|Hauling out Oceanus was only one of a list of accomplishments in 2014.|
Sold our house
|Our house was a very very very fine house. We don't miss it.|
Even though we loved our 1400-square-foot house, it was clearly too big. "The only thing I miss is my bathtub and washer and dryer," Virginia said.
Getting rid of our stuffWe are not hoarders by anyone's definition. But still we accumulated a small mountain of stuff. Paring it down to what fits in our Columbia 43 was just plain hard work. We sold tools, wood and excess boat stuff on Craig's List and on Ebay. Our kids rented a large truck and hauled away tables, chairs, beds, pots and pans.
With each trip to the dump or truckload of donations to the thrift store we felt lighter and more free. In the months since we haven't missed any of it.
|Sanding down to the original gelcoat.|
- sandblasted the bottom and the keel taking off about six layers of old bottom paint;
- sanded, faired with epoxy the keel and bottom;
- painted three coats of epoxy barrier coats on the bottom and keel;
- painted two coats of Trinidad hard bottom paint;
- removed four through hulls and repaired the hull with epoxy and lots of fiberglass;
- installed three new through hulls;
- replaced two old through hulls;
- unstepped the mast and rewired it as well as taking apart all the rigging and inspecting it;
- removed an old transducer and replaced with a new one;
- removed rust and painted the mast step;
- made rigging improvements to the mast;
- sealed deck with epoxy around mast partners;
- removed and replaced the cutlass bearing;
- more than doubled the capacity of the cockpit drains
- and the most noticeable improvement -- we spent days and days sanding fairing and sanding some more before having the topsides professionally painted with the AwlCraft 2000.
Toward the end of the haulout it was tough to haul our tired selves out of bed. "This is like the movie Groundhog Day," Virginia complained, "the same hell every day. Sanding and fairing and sanding some more."
It was dangerous too. Oceanus's deck was 12 feet off the ground and we made dozens of trips up and down the ladder each day. We also worked on scaffolding and with power tools. To make things even more scary we had no health insurance because we both ...
Quit our jobsIt was hard leaving a job I enjoyed and which provided a regular paycheck. It felt like stepping off into the abyss. I miss many things about the job, especially seeing my many friends.
Virginia resigned as a full-time nurse, but still works per-diem at the hospital, picking up about three 12-hour shifts a month. She is something of a minor celebrity when she returns. Her co-workers introduce her to patients as the nurse who lives on a sailboat and is about to sail away.
Oceanus leaves the dock under her own power
|Oceanus heads down the river after her haulout. For 12 years she didn't leave her slip.|
One of the things Jason, the owner we bought her from, did was rebuild her Perkins 4-108. But several engine issues remained when we bought her, including a leaking raw water pump and a prop that was the wrong size. Jason helped me replace the water pump and, after two trips to Astoria and three attempts by a professional diver, we installed the proper propeller.
|I sold my beloved faering in 2014.|
I loved that boat and poured three years of hard work and the finest wood I could find into building her. She was and is a head turner and won the People's Choice Award at the 2011 Toledo Wooden Boat Show. So selling her was a big deal to me. Luckily I found great new owners for her in Paul and Maryann. It helps that they are good friends and love the boat almost as much as me.
Finishing the head
|Virginia gives a final coat of paint to the head.|
Bimini and two enclosures
|Virginia used the first enclosure, made from Sunbrella View, as a pattern for one made from clear vinyl.|
During the haulout (while the boat was in the paint tent and out of the wind) she patterned an enclosure. Once the boat was back in the slip, she sewed a warm-weather enclosure out of Sunbrella View fabric. Then she used that as a final pattern to sew an enclosure with clear vinyl windows for rainy, cold Northwest winters. Since we moved aboard, we are thankful for it every day for the enclosure.
|Varnished teak on the saloon sole gives way to paint with non-skid beads in the rest of the boat.|
Painted deck and non-skid
|Virginia primes the deck for the first coat of non-skid.|
Virginia spent countless hours on her knees using Citrus Strip and a wire brush to prep the decks for painting. Then she did most the painting herself. I only helped with the tipping of the polyurethane paint in the water channels that border the non-skid sections.
|Oceanus never had curtains until Virginia sewed them using Sunbrella and a track from Sailrite.|
Oceanus received notice in the media being featured in Three Sheets Northwest and named an honorary Columbia 50.
Adjusting our plansAs the haulout stretched into late October it became painfully clear to us that we were not going to sail south in 2014. The weather window slammed shut just days after we relaunched the boat. We also have several projects that need finishing before Oceanus is ready for blue water.
While we really wanted to celebrate last Christmas in the Sea of Cortez, moving our departure date forward has its advantages. One is that we will be around when our eighth grandchild is born in early May.
Another is the relief we felt when the deadline pressure was off. We now will have time to sail north and do our shakedown cruise in the familiar waters of San Juan Islands and Puget Sound. We will then sail south and take our time exploring the Channel Islands and other places in California before going to Mexico in the late fall.