Monday, January 28, 2013

Week One

Week One…Barbara’ perspective.

     We have been on Submit for a week and I guess it is time to let you know what we have been doing. Apparently she missed us and sort of let herself go. The decks and cockpit were covered with some very fine black stuff. Job #1-clean the deck and cockpit so we didn’t drag that stuff inside. Next, she invited some creatures in to keep her company. Job #2-clean every nook and cranny, which means empty the lazarettes, storage compartments, drawers and cupboards. Set off  the ‘bomb’. Since we needed to be gone while the ‘bomb’ did its job and we had our U-Haul truck, we left to buy food and other items that we would need for our projects-Job #3. We had discussed taking the mast down for inspection, maintenance, etc as we have never had it down.  It turned out that a crane had been ordered, so we piggy backed with and had the mast dropped. I’m counting that as Job #4, even though I didn’t do anything, except hold my breath! Since we had transportation until this morning, Job #3 continued almost every day. Our rule has always been-safety first, comfort and convenience second and cosmetics third. Needless to say, none of the cosmetics projects have made it close enough to the top to be more than a dream.  The cushions, I’m sure, are the originals and totally falling apart (and she really dislikes bad blue naugahide).

I’ve been looking for fabric since we acquired her. We now have fabric for the cushions and windows. We purchased cushions for the dinette at WalMart, which was way easier than making them :-). However, now I need a sewing machine :-( Got it, a $30 Singer at a flea market ;-). While Reggie was returning the car we rented for the weekend, I drug it out and started to remove the thread from the only bobbin. Remember the song about the poor meatball rolling off the plate and down to the floor? Well, my bobbin did something similar, but since we are on a sailboat, it didn’t stop at the floor and is now lost in the bilge :-(  The rest of the day was spent removing the hardware from the mast (me) and removing the cutlass bearing (Reggie). Still hoping to launch in a couple of weeks, but I’m thinking three.
We have enjoyed catching up with old friends from here and meeting some internet friends face to face for the first time.
     Oh, yes, I almost forgot. We found and fixed the water leak that we thought we might have, as the water pressure wasn’t holding as well as we thought it should.
Tomorrow will be continued mast work and possibly start the rudder repair. If I’m lucky, and am able to borrow a bobbin, and the other projects go well, I may get a curtain made! (She hates the old curtains even worse than the old cushions!)

Reggie’s perspective.

     We arrived at SV “Submit”, our 44 year old Cal Cruising 36, a week ago this afternoon.  We’ve actually been gone from home 9 ½ days.  Why does it take 2 ½ days to get here?  It included 10 pieces of transportation and two nights in motels.  The two nights were spent in Spokane, WA., and Gainesville, FL.  The 10 pieces of transportation: personal car to pick up the rental car; rental car to Spokane, dropped at the airport; a flight to Phoenix, AZ., a flight to Charlotte, NC.; a flight to Gainesville, FL.; a taxi, a hotel shuttle; walking; moving walkways; and, last but not least, a U-Haul truck because it was less expensive than a rental car and we used it for storage for several days!
     Breaking into the dirty boat (we still haven’t figured out what we did with the key.) and cleaning up the messes inside and out were not fun.  Renewing acquaintances was and is. 
     One of my favorite pastimes is walking the boatyard looking at the amazing variety of sailboats.  What an interesting collage. Big ones, little ones, home made, custom built, steel, fiberglass, ferro-cement,  all stages of repair, some just arriving, some re-launching to set off for further adventures. 
     The boat on our port side was purchased by an older gentleman.  He refers to it as a boat kit.  Evidently most of it was in boxes inside.  Some things were missing.  It is a 36 ft ketch, a nice looking older boat.  He is working diligently to get it ready to go.  He is planning on sailing it across the Atlantic this summer.  He has never been on a sailboat before.
     The boat 2 hulls to starboard is a nice old Peterson.  Two teenage girls are working on it nonstop.  One is 18 and the other is just turning 16.  They are from New Zealand.  They are doing a refit of I don’t know what all.  So far I know they have ground off all the old bottom paint and put on new.  They have sanded and painted the hull topsides (the part between the waterline and the deck for those of you who are not boat aficionados).  The past few days has seen them sanding and repainting the deck.  They were still at it, wearing forehead flashlights, long after we had stopped for the night.  They say they are supposed to launch tomorrow.  They are headed to Australia.  Their dad has shown up occasionally to help and may be going with them, but I’m not sure.
     Another boat was damaged in a hurricane several years ago.  It had a 12 ft hole torn on one side where the deck joins the hull.  The damage included destroying a chain-plate (where the support holding up the mast is attached) and damaged two bulkheads.  Then it sank.  Ian bought it, repaired it and he and his significant other have been, for several years,  spending 6 months each winter on her.  They do necessary projects and then sail it to the Bahamas.  They were late arriving this year.  She wanted to spend the holidays with family and grandchildren.  He hated the idea until he found that he could go skiing and snow-boarding.  This year’s projects included new topside paint.  The boat looks good.
     There are lots of stories here!  And ours?  We hauled boxes to the boat which had arrived over the past few weeks.  These were items I purchased on line over the past couple months and had shipped directly here, as well as a couple boxes from home.  Shipping is cheaper than carry-ons!  And, since I forgot what I bought, and since packages have arrived almost every day, it is just like Christmas each day!  Thank heavens for sales and free shipping!
     We live on the boat even while doing projects.  We have shore power (an extension cord).  It is a one story climb up into the boat, and neither of us tries to keep track of how many times we make the trip up and down.  It is almost a block to the “facilities”.  I haven’t seen the women’s side, but the men’s side is pretty shabby.  It has two wash basins, a urinal, a toilet and a one stall shower.  Lining up to take your turn in the shower is another opportunity to meet new people!
     Enterprise Car Rentals has a nice inexpensive weekend rental program going at present.  We used the U-Haul to haul us and our 1 carry-on here and to go grocery shopping.  We dropped it off Friday morning and Enterprise came to pick us up.  $9.99 per day for three days, and then they drop us back at the boat.  We did more shopping for provisions and project supplies.  We drove to St. Augustine Saturday to spend time at Sailor’s Exchange, a boating recycle center, and wandered around for a long time only to be surprised to find there was nothing we wanted or needed!
     We’ve also been to West Marine stores in St. Augustine and Jacksonville.  We’ve been to Freds, Publix, Ace Hardware, a flooring store, Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, Moe’s, Ruby Tuesday, some liquor store, Walgreens where there was our favorite cava (champagne) on closeout for $2.99 per bottle, minus 10% because I bought 4---all they had), Fastenal, a local boat part recycling business beside the boatyard, an oriental restaurant for a lunch, Sew and Vac, a convenience store for something cold to drink while driving home one day, a gas station, a couple auto parts stores, an RV store, and, of course, two different Walmarts, ‘cause sometimes that’s where the stuff you want or need is. We’ve reserved a car again for next weekend.  Meantime, we'll be working full time to use up our supplies.
     SparmanUSA has installed the new lifelines.  Bottom Dave has sanded and re-coated the bottom.  Barbara has enjoyed her new cushions for the dinette. 
     On Wednesday evening we had cocktails aboard the boat of some long time email friends.  On Friday, our boat was finally straightened up enough for us to reciprocate.
     The crane and local crew helped us remove the mast from our boat and place it on barrels for inspections and repairs.  I became a minor boatyard hero by designing a new-to-me method for removing a cutlass bearing form my keel.  Evidently it was new to most others also.
     We enjoyed a tasty dinner of thick center cut pork shops, mixed salad and yams.  A shower (no line!) and a little cabernet cap off the evening.  Tomorrow we’ll find rudder jobs to do!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Getting there

