23 May 2019 Herrington Harbour North, Virginia
We were up early-ish and arrived at the boat at 08:20. Yesterday, Roger had arranged for a couple of people to view the boat at 13:00 today, so Glenys set to cleaning the fridges, which we’d emptied yesterday, and generally tidying up ready for a viewing.
We contacted the car rental company, who said that to change the pick-up truck for a smaller car, we had to drive back to their depot, which would take an hour out of our day. It was a bit irritating, but we decided to keep the pick-up - it makes me feel more American to have to climb down from a huge car.
I pottered about, cleaning up the propeller; the stripper and the cutlass bearing. It all seems to be in good condition apart from a couple of small gouges in the propeller where we’ve obviously hit something. I’m really glad that we’ve sailed around the world with a fixed three-bladed propeller instead of a fancy folding or feathering prop. It has probably cost us ½ knot in boat speed, but it’s very strong and simple - I don’t know how a fancier propeller would have fared when hitting stuff in the water.
We have a 45lb CQR on board, which has sat in the anchor locker for the last eight years and never been used - it still has the price label stuck on from Budget Marine in Grenada where the previous owner bought it. Unfortunately, time (and lack of care) has not treated it well and it had quite a bit of corrosion, so I used a hammer and wire brush to clean it up. I then painted on some Rust Eater to stabilise the rust and shoved it back into the anchor locker. It’s not on the inventory of the boat, so the new owner can throw it away if they want to, but at least it won’t stain my beautifully painter anchor locker.
We went for a long lunch, leaving Roger alone to show the prospects around Alba. Later, he said that it went well and they were impressed by how well-maintained the boat was. Fingers crossed…
In the afternoon, Glenys went back to lash the “tarp” onto the dinghy and then pottered about doing a few odd jobs. Meanwhile, I started replacing a small piece of mahogany trim in the front heads, which has been showing a bit of rot. I chopped out a 3 inch section and found dry rot penetrating inside, so I chiselled most of it out and injected some Git-Rot which is an (expensive) penetrating epoxy, which is supposed to bind the loose fibres together and stabilise the structure. I’ll finish the repair tomorrow.
By 15:30, the heat was oppressive, so we gave up and drove to Dunkirk to a big supermarket. The thunderstorm hit just as we were checking out, so we got soaked running back to the pickup. On the way back to the house, we stopped at “La Bella” pizzeria in Friendship and bought dinner.
24 May 2019 Herrington Harbour North, Virginia
Only 5 sleeps before we fly back to the UK, so we were up at 07:00 and working on the boat at 08:00. Glenys spent all day on the horrible task of stripping the varnish from the two opening leaves of the cockpit table. The varnish appears to be Interlux Perfection, which is a two part polyurethane finish - it’s very shiny, but a bugger to remove. It either comes of in sheets or sticks like s**t to a blanket. Wisely, she found a pleasant place to do the work - on a picnic table under the trees next to a cool pond.
I worked on replacing the small piece of mahogany that I removed yesterday. The piece is only 4 inches long, but I was working on it for most of the day. The first job was to fill the cavity where I’d cut away the rotton wood. I used a two part wood filler, which was supposed to have a working time of 15 minutes, but the first batch set solid in five minutes, before I had a chance to use any. I applied multiple thin layers of the filler into the largest hole so it took most of the morning, doing little jobs in between each layer.
Once I had the filling finished, I started the task of removing the old varnish from the whole 7 foot long strip of wood. I was hoping that I’d be able to scrape the varnish off and minimise the mess, but I was damaging the wood, so I had to resort to using a small detail sander, which kicked up a lot of dust. To prevent the dust billowing out into the rest of the boat, I locked myself in the (small) heads and sweated for an hour.
After lunch, I did a few other little jobs and then shaped a piece of mahogany, ready to stick in place tomorrow.
We rented a carpet cleaner from the local hardware store for $25 + $15 for the carpet cleaning solution - much cheaper than the outrageous $285 quoted by one of the marine companies. We took our carpets back to the house and cleaned them out on the large garden deck - tick another job off the list, only another 20 to go.
25 May 2019 Herrington Harbour North, Virginia
We were up at 07:00 and at work by 08:00 again. Glenys finished off sanding the cockpit table and then moved the mattresses out of the front cabin to turn it into a varnishing workshop. Meanwhile, I finished shaping the piece of mahogany and stuck it in place. After knifing on a bit of wood filler, I sanded it off and it was ready for varnishing.
We dropped the anchor and the chain onto the ground and, after laying it out; we started the mind-numbing job of painting phosphoric acid onto the chain. The chain has a lot of surface rust where the galvanising has rubbed off on the seabed, so the idea of the phosphoric acid is to stabilise the rust and convert it to a protective layer. It’s not a permanent fix, but should help to prevent my beautifully painted anchor locker from getting stained with rust.
Glenys took over the chain work, while I removed the aft heads door, which has had a horrible white patch on the inside caused by water getting into the varnish. Normally when this happens, the “bloom” goes away after a few days, but this one has been white for months. I sanded the door down with 120 grit sandpaper and then varnished it. I also varnished the cockpit table leaves and the mahogany strip in the front heads.
Most of our big jobs are now nearing completion with a just few more coats of varnishing required and we’re about done with the dirty, messy jobs, so I tidied up the saloon while Glenys cleaned out the gas locker which was an eyesore. From tomorrow, we can start putting the boat back together and doing a final cleaning - only 3 days to go.
26 May 2019 Herrington Harbour North, Virginia
We had another early start. I used my Dremel to grind out a small groove above the rudder shoe and then filled it with flexible sealant. I then pulled the anchor chain back into the locker. My next job was to varnish the aft toilet door, the cockpit table and the mahogany strip in the front heads.
Meanwhile Glenys cleaned a couple of bilges and generally started to tidy up. By midday, it was blisteringly hot and we’d ticked off most of our jobs, so we retired back to the air-conditioned house that we’ve rented.
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