Monday, March 30, 2009

It's darkest before the dawn, or should it be, it's messiest before the cruise?

Hello! So good of you to join us. I expect that introductions are in order. We're Anne and Chris - you can read about us in the profile. Mr Mac, our home, is a Seamaster 45 sloop. Together, we'll all be sailing out of Tampa Bay around the end of April, 2009.

Chris and I have been working on an extended five-year plan to head out cruising, so it seems like we should have had everything done by now. But paradoxically, the list grows longer whenever we cross off an item or task. Chris left his job with the University of South Florida in early February, and has been working feverishly ever since to get the boat in ship-shape condition for our cruise. Actually, I give him great credit, because we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and we don't think it's just the train. So far he has: painted most of the deck, re-glassed the dodger (kind of like a windshield) and wired in a cockpit light, installed latches on all the cabinets so things don't fall out, designed brackets for and emergency bilge pump and engine-driven refrigeration, installed a single-sideband radio and antenna, re-rigged the mainsheet traveler (it holds the line for the main sail), and re-plumbed the head (bathroom), to name just a few of his many completed tasks. I, on the other hand, have stayed at my job at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute to pay for our bad habit of buying boat parts, and had to endure recent vigorous business trips to New Orleans and Savannah (someone's got to do the dirty jobs, or at least eat the beignets!). But my last day is Thursday, April 2nd, so we're nearly on our way.

Pictured is Chris doing his monkey-boy impression. He varnished the cabin sole this afternoon, so it's not dry enough yet to walk on, yet we needed something in the pullman berth (our version of a junk drawer). The settees are piled high with stuff still waiting to be installed or put away. We expect it will take several weeks before we can actually see the seat cushions again.