I am thrilled to report that the fuel tank and water tanks have been installed, tested, and are working properly.  I never thought I’d be so happy to do dishes!

The last couple of months have been a flurry of activity.  December flew by with work, holiday parties, a visit from the Admiral, and New Year’s Eve festivities.  In January we spent two wonderful weeks dog-sitting/house-sitting for M&N while they took a well-deserved vacation. Interspersed with all of this is, of course, work.

Here’s Bo’sun, our charge. Seriously, look at that face.

We’re not usually in a place that gets cold* in the winter, so we had to do some winterizing.  Damp air below can cause condensation and then mildew.  Our reverse-cycle heat and a small electric heater couldn’t keep up, so we bought two small dehumidifiers and made plastic inserts for our hatches to act as “storm windows.” We also glued in some insulation between the backs of the hanging lockers and the hull.  Between those efforts, some Damp Rids, and a couple of Tea Tree gel containers, we’ve maintained dry and healthy air below.

We cut scrap sheets of Makrolon polycarbonate to fit between our hatches and hatch screens. They create a buffer between the warm cabin air and cold outside air, thus reducing the condensation that builds on the metal hatch flanges.

I am still working at Inner Banks and graduated to fabrication of new  items and assisting with patterning while on customers’ boats.  My repertoire now includes cockpit cushions, berth cushions, and covers of all varieties (mainsails, helms, binnacles, handrails, winches, hatches, grills, and outboards).  It is no exaggeration to say that every day I go to work, I learn something new.

My major project is to redo our tired, ill-fitting cockpit enclosure. Now that I have a clue what I’m doing with patterning, I’m more confident that it’ll turn out well.

While I’m at work, the Captain is also at work on the boat.  He did all of the work to install the tanks, whether it was performing the actual physical labor, or in the few instances where he couldn’t, managing the workers who were.  While that was going on, he also replaced all of our portholes.  Many of them were beginning to fog where water sits at the bottom of the glass, so he had new glass cut for each one at a local glass shop (Register’s Glass Shop in New Bern).  Each of our eleven portholes now has new glass, new bedding compound, a new gasket, and new gaskets for the porthole dogs.  They look fantastic!

Having the tanks done and working is such a relief.  While we still have some large projects we’d like to complete before we leave, they are nothing compared to the scale and complexity of the tank undertaking.  We’ve been able to pick up the clutter that comes with living in a major construction zone and have our home back, and there’s nothing more satisfying.

This is my view out of the galley porthole. Anyone who says that boats don’t have a personality is crazy. I get a kick out of these two each morning when I’m making coffee.

*Yes, I realize that calling 30 and 40 degrees “cold” is laughable to those in the Midwest and West, but give me a break. We had to buy long pants and shoes that covered our feet completely! The horror.