Flashback to November and we thought we’d be all settled into Sayulita, Mexico and enjoying warm 80F temperatures and sunny skies by Christmas, but December came and went and we found ourselves ringing in 2017 from Marina Del Rey, CA. Sure, we are itching to get out there, but Violeta is more than a means for getting from point A to B, she’s our home and like any trusty vessel, she requires a lot of tender love and care in order to get her ready for an extended journey like the one we’re about to embark on.
Over the past month we’ve made a lot changes and upgrades, most are necessities, but we splurged for a few luxuries, like our new hot water heater! For weeks I cherished every hot shower I took on land, believing that this sweet luxury would soon become a memory. Ella was so excited about the hot water heater that she decided to pamper Tawnya and I with a foot scrub and massage the night it was installed!
A lot of our work has been dedicated to sanding and varnishing Violeta’s hand and toe rails from bowsprit to stern, 7 layers to be exact, each one requiring us to sand down the varnish before adding another layer, which means waiting a day for the varnish to dry.
Over the last two years Violeta has made several short voyages to Catalina and around the Santa Monica Bay, but she hasn’t been out for more than a few days at a time in quite a while. Some of the repairs we’ve made in order to make our upcoming voyage as seamless as possible include installing a new jib sail, as the previous one was pretty old, and a rolling furler, which means we’ll be able to easily roll the jib sail around the stay and hoist it up as opposed to having to manually hoist it up and god forbid, wrestle it down in the wind. We’ve added a second reef line to the main sail, because after testing it in a storm we quickly discovered that one was not enough, so now if the wind goes above 30 knots (about 30 mph) we can call upon the second reef line to help us out. Violeta’s oil has been changed, and we’ve also made a vital adjustment to our two diesel fuel tanks– as before we were unable to isolate them from one another, a necessity if we ever happen upon bad fuel, a sticky situation that could easily become perilous if the tanks mix and we aren’t able to switch from one to the other.
We also installed a new aft head (back bathroom), because with 4 to 5 people living aboard, having two toilets is going to be a major bonus; and reconstructed the mounts for the galley stove so it has more room to swivel back and forth without crashing into the back wall when the boat is heeling over.
All in all it’s been a lot of work, but thankfully we’ve had several helpers who have lent a hand and sped up the process. Next up is preparing galley!