What a day. Exhaustion, exliration, and just plain and simple exciting anticipation. Our plan; 3 to 5 years working on the restoration, then 1 to 3 years doing shake downs and fine tuning. (In hind sight we took 5 to 6 years to the first launching).
It came a day earlier than expected. Wendy called Dan (owner of Flarahty Marine) who we had hired to help us. We had stands to set and we needed to move the boat 75 feet off the road. Wendy called the 70 ton crane that actually got lost on the way. We had to run and get a chain saw to cut another part of a tree down to get the boat by.
Wendy sent me to California. I was suppose to fly out on or about this date. We were concerned because of the Sept 11th tragedy. That cost us personally a couple of thousand dollars. Wendy took me to airport early in the morning and she was back home before I had cleared the bag check line for contraband. I was flying light so no biggie but the wait was insane. Isn’t the safest time to travel right after a tragedy? Everyone is on high alert! There were only about 20 people on the plane heading out to California. Flying then was one of the nicest flghts I’ve been on, you could streatch out walk anywhere and relax. Although I’ll say the mood on the plane was a little intense.
Once there I rushed around and looked the boat over. Found it before I met the owner. Was I excited and anxious.
We pulled out the old ports. Used a putty knife to get off the bronze trim. We removed the cotter pins on the inside ports and because I had removed and replaced two forward facing ports already we could work this two ports at a time.
I tried to get out the glass w/ out breaking it hoping I could use it as a pattern. No good. First I pulled off the rubber gasket. It had hardened up over the last 25 years and I ordered new gasket material from McMasterCarr. They’re the most reasonable for off the wall hard to find products. Once I pulled off the gasket I found these litle screws ( I believe they’re #5 x 40 threads. Carefully I removed the screws breaking only I believe 2 or 3 out of the entire 10 ports. I believe there are actually 6 screws holding on each retaining ring. Once the screws were out I removed the glass and then W or I wire brushed the bronze flanges. I took one port to a glass shop and had them make some glass inserts w/ the safety layer between the glass. We made some extras glass inserts just to make sure. Putting them back together we used Silicone. Now I know a lot of boats find silicone objectionable, however silicone is one of the best sealants there is. How many aquariums has anyone discovered to leak? However silicone isn’t the best adheasive. However; on the ports they glass is mostly held in by the retaining ring that is screwed down and when installed with the gasket material and dogged down there is nothing that will get the glass out other than breaking through. So we used black silicone and sealed the glass in, replaced the retaining ring, added the gasket and then reinstalled them. What a difference! We can see clearly now.
Our last package has finally arrived. The engine is running smoothly, the boat’s in great shape and we’re now looking for some weather to head to Tonga. We hope to spend a month or so there and then move on to Fiji.
But preparation is going slow. We’ve now had 4 pretty good wind events and although there are no worries about the boat and how we are anchored, listening to the wind howling through the rigging is not our cup o’ tea! We both just want to veg out and do the minimum needed to survive. To that end we’ve been reading, doing some very small boat projects and playing games.
I finished wiring a connection for the electric snorkel, changed a connection of the solar panel; the Sea Dog connector is not worth spending any more money on. It needed to be fixed, modified, replaced at least once / year. One of the most demanding pieces of gear on our boat and just not worth the aggravation any more.
I’ve cleaned the waterline twice and need to get into the water to clean the bottom before we leave. However with the wind so often comes the rain and with the rain the rivers or should I call them creeks here, they bring down a lot of dirt and it all ends up in the harbor resulting in water with clarity resembling the Mississippi River. Cleaning the bottom will not be fun but to get the maximum out of the boat we need to have a clean bottom. Even with bottom paint (although we are going on 18 months now) barnacles and algae find places to hang on.
Most likely there will not be anymore tourist adventures here. I would like to hike to the summit where the cable car use to travel but I’m not working too hard on that adventure because I’m not wanting to get there and be socked in by clouds with no view. Thus I’ll mostly forgo that experience.
And so as we all find in life; we wait, we wait in Dr’s office’s, we wait in the check out line, we wait at Stop lights and here we wait for weather.