Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hard Work, a Shiny Ship and a Practice Halloween

Seb spent most of the daylight hours in Bristol performing and arranging maintenance for the boat, with the help of Booh’s advice, support and contacts in the industry.  Removed the unsightly and slow beard and barnacles from the hull, new anti-fouling, hull polished and tannin removed from white stripe, battery checked, stock-up of spare parts, wind-pilot maintenance, crack in the keel fixed, anode replaced, oil changed, sail drive oil replaced, air filter motor fixed, design drawn to have a support built for the solar panel, propeller polished and fixed...among other things.  Two rather major tasks were unexpected.  One of our main solar panels flew up in a gust of wind and smashed against a winch while we were on our way to Bristol.  This panel is impossible to replace in the US so we decided to install a support stick with 4-way pivot to maximise the efficiency of our second main panel.  Secondly, the propeller had long been making a rattling sound that we found slightly unsettling.  The local prop pro did some good testing and informed us to our horror that indeed the prop was in need of some significant work or replacement.  The only short term replacement option was an aluminium prop so instead we sent our current prop out for a few days TLC.  It came back glossy and solid.  Whew.  The Pjotter was launched again, with gleaming undersides on October 25.  


In parallel to this, Jen and I spent some time sewing costumes for a practice Halloween to be held on October 24.  Most of the business in the town of Bristol  (and several of the local politicians) opened their doors on this Sunday afternoon for practice trick-or-treaters.  Emma and Macsen had never celebrated Halloween before and seeing the four of them dressed up (unicorn, mermaid, frog and cat) and giggling was super.  

All in all, our Bristol time was full of work and fun.  It was a luxury to have entertainment (kids during the day and adults at night), house, car and occasional babysitter for a couple of weeks.  Most of the time the kids paired off happily and it was great to see them play but sometime we noticed that they (and as a result we) needed more downtime than four kids in a house will allow.  Emma is already counting the days until she gets to see Seren at Christmas.  And the rest of us are pretty psyched too.  

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