Unfortunately, a part of the cruising lifestyle is time out on the hardstand – refurbishing, cleaning up and antifouling the bottom. But this time has been the most productive time since leaving Spain nearly four years ago. We greatly appreciated the use of Aunty Jeanne’s car and house while we had the boat hauled out and Aunty Hazel looking after us with fresh garden grapes and vegetables.
Aunty Jeanne’s double garage became my ‘sail loft’ as all kinds of canvas and cushion creations occurred. We now have a new back tent and a well repaired main tent, a new dodger to cover the cockpit and new squabs in the saloon and for the seats in the back cabin. The front cabin wasn’t ignored either when an incorrect purchase left me with a huge piece of bronze coloured material. It was transformed into a bedspread and cushions were added for the ‘look’. Quite proud of the way I utilised the $29 old Pfaff sewing machine that I’d picked up off e-bay before leaving Australia. We certainly got our money’s worth.
I’m also very proud of my very talented captain. He didn’t get to do the pretty stuff. He organised and completed lots of dirty work under the water line and above the deck. We had the mast down and all our rigging replaced. That’s something the captain has wanted to do for a long time. Our through-hulls were checked and some replaced and our ‘rudder’ issue is now well and truly fixed with a solid fibre glassing job ruggedizing the area. Bring on the big seas now!
It’s been a busy and extremely productive six weeks and we’re extremely happy with the result. We left the dock and headed towards a marina where Thomas will stay for a while I head off for a quick visit to Australia before we head off to Fiji in early May. Of course we don’t do anything without a drama and as we were entering the marina I dropped a fender off the side of the boat and so the captain got to practice his manoeuvres retrieving it. Good practice for man-overboard procedures – although it was in calm waters. As the fender drifted quickly to the shallow water we approached it and Thomas called – “We’ve only got one shot at this!” Of course I scooped it up in the first attempt. WHAT A TEAM!!!