Maddie and I sailed to the Azores in August of 2018. We then spent the winter season doing a Refit on the island Terceira, where we have spent most of our time.
Maddie’s mom came to visit us so we all made a trip to the next island over, São Miguel. Wow!
This is the island that you see on Google and on post cards. This island is a volcanic wonderland filled with mind blowing rock formations that are now covered in a lush sea of green.
This adventure would never had been possible without a boat to being us here!
About two years ago, my wife and I sailed past this small sailboat with an osprey nest on his bow. The boat rests on a mooring ball in West River, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.
My parents cruised past this same boat today and sent me a picture of it. Still floating right there, with the same nest on his bow.
Ospreys are endangered and it is illegal to tamper or move their nests. They usually prefer a dead tree that is growing out of the water (maybe being so picky is what drove them to being endangered). To help bounce their population back, all day markers have provisions to help hold a nest and many of them are occupied. More nesting sites means more breeding which has led to their population to increase!
This boat certainly is not a dead tree in the water, but the osprey decided his deck was just fine!
Our boat (and our home) has been undergoing a rather dramatic transformation. We wintered in the Azores and ended up doing quite a Refit.
Gutted and rebuilt the head, gutted and rebuilt the closet, new galley, repainted the deck, new storage rack on the deck, and new topside paint.
In the process, our name was sanded off and for most of the year, Wisdom was unmarked. She was a white project in the back of the yard. Multiple times, I would have police knock on the hull asking for a different boat. Since I had no name, they assumed I was hiding from them and started their search there.
Now we have a name on her and she can proudly say who she is to everyone who looks at her!
Today we got lunch at a new place (To is that is). The meal was amazing and inexpensive, but the best part was the view.
After crossing an ocean, we had grown accustomed to looking out at a blank horizon. Now, we look out at old buildings painted in bright colors!
After being at sea for nearly a month, you make landfall on the tiny island of Faial, in the 4th busiest marina in the world: Horta.
you have grown accustomed to the fact that day in and day out, you will be alone. Now you are surrounded by people and boats who have all also made this journey across the seas.
Space is a premium in this tiny marina, so the marina staff has come up with a great solution to the limited docking space and limitless boat traffic: stacking.
We arrived at the end of the season, so the Marina was “empty” according to the staff. The boats were only stacked two deep. During the early summer when everyone is crossing, they stack boats up to four deep and along every surface that a boat can be tied up along.
Our world changed from solitude to society, and we were suddenly surrounded by sailors who share a similar passion, a passion for adventure!
We have been living here since August, but that whole time we were preoccupied with the Refit projects on our boat. We never stopped to look at where we were. We never appreciated living “here”.
Now that the projects are almost finished, we raised our heads from the bilge and looked at where we are. We sat on the top of a mountain and watched the sunset over the town.
This is a hydrofoil but it looks like a space ship!
The black oval is actually just black paint. The bottom part of the bow is actually a glass bottom which is raised out of the water when moving fast enough.
This giant fluffy ball of softness lives in our friends house. He is a cat. He is a big cat. He is a very soft cat.
One must wonder what such s creature thinks about. Does he know how soft he is? Is he comfortable sitting there like that simply because he carries around a padded cushion on his body? Does he know he is a cat?
On our long list of stuff we need to take care of before we get splashed is to repaint our deck. Maddie spent two full days sanding the deck and grinding away at any little cracks. I followed behind her filling the imperfections with filler putty. Then we would sand again and fill again, then sand again and again and again.
It felt like it would never end!
And then it finished! We got the deck fixed enough that we were happy with it. Yes, there are still a few spots that aren’t perfect, and we could fix them with about two more weeks of work. The truth is, we want to get back to the adventures and “good enough” is good enough. We painted primer over the whole deck with the thought that we would fix the spots that still look bad and stood out.
Primer is less of a “final step” and more of a “final check”. Sure, you can spot the areas that had work done when you highlight them with a rainbow of filler colors! But can you still see any imperfections when it is all the same color? Grey primer gives a great opportunity to check your work. If you see a problem in grey, it will still be there in the final color. This is a great time to fix any remaining issues before progressing to the paint.
If it looks good, the next step is the topside paint in the color of your choice! After that is done, you can resume your life at sea l, living out all the adventures on boats that you have been dreaming of.
Next time the minor details of a boat project get you down, take a step back and re-evaluate the situation. If perfecting the surface that will be covered with non-skid is your goal in life, then enjoy your life’s dream! Of cruising is your goal, then slap some non-skid over that surface and get out there!
|Adventures on Boats|