Kristen here - First of all, I have to say that I am typing from my BRAND NEW MINI COMPUTER!!!!!! I LOVE it!!!! When Chris left, I mentioned that I never get to use the computer because we only have two. The kids take one, and Chris takes the other. I didn't mind too much, but blog writing always had to be done at night when the kids were asleep, and that cut into "our" time. So, lo and behold, he came back with a new computer. It's the cutest thing ever. It's called a netbook. So now I am in our cockpit typing happily away at 9:42 in the morning.
Lets see...what did we do while Chris was away? I'll start with the projects. First on the list was covers for our cockpit cushions. The cushions were the plastic dipped foam type. But our coating was dirty and cracked and pretty horrible looking. They were also white against the white gelcoat, which was kind of bland looking. We had purchased some light green sunbrella fabric at the boat show. This stuff is amazing. One of the scraps accidentally blew into the water, and when we retrieved it, it was still dry! I cut the fabric out on the deck, on top of all our lines, being VERY careful not to cut through any lines accidentally. There is quite a shortage of open flat space on this boat. The sewing went pretty well. At one point in time, my machine went haywire and wouldn't sew and I wanted to throw it overboard. But, after an hour of fiddling, I got it working again. Sewing is 1/10th sewing and 9/10'ths fiddling, seam ripping and preparing to sew. I got three cushions done, the side cushions and the back one. There are two more to go, but I'm going to save them for another time. They came out looking beautiful!! The color in the cockpit is very pleasing, and it's nice to not see ugly, cracked, dirty cushions anymore.
My second project was to sand a section of wood in our cockpit too see if it could be sanded and refinished. In our cockpit and on the coamings, there are 15 sections of inlaid teak and thiocol. The old finish on these was half missing and peeling off. It was horrible to look at and made the boat look horrible as well. We weren't sure if the thiocol could be sanded or if it would just melt or fall apart.
I started in the far corner, on a section covered mostly by the cushions. I set the mouse sander to work, and revealed beautiful teak under that crusty, peeling, old finish. The teak was thick enough to be sanded, and the thiocol looked like new! I was so excited that I decided to do the rest of the sanding right away. I got 9 sections done on one day, and the other 6 the second day. Oh, and then I decided to sand the rubrail running on the sides of the boat as well. It was the last wood left on the boat that needed sanding, so I figured it was easier to do everything at once. By the end of those two days, my arm felt like it was still vibrating!
After all that sanding, the wood then had to be covered with 4 coats of Wood Pro Plus. I got that done just in time, with the last coat going on 3 hours before Chris returned. The kids were inundated with the words, "Don't step on the wood!!". At one point in time, Kaitlin stepped on the wood and I immediately screamed, "Get off!!". She was so upset that she sat right down... on another section of wood. Luckily the finish was pretty much dry and no damage was done.
For the most part, the kids were off at friends' boats while Chris was gone. The community of cruisers here is amazing. Everyone knew I was on my own and trying to get projects done, so they had my kids over to play every day. We would do school, have lunch and then the kids would take the dinghy and disappear. I would see them again around 5:30 for dinner. Every once in a while they would call me on the VHF and let me know where they were. After the first couple of days, I felt guilty so I made some lasagna and proposed to bring it to Side by Side for dinner. The cats are always volunteered for hosting dinner because they have so much room. We finally ended up having dinner on AlleyCat with us and Side by Side. All of us managed to eat one of the lasagnas. The next night we polished off the second lasagna with Alley Cat, Side by Side, Liberty and us. I definitely didn't get lonely with all that company!
The last project I planned on doing was curtains. I rigged two bungy cords across the top and bottom of each window. Then I sewed the curtains and strung the cords through them. They looked awesome closed, but there was a slight problem in opening them. They just wouldn't slide. And then after wrestling them open, they only bunched up to 1/2 their total length. So, they'll do for now, but I'll need to come up with another design eventually.
On Saturday while waiting for paint to dry, the kids and I went to volleyball beach for...volleyball. Tranquility dropped some mail off before Chris left, and then we saw them again at happy hour. So Saturday morning they invited us to hang out at the beach. Now the first time we went to volleyball beach, I was quite disappointed that there was nobody playing volleyball. So when Tranquility and a couple other people hanging out at the beach suggested it, I jumped at the opportunity. We had a great time and played 6 rounds. My old high school volleyball days came flooding back and I was diving into the sand to make some awesome saves. Casey joined in too and got the hang of it quite quickly. He even scored two points. Unfortunately he was on the other team!
Saturday was the beginning of a weather window to move. Finally the 25 knot winds have let up. So all of our friends left on Saturday and Sunday. We had to wait for high tide to get out of our mooring area, so we did that today and we'll leave tomorrow. We're heading in the same direction as Side by Side, so hopefully we'll be able to catch up with them. Chris brought them some treats from the states, so think Bahamian and "Go slow mon!"
Today we made a last run into town, moved the boat and got everything ready for sailing. When we were moving the boat, we saw Sans Cles anchored. They are the other Passport that we met in Normans Cay. We will have to go over and say hi later.