It's time to pack up the meat for the trip.
As usual - the vacuum sealer is hard at work.
Tedious but oddly satisfying process!
BRRR - it's getting cold!!
I worked at the airport - and visited with the mechanic for a few minutes.
Our airplane is in for it's annual inspection and they're just finishing up. (Note that the plane is sitting on jacks, not on it's wheels).
Nothing to report today - most of the chore list is complete. We left mid-day for what will probably be the final drive of the year back to Pittsboro. Beautiful skies!
Another busy day!
First, Duane went up the mast partway to replace a fraying bungee cord.
Do you see that blue sky? It's the first we've seen in days and days. Really cheers you up after all that grey overcast we've had.
One side of the main sail has a couple of areas that have chafed all the way thru to the batten (stiffening rod sewn into the sail). It chafed because there was a cracked plastic protector on part of the rigging - we replaced that so it shouldn't happen again.
The 5x8" patches we installed are soft leather. We stitched them using an awl - Duane on one side of the sail and me on the other side.
Duane does pretty work (I was just on the other side of the sail completing each stitch.) These two patches took about an hour to stitch!
We made one last trip to mow the other lot but that was certainly uneventful and quick as the grass hadn't really grown much lately. We'll haul the riding mower home for the winter.
Busy day next to us as well. Ed & Cathy got their sails back on- first the jib.
And then the main - with a little help from Duane, Kris and Dean.
And we were treated to a fun taco bar in the evening aboard Charm. Great conversations, strangely segueing from sailing to pet ducks to Abigail the Roller Skating Miniature Donkey. We ending the evening after dark when the mosquitos decided they were hungry!
A little bit of a busy day....
I took the warm weather opportunity to go on and wash the deck. I had originally planned to wait until the day before we leave to do this, but I am thinking the weather may turn off colder in the next couple of weeks. Washing the deck is much more fun at 80 degrees and barefoot vs. 65 degrees and windy like it gets in early fall.
So, out comes the buckets, brushes and bleach. I'm a bit ashamed to post the "before" photos. The north side is much worse than the southern facing side of the boat.
See, I told you it was bad! Before:
It's Dean and Kris on Charm. They were the previous owners of What If! They sold the boat to Ed & Cathy many years ago when they finished a Caribbean cruise with their teen-aged son. But, they are empty-nesters now and bought another Manta to go cruising again!
Fun afternoon chatting and comparing Manta-stories. They'll stay with us for several days before heading south for the winter.
We were treated to a yummy curry by Cathy and had a fairly early night.
Really winding down here - I made another shopping run to get some of the last items on my list. Things like a pack of staples, a extra ream of printer paper, extra toothpaste, fresh clothespins....lots of little items that will be virtually unavailable when we get to the southern Bahamas.
My cruising buddies will be impressed with this Walmart clearance find....Luci lights for $3 each! I bought all 5 on the shelf.
For those of you who don't know about these cool little solar powered LED lights - this is what one looks like inflated and turned on. We use them often both on the boat and ashore after dark.
The final fresh/frozen food run will be done right before our departure, one of the only big items left on my list.
We ended the day with Silo's buy-one-get-one pizza, shared al-fresco with Ed and Cathy. A pleasant day!
Another dreary day - What If made it back from their 2 months in the boat yard!
Back together again!
Very cloudy and cool here. "Sunrise" this morning.
The stainless steel lifelines get a patina of rust over the season. It's not harmful at this stage as far as I know, but I don't like the look of it.
A bit of scrubbing with Barkeeper's Friend powder and it's nice and shiny again. Rinse and repeat for many more.
Did I tell you that it's been windy here for days on end, from the north which brings lots of water to us from the Neuse River. There is usually about a foot of air between these deck boards and the water surface.
Our neighbor's seawall is not as high as ours and the creek water is encroaching on his yard.
See the shimmer of boards below the water? That's the neighbor's kayak launch dock that is normally well above the water!
More items crossed off the list....
Cathy loaned me stencils and some fabric paint - the cover for our new hatch lens needs the warning "NO STEP". The pink lines are just chalk.
All done - hopefully no one will stop on our hatch and break it in the future! (There are other hatches, but they're not really in a normal traffic area.)
Next I got busy with a couple of huge bags for the bikes. I know, you're thinking that I just made bike bags. These bags will only be used to transport the folded bikes in the dinghy - mostly to protect the dinghy from the sharp edges. (The hanging bags I made recently will remain in place on the lifelines when we take the bikes off).
Simple construction from tough Sunbrella material. Started with the handles. I didn't even take photos during the assembly of the bags. Simple boxes with drawstrings.
Two bags finished - just like huge shopping bags.
And in the evening we rode over to Oriental proper with Ed and Cathy. This weekend is the "Old Front Porch Festival" in Oriental. Our friends Jim & Bentley from Salty Paws are here from Florida to play their music on Saturday. They said they'd be at the brewery in town this evening so we planned to see them there. Unfortunately, it was a zoo of un-masked people in close quarters and we didn't connect with them nor stay long. But we'll definitely see them tomorrow when they do their public performance.
One of the items on the to-do list was to repair a rip in the sail bag. I'd been dreading it since the sailbag is sortof a pain to remove from the boom.
But off it came....the skies were threatening rain, so I wanted to get the repair done quickly to avoid putting the bag back on with wet sails.
I made a simple patch from Sunbrella and sewed in place. The sailbag is quite old - I expect more than 10 years. It's made from Sunbrella Sapphire blue - the exact same material as the patch. I guess it will fade in a few years as well. Re-installed just in time for a light sprinkle.
We used to store our Coast Guard required life vests under the cushion on our sling seat. But when I made the nice cushions a couple months ago, the life vests lost their storage spot.
We decided that we could make a place to store them in the vacant space under the gas grill.
Here's the box mostly assembled. (Made from grey Phifertex mesh and plastic Vislon zippers so no corrosion).
Stuffed with 6 life vests and one throwable cushion.
Zipped up and completely out of the way but accessible!
Pretty pleased with how it turned out.