Just a few (thousand) details left…

It’s Sunday morning and, as far as I know, the bow thruster was finished up and tested last evening.  It’s been a long, expensive process and hopefully the improvements put in place, designed to keep it dry, will avoid a long slow decline again.  If “an ounce of prevention”, no make that “thousands of ounces of prevention” will make things better, than we should be in good shape.  The one remaining item to add will be a forced ventilation system which I expect install in the spring.

This whole issue reminds me of the first time I installed an refrigeration system on my Tartan 37 many years ago.  I really didn’t know what I was getting into but really wanted to have a few ice cubes for my G&Ts.   Sounds simple?  Not!!!

I WANTED A FRIDGE. So, I added a compressor etc.  Little did I understand that this would eventually mean more batteries, a high output alternator.  The list went on and on.

Anyway, those ice cubes cost me big time and now, with all the time the “thruster guys” spent crawling around on Pandora, I am reminded, yet again, of how things can get complicated.   Boats in general and thrusters, watermakers and fridges, in specific, are good examples of how you can take simple things, like docking, plopping ice cubes into your drink or having a cup of water from simple to PLENTY COMPLICATED.  I guess that’s what owning a boat is all about.  Right?

So, now with the thruster back in business I will begin to wrap things up and get ready to launch, probably later this week.

I had a call with my crew for the run to the BVI a few days ago and the question of lee cloths came up.  Of course! I forgot about that.  Oops.  Anyway, lee cloths on the way.  I worked up the basic pieces yesterday, one for the port and starboard main settees as well as one for the forward Pullman berth.  I also installed the hardware and will be working up the rest of the items such as clips and straps, needed to finish the job in the next few days.  Thanks Jim for that reminder.   I’ll post some photos when I finalize the installation next week.  They will certainly come in handy when the going gets “spirited” along the way.

There are so many details to work out to get ready for a run like this, especially with a new boat, well, new to me anyway, that it seems TO-DOs keep finding their way onto my list faster than I am able to check them off.  And sometimes, in my desire to make everything perfect, I end up breaking things and then have yet another item to fix.  I am thinking of one particularly stupid example that I did the other day but I’ll “take the 5th” on that one.  Sorry, no comment.  However, parts on the way.

Changing the subject, I have also set a nominal departure date to head to Hampton VA, October 22nd.  I’ll have Pandora launched around the 15th or 16th, which will give me nearly a week, once she’s in the water, to make certain that everything is in good working order.  I’ll also be able to crank up the fridge and begin stocking the freezer.

I should note that I have renewed my subscription for my SPOT, GPS transponder and will be updating my position every four hours while I am underway.  This section of the sight is “where in the world is Pandora“.
I also understand that there will be a tracking service that participants in the Salty Dawg fleet will be subscribing to for the duration of the run from Hampton to Virgin Gorda.  It’s Snap Track and it will allow you to see where Pandora is an how she’s doing relative to other rally particpants.  This is an example of what you’ll see when we are underway.  I’ll post details of this as I learn more.

So, to keep things moving along, I’ll continue to provision and stow everything we’ll need for the winter aboard.   No point in putting her in the water any sooner than necessary as it will just mean that there will be more time for the bottom to become slimy before we head south.  And,a clean bottom means and a bit more speed along the way which will make a big difference over a 2,000 mile run, that’s for sure.

Hopefully, this will be the last post that mentions the “thruster guys” and that from here on out, I’ll be able to turn Pandora any way I wish against currents and wind when I am close to pointy and hard things.  Fingers crossed.

As I “gird my loins” in preparation for the “thruster bill”, I need to keep my “eye on the prize” and think about making landfall at the Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda.  Yes, that will be very nice indeed.  And, when I arrive, I plan to sit here and have a drink with a little umbrella stuck in it.  That’s of course, if I have any $$ left over from the, well, you know …
Just a few (thousand) details to tend to first.  I’d better get on it. 


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