The days are getting warmer (not that we really had much of a winter here in Ontario this year)
Last week we had record highs for March and it seemed such a shame that the boats are not in the water yet.
Winter was not, however, without some moments of sheer terror. We had some very high winds here and there is nothing scarier than watching your boat rock in the wind while it is on the hard. There were parts of the USA that were hammered with tornadoes and we saw videos of boats that were destroyed by storms that also claimed lives. We were so fortunate that the only casualty we had was a ripped cover. Our thoughts go out to everyone who suffered a loss.
Over the winter months we religiously followed Tom's Weather musings on the AGLCA website, http://www.greatloop.org/ when he posted his last weather forecast ,we realised the next time we read those weather updates, WE will be one of the boats waiting to cross the Gulf !!
We did a few improvements/ changes over the winter. I spent hours sanding and varnishing the wooden accents in the salon and galley. I also resealed the bath tub in the main head. Gary replaced the vanity mirrors in both heads and it made both areas look larger and brighter. Last year when we had our survey done it was suggested that we replace the bushings that support the prop output shafts. Our favourite neighbour hood marine mechanic ( David Garthshore) helped Gary with that job and with the propellers, shafts and trim tabs in place, the aft is back looking the way it should. We purchased a new heat exchanger for the port engine and a new radar/ sonar (which needed two extra supports installed for the heavier head) I invested in a SPOT and now I just have to figure out how to work it :) We also purchased a "Devil's Claw" that takes the strain off the chain at the bow pulpit , so when we are swinging on the hook you don't hear the clunking noise of the chain on the roller and everyone gets a better night's sleep:) Gary installed a little table on the flybridge which could serve as a little chart table as well as a drink holder for social get togethers. At the Toronto Boatshow we picked up a new BBQ along with new flares and a second line snubber. We exchanged our old aluminium propane tanks for new 2 fibreglass ones. Lots of work still lies ahead, bottom paint, cleaning , waxing and provisioning....those of you who are boaters know what I mean. The new radio will be installed shortly and in a few days we will uncover Time&Tide for (what we hope) will be the last time in a while.
In the meanwhile we are getting things ready for storage with some mixed emotions, some apprehension but mostly excitement. I don't know if anyone else is as anxious as Gary and I am right now, we are counting the days and keep asking each other if we could just leave all ready!!
Preparing for this trip certainly has had some interesting moments: we had applied for a SVRS card through the U.S. Customer and Border Protection but when we showed up for our appointment at the border they had no idea what we were talking about. After a few clicks with a mouse and thanks to the paperwork we had with us, they gave us a number that would make entering the USA easier. We also applied for the decal you are suppose to have if your boat is over 30foot. We have really tried to prepare for this trip as best as we can but I am sure there will be a curve ball or two coming our way just to keep things exciting.
Since purchasing the boat four years ago, we have done countless modifications in preparation for our departure date which is now less than 80 days away now. We have learnt so much from other boater blogs and websites.Thank you to all of you who selflessly share what you know. That is what a true boater is all about.
- Trenton, Ontario, Canada
- In June 2012 we started the Great Loop in our Bayliner Explorer. This blog is for family and friends who would like to follow our comings and goings and , for now, our getting ready for the trip. If you read this blog we would love to hear your comment& suggestions.