Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Heather and the grandkids left this evening. It has been a whirlwind of visiting Great Aunt’s and Uncles and Great Grandma’s, swimming at beaches, swimming holes, and pools and discovering all Sidney has to offer in the way of playgrounds. We had a great time, Grannie Annie didn’t even have time to do any varnishing!!! Grandpa Barry had to forego a few expeditions to help out the plumber repair the hot water heater and the water maker, both of which are now in fine shape. The rigger has been here off and on putting on new running rigging, all the new line looks really nice. He will be back tomorrow to put on a new traveler, the old one had an end broken off and the piece that had broken off was duck taped in place, hmmmmm.

Anyway this rigger is a really nice guy, BUT he had been a cause of a little frustration in my life. The traveler is attached to this aluminum track that is bolted to the deck and fibreglassed in at each end, anyway this lovely strip of aluminum needed to be painted after the traveler had been removed, fine the rigger removed the traveler and Barry and I used a wire brush, scrapper and a copper dish thing to take off every bit of paint. It was a thing of beauty, and then we had to decide what we needed to paint it. Well, glory be, you needed a primer (that had to be mixed seven part to one) and then aluminum or metal paint at $50 a quart to put 2 coats on.
Well, I mixed up the primer in the correct proportions and painted away, then upon reading the can it said the stupid thing was supposed to look yellow afterwards and upon further examination of the directions I was supposed to stir and shake the primer first (duh). So, I repainted the lovely aluminum thingy with what I hoped was the correct proportions, over top of the old not yellow stuff.

Then yesterday the rigger was by and said he was going to take my now primed piece of aluminum and fix it at his shop and I could paint it afterwards. I forgot to tell you that the second coat of real paint had to be applied within 24 hours of the primer. Well, glory be, the rigger’s helper showed up today and said could he attach the traveler now and I being stupefied said “Aren’t you going to take it to the shop?” Well, actually NO he wasn’t!! They were just going to do it right here after I had painted it. So NOW I had to rescrape the whole frigging thing, because it was over 24 hours since I had put the primer on. So out comes the wire brush, scrapper, well Barry says to hell with that and disappears into Sidney to get a wire brush attachment for my new toy, a wireless Dremel tool, and wham, bam thank you Mam, that aluminum strip was once again a thing of beauty, shiny and gorgeous for all eyes.

I proceeded to mix primer again, this time remembering to stir and shake thoroughly, and I repainted. It is a lovely shade of yellow and it awaits the first coat of real paint. I was going to put it on tonight after Heather and the kids left, but after carefully reading the directions and shaking for 5 minutes, as instructed, I opened the sucker and having learned from my mistakes decided I should perhaps stir it up and wouldn’t you know it there was a whack of gucky stuff in the bottom and I put off any further painting escapades until the morning after the paint had been thoroughly stirred and mixed at some wonderful paint shop.

I think that if every little job that I have to do takes as long we will never leave the slip. I am beginning to despair. Barry calls the engine guy and gets the run around “I don’t know where the motor is, I will check, I am not sure when it is going to come in.” Whatever, if you know how to run a business you had better have that motor in here PDQ and if those truckers that are holding up the port of Vancouver are involved they will soon get a piece of my mind, let me tell you.

Anyway if any of you are still with me, thanks for listening to me rant and rave, time for bragging rights for a smitten Grandma. The kids behaved very well while they were here. We got them minnow nets and when the minnows proved too elusive we got small rubber duckies for them to rescue before they floated under the dock or the tide swept them away. Cassidy lost one her top teeth while she was here, so she now has the cutest most endearing smile. Elijah was a whirling dervish, pelting up and down the dock, scaring away crows in Beacon Hill park, seagulls at Stanley Part, and blue herons on our docks. They are both wonderful endearing children and I will sorely miss them. OH MY!
Heather managed to get tan lines and relaxed and enjoyed the fact that there were NO BUGS, that there was grass and flowers everywhere and that her Dad did the dishes after almost every meal, she even mentioned that she might miss her Mom’s bossiness. Hmmm.

At the moment Cat’s-Paw IV looks a little forlorn, she is boom less (at the riggers being repaired) sail less (we are awaiting a new main, new staysail, and a cleaned furling genoa), the boom gallows is gone (Barry took it to get relaminated and was told we need a whole new piece of wood made up) the bimini can not be put up because it attaches to the now absent boom gallows. Her bright work is partially sanded, awaiting further attention, the porthole screens are in the process is being repaired the there is stuff all over the main cabin, it has been pulled out of the aft storage compartment so the plumber can repair the water maker, the rigid vang is off and being overhauled and the list goes on and on.

Soon, though, soon, her sails will be on, all shiny and crinkly and new, the boom will be back, all shipshape and repaired and God and the Vancouver truck drivers willing we will have a new engine in about 2 weeks. That will take us to the middle of Aug, which will leave us about 3 weeks at the outside to get to know our boat and get her prepared for a nonstop week to 10 day passage to San Francisco. Who knows, life will continue if we don’t leave this fall and we will have a chance to show those wuzzie West Coast sailors what sailing North of 60 is like. We’ve sailed in snowstorms before and I have pictures to prove it!!! The lady a couple of slips down was lamenting that there was 25 knots of wind out there the other day, and I’m thinking wow, that must have been a blast, and she was complaining that there was too much wind. Well, maybe I had better keep my mouth shut until I figured out whether I can handle ocean swells. Hope all is well with everyone and keep those comment coming, I love to hear from you. I miss all my buds.