Saturday, September 05, 2009

Getting Alizee ready ...

Looks like we've recovered from our cross-country road trip enough to prepare for our next adventure, a sea voyage on Alizee to the Chesapeake. 

During the summer, the local Spectra Water Maker mechanic repaired our system ... new end-caps on the membrane housing, a rebuilt Clark pump, a clean sighting glass on the instrument panel, and a fresh-water flushing system rigged.  Yesterday I got a good briefing on it, changed the oil and filter in the Yanmar engine, mounted a teak spice rack and teak magazine rack (I'd varnished them over the past week), put a couple of coats of satin varnish on the moulding around the galley counters, put the bimini canvas back on, and generally straightened things out. 

Penelope's sister Patricia is coming with us for the first ten days or so, and she's very excited.  She's been down to the boat with us twice this week, the first time to just get to know Alizee a little better and to help us take inventory of the provisions already aboard.  Yesterday she came along and helped Penelope wash down the topsides and clean the Bottomsider cushions in the cockpit. 

We've been watching the weather, particularly the development of cyclonic systems off Africa.  There are two out there now ... one about 1200 miles west of the Azores and another about 500 miles west of them.  It looks as though neither will develop into anything serious, but one never knows and next week is when they might pose a problem for us.  So, we just keep preparing and crossing our fingers.

Tomorrow we'll defrost Alizee's freezer, get a couple of reels loaded with good line, and start buying the provisions we've decided to take.  We found a couple of fellows in Deland who are raising their own eggs, and they are harvesting us three dozen to take aboard ... unwashed and unrefrigerated, they will last up to six weeks if they are kept in a dark relatively cool spot and turned every day.  I have just the spot in a couple of drawers beneath the forward berth.

We're getting excited!


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