Thursday, October 27, 2016

We're Making Progress

Teak nearly refinished.

We are putting things back together on Wrinkles which is rewarding after all the disassembly, sanding, sewing, priming and staining. Brenda has completed all thirteen cabin cushions and they look great. She has also finished staining and sealing all the teak. She has a pretty big smile on her face today.

Mike's projects are coming together as well. The gold accent stripe has been replaced. The stainless rubrail has been removed and polished, so it is ready to be reinstalled with all new screws very soon. The bootstripe was removed and the first coat of Interlux Brightsides Sea Green paint has been applied on the port side. Later today the starboard side will be in the shade and it can get its first coat of paint as well. The weed shoe was reattached to the rudder with 2-part epoxy and a new stainless steel lag bolt. Finally, the leak in the our dinghy (The Ernie T) was located and patched.

The bottom paint should only take 1-2 days which will be the last major project on our list. Brenda is doing a couple of sewing jobs for some other cruisers which will keep her busy. We may actually get everything done within our original time frame. We'll be back on the water very soon.

Gray bootstripe primer.
First coat of Sea Green.
Lots of projects nearing completion.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

We've Been Kenneled

Back in our kennel.

Our good friends Don and Gail (Island Tyme) drove over to Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage to pick us up for dinner. We figured they were probably going to keep us overnight at their lovely condo, so we packed our toiletries. We went to Farlow's On The Water and had a wonderful meal as we caught up on each other's lives. Don and Gail were surprised to find the live entertainment was a couple they were good friends with which they hadn't seen in a long time. Don was part of the local music scene as a drummer, so they enjoyed reminiscing about road trips and gigs. Gary and Kerri played for nearly four hours and we loved every minute of it. They are a really talented duo.

Sunrise at Don and Gail's condo.

We spent the night at Don and Gail's condo and then spent the next day eating out and listening to live music. First we went to Nav-A-Gators in Desoto county which was a backwaters kind of place with a charm all of its own. Next we drove over to Hurricane Charley's to listen to Jack Mosley perform. We made it in time for his last set which had everyone singing along. Back at the condo we mixed some good rum drinks and listened to some of Don and Gail's favorite local music. It sure is fun to share time with people you are so comfortable around. We talked and laughed until the rum said it was about time to go to sleep.

Nav-A-Gators Bar

Sunday morning we told Gail we had to go back to Wrinkles and get some work done. We joined them for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel with Gail's father before heading home. They were kind enough to stop at the grocery store where we could restock our food supply. Finally, they put us back inside our locked gate which we joked was our kennel.

Sunset in our kennel.

Back to work for us. Well, at least until Don and Gail call again.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Life On The Hard

Beautiful custom made yacht arriving at the yard.

We have fallen in step with the other boat owners working our individual projects. Each morning starts with coffee and tea in the "Hut" where project updates are offered, advice is given and ideas blossom. Once the caffeine kicks in we push each other out the door to accomplish some specific work item that day. It certainly helps to know there are others in the yard who will be sweating and working at the same time. We help each other out when there is a need which builds friendships. Brenda helps out doing canvas repairs and Mike helps out with mechanical issues. Boats arrive and depart each day adding new faces and energy to the group.

By lunch time our energy is sapped by the work and heat. We make a simple lunch to take over to the Hut where we relax in front of the big fans and chat with others. This usually revives just enough ambition to get in another hour or two of work before we yield to the heat. A long afternoon break or siesta seems to break out over the entire work yard as everyone hides from the heat of the day.

Another Island Packet 31 back in the water.

By 3:30 to 4pm the heat tapers off enough that those with enough reserve energy and ambition try to accomplish a bit more work. The pace is slower and the sounds of work being done are more intermittent. The work day is once again grinding to a halt.

Watching the Wisconsin Badger game in the Hut.

A refreshing shower and clean clothes do wonders to revive us. A cool drink probably doesn't hurt either. The late day group relaxes in the Hut telling sailing and travel stories which help to motivate each of us for the following day. We enjoy a nice supper aboard Wrinkles as we catch up on the news, read books, practice the guitar and make plans for the next day. Life on the hard definitely means hard work, but working within a community of kindred spirits makes the experience interesting and even enjoyable at times.


Sunday, October 16, 2016


Wrinkles getting placed on the hard.

The joyful sounds of cruising when your boat is on land getting prepped for another year. The sweet irritating drone of sanders, shop vacs and buffers fills the air here in Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage. Mike is contributing his share to the symphony with a random orbital buffer while Brenda adds the delightful alto voice of her pad sander. Ahhh! Can't you just hear the music?

Brenda sanding away.

Our neighbors are working hard on their Westsail 32 in preparation for their 12th year of cruising. Dick and Libby are great boatyard neighbors as they smile, laugh and go about their work. We are glad we are getting this opportunity to get to know them.

Dick and Libby

We are 2/3 done with the hull buffing project and the teak sanding is just a day or so from being done. Then we will attack the varnishing, dinghy leak, weed shoe repair, cushion recovering, stainless cleaning, rubrail repair, blah, blah, blah........ Lots of work and sore muscles ahead, but we'll try to emulate our neighbors and go about the work like it is all part of the fun of cruising.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Spa Time for Wrinkles



After a beautiful sail across Charlotte Harbor and a flawless lift-out, Wrinkles is settled on stilts waiting to be pampered.



It was just over a year ago when we met Wrinkles here, took care of some mechanicals and eagerly splashed her in the water. She took great care of us, and now it is her turn to get a make-over.

We will pull all the stainless rubrail off (all 200+ screws), polish that up, refinish the teak, buff out her sides and apply a few coats of bottom paint to her belly. Hopefully in two-to-three weeks she will be lifted back into the water for phase two of our adventure.....Florida Keys to the Bahamas. We have very fond memories of our first year out....can't wait to see what this next adventure will bring.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hurricane Matthew

Bad boy Matthew's track has shifted even farther west which means our area will likely see 30-50 mph winds and lots of rain. Current forecasts state a 30% chance we'll be within the area of high winds associated with Matthew. We'd rather be solidly tied in our Marina slip than on stilts in a work lot, so we've decided to wait out the storm here. It wouldn't make much sense to put Wrinkles on the hard during a storm that would keep us from doing the exterior work we plan on doing. Another week or so really doesn't make much difference in our travels which makes these decisions much easier.

Let's hope Matthew settles down and goes away.