We are almost ready. Okay, we should have left last week, but there were a few lingering projects and there have been a few setbacks. Here is what has been accomplished in the past few days. The boat has its name – Motu Iti, on the transom.
Our daughter Amelia designed the graphic, which includes a sea turtle for the “o” and a gecko for fun. Motu Iti is Polynesian for “little island,” and refers specifically to the coral reefs which fringe a volcanic island, creating a barrier that separates it from the ocean; the water between the little fringing islands and the volcanic island is called a lagoon. If the volcanic island sinks below the water level, the remaining little islands and lagoon are called an atoll.
A Cape Horn wind vane was installed on the transom a couple of weeks ago. This device can steer the boat at a specific angle to the wind – all by itself – and it only needs to have the sails up and some wind. We also have an autohelm which will steer the boat to a compass point – it needs electricity.
We had supports for solar panels made and picked them up last Friday. Installing them required welding and bolting. Our son-in-law Grant did the welding. Here’s the finished product. There is a panel on each side; each produces 60 watts. They are both movable (can be pointed at the sun), and removable.
We now have a hoist to lift the very heavy dinghy motor from the dinghy to its resting place on the big boat – the motor is stored on a wooden mount on the push pulpit, next to the flag. The hoist is removable, so all you can see in the picture is the black ball that is the base for the hoist.
Also, we deflated the dinghy and – hurray – a fabric cover we found at Bacon Sails in Annapolis fit perfectly – no more sewing required. It’s now on deck, which is its home when its not being used or towed behind the boat. Not the prettiest accessory, but essential for getting to shore as we will be mostly anchoring. [Think of the boat as a house and the dinghy as a car – and you can’t really walk anyplace.]
These projects were all finished yesterday thanks to the help of our very good friend George and his friend (and ours) Gary. George just arrived in Annapolis from Canada on his sailboat. He and his wife Jackie traveled from Lake Huron, past Detroit, across Lake Erie, through the Erie Canal, down the Hudson, in the ocean around New Jersey to Cape May, up the Delaware Bay, through the C&D Canal and down the Chesapeake Bay to Annapolis. Gary, also from Canada, helped George with his boat on the New York/Annapolis leg of the trip. They will be here for the big and very fun Annapolis in-the-water boat show this week-end. Then George and Jackie will continue south.
Anyway, George and Gary did a ton of work and we are very, very grateful for all their help. They totally pitched in and knew exactly what to do and how to do it. And also are super nice and fun. George was the best man at our wedding 31 years ago.
We celebrated all this work with crab cake sandwiches from Cantler’s for lunch and a fabulous, very chocolatey cake for dinner, paired with some wonderful “bon voyage” wine from our neighbors. After a piece of cake each, we fought over the delicious chocolate embellishments on and around the cake – it was literally sheathed in chocolate. Forget the cake part, we just wanted the pure chocolate.
THE DELAY we’ve encountered is with the 300’ of chain we will carry for our main anchor. We ordered it last May and it’s been delivered THREE times – NEVER the right chain: the galvanizing was poorly done and it rusted; the chain was the wrong size and wouldn’t fit our windlass; and the 3rd time, which was last Friday, the chain was the wrong size again. It’s been ordered a 4th time, and is supposed to arrive Tuesday (tomorrow) morning. It has to be carried down to the dock, laid out and marked in 10’ lengths (so we easily eyeball how much chain we’ve put out when we anchor), and put on the boat. This is causing our delay at this point.
Meanwhile, we have been filling up the boat. We each have one large plastic bin for our clothes – whatever will fit in the bin goes. This does not include jackets and foul weather gear, which have a place in our sole hanging locker, located behind the head (toilet), which, BTW, is a compost toilet. (We are carrying bags of peat moss to feed the toilet.)
Here are our food cans – with all the labels peeled off and their contents recorded with a Sharpie. There are four such bins of shiny canned food, located beneath the seats in the main cabin.
Food purchased in paper containers has been transferred to plastic for storage. These storage places are located behind the back cushions of the seats in the main cabin.
This is what the inside of the boat looked like Saturday – this is the “before” picture:
Here is the “after” picture, earlier today. (Note how shiny the floor is – three coats of polyurethane).
So maybe tomorrow. Fingers crossed.