Boats require work. Lots of it. Being exposed to the elements 24/7 means that Aaron and Heidi have to constantly be on the lookout for damage by rain or sun, as well as keeping up on regular chores and replacing my worn parts. I guess you could say that I’m a high maintenance sort of girl. 😉
This past weekend Aaron replaced one of my 39-year-old bronze portholes with a brand new stainless steel one. I have three portholes, all accessed by the cockpit; two look into the cabin, one on either side of the companionway (our front door), and the third looks from the cockpit well (side of the floor) into the aft stateroom. Portholes are windows that open. Portlights are windows that are permanently fixed. All leak if not installed and sealed properly, which is not a good thing. I also have four hatches (windows that open up from my cabin top) for ventilation.
Each porthole replacement takes a full day (or several partial days). It involves removing the old sealant around the porthole and then digging out the metal window. Then cutting the fiberglass to fit the new porthole (nothing ever fits exactly on a boat!) with a SawsAll, fitting and sealing. And above all, lots of patience!
Heidi took on the job of stripping the paint off my binnacle (the column that holds the steering wheel and compass). This is a multi-day project and I’ll report on that once they have finished. Suffice to say, it involved power tools and Heidi came away a little worse for the wear, but four decades of paint is now gone and is ready for fresh paint.
But it’s not all work. Between projects we make time to enjoy the lifestyle … savoring dinner, drinks and the sunset in the cockpit, lazing in the hammock or beanbag and, my favorite, getting me out on the water for a sail. This weekend we stayed at the dock as neither Heidi nor Aaron had the energy to raise sails after working in the sunshine all day on Saturday, and Sunday was spent shopping for supplies to finish the binnacle and buying new cockpit cushions for the summer. Aaron bought a micro-fire pit which shed a lovely light in the evening as they both stretched out in the cockpit under cozy blankets.
And now, a flagrant plug for a pretty and durable new product! The photo doesn’t do it justice, but the cozy dark blue blanket with SV Sonho embroidered on the corner is from Pretty Rugged Gear. Straight from their website, “More than a blanket, more than a wrap, The Pretty Rugged Blanket is the fashion accessory you’ll take anywhere there is wind, water or snow. Inspired by the historic maritime explorations of Captain Joshua Slocum, great-great-grandfather of Pretty Rugged Gear Founder, Tracy Slocum. The Pretty Rugged Blanket will provide years of sumptuous beauty, luxurious warmth and protection from the elements. In fact, the longer you own it, the more uses you will discover for it!” Mine was a gift from Bob & Jody Bitchin, of Latitudes & Attitudes and Cruising Outpost fame, and will be a wonderful addition to night watches.