Contrary to what it may look like, I haven’t abandoned the blog completely. And there’s actually a lot going on. Here’s the news in brief:
We have a move aboard date from the marina of December 1! We’ll be trickling down to the marina probably after the holidays. Originally, our plans were to move aboard November 1. Andrew and Jill have moved into the house, and they were to be joined by another young couple, John and Melina, to share expenses and keep the house in the family for awhile longer. That plan needed to be changed when the marina had no room in the proverbial inn on the November 1 move-in date. Oopsy! That created some considerable stress for about a week or so.
But as is so often the case, this roadblock turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Also on November 1, Claire and Dan came home from Guatemala for 6 weeks. We narrowly avoided a situation whereby Claire and Dan would be moving in while John and Melina were moving in while Mike and I were moving out while Andrew and Jill were moving into our room from another room. Whew! It makes me tired just to write that extended sentence. And dealing with all the furniture moving? Ugh. Crisis averted, John and Melina will wait until after the holidays to move into the house. Thanks, guys! We love you.
As a result, we get one more holiday season in the house, with all our kids and their significant others! That makes me real happy. Since Dan and Claire will be in Edinburgh for Christmas this year, we decided to combine our Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays and celebrate what we are calling ThanksMas. So on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, while the rest of the country is out shopping and keeping our buy-more-stuff economy strong, we’ll be safely ensconced in our family room opening stockings, drinking mimosas, and playing some pretty awesome games to celebrate the whole season. There will be prizes. Oh yes, definitely. We will make it a day to remember.
While I’m pretty stoked about ThanksMas, I notice that it’s really put me off my holiday stride. With 58 holiday seasons under my belt I’m used to having a certain amount of time to gear up for the traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas. First we get Halloween out of the way, then I begin to consider the Thanksgiving menu. Decisions are not actually made until well into November. I don’t generally get out the Christmas decorations until the day after Thanksgiving. I better get my ass in gear since we’re living in a small time warp around here. Ho ho ho. Maybe a tiny tree for Galapagos? Just saying…
And speaking of Galapagos, things are in full swing getting ready for the big ‘move our crap aboard’ that will be happening in December. To be fair to us, we don’t have a lot of stuff anymore. We’ve pared down so much that I’m not really sure what we’ll be bringing with us except for our winter clothes and personal items. Everything else is already there. And we are so good at tossing things out now. Really good. My dreams of having a boat that isn’t always a complete disaster inside could actually come true.
Along these lines, to create easier stowage, Mike has been fitting all of the hanging lockers with deep shelves like we did in Moonrise. This makes those nice big lockers so much nicer since we now get to use all that vertical space. This is a bigger project than it sounds. In a house, closets have square corners and they are usually the same size all the way from ceiling to floor. On a boat, each shelf is a different size and micro-shape. It takes a long time to get a shelf to fit just right. Plus, what if the boat is moving when you are using that level to get the shelf just right? Everything has to be complicated on a boat.
He experimented with using wire shelving in this aft cabin locker. It turned out fine but it’s likely to be noisy underway unless I dampen the sound, which I will do. Still, we are dead pleased about how each of us gets an entire shelf and big bin of our very own! The other lockers have wooden shelves as the wire just wouldn’t work in them.
In preparation for moving aboard, we have also put in an additional dehumidifier. We have a large one in the main cabin. It’s a GE and I bought it at Home Depot. It’s been excellent. We bought this additional small unit for the aft cabin. We are very pleased with it. It uses desiccant technology and puts out gentle heat, which helps keep that room both warm and dry. This unit we got on Amazon. It drains directly into the bilge, so we don’t have to empty it all the time. Galapagos is a big boat and has a lot of good ventilation even when she is closed up. But we have had a very wet fall so far. These make the interior a lot more comfortable and will help keep mildew at bay as well.
Mike is also working on new lifelines as I write this. And guess what! They are RED! Yes, Galapagos is getting dressed up in her party clothes, ready to rumble, ready to set sail. She will ride the waves in style with her pretty red dyneema lifelines. He’ll do a separate post on how he worked all that out, and also give you his ‘cheap boat trick’ cost-savings secrets. I am excited to have lifelines that do not hurt my hands when I grab them. Seriously. Of course, eventually that dandy red color will fade in the hot sun. At that point, they will be pink. So pink and turquoise, our hull color. Galapagos rocks the world of color.
The only downside lately is that I think my beloved camera may be dead. Mike took it in to be serviced recently and the guy said something like, ‘Why service cameras like this? They are basically disposable. You should just buy a new one.”. I think the camera may have heard that and his words acted as a curse of death. This was not a cheap camera when I got it and I don’t really want to have to buy a new one. But damn. Should I expect more than 3 years out of a mid-range camera? I have a little more experimenting to do to make sure it’s actually DOA, but until then, I have to live with cell phone photos. And so do you, readers.
Finally, I took some readers up on their challenge to further my experiments with the tank digester. There will be another blog on that subject forthcoming. More experiments, using real SCIENCE, are in the works. That’s the nail biter I’m leaving you with.