|A message sent from Bud’s sister.|
OK. We get it. We have been here on land a long time. Some of you think it has been too long. We get that. We have lots of reasons for being marooned here in North Carolina. The cold weather played a primary role. And since we had some choice in the matter, we chose to stay until the weather turned. We simply did not want to head South, despite the promise of warmer weather…….eventually. We knew from our previous trip to Florida and the Keys, we would have to endure a very cold cockpit without an enclosure. We went month to month on the slip on the waterfront in Beaufort, always having the option to leave if we saw a good weather window. We didn’t.
|Looking out of our back door in the middle of February, the thought of heading out with Layla in an exposed, open cockpit was not inviting.|
Our second major reason was that we wanted to get our old house in shape as we wanted to have an option that once we headed out, it would in good repair for a house sitter or renter. Just as projects on the boat were never as they first appear, our historic house (the Sarah Fisher Holland Dennis house ca. 1859) was the same.
|Owning a historic house comes with its pluses (great character) and minuses (maintenance - ie. work, work, work).|
The simple replacement of a piece of deteriorated siding became the replacement of 400 linear feet of siding, and then priming and painting. On the positive side, we marveled that outside painting is far easier than inside – even when part of the painting had to be done from 25 feet up on a ladder.
|Replacing one rotten board expanded to replacing nearly one
quarter of the siding on the north east side of the house.|
|Repairing the siding gave us an ‘opportunity’ to paint the
south and east side of the house as well.
Don’t you love how these projects grow?|
Then there was the repair of the 23 year old wash machine and installing duct work under the house for a dryer vent. The old dryer vent through the roof had been eliminated with the new roof. Oh yeah, we put on a new roof too.
The repair of the washer and dryer produced more chaos.
|With the washer and dryer out of the closet, we had an
‘opportunity’ to paint.|
We won’t bore you with all the other tasks, but believe us, we tackled some daunting tasks. And we have been busy.
So where are we now? The house is in good shape, the wash machine still likes to dance to the Beach Boys “Good Vibrations”, but we can live with that. And Layla, she looks pretty good. The new canvas additions Tracy sewed during those dark cold winter days have transformed Layla. Engine oil is changed, fuel tanks have been cleaned, and new fuel filters are installed. The water maker has a new membrane and pumps out good fresh water made from salt water –almost magic.
We are now repacking Layla with a selection of all the things we removed and put in piles throughout the house over the past months.
|Some of the organized chaos we are sorting to pack Layla’s
|It felt so good to finally bring aboard Layla’s stuff to make
her a home again. Here Bud is passing me
the cushions for the salon. |
We expect to take Layla out on a check-out of the autopilot, the new wind instrument, and other upgrades within the next few days. We may go to Cape Lookout to anchor as well.
Our plans? We expect to join our Australian friends to head South in the next couple weeks to the Bahamas. Stay tuned for the update.