Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I had forgotten how much work it is to move onto the boat

We made the process worse by having storage units in both Seattle and Anacortes. It's amazing how fast we accumulate stuff - when we moved up here five years ago, our possessions fit in the boat and a single storage unit. Of course then we moved ashore and went to Ikea where we bought an apartment's worth of stuff that we've spent the past five years slowly upgrading. Somewhere in there, we moved from a two bedroom apartment in Bellevue to a one bedroom apartment in Seattle. The result is a bunch of post Ikea stuff (much of it in storage) that we don't want to get rid of.

As of today, we're out of the storage unit in Anacortes. Art spent a couple of days up there earlier organizing, taking the ancient containers of methyl ethyl bad shit (some of which, I'm embarrassed to say, date from our time in Alameda - yes, we moved old cans of paint thinner and lighter fluid with us when we came to Seattle*) to the Skagit County hazmat disposal site, and disassembling the bakers racks (those chromed wire shelves you can get at Costco) of which we've somehow accumulated six. This morning we drove up there and picked up a one-way U-Haul. Thanks to all the work Art did in advance, we had the truck packed up in a little over an hour. I drove the car back, taking the scenic route through La Conner as my Skagit Valley farewell tour. After quick stop at the boat to take some stuff out of the car so that Art would actually have somewhere to sit when we dropped of the truck, we headed down to the place where we're storing all of our stuff while we're in Mexico.

Originally we were going to bring all of that stuff to the apartment and then pay the movers to take it to storage*. At some point last week, a little lightbulb went off and we realized that we could, wonder of wonders, through the amazing technology called the telephone, call the movers and see if we could just drop it off at their storage facility ourselves. Which we did. Cheaper and easier. I like that.

Next week = movers, which, of course, means the remainder of this week = packing.

Seaview is definitely redeeming itself - the watermaker works, and although there's still some sort of leak at the mast, the Spartite is quite possibly not the problem (which, in addition to perhaps not being the yard's fault, might be a bigger problem than we thought, but la la la la la I'm not going to think about that right now...). The owner was positively mortified about the packing gland. The guy they've sent to do most of the work is great, really seems to know his stuff, and funnily, is married to a woman we've met a couple of times who goes to the same Spanish teacher we do.

Our autopilot, unfortunately, appears to have bitten the dust. As a) it's 20 years old and b) we've rarely used it, this isn't terribly surprising. However, neither of us wants to go down the coast without a method of steering the boat that doesn't require actually standing at the wheel. It was also pointed out to us that even if we were to manage to revive it, if it died again, the likelihood of finding parts to repair a circa 1989 B&G Helmstar 740 are somewhere between slim and nil. The good news is that the hydraulic ram (the part that moves the rudder), which would be fairly spendy to replace, appears to be OK - meaning we'll just need to replace the brain. What was I thinking? Of course we needed to replace the ram too - on further inspection, it was unsalvageable.

The status on our SSB is still unknown. We're going to have it bench tested to see if the problems we're having are operator error (quite likely) or there's something wrong with the set (also likely, as this is another circa 1989 piece of equipment).

If you've read this far, you may be wondering if our retirement has turned into a bleak and unending ordeal of uninterrupted toil. Not likely! We went over to Blake Island and hung out for a few days at the end of last week, which was lovely, unseasonably warm, and a great introduction to cruising around Seattle. Also, we signed up (#13) for the Baha Ha-ha, which makes everything feel a little more real and all the schlepping we've been doing totally worth it.

* What can I say? Sometimes we are idiots.

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