to feel like 3 days of driving out there wouldn’t be much fun.  I had some frequent flyer miles to use so, all in all, it worked out well.  We’ll be able to visit Mike and Angie (Lady of Lorien) who have a cabin in Colorado and also spend some time with Jen and Bill (Skip’s daughter and husband.)  Maybe we’ll be there to see the culmination of Bill’s big project — a flat-screen TV that rises out of the floor in their living room!

I got an interesting email from someone in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who found my blog post talking about finding a fish tag on the beach in the Exumas.  I had sent the number printed on the tag to the FL Dept of Environmental Protection and received a response that it was from an old fishing licensing program.  The email I just received confirmed that they were incorrect and the tag was actually from a fish trap.  Unfortunately,  I discarded the tag and emails so I can’t provide any info for his research into the models that look at the drift of plastic pollution.   Now I know and will save any other tags I find!

All in all, it’s great being home.  Bailey is really enjoying himself — sleeping on the sofa and lots of room to chase the flashlight every night.  I’m having fun cooking and trying to get more into retirement mode.  Skip keeps telling me that I have to ‘pace myself’.  I still have that feeling like there’s only a short amount of time to get things done before I have to go back to work.  Hope that wears off soon!