Almost one month ago, we had Tony Knowles, surveyor, onboard to check some areas of corrosion. Tom and I were nauseous just thinking about the "c" word. It makes you question the boat's integrity. After learning it's just part of the aluminum game, we were put more at ease. Tony advised us with 2 options: 1) pull her out and weld out the problem spots; 2) sand the areas down and fill them with filler. We went the harder road and pulled her. After what was supposed to be 5 business days& 3 weeks later! We are finally back in our slip. But instead of being bitter for missing a whole month of Maine sailing, we sit here, confidently rocking in a light NE breeze. Knowing every centimeter of her hull and utterly assured that there's no more crevice corrosion. Being so accustomed to high tech solutions, I couldn't believe there wasn't an accurate scientific test that couldn't be performed. Unh unh. It was up to us humans to check the hull and discover the spots that required NEB's attention.
We were on an Easter egg hunt, except the hiding spots were masterful, and the prize was a white pile of salt dust gathering on the inside of the hull. Surprisingly, Steve Casella at NEB and his team worked swiftly and expertly to weld us back together. In spite of what became 2 weeks worth of pouring rain, we were ready after 1 week. But we added a couple of extra projects to our bill: check the cutlass bearing on the prop shaft, install a custom 2nd story to our existing antennae arch, get the Inmarsat-C and new Autohelm going, and finally varnish our companionway that got gunked up with tape left on too long during our winter refit.
We became the gypsy family. Four days worth of clothes, diapers and the entire contents of our fridge and freezer went from Doug and Kim Bush's (4 days) to my parents' house for a week, then north to New Hampshire to Mary's for 4 days while we flew to Virginia for Caribbean 1500 Seminar Safety at Sea and back to my parents' for 2 more days and finally back to Uliad. Some days I practically lived in the Bonneville. It sure smells like that. Cole isn't the neatest eater. Sorry dad (we borrowed the Bonneville from him) nothing our wet/vac can't cure.
Here's some highlights of our stint on land :-We always had clean clothes; I used every washer/dryer I could get my hands on
-Baths were the "big treat" for the kids
-Audi and Bonneville were transformed in to choo choo trains while we sat in the yard on popits
-Popits are just as good as jungle gyms
-Mud play (see photos)
-Got me to use my gift certificates and buy the 35 mm camera
-Cammi puked every time daddy drove her to school
-I learned how to 4200 my fridge and freezer (after the stuff had cured in the tube)
-Learned that birds in Portsmouth, RI shoot cherry pits out of the butts
-Harley earned a hall pass off this boat ride after she pooped and pee'd on our just made, freshly cleaned linens in our stateroomHampton, VA
I'll just write a quick take on our impression of the seminar. Casual, friendly, informative and worthwhile. Meeting the experts from the boating industry was worth the entrance fee. Just to make friends with them and other like-minded cruisers infused us with undiscovered energy and enthusiasm. Some areas were elementary, but most sessions were targeted for our needs. Tom. s favorites were the diesel guy and the rigger, mine were Jennifer Clark. s Gulf Stream and Pam Wall on life and provisioning. We hope to stay in touch with these folks for years to come.
"Cammi Docks Uliad"
We were sailing back form Portsmouth, RI bound for Newport. A quick jaunt, especially with a NE breeze of 25 knots, gusting to 30. Seas were 1-2 feet. Visibility 5 miles w/cloudy skies. It was kind of nasty, raw, especially for August (we learned that the top of the Gulf Stream is just off of New England, normally it is near Nova Scotia). Tommy and I decided to tune the rig since the wind was strong, but more importantly, the kids were both napping. We also tested the new Autohelm. Passing boats stayed clear of us since we were doing slow loops with Autohelm and then hoisting all the sails, when any other person would. ve reefed. We drove to weather like gangbusters, trying to heel her as much as possible. Eh, it all got done.
As afternoon started to wane, and kids. mouths opened, we picked up a tack toward our much missed slip and made tremendous headway.
As we pulled into the harbor, Jazz Fest 2000 was wrapping up. Hardly any boats. Too raw. We hightailed it to the slip. Tom put out the lines and I took the helm. With a stiff NE, I knew I had to maintain control and get the nose right into the dock before being blown off. Just as I was passing the first piling, and paralleling the dock, Tom yelled "goose her", meaning forward full. I did, but noticed a lurching motion. Intuitively, I looked and saw I did put it in Forward but I too, along with my concerned husband, felt it was in Reverse. Lo and behold, our 3 year old was making her helmsperson debut. She was standing on the navigation table, pilothouse gear shifts in hand, saying "Mommy, look what I can do!" That. s my little helper.
Thank goodness for Russell and others on the dock or we would. ve rafted on to Chez Nous. I give Cam 3 more years and then she. ll turn pro.
"A Day of Preparation"
0700 - Awoken by Cole. I go to kids. cabin to get Cole from lower bunk, Cammi just waking up.
0701 - I discover Cam peed the bunk
0702 - Cam in bunk, nude, serves a timeout for an earlier transgression regarding self discipline
0730 - All parties showered, Cole with me, Cam with daddy
0745 - Breakfast of melon - clean dishes from night before that couldn. t be done because noise level would. ve been too high and could awaken kids
0750 - Brewer St Boatworks arrives; starts fixing elbow to forward starboard water tank
0755 - Joe arrives to bleed and recheck hydraulic pumps in the garage; Tom joins Joe
0815 - Me and kids & dirty laundry leave boat bound for Cam. s preschool and laundrymat
1000 - S&S Fabrics arrives to install shades that were ordered in March
1115 - 4 loads of laundy done; Cole now passed out in back seat
1145 - Cam. s clean sheets back on bunk
1200 - depart for Cam. s school w/Cole and his lunch/ Tom lunch with Joe. Brewer Street off boat fixing elbow that broke off in hand
1215 - Cole eating, me driving
1230 - Get Cam
1245 - Go to park, play, more lunch
1345 - Cam pee next to car, Cole still eating (me wondering how much extra provisioning I. ll need to bring to cover the Cole-factor), need to go back to boat
1415 - Go for walk, get stroller out of storage, all workers on boat except for BSBW who completed the job
1615 - back from walk, getting mail, no naps, Cole crankpot, black cloud/lightning/thunder approaching fast. Batten down, need to get the flute up the mast
1630 - S&S leaves unfinished; Joe leaves, done. Tom lifts dinghy on davits, I get flute, papaji arrives for dinner. Mmmm
1700 - Storm passes, start salad, clean up tools
1730 - Dinner with whole family
1800 - We leave to attend First Aid and CPR classes
2115 - Arrive home; all is well
2130 - Bilge light goes on due to major rocking in NE wind, investigate cause. Tom opens bilge in engine room. I notice dripping and climb in to trace hose. Tom at electrical panel.
2230 - Hose found, a/c hose. Democratic VP Nominee Joe Lieberman gives speech, do dishes.
2300 - Watch weather, wash up, Tom goes to bed.
0015 - I finish writing log& .bedtime! Snore.