Monday, January 16, 2012

Takin Care of Business

We've been in St. Petes now for about a month. The weather has been spectacular; sunny & 70's most of the time. We parked here to get a variety of tasks accomplished.

We got in 3 visits with friends & family over the holiday week; had a great time with everyone. Even got Chicago Tim & Julie out for a daysail. New Years eve was spent lounging on the foredeck watching the St. Petes fireworks show and enjoying a cocktail or two. Chris & I have had a wide variety of New Years celebrations; this one was a bit quieter than doing a Red Wings game (Go Wings) but we definitely enjoyed the evening. Got in a beautiful morning of fishing in the dingy. Didn't catch anything but who's counting?

But this month was mostly about getting some work done. I sold a marketing video production to the marina which will more than cover our month long stay. I'd estimate it took about 24 to 30 hours of work over 3 weeks to plan, write, shoot, record, edit & encode the 2 minute video.

Then there are the boat projects. The never ending list of projects. I get a special thrill from crossing a project off the to-do list. This has been a thrilling month!

The bimini needed cleaning top & bottom plus a 303 waterproofing treatment.

I discovered the cheap, thin-wall PVC plumbing under the galley sink was below the waterline. Not good! I ripped it all out but went round and round looking for matching threads for a sink trap & bronze hose barbs. Lucked into a plumbing shop 15 blocks away that had something that worked. Pulled the sink out and re-sealed it while I was at it.

Changed engine oil & filter as well as engine coolant. Swapped out a few coolant hoses too. One had mis-matched sizes that required more changes similar to the plumbing.

Gave the exterior a good wash to get the salt spray off, including a scrub of the headsail and extra rinsing of the bow & anchor locker. Tough getting used to salt water.

Ordered & installed a new electrode plate in the Lectrasan waste treatment system. Lotsa fun working with sewage treatment devices.

Watered all 5 house bank batteries plus the start battery.

Moved the stop switch for the wind generator to a more convenient spot.

Hopefully, I've finally stopped the leak in the shower stall floor. Lots of tedious digging out old caulk before applying new.

Oiled all the interior teak, bow to stern.

Many of these projects required trips to stores 5 to 15 blocks away, multiple trips. I am very happy we bought a folding bike. It's come in very handy, I get some excercise and riding can be fun. I only bought one due to severe space limits but since we like using the bike, I've figured out a way to carry a second one.

Well, we've worked enough overtime for now. The rest of the to-do items will have to wait, we're getting underway later this week. We'll make a few stops on the way to our next major stop, Key West. Should be there around the first of February.

Posted by Ed aboard S/V Freedom