Do you know how to tell that you’ve not sailed one single day all summer long? How to tell that you’ve been in one place too long? Wasp nests, dirt daubers and stink bugs… that’s how. As Melody finishes up her four-day road trip with her sister in law from Seattle to Norfolk… yes, drove it in 4 days… with an 8 month old and a 100 lb. Lab, I’ve been readying “V” for the trip south. I’m very excited to move and be moving again. But that couldn’t happen without some fixes and maintenance of course. So, we had an exhaust system that was badly rusted and corroded and in serious need of attention. If you have an exhaust that goes into your waterlift muffler and haven’t looked under the heat wrap for a while or… ever, do it now. You may find that it will break off in your hand as you tweak it to see what condition the metal is in, like ours did. Thus… more $$$. But it allowed me to check the exhaust hoses and my waterlift muffler for any carbon build up inside. Clean as a whistle!
As I scrubbed the decks, I decided I should pump up the dinghy and pull the main up. As I lifted the dinghy, a ton of stink bugs fell all over me! I’m not a freakish guy… I can handle a bug or two but these things REEK! Oh my God… I’ve seen them before but never in these numbers. They were everywhere. I pulled the mainsail cover off and there were MORE! Of course I had all the hatches open on this spectacular fall day… YEP… dozens of them… right into the boat – UGH. As I raised the main, wasps started to “fall from the sky”. They too were everywhere. Wasps now have a nest at the very, tippy top of our mast where the sheaves are. Holy crap… what the friggin’ hell is going on. As I raised the main, I discovered dirt daubers made nests on my BRAND NEW, CRISP, WHITE SAIL! Ohhhhhh, nooo you don’t. It was at that moment I realized… we’ve over stayed our welcome. I marched right over to the shipyard and met up with Alan. He’s in charge of short-hauls. For those of you who don’t know~ a short haul is when you haul the boat out simply to clean the bottom. Usually called a lunch-time hang or something like that. During this time the guys pressure wash the bottom and get all the algae and barnacles off… oh, and all my expensive bottom paint too. “Alan… I need you to fit me in before the weekend… can that happen?” He said, “Be here tomorrow at 8 AM sharp.” I’ll get to see the bottom which I haven’t seen since the survey (and a few groundings by yours truly), change the prop shaft zinc and then put her back in. Moving is a great thing. I know I’m ready. And when I see all the boats in the anchorage off the fuel dock as these days end earlier and earlier, I don’t think we’ll be alone.
As we head south, we make no schedule… only destinations. See some friends and fellow cruisers in Beaufort, NC. then offshore. Maybe Charleston, SC. or straight to Fernandina / St. Mary’s. If the weather holds (it never does) we’ll be in south Florida by Christmas… that’s a joke. Then again, if you know us, you know how possible that is! Keep the faith friends. Hold fast to common sense and positive thoughts during this time of disastrous governmental incompetence. Now that I think about it, the government shut down back in ’95 while I was on my honeymoon… hm… I hope this one turns out better than that marriage.