May 18, 2005. Midland, Ontario. No, we have not left the dock yet, but at least we are in the water. So what have we done, and when are we leaving?
The last week of April we were in Midland, staying in JoAnne Bentley’s and Peter Fisher’s home. Pilgrim was in her cradle with the winter shrink-wrap cover off. We had to put a new coat of paint on the bottom, wax the topsides (the area above the waterline), and repair a fuel leak before we launched. The weather (rain and cold) was not cooperative. Jane waxed the topsides in the rain using rented scaffolding rather than a ladder while Brian repaired the fuel leak. One day the temperature rose to 10 degrees Celsius and we painted the hull. On May 2, we launched Pilgrim. It is not natural for a boat to be out of the water, and we felt Pilgrim giving a sigh of relief as she entered the water.
We began living aboard Pilgrim on May 2, despite the chilly weather. It is wonderful being back on our living, breathing home on the water. Our “to-do” list has been dictating our lives rather than Daytimer calendars. What have we accomplished?
§ Install a diesel heater (with frost overnight, this was a priority. At least we do not have pictures of a snow-person on our foredeck)
§ Replace the fuel lines for the diesel engine / 3 fuel tanks and add an “no-spill” gizmo for the main fuel tank
§ Added a new 60 lb. CQR anchor. Our original 45 lb. CQR is now backup and our 6 lb. Danforth anchor (from Brian’s first boat, Puff, 20 feet long) is our “snack hook”
§ Bent on our new 130% Genoa sail and a new mail sail which incorporates the sail bag on the boom that has extended “wings” to contain the main sail when it is lowered
§ Added box springs to our aft cabin bunk. We found a German company that makes “Lego-Style” box springs (in a box) that are fit together to form a box spring that can take on any shape. The aft cabin bunk is now as comfortable as our land-based bed.
§ Investigated several leaks in hatches, chain plates and stations to determine the leak source (this is more difficult than it sounds)
We think we are still on plan to leave Midland the first week of June to cruise in the North Channel. Our major outstanding projects are
§ Replacing the hose for our propane stove
§ Installing solar panels
§ Completing the installation and testing out our wind vane self steering unit
§ Closing down land life for 5 months of cruising