Our daughter Cody and friends Annie Albright and Judy Bleakney threw us a nice little surprise "Sayonara" party yesterday afternoon. Granted, it's a little early but it's very difficult to get everyone together especially since we'll be spending more and more time at the boat now that Lulu's "retired" (the quotes just mean that she's not actually old enough to get a retirement check yet but she's not going back to work either). This was mainly a party for our Silverton friends who've had to listen to us prattle on endlessly about getting a boat and sailing off for the last 25 years or so. We had a great time and thanks to everyone who came. By the way, if you picked up one of our boat cards, note that one of the e-mail addresses is wrong. I've added the correct address to the blog.
There's a reason why there are no pictures on this blog yet. I tried to add a picture of the party invitation and, after 15 minutes, it was still loading. Such are the joys of a dial-up connection. I'll add pictures when I'm at the boat where we have access to a high speed connection in the marina's laundry room.
Last week on the boat I got all the main saloon area cabinets finished (except varnishing...that's this week), ripped out the space-wasting drawers in the forward cabin (our bedroom) and replaced them with shelves, added shelves to the hanging locker (that'd be a "closet" to you landlubbers), and built a new box to house more batteries. The box doubles as the bottom step of the companionway ladder. We get to stop thinking in terms of "cords of firewood" and instead think in terms of "amp-hour capacity". Everything that's electric on the boat runs on 12 volt battery power. So, in order to not have to run the engine constantly to keep the batteries charged, you want to have a large number of amps of power stored up. I added 2 golf cart batteries which, at 225 amp-hours will be half of our "house bank". I'll add 2 more next week bringin our house bank up to 450 amp-hours. Then we'll also have a separate engine-starting battery. Currently the only way we have of charging these batteries when we're not plugged in to shore power is by either using the engine's alternator or firing up the little Honda generator. We will be adding some solar cells and maybe a wind generator somewhere down the line. Hopefully we'll get the solar cells before we shove off. But they are kind of costly.
This coming week will be dedicated to painting andd varnishing all the new furniture. Lulu built a canvas cover to keep the generator clean and is also working on covers for our spare diesel jerry jugs. They'll be stored on deck and, without covers, would not last long in the tropical sun. She's also making sheets and blankets for our V-shaped mattress. She's finding the same challenges sewing that I'm finding building: nothing is square or even close to it. You have to do a lot of trial and error to get things to fit.
Enough for now. Happy first day of summer (I just lit a fire in the woodstove...sheesh!).