Now we finally know and admit that we can’t go to Alaska. We’re reading about folks who have “made it through”, but previous posts explain why that doesn’t work for us. The last article I read was from some big power boats being torn completely apart (a 3.5 hour “investigation” of every item in every drawer and compartment) at two BC customs docks, and they just didn’t understand why the customs officers didn’t give them the same treatment they always had in prior years. THEY DON’T WANT US THERE. Enough said about BC. So sorry to our Canadian friends that some folks just still don’t get it.
I have a four month Leave of Absence from work this summer. I was originally going to retire at the end of this year and set sail south next spring, but with all the havoc and still unknown border issues that Covid has created, that just didn’t seem like the right time. But I have never worked harder in my life than the last 12 months, and am just exhausted. I need a mental and physical break. So I negotiated a leave this summer, but then will work into next year. If all works out, the house will be done and boat ready for an April 2023 sail south to French Polynesia.
So what to do this summer? Four months sounds like a long time off, but it will go quickly (the 4.5 years out last time were gone in a flash). And some have already tried to remind me that summer is only three months, but sorry about that, I’m taking the four we would have needed for the Alaska trip. Here’s a loose plan: June => Finish the house, July => Sail some, August => Camp midweek, Sail some, Work on the deck, September Same as August. We have Plenty to keep us busy.
The house remodel involves a pretty small list at this point, and we know what we need to do. Replacing the deck and engaging a good landscape / yard maintenance partner is another list, but still pretty manageable. But if we ever feel list-deprived, there are always way more things to do on the boat than we have time and energy for. Today we went down to make a list of things that we would like to do before we head out in July. Mind you, these are things we don’t actually have time to do because June => Finish the house. And so the list begins.
It started out with a short double spaced list, and as we went through the boat, and then finally into the “project drawers” in the aft cabin, all the lines got filled in. The only item crossed off was when we realized the new drifter didn’t need dedicated sheets – we can reuse the spin sheets as drifter sheets and leave them with whichever light air sail we’re using at the time. Yay, one thing checked off the list. And yes, those are the same faucets that were on the list last year. Still in the box in the aft cabin. In our defense, though, they are a major pain in the ass to replace.
Could we pull out of the slip, fuel up the boat, and head north today to vacation without any of these things done, YES. Absolutely. But it’s time to catch up on some deferred maintenance and get Yohelah back into more pristine condition. Yes, she’s a 37 year old girl, but that doesn’t mean she can’t sparkle again. The problem with boats in saltwater is that the more you use stuff, the more it breaks. And the more you don’t use stuff, the more it freezes up and breaks. There is no win-win. She needs regular care to remain the beautiful functional girl we have always loved.
We want to come aboard and enjoy our space. Consider the lights below decks. In our 40′ boat there are 20 cabin lights. I was just tired of all of them being broken, so I took a inventory today. Turns out we have 15 that are ok and not actually broken. And we have two spares we bought years ago that were in the project drawer to fix two of the broken ones. The others are part of wiring issues that we need to work out so our fans also work again.
I’m going to spend some time after work during May working on the cosmetic issues – varnish around the upper hatches, varnish on the interior teak, cleaning up fans and testing/replacing the alarms. I actually found and fixed my first water leak last weekend – a hose clamp under the sink was leaking. So I had to reach in the tiny little space and use a screw driver and wire cutters to take off the old clamp after the screw disintegrated. Then after I got the new clamp on I realized the host was cracked. So I managed to cut off the end of the hose and get it off the barbed Tee, and reattach the hose and new clamp while still retaining 10 digits on my hands.
So there we have it, the first list for 2021. There is no way all these items will be done before July. 50%? Likely. 70%? Maybe. 100%? No way. But they’ll just go on next year’s list. Now I need to add these to our Trello board where the official shared list gets managed.