Wednesday, December 31, 2014

And if you look at in JUST the right light, it kinda looks like a sailboat

We are getting super excited around these parts. It's not due to the holidays, although Kitty was very happy to find that Santa could indeed visit a house, or a boat even if it has no chimney...

... and it definitely isn't due to the fact that our departure has been delayed by a good 6 months.  Nobody is excited about that particular development but clean cup, move down.
Nope. The reason for the excitement around Ceol Mor is that she is starting to look like a sailboat again.

The beautifully varnished hand rails have been installed and bedded on their oh so nice raised bases. The time and effort Mark put into getting the fiberglass bases perfect and the effort in getting the deck painted has been time well spent.  The mountings look as if they came from the factory this way.There are now installed clutches and deck organizers installed after much effort in getting the layout just so to maximize efficiency. Splendid.

The navpod Mark built with an assist from an Idaho potato has been installed. ( If you are going to use a potato to mold conduit, it must be from Idaho. Brand's matter you know). Even more exciting, electronics are being installed. We had long ago decided we would wait until we were just about ready to start sailing again to install any electronics. I can now operate the windlass from the cockpit, This must mean we are going to soon have a need to drop our anchor. That would only happen when we are sailing. Happy development indeed!

The old Lewmar 44's which used to handle the genoa sheets have been moved up to replace the sadly undersized and inadequate 30 somethings that handled the main. I can only assume what ever previous owner replaced the Bob Perry specified winches with these cute little ones was a masochist. No other reason I can think of for making raising the main harder than it has to be.

The moving of the 44s up to handle the main means the spot they previously occupied is now free and clear to accept the lovely little bit of hardware Santa left beneath the tree.

Seriously, no Christmas gift for me other than a set of Lewmar 55s. I am both thrilled by this and appalled, Thrilled because it means I will be able to handle the genny myself without the comedic efforts I previously had to employ. Appalled because I can't let Mark get off that easy. I feel that I have to register a bit of indignation. The upside is I can use this Christmas for leverage when needed for years and years to come. It's the gift that keeps on giving. (Truthfully, I don't want or need anything as we are downsizing but I can't tell him that. So let's keep this fact just between us.)

 Ceol Mor is undergoing a huge transformation, Boat plans are being pulled out as we try to work out the best place and way to rig a preventer. Also exciting because a boat does not need a preventer at the dock. This means she should be leaving the dock soon, if only for a bit of local sailing to see how the installs are working.

In other news, Ceol Mor won the marina boat of the month award for "most improved" boat in the marina. And it only took 4 years to win it.

We are moving forward, moving forward. Soon it will be time to put the interior back together and to do a bit of interior cosmetic refreshing. And then.., and then....we sail.
Merry Christmas everyone and here's to a healthy, happy new year to you and yours.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Eyes On The Prize

In the midst of everyone in the US getting ready for Christmas and Santa, while everyone seems to be decking their halls (and walls and lawns and cars) with festive decorations, I am trying my darnedest not to succumb to a fit of schmoopiness. While I might not be feeling very merry, I refuse to have a Blue Christmas and will instead focus on the positive.

 See, we had planned to be leaving NOW. Head the boat  for New Orleans, spend Christmas in my favorite US city and perhaps pal around with Dani and Tate ( who are such great peeps and unlike us, they are leaving soon so if you need to read about a boat underway, see their blog!) and then head east and south for the Caribbean. There was a fatal flaw in this plan. We had not adequately allowed for Captain Perfecto's need to complete the final bits of boat work with his requisite painstakingly, glacially slow but never the less absolutely gorgeous workmanship. Entire Pacific islands were created out of lava at a faster pace...

Everyone admires a perfectly restored boat which has been completely refit/rebuilt  with functionality, safety, structural integrity and beauty in mind. Not so many have the stomach to actually do the work required. I am certainly not going to fault those with a "go now" philosophy who will settle for "good enough" because if left to my own devices I think I would absolutely fall into this camp. But I am not a solo sailor. (which is good because I am still NOT confident in my docking abilities) I am 1/2 of a sailing couple and the needs of all must be considered. Mark NEEDS the boat to be finished to a level he is comfortable with. The difficulty is what he is comfortable with is, well, perfect. It's an obsession really. I have walked this path with him before at various times and I have found it best to just give him the latitude and space to do what he needs to do, cheer him on his successes, commiserate on the failures and be patient. The results have always been worth it in the end but I am not going to lie, it is not always easy to await the finished product.

So what work is being completed? A whole lot of varnishing. After having hit upon an application method that gives consistent results with Interlux Perfection Plus Varnish Clear Quart Kit , we thought we would try the same with Bristol Finish  . We have a friend who had excellent results with Bristol Finish and since we had some on hand, why not do a bit of experimenting? The good news? Bristol Finish does in fact provide a harder finish than Interlux. The bad news? It is really, really persnickety. We had such a time trying to get a good result with each coat and it just never happened. Basically, it just looked worse with each and every coat despite our painstakingly precise application. Bottom line for us is we will be an Interlux boat. Yes, we might have to sand and reapply a few coats a bit more frequently than we would with Bristol but this is offset by the fact that we can manage to get a really nice finish with the Perfection Plus.

The turtle shell should be reinstalled in the next couple of days and then we can start thinking about installing our rigid boom vang. Progress people, this is progress.

In the mean time, we've managed to sneak in the baking of a few batches of Christmas cookies which Kitty delivered to her "friends" at "her favorite store in the world"- Kemah Hardware. Kitty performed with her preschool class at the Christmas spectacular. We ran into Santa Claus at the Kemah Christmas parade. One of the benefits of catching the tail end of the parade, Santa has time to really listen to what you would like for Christmas. Santa even took the time to sit down and have a long chat with our wee girl and even wrote down what she wanted for Christmas " a pink truck. Not a pretend one but a REALLY real one". Santa then told her she might have to wait a few years but that he wrote it down so he would not forget and then asked her for another option to which she replied "it's all on the letter I wrote you".

So maybe we aren't leaving in a few weeks as planned. Things happen and you can either fight it or go with it. We are going with it, keeping on keeping on and keeping our eyes firmly on the prize. Soon. Very, very soon.