I was saying to Jeff this past weekend that it feels like the calm before the storm. Now that we’ve finished scraping and sanding the bottom, we’re waiting on Mother Nature before we can finish up the big items on our to-do list. Although we still have many smaller things to take care of, our wallets would be happier if we tried to hold out for the Defender Warehouse Sale to make our purchases. However, waiting to complete everything is risky given the sale doesn’t start until March 31st and our desired splash date is April 29th. So we decided our strategy this weekend would be to take care of a lot of miscellaneous tasks, and next weekend we’ll simply start buying supplies for one project at a time.
Saturday was very chilly with highs only in the upper 30’s, but we drove down to Shenny for the U.S. Power Squadron’s seminar on Understanding Radar. Wow. There’s a lot to understand. It was time well-spent though given that getting radar is on our list, albeit well down the road.
After the seminar we drove to the DMV to register Pegu Club (and pay the sales tax of course – ouch). Connecticut’s DMV was never a model of efficiency, but this past summer they decided to “upgrade” their computer system and it has been an unmitigated disaster. News reports abounded of five, six, and seven hour waits. Since Pegu Club wasn’t actually in the water we didn’t exactly need to rush, so we’ve been waiting and hoping for some improvement.
My typical strategy with the DMV has been to get there shortly before it closes, which usually results in a shorter wait. It almost backfired this time. There was a line to get into the building when we arrived at 11:45 a.m. With a 12:30 p.m. closing time, we were informed by the other people waiting that if we weren’t actually in the building by 12:30, we’d have to come back another day. Apparently it doesn’t matter if you’re in the line – you need to be in the building.
“Fortunately” it only took us thirty minutes to get inside, making it with fifteen minutes to spare. Yes! In before the lock! We then waited another thirty minutes to get to the front of the line to get our number, and sixty minutes to have our number called. Total time – two hours. This wasn’t nearly as bad as the guy who left the building as we waited outside, announcing that he had spent five hours there. Ugh. Looks like my strategy of a late arrival still works. Two hours (and $1,121.75) later, Pegu Club is now able to legally sail the waters of Connecticut. Another item checked off of the to-do list.
On Sunday we drove down to Shenny with a list of several small items to take care of. We measured for the galley sink thruhull, checked the fuel filters on the engine so we could get replacements, and cut the hole for the vent hose on the Nature’s Head.
We’re so pleased with how well the Nature’s Head fits in the space. We can even still use the bottom drawer behind it.
Taking the Nature’s Head apart is much easier than it was on Little Bristol. Granted, it probably wasn’t exactly designed to fit into a 24′ sailboat. Anyway, all we need is to buy and install the mushroom vent and hook up the fan, and that project will be complete.
Next we removed both of our batteries so we could take them home in an attempt to resuscitate them. We aren’t used to having two batteries on a boat, and several months ago we made the newbie mistake of forgetting to turn the battery selector switch to “off”, essentially draining all of the juice out of one of them. Pegu Club came with AGM batteries, so this could prove to be a very expensive mistake. We’ll have better luck trying to recharge them at home vs. in our limited time at the marina each weekend, so Jeff hauled them (at 85 pounds each) down the ladder and into the car. Fingers crossed that we can bring it back to life.
Finally, we removed the light bulbs from the navigation lights so we could order replacement LEDs. Removing the bulbs from the mast was a team effort. It wasn’t at all clear how to remove the bulb from the deck light, but we were fortunate in that my co-worker (who is also a Shenny member) had stopped by to say hi and we also had a blog reader who had come by that day to meet us and see the boat. The Bristol 29.9 is on his list of potential future boats, and we had a lot of fun hanging out with him – plans have been made for a future sail.
Anyway, between the four of us we were able to finally get the bulb off. It’s a whopping 50 watt halogen light – can you imagine the amps when that beast is lit up? Now that we have the bulbs for all of our interior and navigation lights, we’ll be able to place our order for LEDs, pop them in, and check another item off of the list.
It was a lovely, sunny day with temps in the 50’s, so we were able to cap it off with a beer (for Jeff) and a cider (for me) at the end of the dock – something we haven’t been able to do for a while because it’s been too chilly. Sitting there looking out at the water, it was wonderful to think that we only had nine weeks to go until we splash. Before we know it, we’ll be bobbing on the water.