As promised, I am back to let you know what we have been doing for the last few weeks. Other than having lots of fun with all the nice friends we've made here, we have been busy closing the boat up for the season.
I have to give credit where credit is due - Bruce has done 90% of these jobs because I have been avoiding any heavy liting for now. And he has done a wonderful job of it! It's a lot of work.
First, Bruce removed and stowed the canvas bimini and secured the metal supports so they can withstand Florida's summer storms (or worse). Second, he snapped on the canvas helm cover. Then, any loose items that were outside were brought inside for safety. That included all our teak folding chairs, our new woven vinyl deck chairs on the flybridge, any extra lines, extra fenders, boat hooks, really.... anything. Next, we both wiggled around and under to secure the canvas dinghy cover. Perfectly balanced I might add :-) Our technique has definitey improved.
All our lines were doubled up and re-balanced so that we lie away enough from every rub-able surface even in a very strong wind or storm. It's kind of a reach to get off and on but it is well worth that. A few extra fenders were hung at strategic points, all of which had been recently firmed up with extra air. See how far away we are? That is with a very strong port side wind pulling all our port lines tightly.
We wrapped our shore power cord at a couple of places so it can't wiggle loose.
Inside, we closed up all the curtains and shades (after this picture was taken) to reduce sunlight from bleaching the teak and heating things up in there. We strategically placed a few fans to keep the air moving around. The fans are all on grounded timers so they'll run a few hours twice a day so they wont burn out. Here is one of them:
We set up a free-standing dehumidifier, with a small hose piece, next to the galley sink so it can freely drain into there. That way the water will drain directly overboard and not accidently collect should a bilge pump fail. We also set the dehumidifier on a timer, running twice a day, so the motor wouldn't burn out. And, finally set the dehumidifier on a 50% humidity set-point so it wouldn't dry out all the wood. We're almost done.....
Last, but not least, we emptied and cleaned out the refrigerator so that the compressor wouldn't run all the time and heat up the inside too much. The dehumidifier heats the ambient air enough by itself. Here Bruce secured the freezer and fridge doors together, and we placed one of our deck chairs in front to keep it firmly standing open.
That about covers all the jobs we've done. I didn't get into all the engine room stuff and some of the other technical stuff because Bruce did most of those when I wasn't around. But, we completed our list eventually. Now we sadly prepare our personal belongings for our journey north in a couple of days. We have hired a wonderful young man who lives aboard his own boat, which is 3 slips away, to carefully watch our boat until we return. He is going to come aboard regularly to open up, air out, and start the engine and generator to keep them healthy an happy. We will be in close contact should a big storm threaten the area and do what we need to do to prepare for that. One thing at a time.......
Here we sit in sunny FL, it's a beautiful 88 degree day. It's actually really hot with no wind today. We are sad to see our season coming to an end. We are sad to be saying goodbye to our new friends. Yet, we look forward to getting back to our "other life" up north were we also anjoy a very happy life at the beach.
So, my friends, I wave goodbye for now. I will return in the fall when we are back to the "boating life". May you all enjoy a fine and healthy summer season. And may all you boaters enjoy calm seas and lots of current at your sterns so you fly like the wind!