July is barreling down on us. We're pretty much ready to go although there are a few items we want to finish before we shove off. But the nice thing is that there are no items that we HAVE to finish before we shove off. We could even postpone the bottom painting if we wanted but we don't really need to be in that much of a hurry. The folks at the Aquarium are threatening to chain the boat to the dock so we can't leave and our dockmates who've been listening to our plans since last summer are threatening to cut our lines and set us adrift if we're still here at the end of July.
I called the boatyard to set up an appointment for a haulout so that we can finally answer the persistent question, "So when is your departure date?". Of course, the boss wasn't in and hasn't called back yet. I think I mentioned it but if not, our current plan is to haul out, paint the bottom, put another couple coats of Cetol Natural Teak on the topside brightwork, do a few maintenance chores like servicing the seacocks and then go back in the water. At that point, rather than returning to the marina, we're going to consider our cruise started. We'll anchor out in the Yaquina River waiting for a decent weather window to head down to Charleston, OR, our first planned stop. From then on, it'll just be hanging out in each port until we're ready to move on and the weather is cooperating and then shove off for the next one. Once we reach SF Bay, we'll slow down (is it possible to go any slower?) and hang out in the vicinity for at least one month and probably two. That should put us at about October 1 which will still give us a month to continue to work our way down the coast to arrive in Mexico around November 1 to correspond with the theoretical end of hurricane season.
We got our new spare MacBook and got it loaded up with all the various programs we need in case the primary computer craps out. We also just received a KISS-SSB which is a supposedly miracle cure to the counterpoise blues. This is a reference to getting a good ground plane when hooking up a SSB radio. It just arrived today and I plan to hook it up when I get back to the boat (I'm at the library) and try it out tonight. Here's hoping.... I just submitted our change of address to take effect on July 1. At that time, our St. Brendan's Isle (Green Cove Springs, FL) address will become our primary one. It's getting real.
The cushions that Lulu made for our settee are very pretty. From a little ways away.
Trouble is, they show dirt really badly and have gotten pretty dingy. They also are not wearing very well. So, trooper that she is, she is going to make new cushion covers. This time we're using Sunbrella in a variegated green awning stripe. The darkest green in the fabric matches all the other canvas projects she's done. It'll completely change the way our cabin looks. I'll post a photo when she's done. The Sunbrella is very tough stuff and water-resistant. She's also putting zippers on all the cushions this time so that the covers can be removed and washed. And, since my big fat butt keeps bottoming out on the cushions as they are now, which are made up of 3" of open cell foam topped by 1" of memory foam, she decided to make a modification. We don't want the cushions to get much thicker so we're going to try inserting a 1/2" piece of closed cell foam between the memory foam and the open cell. Our theory is that the stiffness of the closed cell foam will cause our weight to be distributed over a wider area. Who knows? It might even work. If not, we can always continue to use an extra butt pad on top of the cushion like we do now.
She's also making a hanging pocket deal for the engine room for extra storage room for things like filters (water, oil, and fuel).
If anyone is interested, you might take a look at Small Boat Projects - Making Life Aboard Easier . It's a blog showing various little projects that, as the title says, make life aboard easier. A few of our projects have even been featured.