September is here and with it, slightly cooler weather! We are enjoying airing out the boat without suffering heat stroke in the process. School has begun for my little kindergartener. Abi loves learning so teaching her is really a pleasure. I am so proud of her. Her school day goes basically:- reading, math and then one of the following science, art, or music. In addition to the regular school stuff she's had to fly a kite for science, finger paint letters and play games. It's a hard life for a kindergartener!
Thinking about provisioning, found a new system of keeping inventory. This system has worked well for another cruising family for nigh on 6 years so it should work for us too is my thinking. It requires me to be a little more organized which is daunting. However, once I got stuck into it, I started to feel almost euphoric to see labels on everything! In a house organization never seemed as important as on the boat. I must say, I struggled to see why I should bother in the beginning and, were it not for the fact that customs officers require a full inventory when you visit a new country, I probably wouldn't have. But now I see the light. Not only do we not lose things (as often) we don't duplicate what we can't find and provisioning becomes easier for having an idea of exactly what you need and how much.
We began the arduous task of provisioning today. The cooler weather makes it more bearable at least. Last year, the provisioning was exciting and new. This year it felt more like a chore. However, it does remind us that we are readying for sailing again and that makes it okay! Before we even got off the dock we rescued a sailboat whose engine went kaput in the middle of our marina. We knew the fella, since Jus has been doing some work on his boat (no, not engine work)! We managed with the help of 2 other boaters plus Nick and Merle to get them safely into a slip, albeit not their assigned slip, but a slip nonetheless, without injury to any person (bar Jus) or boat in the marina. Of course, Justin, my booboo prone husband did slice his toe open. It is now one of 3 sliced toes. According to the dock master, there was much applause in the restaurant that overlooks our marina. One wonders, how and why the dock master would know this, was he an observer too? We shook hands with the captain and mate. The mate was the captain's father-n-law from Norway and was sure he would never go boating with the captain again. Wonder how the rest of his visit will go since that was only day 2!
Back to the task at hand - provisioning, now with a throbbing toe for Jus. We were not the only people who wanted to go to the Stuff Mart, aka Sam's Club, on a Sunday. There were thousands of people there. I will never go there on a Sunday again. Even if they have the sample snacks set up, which we dutifully tried each one, crab cakes, pizza, flounder, cake and jalapeņo poppers! Two hours later and two carts full of shopping, complete with trading pencils and pens for the Bahamas, and we were done both shopping and emotionally. We will probably make one or two more shops before we are fully stocked but this was enough for now. It is now half stowed and recorded and half spread out around the boat.
September 10th 2005
Justin has found me a sink during one of his trips to the Sailor's Exchange in St Augustine - a great second hand and new stuff store. They expect you to bargain there. Very cool. My new sink is sitting next to me on the couch now and it is really nice. It actually fits a dinner plate inside with room to spare as well as my pots and pans, and a cutting board - I broke a plastic cutting board in half trying to fit it into the current sink. It wouldn't have been so bad if it had split evenly but one half was all jagged and more of a danger than the knife we have to cut on it so it had to go. The other half I am happy to say is much more boat user friendly in size! This new sink will make my life so much better I am sure! He is also installing a sprayer on a hose which will be great for those annoying dishes that I still can't fit in the sink and perhaps for naughty kids who need to cool down!
The cabin soles (floors) are acting really weird. We (read Justin) sanded, filled and varnished one section to see how it would look and were very happy with it. However, a month later and it is still the only piece done which is just as well because it along with all the other flooring has started shrinking or something. The filler is cracking up and the gaps between planks are getting wider. Justin really scratched his head about this last night and has decided to just replace it all. He will be looking at his fav store in St Augustine for the pieces he wants. Also, our salon table has started to crack up - not funny funny crack up but again, the filler between planks and bowing and flexing now. The kids are always climbing on it so that may have something to do with the state of the table. I think a lot of this stuff was just not really properly varnished in the first place or maybe it is just old. In any case, it's falling apart now! The headliners (ceilings) are starting to droop and look miserable - we have replacement for that ready at least!
September 11th 2005
The sink job has grown. To replace the sink, we need to also replace the counter. To replace the counter, we may as well make it the way we want it with laminate and everything. Whilst we are at it, the design of the galley needs a rethink. And so it goes. We are now completely refitting the galley. When we are done, it will be finished with teak cabinets. I just hope it won't take us too long since the whole boat is now topsy turvy - see pics.
We have solved the mystery of the shrinking cabin soles - the wood underneath had never been varnished -so moisture has seeped through very sneakily from underneath. This caused the wood to swell and then the air conditioning dried out the humidity which caused the wood to shrink back. We will probably have to replace them all. Abigail spilled milk on the table today and it seeped right through a crack and onto the floor. Just another convincing sign that we must replace the table and soon I fear!