Tuesday, August 31

We're still alive

I know, it’s been far too long since the last blog entry. Blame it all on me. Tom wrote the last two entries so it’s definitely my turn. My only excuse is that between field work and boat work, things have been pretty hectic. However, if there’s one thing ferry lines are good for, it’s free time. So here I am, waiting in line for the ferry back to San Juan Island, typing away. Gotta love laptops!

We’ve been working pretty hard on the boat these past few weeks, and when I say “we” I really mean Tom. I come down on the weekends and do what I can, but he’s the one who’s put in the majority of the effort, since he’s the one who’s living on the boat full-time right now (I finish field season and officially move in at the end of September).

Currently, his big job is to install new portholes. A hell of a task that involves lots of hammering and chiseling and sawing and swearing. I try to steer clear of whatever area he’s working on, especially if I hear “Oh, crap.” Not because he’ll take his frustration out on me, but because if he makes a mistake while he’s using a power tool on the wooden hull – well, I just don’t want to know.

Tom, showing the boat who's boss. Posted by Hello

Regardless, he has managed to make a portlight go from this:

Before Posted by Hello

To this:

After Posted by Hello

Obviously, he's doing a fantastic job.

While Tom works away at the portholes, my fun job is cleaning the blinds. Yes, it sounds like nothing: just wipe the blinds clean with a little all-purpose cleaner. Oh, if only it were that easy (I feel like I’ve said that about a lot of things on this boat!).
The blinds are so disgustingly filthy that cleaning them involves scrubbing each individual slat. If I ever needed a reason to dust blinds weekly, this is it. After sitting for years without being cleaned, it’s as if the dirt and grime were glued on. The good thing about the filth is that you can actually see where you have cleaned.

Dirty blinds (note clean section in top right) Posted by Hello

And Dad, take a seat before you read on. At your request, here is another picture of me voluntarily doing chores:

Each slat needs to be scrubbed. Posted by Hello

Along with the blinds, I’ve been giving the rest of the boat a thorough cleaning. We’ve also done a fair amount of re-decorating. Here’s the clean, updated salon (Meredith, note the red couch):

Shiny happy salon! Posted by Hello

So, the boat is coming along! Of course, we’ll never actually be “done,” but we’re certainly getting close to finishing all the major stuff. For this year. I think.


Friday, August 6

I'm thinking of changing the name of the boat...

Although I haven't consulted Jessi yet, I'm thinking I may re-name it, "Big Gigantic Pain in the Ass." The name just seems to ring true somehow.


I am going to be unreasonably grumpy in this post because I am tired and have been working non-stop on the boat. I get up every morning and work on the boat before work, and come home every day to work on the boat. So let the bitching roll...

I love boat people. I really do. Especially because I'm now one of them. But... picture this. I'm lying on an 18" ledge, 5ft above the water trying to put painters tape on a window 8" off the deck, 4" from my face. I have a cleat in my back, and the shore power cable wrapped around my leg. This situation makes a 30min job take an hour and a half.

Here's where I was lying to tape. Posted by Hello

While I was taping, some other boat owner comes walking by and chimes, "Boy that's some project." OR "Looks like you gotta lot of wood to paint there." OR "I sure don't envy you!" Thanks. You know, that doesn't help. Especially if you then launch into a story about how you just hired this guy to do all this stuff on your boat, and it's really coming out great, and you're glad about how you can go do other things while your boat keeps looking better every day, and how fiberglass is the greatest invention... Enough. I am already painfully aware of how much work I have on the boat, and how I can't hire someone else to do it for me. Especially since Jessi put the "Hard Labor Schedule of Things Still Not Yet Done" (HLSTNYD for you Navy folk) into Excel format for me. (Which actually has been a godsend - it helps keep me going - I love crossing things off that schedule. But I'm complaining now, so all's fair.) I see that schedule every day and every night, and it helps remind me that I'm not close to being done. And, when I'm hanging off the boat, chest deep in not being close to done, it's not the right time to enter a discussion about the amount of work still to go.

So please, if you are walking by and I'm in the middle of scrubbing or some such thing, try, "Wow, almost done!" OR "That's some progress." OR "looks like a different boat now, nice work." OR "Who'd you hire to get such great results?" OR "Can I get you a beer?" Because I think I've chuckled my last polite chuckle and said, "Yeah, but it'll be worth it," One too many times already.


Much better.

Now some truth. As frustrating as it can be at times, I'm really enjoying the work. I don't think I've worked this hard for something in quite some time. It's really very satisfying to put in a lot of hours and really be happy with the results. It's amazing, I'm actually beginning to see change (Sea Change, get it? Thanks to Jessi's Dad and Stepmom for that one.) I'm happy to say that so far, the effort and work is all worth it. And I haven't even really used it as a boat yet! Speaking of effort and work, time's a ticking. Gotta go paint.

The blue tape has moved from the pilothouse to the salon. Progress! Posted by Hello

- Tom