Taking an afternoon break at the New Orlean's lakefront
Six weeks since we've returned from the Dominican Republic ... time has been flying. If you've been following our Facebook page you know that we're FINALLY spending some time at the boatyard between work. I still have one more post to write about our white-water rafting experience in the Dominican Republic, but lately I haven't had the time to get my thoughts and pictures together .. it's coming soon. So, what have we been up to the past six weeks?
Ken gave our green boot stripe a fresh coat of paint, and we're now busy trying to get Nirvana prepped for painting her deck ... smooth and non-skid areas. We want to do this right, so just about everything has been removed from the deck. Ken's been filling the hardware holes we need to keep with silicone, filling the holes left by hardware we don't need with filler, and making repairs to the fiberglass. A soft spot was found on the deck, which Ken is repairing by injecting epoxy into. While Ken was doing his thing, I wiped down the interior of the boat and cleaned the bilge. Our newer ports (and everything else on the boat) were covered with over-spray thanks to the boatyard (guys ... how about some plastic?!), so we tackled that project as well. After several calls to the company that sold us the lexan ports ... "Cruising Concepts" (yes, that's our "Nirvana" on their site!) and all sorts of advice from the hardware stores, we were able to remove the paint. This wasn't easy, as two-part paint is hard to remove from lexan. Mike at "Cruising Concepts" was extremely helpful and his advice got the job done! I'll have more about all of these projects in future posts.
New boot stripe ...
The smooth parts of the deck have been sanded, and we'll scrub the non-skid areas next. After a good cleaning on the entire deck, we'll be ready to start taping up the ports, hatches, and all the other stuff we don't want painted. Then, it's time for Ken to spray the primer and then spray the smooth areas of the deck.
The six weeks since we've gotten back from our trip have flown .. and we only have six weeks before the lease on our condo is up! We figured that by this time we'd be ready to move on our sailboat, but with all the other projects we've tackled this past year ... not even close! Signing another year's lease is out of the question for us, so we'll just go month-to-month until Nirvana is ready to be our home. We really miss living on the water, so I've been checking out waterfront condos in hopes of finding a short-term lease, but so far I haven't found anything. If we don't find any major repairs on the boat (fingers crossed), we hope to become liveaboards this Spring.
Before Nirvana hits the water again, we plan on replacing the stuffing box packing and giving her bottom a quick paint job. We're anxious to stop paying boatyard fees, so we'll wait until Nirvana is back in the water before painting the non-skid areas of the deck with a roller. We'll then re-bed the hardware with gray butyl tape and add aluminum backing plates where needed. The chainplates will be checked to see if they need to be reinforced, the hoses & clamps will be replaced, the electrical and rigging will be checked out, lights replaced with LED, interior teak cleaned, new Plasteak handrails installed, custom companionway sliding hatch parts created (by Ken) to replace the rotten teak ones ... and that's all before getting Nirvana ready to cruise by adding solar panels, batteries, etc. Yeah ... I think we need a little more time at the condo!
All of this work and thought requires a break every now and then, which we often find by the water. The picture above is from one of our afternoon escapes to the lakefront. Another favorite escape is our hometown of New Orleans. This past weekend we spent a gorgeous day roaming the French Quarter, and accidentally came upon a festival with one of our favorite local bands playing ... the "Honey Island Swamp" band. The day was the kinda therapy we needed since we can't get it from sailing yet.
We normally don't see a "beach along the Mississippi River!
Hasta luego ... until then. Mid-Life Cruising!