Life Goes On

It’s been pretty hard to move on from our last post on this blog. Somehow, putting another post on the front page to replace that last one felt wrong for quite awhile, as though it meant we were moving on with our lives and the loss of little Kitty meant less because of it. Of course, that’s completely wrong. We will never forget her sweet wee face and the way she charmed us with her own special brand of magic. She has earned a permanent place in our hearts.  But life does progress even when we are grieving, so here we are.

Scottish coastline.

All kinds of things have been happening down at Galapagos. Mike has finished the fridge installation and now we are just trying to learn the ways of this little blue machine. The problem? It’s too cold. Yes, it has been hard to keep the fridge side of the space above freezing. We hope it’s just a matter of learning the ways of the machine, but really, how many cruisers do you know who have a fridge that works TOO well? Yeah, that’s what I thought. There will be a fridge post with all the gory details later when we’ve figured out exactly how to make this thing freeze on one side and just be cold on the other. Meanwhile, we still cannot say enough about the customer service at CoolBlue. We’re not worthy. Seriously.

Our focus now is to gear up for our trip this summer. We are both totally excited and ready to go NOW. Long time readers may recall that last year , in 2013 (Whatt??),  on our Cal 34 Moonrise, we planned to go to the outside of Vancouver Island and were schooled by mother nature, causing us to abandon that plan. Fast forward (I’m not kidding!) two years and we’re ready to give that another go on Galapagos, a faster, heavier boat with better systems for dealing with the west coast and its squirrely weather.

We had some great sailing on that trip. Race Rocks around Victoria area. Zoom!!

This year Mike has a full 4 weeks (after giving of 19 years of his life to the Boeing job) of vacation and I’m scheming ways we can parlay that into an extra few days. So we’re going to try again. He has dreams of making it north of Barkley Sound this year. I have dreams of just making it. Period.

So we are doing things to get her ready. I discovered the satisfaction of using a small power washer on the deck. Why did I never do that before? Sure, I looked like a homunculus for a couple of days after spending a few hours with the extended arm of the power washer, but it was dead worth it. Goodbye nasty winter scum! And no soap of any kind required. It’s totally coming with us when we go.

But the big event was the installing of the name on the hull. I ordered the vinyl lettering from Boat US for Christmas and it has been sitting in the V berth awaiting warm weather.  Galapagos has a hull painted with AwlGrip and you could still see the shadow of two rounds of lettering on her hull. I wasn’t sure what kind of product to use to get the oxidation off of the paint without compromising whatever finish is left on the old girl.

Left side: after polishing. Right side: before.

Left side: after polishing. Right side: before.

I found the answer on the Albin Owners group;  a product called Finesse It, by 3M. This product did not let me down. It took a goodly amount of elbow grease and two applications, but the result was completely worth it. Unfortunately it makes the rest of the hull look terrible by comparison; kind of like painting one wall in a room.

Ready, set, GO!

With that finished, and the fridge installed and cold, even if it is close to freezing all the foods, we have nothing to do but live all the life there is to live until our usual July departure date.

And there is plenty of life going on. This week I travel to Scotland again; this time taking my mum along. This is my second trip and last year Claire and I had a bit of a rumble with the Gods of Scotland when my desire to see the standing stones on the Isle of Lewis interfered with reason. Scotland in March means braving cold wind and driving rain. What better way to see the Isle of Skye? Whatever. I will not be thwarted in taking in the beauty of that country regardless of weather. This time it is May. But I probably will still not see those damn standing stones like I want to. Mike assures me that his time alone in the family home will not come amiss as he plans to sit around in his underwear drinking beer and watching bad TV. As long as he stays off the roof and doesn’t climb the mast, I’m fine with it. But I sure wish he was going with me.


As soon as I return, we gear up for Andrew’s college graduation, visits from family who live far away,  and all the celebrating. You’d think it would be a celebration only for Andrew, but in fact, Mike and I will be celebrating the fact that we’ve been able to see two kids through being college educated. We are seriously patting ourselves on the backs about that. We won’t know what to do with ourselves. Except that his graduation marks the time when our Little Cunning Plan goes into fast forward! We approach this next phase with excitement tinged with fear and loathing. It’s a lot of feelings to handle all at once. Stay tuned.

She loves her lettering with red outlining!





12 thoughts on “Life Goes On

  1. It looks beautiful. We MUST schedule a time for the viewing of the boat by Darin and Reid. Oh, and on your worst day you would never look like a homunculus.

    • Yes, we do. Of course, any weekend at least one of us is down at the boat. Maybe we can get together when I get back from Scotland.

  2. So exciting! Glad you’re plans are going well! Enjoy Scotland! We’re making some big changes in our life! If you get time after your return, perhaps we can meet and I’ll share our new adventures as well! Enjoy your trip!!!

  3. Looks great!. We’ve been using finesse it for many years now. We also hit it with fleet wax paste afterward. Enjoy Scotland. Ah the good old days of underwear, beer and bad tv. Now its underwear, beer and spotty wifi. The only difference is the wife is always here. Not that there’s anything wrong with that 🙂

    • Will look for the Fleet paste wax. I fear we will need to hire someone to do the rest of the hull. That’s a lot of circular motion for the old shoulders. And I mean that literally. My shoulders feel old.
      As for the other stuff, sheesh! At least wear swimtrunks!

    • Thanks! Makes the rest of her hull look really shabby. I can literally feel the money flying out the door as we contemplate hiring someone to give the rest of her some attention with the Finesse It and wax.

  4. Enjoy your trip! We will be right behind you with the boat lettering! Let Mike know that Michael successfully installed mast steps and a new headsail so he’s welcome to come check them out. And congrats on the upcoming graduation. Parental high five for sure!

  5. Galapagos looks like her stern has always had that name on it. About the fridge…you could always run the food in nod out of the fridge part at intervals to keep it just under the FREEZE point. Maybe not! Have a wonderful time in Scotlnd, I know you will no matter the weather!

  6. The name looks awesome! Great job on the lettering choice. We have to admit, when we did Cream Puff’s letters we had to take advantage of the 2nd one is free if you screw it up policy at BoatUS 🙂

    Best wishes and hopes your plans work out.

    Mark and Cindy
    s/v Cream Puff

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