It is hard to believe that in a week’s time, Frank & I will have been living on board Stars End 2 for 6 months.
Whilst we certainly didn’t expect to still be cruising so close to home, it has actually proven a worthwhile exercise as it has allowed us to gradually throw off superfluous ‘junk’ we initially lugged on board & also, to work on various repairs & improvements to make life afloat both easier & more enjoyable.
To this end, Frank has installed our TV with a media player so that we can watch all movie formats whilst reclining comfortably in our V-berth ‘bedroom’ at night (we have the option to move the TV into the saloon area if preferred). However, he is considering mounting the TV antenna at the top of the mast as we are fed up with losing the signal when it is low tide & we sink below a certain reception level!
I have re organised the lockers & storage areas several times until I am happy with their layout & accessibility according to frequency of need, size & weight. All those that know me well will be aware of my ‘container’ fetish- I simply love all types of bags, jars & containers in which I can store a variety of products- from the cheapest recycled plastic medicine bottles (great for nuts & bolts & small sewing items),to Tupperware containers of assorted sizes & innovative new ‘beaut’ storage devices for all those incidentals that just call out to be neatly organised!!. When Frank pointed out that one entire locker was taken up with EMPTY containers (in case I MIGHT need them!!), I realised I had to bite the bullet & be strong- I painfully ditched well over half, but I am somewhat proud (OK- smug!!) to say that even Frank has been VERY glad for some of these same containers on a number of occasions!!!.
I have managed to do a lot of maintenance whilst Frank works, so all the wood on the outside of the yacht has been sealed with copious coats of new varnish.
Frank & our son Michael had designed & built a solid dodger and bimini (to replace the worn canvas one) whilst we were still living in our house, made of fibreglass over stainless frames . Then when we first moved on board we had clear covers professionally made to enclose the cockpit area , and this proved invaluable in the cold, windy & sometimes rainy months of winter. Now that we are into our hot summer months I have given myself the challenge of sewing a set of fine mesh U.V screens that deflect the strong sun & the equally relentless mosquitoes.They sit just inside the clear covers, clip down on the outside combing of the cockpit & roll up when not in use, with zips to allow us in & out. Now, depending on the weather, we have the option to have either solid covers or screening or both!
I have used this same mesh to sew snap on covers for all the windows & hatches on the yacht, to maintain a cooler interior. (will post pictures when all complete & installed)
We have just slipped the yacht, in order to anti-foul (repaint) her bottom to prevent barnacles, whilst also tackling a loose rudder bearing that could have proven very nasty if it had become too much worse. (Worse case scenario- we would have been unable to steer the yacht if the rudder had fallen off completely!!). Luckily ‘Fix-it-Frank’ came to the rescue, & with Michael & our friend ‘Skipper’s’ help, they solved the problem by drilling out the bush and putting a stainless sleeve around the rudder stock.
Whilst the yacht was up on the slips for over a week, Frank & I stayed at Michael’s house for the first time since he bought it over 8 years ago! Mind you, that may have something to do with the fact that he has just recently installed a modern kitchen and the living area is no longer home to a family of rats that eat everything in sight. Having said that, Michael has enjoyed the company of a family of possums that have lived in his roof for many years, but I can’t say that we felt overly relaxed being woken up in the middle of the night by frantic scampering, accompanied by wild shrieks & growls as the growing ‘family’ settled their disputes a couple of feet away in the ceiling above our heads. However, it was very special being able to spend quality time with Michael & his beautiful little ‘family’- Kylie & 3 yr old Dante over the weekend when we were not working down at the slipway.
Once Stars End 2 was back in the water, we went into the marina so that I could do a few days work for my ex boss from 2 years ago. Through my girlfriend Lana who had taken over my job, they discovered I was back home, and asked if I had the time to assist Lana with some work overload in Bunnings & Masters stores. I was happy to help out, whilst earning a few dollars too, even though most of it was eaten up in marina costs.
Our tenants also chose to move out of our house after their 6 month lease expired, but we’re relieved that another family is moving in almost immediately, having signed a 12 month lease. However, we have decided to tie up alongside our pontoon, check out the house once the old tenants move out on Nov 7th, and we will be replacing all the carpets in the house. We had re dyed the old carpets which turned out to be a bad move, as the colour didn’t last & the soaking of the carpets resulted in a nasty smell that has lingered in the house putting off potential tenants.
Finally, once we have organised the house transfer, Frank & I can seriously contemplate sailing further afield- like Sydney! Yes, Frank will still be working- & that is because
a) He can!
b) The weather will hopefully oblige us by allowing us to sail further south during the weekends when we have time, &
c) Because his company have just informed him that the Sydney office is shutting down with 40-50 redundancies expected. Frank was told that his job is safe as his work is still making money for the company, but he desperately hopes they will decide that he is no longer required & can be retrenched too!
Then, this will be us leaving the marina, not to return for a long time!! Maybe……..