Everyone asks – “Why aren’t you sailing”? And it’s true, we’ve been here over two months and though we putter around the marina each week to clean out our waste tank, we haven’t been sailing. We lamely reply “When we’re done with a few things…”.
Yes, we did have an old boat to empty of our earthly possessions, to clean, to sell. But that happened a couple of weeks ago. (As if a week were even time on a boat project – everything is doable in 20 minutes to my husband but a month in real life. I mean “done” like when a job is actually done and working and usable. We’re not talking about the husband kind of conceptual “done” which involves him knowing what’s required to fix it. Probably.)
And unlike people with a house and real life, as cruisers we had to move everything on to the boat at the same time we evaluate everything that’s here. And you can’t sail with things stacked around waiting to be installed or stored and recorded in the database. So we had several heat stoves sitting around for a few weeks (one got cannabalized for parts and junked, a new-to-us one selected at Blue Pelican was eventually delivered to the Phoenix, and the not-yet-installed-on-Phoenix one is getting installed on Eurybia). We have a battery box waiting in the rain to be installed some day. There is at least one wind generator on deck and a sail that might fit. We had three dinghies for a bit and still aren’t sure whether the two remaining will fit on the boat. We search for solar panels that might fit. The lifelines just snapped and we are considering alternatives for replacement. Plenty to do.
Sample Projects Done This Week
Heat Stove. The old one had a hole in it. The shielding had also been skimpy so the bulkhead had charred. Jon added some heatshield tile and masonry board. See, he’s done! Oh, well, no actual stove installed yet, but the tricky part is done. Supposedly.
Haven’t quite reached the wife meaning of done on this one yet.
Trash can. This one took way more time than it should have. First we had to find a solid plastic bin that wouldn’t deteriorate in a moist environment. And that fits on the teeny-wheeny doors under the galley sink. And that hangs rather than sits so it won’t fall over under sail. I finally found one on a marine site for a typically high marine price. But it seems to be very robust and well-designed for a sailboat. Not large, but that’s good on a boat. Of course the cabinet doors had to be modified to accomodate the can, and we briefly lost the mounting hardware because of the delay between acquisition and mounting. But today it got done! Done, like working. Done like the wife meaning of the word. If you’re interested we got this at BoatOutfitters.com and it’s called Hang it Mate Hanging Trash Can.
Sail Cover Repair. Routine maintenance, but it took time to get the machine set back up from storage mode to using mode. The machine seems to work ok on the dining table with an extension cord. The table has not yet collapsed under the massive weight of a Sailrite machine! I didn’t have the right colored canvas, but Jon said to suck it up and use what I had. My artistic goals frustrated yet again. But it’s done until I have to redo it as a stack pack. No hurry on that. Mexico? Maybe.
And in between these jobs there is laundry to do, first hauled in a dock cart, taken to the laundry, with the necessary quarters assembled. And water to heat for tea, for coffee, for washing dishes. Not for showers, we walk to the next dock for those. Meals to make and clean up after. The weekly hour to drive over and pump out the waste tanks, the occasional task of filling the water tanks or taking the propane tanks in to fill. Meanwhile cushions need replacing, the material has been bought, the foam ordered, and I’ll start when it arrives.
And amongst all this is actual life. We spent months doing nothing but getting Phoenix ready, then getting her ready to sell, so now, since we don’t want to leave the Bay area until Mexico hurricane season winds down in the fall, we are also doing some actual living. Meals with friends, a sewing class to organize for dock-mates. A website put together for a friend starting a business; walks to take and family to see. A city to explore, political marches to attend. We stay busy. And we screw off a fair bit, too. Reading for the hell of it. Sex whenever we want. The occasional movie or meal out. That’s part of it, having fun, enjoying where we are, saying “yes” to unanticipated invitations. It’s a great life.
But we’re not DONE!