This past weekend Sea Fever made her first overnight venture under the new captain (along with her primary crew, my grandson, G3). We joined the Cruising Club of Charleston on the monthly cruise...this one to Church Creek, about 20 miles south of Charleston, off the ICW. We knew it was going to be a great adventure when, as we approached the Ravenal Bridge, a pair of dolphins started waking our bow...they stayed for about 5 minutes and G3 was thrilled!
We finished installation of the new auto pilot a couple of weeks ago and Paul and Pam went out for sea trial calibrations. Auto seemed to respond appropriately but when we worked our way through the calibration menu the options that were supposed to be there...weren't. Turns out those steps are now done automatically..so...DONE!!!
As a single hander autopilot comes in VERY handy. While I am not one to turn on "Otto" and leisurely watched 'him' control the boat, knowing that I can go forward to hoist the main or adjust the Genny, or take care of other issues (or even get some pix of Sea Fever under sail!), while maintaining a course is a great stress reliever.
So far, Paul has installed the wheel drive and we have determined where and how to install the controller, remote, and flux compass components. Hopefully, Otto will be ready to go this next week!
The cockpit enclosure is done- thanks to Pam for allowing me to use her sailrite machine (my home machine just couldn't hack the 4 layers of canvas and the vinyl); and to Dick for use of his snap installation tools and supply of canvas and vinyl!
For those who know me or whom have followed my blog, you know how much time I spend in my cockpit, rain or shine, heat or cold! The enclosure lets me do this in great comfort even on these cool winter mornings.
One of my first projects on the Gulf was to remove the canvas covering the teak cockpit coamings and to refinish the teak. I removed the old varnish..what was left of it.. sanded it down and filled gaps with epoxy mixed with teak saw dust (as recommended by Paul). After using teak cleaner and brightener to bring out the beautiful grain and color I had planned on putting on about 5 coats of varnish. However, being winter with its short days and difficulty getting a series off days with no humidity or precipitation, Paul suggesting going with Bristol, a 2-part epoxy that can be applied coat after coat with waiting for a full cure until the final coat. That is what I used and boy did it come out great! No more canvas covering up this beautiful teak!