Monday, July 25, 2011

Not many weeks left now...

No blue or pink jobs... seems they're all purple !!

The days are whizzing by.  We are no longer worried about getting our tudu list completed before departure. In fact, we've had to prioritize and are focusing on just those jobs that MUST be done before we can set sail...  There are several and, thanks to the help of our special friends, we just may get the critical ones finished in time. Kathy has been working hard on the finer details of life on-board while CJ has been tackling some of those tasks that should have been completed months ago (like the brightwork); and others that have just arisen but are very important (like the broken propane system, and some small but determined leaks that allow the rain inside where it shouldn't be). Kathy's skill as a seamstress is beginning to show as she dashes off covers for the dorade boxes, lee cloths, and other fabric-type works of art.  As well, minor details like health insurance, boat insurance, medical and emergency kits, vaccinations and other such things have been demanding our attention.  Between the boat, the house and the dog... we have been well and truly focused and hard at it.

We have two special fellows in our life right now... they're both Larry's and each has contributed to our journey in big ways. Larry Hutchinson continues to be available to help with all kinds of electrical and other such challenges...  and Larry Smith has been truly wonderful in his support and help with the woodworking projects that were quite far over CJ's head.  His skill and practised eye are in the process of producing a beautiful cabin table and three perfect companionway boards.  CJ's been his ready apprentice and is learning more each day... who knew you could actually iron wood??? Larry has also designed a bracket for our new propane system... yes, we're finally replacing the old (and I mean really old) propane controls and tank.  Within the next 3 days Shannon will be sporting a new, composite propane tank complete with new solenoid, regulator and gauge.... and she'll be sporting it mounted on her stern rails.  It's not complete yet, but the new system will allow us to run a line to the BBQ and to the stove and it will be safe and secure.  We're really looking forward to this new and better location AND to having a tank that allows us to  instantly see how full it is.

And so it goes... the clock is ticking... we're working hard... and we're finally seeing some progress and results.  Next weekend is the BCA (Bluewater Cruising Association) 'Farewell to the Fleet' Rendezvous...  and we're determined to go as we've yet to arrive at a rendezvous and I suspect they wonder if we even have a boat...  So, we'll be there with bells on !!

For now, it's back to the grind-stone.  Take care.. talk to you again soon.    Carolyn

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Just a little update

We're home now.. in sunny, cloudy, warm, cool Maple Bay :-)  And as we've told everyone who's asked... our shake-down cruise was great.  We were able to visit some of our old, favourite haunts... and we had the opportunity to put most of our equipment to the test. We were able to tweak some of the new equipment...and (fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it) we broke some of the old equipment. We also identified a few more changes that we need to make before heading off. So, needless to say, our tudu list is longer now than it was before we left but... with the clock ticking louder and faster each day... we're forced to prioritize what really needs doing... and that's what we're working on. We met some great folks on our travels and made some valuable connections.  We were delighted to become familiar with the Great Northern Boater's Net.  What a great service. Our families are going to be very relieved to learn of how Barb and Bill and other moderators will keep track of us as we travel south. As well we met some folks from the US who spent time with us and imparted much information regarding harbour-hopping down the coast.

For those of you who are wondering where we are and how come you haven't heard much from us...  we're on the boat.. and we're working at a furious pace to try and get things done in time for our leaving. Sorry we're not more available.. but that's what preparation for this adventure and journey are demanding of us right now. I think this must be the toughest time for all cruisers... as more and more family and friends want to see you before you go.. and/but the time required to be safe and secure when you leave is critical and must be spent in preparation.  Gotta go now.. the good ship Shannon is calling.