Chris here... Happy July 4th! OK... here's the definition of insanity - not outlawing fireworks! It sounded like a war zone down here tonight. Coming from New York, where you need a permit to have and launch fireworks (which you pretty much can't get as a private citizen), it was crazy seeing all of the huge fireworks being launched in a 360 degree circle (as opposed to Kristen's 365 degree circle) around us, cul-de-sacs everywhere alight with colors and explosions. We had to participate, so at 7pm tonight, Kristen and Casey ran down to one of the 200 fireworks shacks set up along the main highway and picked up some explosives. We had a blast setting them off (no pun intended), although they were definitely sedate compared to some of the other ones around this neighborhood (which were often big enough to be used at the New York City fireworks extravaganza!). We also stopped by Patriot Point today which is the home of a decommissioned aircraft carrier and submarine. It seemed a fitting event to tuck in on Independence Day, and our one day off from working on Pelican.
We certainly didn't expect to be here so long. As a matter of fact, we hadn't even expected to haul Pelican out at all while here in Charleston. As Kristen explained, circumstances lent themselves well to this opportunity by allowing us to stay at a wonderful home of some good friends. Not having to live on Pelican while she's on the hard during 105 degree heat is a blessing. When she's not in the water we can't run the air conditioning or use the head, so if we had to live on her, like many do when they are doing their haulout work, we would have been miserable. Instead, we have a great house to live in while working on Pelican.
I'd also like to mention that the workers at Pierside Boatworks (formerly Charleston Boatworks) have been a pleasure to work with. They've answered many questions for us and have gone out of their way to make sure we have everything we need. On top of that, they've let Casey and Kaitlin use their conference room for over a week now so that they have a place to do their schoolwork and read/use the computer while Kristen and I are working on Pelican.
Speaking of Pelican, we were mostly successful with getting the bow pulpit back on. The last bolt is spinning in its hole so there seems to be an issue with the nut below. If we can't get it to bite, which I don't think we'll be able to do, we'll drill all the way through the fiberglass and put a backing plate underneath it and bolt it into that. It would have been nice if everything was perfect, but it worked out far better than I had hoped for and we don't have to do any fiberglass work to fix the problem.
We (and by "We" I mean mostly Kristen) worked hard in the blazing sun last week and managed to finish the compounding of both sides of Pelican plus her stern. Yes, it took us about a day and a half JUST to compound, but she is already looking incredible. She has consistent color to her hull on both sides (as opposed to a sooty blotchy look) and is starting to shine up pretty well. Tomorrow we start the polishing, but we're hoping that takes a bit less time. Then we'll wax her and be done with all of the maintenance work for now. She needs to have her entire cap rail removed and the area underneath it resealed (right now, every time it rains the cap rail "bleeds" wood pulp down the side of the hull), and a lot of gelcoat repairs around the chocks, but we're going to leave that for the Fall.
With regards to plans, it seems as if we have just missed a weather window and it's going to be somewhat unstable for the next week. Thunderstorms and squalls are predicted for the next several days so I don't think we'll be getting out of here quickly. It's a bit disappointing since I really want to get north so we have enough time to visit both our family and our friends, and to also visit New England for a little bit of time. We'll see how it goes - a day at a time. Right now, we're expecting to launch on Tuesday or Wednesday, and then we'll sit tight until a window shows up allowing us to head to Beaufort, NC. We'll let you know how things progress as soon as we figure it out ourselves!