     Part of cruising is getting to the boat and back again.  We began arranging for this trip months ago.  Round trip airline tickets were purchased on US Airways from Spokane, WA to Gainsville, FL.  Why those cities, you ask?  A, because US Airways does not fly into and out of Kalispell, MT;  B, there were no available seats going into Jacksonville, FL; and C, we were spending frequent flyer miles on US Airways.
     Next was to determine how to get to Spokane to take the flight.  We would normally take our car, but where do you park a car for 3 months?  You hate to burden relatives, friends or acquaintences.  And what would the charge be to leave it at the airport?
     How about the train?  Get to Spokane at bar closing time.  Not enought hours to be worth geting a room.  Taxi to airport and doze on hard seats.  Not very appealing.
     Bus?  Would you believe the bus from Kalispell goes to the airport in Spokane?  It arrives at 9:30 AM.  The flight leaves at 8:30.  Not so good.
     Rent a car?  This way we don't have to burden anyone with car storage or spend a lot of money on storage.  Bingo!  We'll take a liesurely drive to Spokane on January 20th, spend the evening and night in a motel, drop the car off at the airport and be away.
     Then, we need a motel in Gainsville because we don't arrive until midnight.  No sweat.  There are good deals online.  Reservation made!
     Now we have to get from Gainsville to Green Cove Springs, Fl.  How tough can it be?  It is only about 55 miles!  Well, you cannot rent a car between Gainsville and Green Cove Springs.  The car has to be dropped off at the Jacksonville, Fl airport, a 100 mile round trip from Green Cove Springs.  So, if you drive to the airport to drop off the car, how do you get back?  Taxi?  Plus around $200 for the rental car!  Not very appealing again!
     But, U-Haul saves the day!  You can rent their smallest truck in Gainsville and drop it off in Green Cove Springs!  For much less than the cost of a sub-compact rental car!  (Contact us if you ever need a U-Haul reservation anywhere)
   So, at last, all is set up and reserved.
     US airways emails us today to tell us they have changed our flights, adding a layover Monday night in Charlotte, NC!  We probably should have accepted that but decided against it.  Instead, we will leave here Saturday, 1/19 and arrive in Gainsville at midnight on the 20th.
     So, airline reservations have changed, as have rental car, Spokane hotel and Gainsville hotel.  We're still waiting to hear about the U-Haul reservation.
     Look out, Green Cove Springs Marina, here we come again!