Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Home At Last

At the end of the sailing season, we spent nearly three weeks visiting family in the US.  Gretchen's mother, Lois, celebrated her 80th birthday in Bath, NY.  We were really happy to be able to join her for this milestone.

Our daughter, Esther, then celebrated her graduation from the Law School at the University of Virginia.  This is an exceptionally challenging program, and we are inordinately proud of her accomplishment.  She will be working for the Citizenship and Immigration Services in Washington, DC.  She will be providing legal advice on refugee resettlement.  We were honored to be present at her graduation ceremony.

Finally, a return to home in Switzerland.  After a 25+ hour journey, we arrived tired but very happy to be home.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

End of the 2013 Sailing Season

The last week or 10 days of the sailing season is all about boat chores.  Consider the preparations that you would want to do before leaving your home unoccupied for six months.  You want the place clean when you get back, you don't want anything rotten in the pantry, you sure don't want any mildew.  So many of the chores involve cleaning.

But there are also boat-specific things to do:  putting away the sails, changing the oil in the outboard, emptying the water tanks, stowing the dinghy, putting preservative in the desalinator.  Probably the least pleasant of these is scraping/sanding/grinding off all the barnacles and other marine growth that always finds a home on the underwater metal parts - propeller, drive shaft, etc.

We start building a to-do list several weeks before we are scheduled to haul out.  We divide the list into three sections:  things that should or must be done before the boat is hauled, things better left until we are on the hard, and things that could be done any time.

Well, we finished all the pre-haul items last Thursday, just in time for our haul-out first thing Friday morning (May 3).  We've been working steadily since then, and are 80% through with the rest of the chores.

Tomorrow we will finish the list (hopefully), and then can relax for a day before heading off on Wednesday morning.

We will spend a couple of weeks with family in New York and Virginia, and then finally home to Switzerland.