There she stands, tall and still, the hot Indiantown sun beating down on her ash covered decks, a lonely breeze quietly whistling through her naked rigging. Spring, summer and now fall, she has stood side by side with her sisters and brothers, hibernating in an open field, waiting for the threat of hurricanes to pass and for us to return and shake her from her dormancy.
We had left Blue Wing in Indiantown in May after only 6 weeks on the water earlier this year. 2014/2015 had been a short season of sailing. After two weeks working on her on the hard, she spent most of the winter on a mooring ball at Sunset Bay Marina while we continued to labor through an extensive list of projects. During our 3 years of cruising quite a few things had broken and and some had just deteriorated. But the itch to keep moving couldn’t keep us in one place for too long, finally, upon completing a few major projects, we decided to take our chores on the road (water) and motor her down to Miami to clear off the rest of our list.
We cut the season short when the list started to get longer despite striking many things off and work opportunities started to present themselves in Cabbagetown. We put her up and rushed back to Atlanta. I had meant to write a wrap up post to our working season, but life on the dirt started moving fast and the blog got neglected.
So here’s the wrap up…
Our original chore list was long and we didn’t get to address everything on it. We didn’t lube the winches, sew a new bimini, sew a new life sling bag, replace the dodger windows, or touch up the paint on the binnacle, but we did scratch off a few things, a few of them pretty major projects:
- I sewed dinghy chaps for Jethrine.
- Greg fixed all of our interior lighting and replaced all the bulbs with LEDs.
- Greg replaced the running lights.
- Greg addressed all of the cabin leaks and rebooted the mast.
- I disassembled a dozen dodger panel seconds we picked up at a marine outlet store salvaging the isinglass and zippers for my bimini and dodger window project.
- I started sewing a new Lifesling bag.
- Greg cleaned and oiled the teak.
- Greg did some much need cosmetic repairs.
- Greg removed all of the interior water stains.
But while we were out, even more things broke.
Just about anything that was or had to do with a pump broke:
- First our fresh water pump started leaking. After a multi bus trip through Miami, replaced
- Then we discovered that our macerator pump (for our black water tank) didn’t work. Had to find a marina to have the boat pumped out at least once a week, macerator on the list to replace this season
- Our fuel pump broke. After another multi bus trip through Miami, replaced
- The auto switch on our bilge pump stopped working. Manually started checking the bilge whenever we were underway, added to the list to deal with this season
- The hose leading from our impeller pump sprung a leak (A problem compounded by the auto function of the bilge pump not working – when ever we ran the engine we would have to go below to turn the bilge on manually every 15 or 20 minutes). Taped the hose, pumped the bilge a lot, put on the list to fix this season
We also had energy problems:
- Our secondary semi-flexible solar panel broke. After an all day multi public transportation trip from Miami to Fort Lauderdale involving 5 bus rides and two train rides, the panel was returned for credit, and the solar problem was added to the list to deal with this season
- Being one solar panel down caused problems with running the refrigerator – well, that is, until the refrigerator stopped working. Bought ice every 3 or 4 days and used the fridge as an icebox, on the list to deal with this season
And we had a few other issues:
- We installed a new anchor roller, but it disintegrated the first time we used it. After days spent walking over a mile back and forth from a Palm Beach Garden’s library, eventually one was found on the Internet, mailed to our friends who came to visit us, replaced
- Two of our water Jerry cans sprung leaks. On the list to replace this season
- We discover a slow leak in the hull where our electricity ground is installed. Checked compartment where the leak was every few days and bailed, on the list to deal with this season
If you do the math for 6 weeks, you will see that is roughly 1 ½ things breaking every week. Ugh.
But we did have some fun and improved many of our sailing skills. Our friends David and Michelle came to visit us in Miami and I think they had a good time. We did. Since we had visit marinas so often to pump out we got much better at docking the boat. We also spent a lot of time picking up mooring balls which we are pretty darn good at now. And of course, I got to move the boat completely under sail off the anchor, under a bridge, and on the anchor again.
Currently we are getting ready for a big adventure, sailing to Mexico, Belize and Honduras and back. A lot of the projects we didn’t complete this past winter are now done, we have also addressed many of the things that broke this winter, have completed a major cosmetic project, and are working on upgrading our equipment for our big trip south.
But before we get to telling you about all of that we are going to do a little blogging about our summer. So, stay tuned, while we get the blog up to date!