Saturday, November 19, 2011

High & Dry

We finally got the mast re-stepped today. The winds have been blowing pretty hard the last few days, which is not good for slinging a large hunk of aluminum around. Ours is extra heavy due to the added furling mechanism on the back of the mast. Makes it wider & heavier. But the guys here are very experienced at rigging and it posed very little difficulty for them. We have all the rigging on & tuned, all we need are sails.
But that will have to wait till Monday. We're hanging in slings over the weekend so I can remove a leaking thru-hull fitting and replace it. The forward sink drain was oozing just a bit and that isn't good long term. So it's a good time now to get it replaced. Since it's under water, it's rather easier to do it while the boat is out of the water! So we're hanging in the slings of the hoist for the weekend while I get it done. This afternoon I cut out the thru-hull fitting and pulled the wood backing plate. Tomorrow I'll fit up a new thru-hull, backing plate & valve and seal it in tight. While we're out of the water, we'll also do some touch up on the bottom paint and replace the shaft zinc which prevents corrosion from salt water. Meantime we have to climb a 12 foot extension ladder to "go home".
We had a great evening socializing with a bunch of fellow sailors who all had their masts shipped down here from Lake Michigan. Hope I don't have a hangover tomorrow, I've got a lot of work in front of me! The party included several couples from Michigan plus NY, Ontario & Sweden.
We should get back in the water on Monday morning. We'll get sails on, get the mast wiring hooked up and tend to a few other chores. Hope to take er out for a spin Tuesday on the bay. Wednesday is a big Thanksgiving pot luck with the marina providing the bird. I added a TV antenna to the mast so we'll be able to watch the Lions on Thanksgiving day while Chris cooks a bird in our little oven. Shortly after that, we'll finally get underway further south.
All in all, we're doing very well. A bit of work to tackle is part of the cruising life unless you have very deep pockets to hire everything out. I like getting my hands dirty once in a while...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Update from Chris in Mobile

Yes, we have the most sparkling mast in the whole yard, but it is still horizontal. We are running tests of some of the wiring that runs through the mast and decided to add a TV antenna. This should allow us to pick up some limited stations and we hope to watch the Lions Game on Thanksgiving day. It is a huge undertaking to un-step and step the mast. We dont often have access to it like we do now, but I am really anxious to get the mast back up to go sailing. We will take Freedom out for a day sail in Mobile bay once we do get it stepped.

We have had some time for some fun too. We toured battleship park. They have a WW ll battleship and submarine that you can walk through. They also have various aircraft! Very interesting. We have been enjoying fresh shrimp...right off the shrimp boat. We can have it fried, boiled, grilled Cajun style, etc. etc. (imagine Bubba Gump). We have met a number of people along the way and have enjoyed getting to know them. Many people end up here in Mobile after cruising the river system. Lots of fun comparing experiences and re-telling tales of the cruise.

We have decided to stay here, in Mobile for Thanksgiving. The Marina is hosting a potluck, should be fun! This will give us a chance to begin catching up on that long list of projects that we have. I have more sewing projects, and Ed has a long list of varnishing projects. I need to point out something here. One of my major misconceptions about cruising has been that we could tackle projects while underway. I have been able to do some minor projects, like sewing "disposable" vendor covers to use in the locks. I purchased two pair of sweatpants at Salvation Army, cut the legs off and sewed bungee cord top and bottom. We used these in the locks. They got really dirty and torn up and now can be tossed. But, for the most part we have needed our full attention on navigating the rivers so the projects went un-done.

So, we are somewhat land based for a while. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!