December 17, 2014

Glory Days Returns!

"Wrinkles should merely indicate 

where smiles have been."

Mark Twain

Coming back to get Glory Days out of summer storage seems like a rebirth. 

I am so pleased to report that Glory Days is now officially back in business for another round of winter cruising … … ahhh…. it's like a tall drink of water on a hot day…. it has been 104 days since she went into dry storage…She and I both needed to take a little break to regroup after a 5 month sojourn up and down the coast of Florida including 3 months rambling around The Bahamas… see last month's post "My Groovy Movie" for details about that…

So when I pulled into the boat yard at Green Cove Springs Marina on Nov. 9, the first thing I noticed was the sound of power tools working hard and that old familiar odor of anti-fouling paint in the air… high copper content paint that sailors worship to keep their hulls free of barnacles and other slimy growth…  a clean hull is a fast hull...

But the time has now come to uncover her, dust off her sails, scrub her bottom and tease her into another round of sailing and exploring… Trust me, it won't take much to convince her. 

There must've been at least 150 boats all high and dry like this with worker bees like me swarming all around doing this and doing that at a pace that bordered on possessed.

Yep, she looked a bit forlorn when I left her high an dry on Aug. 1, to drive back to Atlanta.  But she's good now, and  she was jumping like a puppy upon my return in November to get her back in shape… well sort of… you get the idea… maybe it was ME who was jumping like a puppy.

…. the first order of business would be to clean her up and install the newly finishing teak flooring panels that I had completed at home. These floor panels below were striped, sanded and varnished….

 Everything went in smoothly as the cabin sole shined once again… It looked so good I decided I might as well strip, sand, and refinish the main companionway steps… ahhh…. she's grinning, just knowing her bottom will be next… See before and after photos below.

Next on the agenda was to do a complete bottom job of sanding and painting. This was my first go at doing a bottom job, and I was committed to cutting no corners in the process… the first thing was a good cleaning, then a good scrubbing, then the dreaded sanding of the hull surface… ug, the dust of it all pervades….All this took about 3 days…. 
We do chemicals...
I must say the boat yard at Green Cove Springs marina is really tailor made for do-it-yourselfers like myself … Here, they allow you live on your boat while she is on the cradle as you work to get her ready for splashdown…. 

In essence I suppose this boat yard is somewhat of a toxic waste dump from years and years of sailors like me working with fiberglass challenges and toxic chemicals perpetually … and because of this known fact, I decided I would invest in a real respirator to avoid breathing in so much dust and vapor from the paint and cleaning products… Below, I added a coat of red for undercoating.  

I call this Organized Chaos.
An undercoat of red should work fine. That will make it easier to tell when the blue outer coat is starting to wear thin.

The whole yard here is jamming with boaters (most Canadians) prepping their beloved vessels for another winter season in the islands… the energy was good, the staff was great, and the results were spectacular

The bronze prop was covered in barnacles… no more… she's letting her love light shine now…

Antifouling paint cost $250 a gallon, so you want to do it right and waste not a drop… keep it stirred!

Here's a few scenes and captions from this unique experience….

Typical views from the boat yard at Green Cove Springs..

Ready to launch!
I upgraded to a larger Bruce anchor while here… 
It's like insurance, but better.
I met this friendly French Canadian, Michel, while here and we worked really hard on our boats as you can see.

These Canadians really know how to cook.  They had me over for a couple dinners…. Benoit, Carol, Michel… like i've said so many times before, cruising is great, but it's all about the friends you meet along the way...

This is a classic yacht, Mountain Time, hand built by my neighbor here… he was such a sailing purist that my little chunk of fiberglass  paled in comparison…. its all good tho.

I had a little sail repair to do before I could put the sails back on.  I had removed both sails during hurricane season just in case a big wind came through. Suddenly, I'm now a seamstress in addition to a carpenter, mechanic, electrician, plumber,  navigator, and troubadour.


At last! Back in the water!

After a day of getting things together I set sail for the 20 mile trip north to Jacksonville.  It was a great day to be back on the water with the wind in my hair and the anticipation of new ventures…

Stay Tuned!

The next episode will be an update from Jacksonville, Fla as I make final preps to depart south.  I am choosing to leave the boat in Ortega Landing Marina for the month of December as I commute back home for the holidays.  

Friends, this marina is one of the nicest I've ever stayed and I would recommend it to any fellow cruiser… first class facilities.  It's clean as a whistle, close to lots of shopping amenities (including Sailors Exchange and West Marine!), friendly staff, pool, jacuzzi, clubhouse and even a dock box… This marina is fancier than what I am used to, but priced fairly since it is more inland…. I'll be back here for sure.

She's smiling again.

Until then, see you soon!  Stay tuned!  New post coming!