So, for those who know the plan, we were set to leave around September5th (ish, weather permitting) to begin our journey. We knew we had a few more projects to finish on the boat before our departure and estimated they would only take a few days (underestimation of the year!). We should've known better. I mean really. The rule of thumb for estimating how long a boat project will take is: figure out how long the task would take you on land. Now times that by 2.5. Then maybe double that. Seriously, everything takes SO much longer. That and Josh is perfectly okay with taking his time to do things properly the first time around. Which I am perfectly okay with as well.
We also hit some snags. Not minor ones. Really big snags. I'll come back to that.
So our current departure *goal* is early October.
The most frustrating part about changing our planned departure date is when someone inevitably says to us: "you'd better hurry up and go!" To which we respond: "why?" Honestly, it is (as Josh loves to say) 'a hurry up and wait' game. You see, the only reason to leave Canada sooner rather than later is for warmer weather. We want to get south to start chasing the summer. But as soon as we get south we're just going to be sitting around and waiting out hurricane season anyway. We'll be sitting around in an area foreign to us (harder to get parts and pieces for our projects), without vehicles, using the U.S. dollar (conversion sucks!). If we stay put we know exactly where to get all the missing pieces that we might need, we have our cars, we have a beautiful area to work in directly beside our boat (hello luxury!), we know where the grocery stores are and we're still using our good ol' Canadian dollar. Not to mention we still have our amazing friends and family around. Yes, it will get colder. We have wintered on the boat for 3 seasons though. I think we got this! So, yes we are still here, for the time being.
Here's what we've been working on/what has delayed us (some of these will get their own updates in the near future as we deal with them):
-Storage! We have been truly blessed with having a friend who has given us storage in her home until we return. We made the mistake of thinking we could easily sort what goes and what stays in a matter of a few hours. HA! Also, some of what will ultimately end up in storage is currently being used by Josh who is a busy builder and needs ALL the tools
-Navigation desk: did this take longer than anticipated? Yes. Was it worth it? SO yes! I'll post some pictures of this beauty Josh pieced together and later post a bit of a step-by-step as to how Josh built it for those curious. It is beautiful though and makes a HUGE difference in how we use that space (in boat life, every square foot needs to be optimized for a happy life)
-Bimini issues: After building and installing the bimini (hard roof over the cockpit) Josh realized a critical error. Everything was built on a flat surface. The boat is anything but flat and level. Water collecting on the roof was spilling off the forward bit of it and getting absolutely everywhere, including in the saloon! We need the water to pool at the back as Josh will be creating a raw water trough to collect all the rain. Refiguring the bimini was a solid 3 day project but is FINALLY complete
-Bilding the dodger: this is the mother of all projects! We knew it would take a week at least for Josh to build the dodger (windshield). Which means in boat world you have to at least double that time. We consider this a critical project as it will completely change how we are able to sail in the rain and on the ocean. It will change how the wind flows through the cockpit and consequently how it affects the helmsman! Problem number one in building the dodger is that Josh has never done it before. It took quite a bit of consultation and research to come up with a game plan he felt confident about, and even mid-construction, the game plan has had to be pivoted a few times to adapt to unforeseen issues. Issue number 2 is actually building the dodger. There are no straight angles on a boat. There are no level surfaces. This means every construction project is a bit of a cirque du soleil balancing act involving all those math equations you never thought you'd need from grade 11. Issue number 3 is that the frame needs to be fibreglassed. Oh my god we hate fibreglass!
-Our dinghy broke: While moving the dinghy so we could take some measurements to stitch together a cover for it Josh put his hand through the transom! We discovered that this particular brand of dinghy is known to have this issue. The transom is made from non-marine plywood that has not been treated in anyway! So we've had to research and purchase a brand new dinghy!
-With a new dinghy comes the need for a different type of motor. Which means attempting to sell our old motor before we go...
-Prepping and installing our propane stove top/oven as it will be our primary cooking utensil
So with all of these things smacking us in the face before our departure date, as well as the stress of leaving, we sat down and had a chat about our timeline. The truth is we are technically ON our adventure right now and this delay is all a part of it. Once we realized that it wasn't absolutely critical for us to leave on our planned date we were able to relax a bit. We have time now to do things right and still enjoy the days. And to work on some other projects that were planned for 'en route' (which are honestly so much easier to do while docked). And to visit with our friends and family a little bit more. And to adjust to life back aboard before hitting the lakes. And to experience Canadian fall! I do not regret being here for this season! (I'm not fully onboard with pumpkin spice everything, but I will add apple and cinnamon to anything I can get my hands on!)
So that's where we're at. As I said, I'll be posting some updates on individual projects as things progress. In the meantime, let us know what YOU want to know about!!! Cheers Nauti People!
Okay..."old" post, but it does contain some awesome information. Those of you who know us personally know that we have actually been living aboard our boat for about 3 years prior to finalizing our plans for this big adventure. Living aboard year round. In winter. In Canada. Here's how we did it for those who are curious...
How do you stay warm?
This is the number one question I get when I tell someone I live on a boat. They ask this before asking 'do you like it' or 'where are you docked' or 'what kind of boat is it?'. This might even be YOUR first thought. It wasn’t mine though. I don’t think I asked myself even one time, “how will we stay warm in the winter?”(although I had bigger issues to worry about, like say, learning to sail). Anyway the answer to your question is: in a lot of different ways. Just like how your house stays warm because you’ve taken several different steps to make sure it will during the winter. Only, you probably had to do those steps only once. Oh, and then hit a button labeled “heat” in the fall. You know, the one with the tiny illustration of a flame on it. Our ‘keep warm steps’ are a season to season thing.
In the late fall we start our warm-proofing by shrink wrapping! That is, we literally shrink wrap the boat in plastic! While it’s in the water! Lots of exclamation marks!
The plastic is wrapped and roped around the boat which now has a wooden frame we’ve constructed (so we can keep some headroom when it’s wrapped). The shrink wrap acts as a wind barrier and helps keep the heat inside the boat as opposed to losing it all through our hatches and portholes. This entire process was foreign to me until last year. And even now, since I was not around for any step of the shrink wrapping last year (other than completion), it is still a mystery to me. Until today that is!
For reasons outside of our control Josh had no choice but to shrinkwrap the boat himself (last year he paid through the nose to have it done by a professional and save us the hassle of learning yet another new winter-sailboat-only activity). Today was a morning full of expletives from Josh (thanks wind!) and an afternoon of “bitch”s by me, directed toward the boat. I think I lost complete feeling in my right pinky at one point from the cold. I watched Josh use a 136, 000 BTU (that means mother f’ing hot) gun on plastic wrap to ‘shrink it’. At the end of the day she is shrink wrapped! Am I warmer yet?….see next post.
Oh, and I posted pictures for you to see the steps of the shrink wrap…if you’re curious.