Everything is closed anyway, so why not work more
Yea, we are still stuck in Bellingham due to lock-downs at both the state and international levels. We could have sailed off, but with all the marinas and parks closed anyway, there was no where to go. That’s okay though, we have been using our isolation time wisely.
First thing I did was to just take a week off of all physical work. My back had been bothering me since January as I kept re-agitating it on one project or another here on Meriwether. My foot started hurting for no good reason, and I messed up my knee climbing the mast doing the radar installation. My body clearly needed a break. I’m not very good at doing nothing at all, but I persevered, and won in the end.
I wasn’t completely useless during my down time. I did take on a few tasks that were not real physical; mainly the disassembly, cleaning, lubing, reassembly, and polishing of all the winches on the boat. Each would take a day of soaking and scrubbing thanks to the mix of hardened grease, sawdust, and old varnish clogging up their working innards. It is good to intimately know each winch for the future, and the inevitable repairs that will come. I enjoy working on old mechanical things, and these were right up my alley.
However, in a clear attempt to ensure I felt as guilty as possible sitting on my ass all day, Kerri was hard at work bringing Meriwether’s cap-rails back to life. Two full weeks it took her to scrape, sand, clean, tape, paint, and stain these huge spans of teak surrounding the boat. It was a ton of work. Work that I was quite happy not to do. I’m really no fan of wood work. Multiple people stopped in to talk with her while she was out there, all with praise and compliments on how the boat is looking. And I agree. Kerri rocked this job and Meriwether has reaped the rewards.
Kerri also took on the project of replacing our V-birth mattress foam. The foam that came with the boat was quite firm for her (didn’t bother me) prompting us to use a mattress topper, which then blocked access to our clothing storage areas. In her research she found that foam and mold are good friends. Kerri really doesn’t like mold unless it is on cheese. So instead of just replacing the old foam with new foam, she went with natural latex foam, which was not only softer, it resists the ever present mold that comes with boat-life. We got to toss that mattress topper too, which means we can access our clean clothing with ease again. Bonus!
With a mostly-rested body I was ready to take on the one task that I have been dreading since we returned to the boat; the removal of the old black tank. This consisted of opening the top of the tank and getting a hose in to pump out the remnants of years and years of human waste at the very bottom. Then removing all the hoses (also full of poo), and cut portions of the tank so I could slowly wiggle it out of the location it has been wedged into for decades. It was not easy at all, and I am surprised that I didn’t hurt my back again during the process. Kerri and I partied that night. We both thought we may have to live with that old stinky tank for the rest of our lives, so when it was evicted for good, we were on top of the world!