“Normalcy” Aboard … Whatever That Means!

Within 24 hours of returning to sv Winterlude, we had high hopes of having the boat totally clean, mainsail off the cabin floor and on the boom and some miscellaneous other tasks accomplished.  Instead, Mr Murphy took over!

David stepped up the companionway to enjoy his morning coffee in the cockpit and the companionway step slipped again.  Oops.  He decided last night’s macgyver-ism needed beefing up… so he added a second sandwich pick — otherwise known as a glorified toothpick in the screw hole and voila!  It’s held all day.  We will have to fix it more permanently later, but for now, all is well.

Sandwich picks save the day ... or save me from breaking a leg ... both are good!

Sandwich picks save the day … or save me from breaking a leg … both are good!

Then we started on our first project of the day … cleaning all the grime and crud off the exterior of the boat … keep in mind, the inside is in pretty good shape … so we added a dash of bleach and our usual Woody Wax Boat Cleaner

to the bucket and started scrubbing…. and scrubbing… and scrubbing….

Here’s our post on why we LOVE Woody Wax Cleaner … it doesn’t strip the existing wax off the boat!  We worked FAR too hard to get that coat of wax ON the boat to want to strip it off washing all the bird crap off!

Last night's grubby deck....

Last night’s grubby deck….

The good news is the stainless and in particular the varnish is in good shape and after cleaning off all the grime, the boat actually still looks like it’s sporting a coat of wax…. the bad news is it took THREE separate scrubbings to get to the point we could SEE there’s still a shine on the deck.  So a bit longer than planned.  AND all the lines and canvas were lined with green…  we’ve not this much green slime since Panama!  It must have been an extremely wet summer here in SW Florida!

Tonight the deck looks MUCH much better!

Tonight the deck looks MUCH much better!

So we break out the bleach and soak the hatch covers, liferaft cover, windlass cover and binnacle cover in bleach water … except we ran out of bleach …. aw crap!  It’s a half hour to town, but luckily we have the truck … with the two kayaks on top so we can’t lose it in the WalMart parking lot (yes, we have been mistaken for the Beverly Hillbillies).  While we were at it, we picked up more vinegar, orange hand goop, hand soap, and cold BEER!  Gotta have the priorities! But we wasted the two hours we were looking forward to the pool … after all, it’s 87 degrees here & we haven’t found the air conditioner yet … it’s somewhere under the pullman berth.

Did I mention that in our brilliance when we were leaving the boat last spring, we decided to leave the inspection port off the starboard water tank.  I have NO idea WHY this seemed like a good idea at the time.  But when it was lunchtime, I wanted to wash the grapes.  No water.  Switch tanks… still no water.  David dutifully goes to fill the starboard tank as I make sandwiches when I look down and see a FLOOD — inch or more of water running down the cabin floor — thank goodness we had just taken the mainsail outside on the deck!  DAVID!!!!   STOP!!!!

Turns out, the tank overflowed, right out the OPEN inspection port and down the main hallway.  Good news?  I no longer need to mop the cabin … best advice, DON’T leave an inspection port open on ANYTHING when you leave the boat!  You’d think we’d never done this before….  idiots!

Mainsail on cabin floor, thankfully it's now back in place on the boom!

Mainsail on cabin floor, thankfully it’s now back in place on the boom!  It sure made walking a challenge in the cabin.

Back aboard, we got everything cleaned up.  Before we can finish putting the mackpack in place, we have to soak the lines – covered with green slime, it’s not the right color green to match the boat, so out comes more bleach.  But the mainsail is on the boom & ready!  Maybe tomorrow we’ll get it up the mast & down into its home, the Mackpack.

But by now we just have time to shower & meet some marina friends that we first met cruising Marathon for dinner at the deck overlooking the marina.

Happy Hour  with friends at the end of a busy first day aboard... aaahhhhhh......

Happy Hour with friends at the end of a busy first day aboard… aaahhhhhh……

Aahhhh…. tomorrow maybe we’ll even tackle the steering wheel challenge (it still doesn’t move & we’re still hoping it’s just a stuck in place lock mechanism – unfortunately, the first place to look is inside the binnacle & at a glance, we can’t figure out how to get it apart … so we’ll stick our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist — but our cruising friends want to leave next weekend & cruise somewhere….   and we’d like to go, if we can figure all this out soon enough!).

Have you returned to your boat yet for the winter?  Any sage advice for those of us hanging in there & waiting to be through with this part?   🙂   Please leave a comment & share!  Cheers!  Jan



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