We've spent three years cruising to the Bahamas on Pegu Club, our Bristol 29.9. Time to switch it up a bit and head to Southern California for the winter, tent camping our way across the United States.
At least once a week we ask ourselves, “Is it a cruise or is it a delivery?”We want to take our time going down the ICW, but if we stop and see everything we’re interested in, winter will overtake us before we get to Florida.As it is, weather delays have resulted in our being much farther north at this point than we had originally planned.Heck, we thought that we would be in St. Augustine, FL by the time we needed to return to Connecticut for Jeff’s doctor appointments.Where were we in reality?Hampton, VA.That’s a long way from St. Augustine!
As we left Oriental we decided we needed to start making some tracks south and switch from cruising mode to delivery mode.
We started off well, sharing an anchorage for the night by Morehead City with our friends from S/V Lone Star and S/V Duchess.The next morning we sadly waved goodbye to Lone Star as we headed off in different directions.They were going to wait for a weather window to make the seven day passage straight to the Bahamas, while we were continuing to take the slow route down the ICW.We are very much looking forward to seeing our good friends somewhere in the Bahamas!
After waving goodbye to Lone Star, we saw our first dolphins!
The pre-season projects are continuing as we count down to splash for this season. Jeff had to work on Saturday so we were only able to get in one day at Shenny on the weekend of April 21st.
Earlier in the week it looked like the weather was going to be lousy on Sunday, but we ended up with a sunny day with highs in the mid 50’s – warm enough to sand and fair the keel repair that we started last fall that was needed after we ran aground. We brought the West System manual with us since it had been a while since we last did this, but soon enough Jeff had finished fairing the keel with final touches to be applied next weekend.
The week leading up to the weekend of August 13th was hot and humid. Temps were in the 90’s and it was thick-air-like-breathing-through-a-wet-blanket humid. At one point I did a comparison of the temps and dew points between West Hartford and Sarasota, FL, and they were the same. I’ll take it over winter any day, but with no air conditioning in the house I was looking forward to heading to the boat. Unfortunately, work was interfering so heading down on Friday evening was out, but I went to work at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday in the hopes of salvaging some of the weekend, and by mid-afternoon we were driving to Shenny.
One of the things we’ve been looking forward to about having a bigger boat is the ability to host guests more comfortably and easily. Since we’ve been back from vacation, that’s exactly what we’ve done.
During the weekend of July 23rd and 24th we hosted our friends Vanessa and Kurt for the first time. They had been on Little Bristol a few times and had seen Pegu Club over the winter, but this was going to be their first visit with her all put back together.
The weekend called for sunny skies and breezy on Saturday with winds from the northwest overnight, then less windy on Sunday. Northwest winds meant that our traditional standby anchorage of West Harbor on Fishers Island was out (too exposed), so Jeff and I had decided that we would anchor out at Ram Island by Noank. It would be our first time there, but it looked nice and it was well-protected from the wind.
One of the many things that I love about Vanessa is that she truly enjoys spoiling us with homemade food when she sees us – whether it’s our house, their house, or the boat. It doesn’t matter. True to form, she and Kurt arrived on Saturday morning with a cooler full of scrumptious meals and snacks. We sailed out towards Fishers Island with plans to sail along the coastline, round Latimer Light, and head back towards Ram Island.
A brisk breeze pushed us from behind as we went down Fishers Island sailing with just the genoa out. I noticed the wind gauge and the whitecaps, but it wasn’t particularly pronounced sailing downwind. Once we got ready to turn around towards Ram Island, however – whoa Nelly!
Fourth of July weekend arrived with sunny skies, warm temperatures, and on Saturday, a small craft warning. Sigh. We had planned to go for a sail around Fishers Island Sound and then anchor in West Harbor for the long weekend, but it looked like Saturday was now going to be set aside for small boat projects. Beginning on Sunday, however, things were going to be looking up!
The main thing we wanted to get accomplished on Saturday was to come up with a way to make our swim ladder more user-friendly. Pegu Club came with a nice removable swim ladder. As I had unfortunately discovered last August, it was really hard to climb out of the water because the ladder legs are all the same length while the hull curves inward. New ladders are pretty pricy, so we were hoping to come up with a cheap way to fix it.
When I last left off, it was Sunday night and we had just finished applying the first two coats of Interprotect. That evening I voiced a thought that had been rattling around in my head for the past few days. “Jeff? What do you think about putting the launch date off for a few days?” “I’ve been wanting to do that for the last month, but I knew if I suggested it you would say no.” He knows me so well.
Although I really didn’t want to push back Pegu Club’s splash, I couldn’t avoid the fact that we had only one weekend left and a ton of work left. It wasn’t that I thought we could get it all done. After all, the boat to-do list is never finished. It’s just that it was going to be very difficult to complete the things that we either had to or really wanted to do: painting, cleaning the water tanks, washing the boat, etc. So we decided to delay until May 6th. It would give us one extra weekend plus several possible days for painting.
Now that we’ve finished scraping the bottom of the boat, it’s time to turn our attention to sanding. Scraping doesn’t get rid of all of the paint, and before we put the barrier coat on the bottom needs to be paint free – down to the gelcoat.
We only had one sander, so initially Jeff gamely sanded on his own while I worked inside the boat. The inside of the VHF cabinet needed to be cleaned, along with the area where the Origo is inserted, so I broke out our trusty Clorox Clean-up and got to work. I was very pleased with the difference in the VHF cabinet (“before” is on the left”):
I also started working on wiring diagrams for our 12 volt electrical system. We still are complete novices when it comes to all things electric, but bit-by-bit we’re learning.
It was clear after a few trips to Shenny that we needed to get another sander if we wanted to be finished any time in the near future, so after the obligatory trip to Home Depot we were back at Shenny last weekend ready to get back at it. This was going to be my first time sanding, so Jeff showed me the ropes and we got to it. Continue reading “So I like sanding – yes, this makes me weird.”→