I’M ALIVE! DEAR GOD I’M ALIVE. Oh I’m just kidding, being sick really wasn’t that bad. I have survived my three day ailment which included a couple of days with fever near 102, chills and a lower back ache. We suspect it was a kidney infection possibly from the ocean water here where we swim frequently but really it could have been from anything. Luckily we stored the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin before we left and once it started working the need to see a doctor went away. The good news is I am better, the bad news is Tate took away my bell…so sad.

For the better part of 7 days we have been boat bound with a few minor trips to the shore. I am feeling the effects of Cabin Fever creeping in so I really hope we can get the move on soon to start the next part of our adventure. What to do, what to do? This restless energy got me thinking about all the little projects we have done since leaving 100 days ago today! Most of this we don’t talk about on the blog due to our project burnout but since we get many requests to write about the refit stuff again I figured I’d list what we’ve done so far in the realm of “projects”. This is for all you Tim, the toolman, Talyor folks. Also it’s for the regular folks, you know the ones that can’t make that manly noise, who want to know the day in and day out of cruising thus far on Sundowner.

In the past 100 days of cruising we have:

  1. Sealed the anchor locker doors with thin foam tape. I also filled in a gap above the anchor locker bulkhead and cabin top (a gap leading into the vberth on the ceiling) with old gasket. This will hopefully prevent any water shipping over the deck while underway from entering the anchor locker and then leaking into the vberth. So far the vberth has remained completely dry underway!
  2. Changed the propellor shaft zinc.
  3. Scrubbed the bottom of the boat, propellor, dingy and anchor chain with bristle brushes while in the water.
  4. Cleaned EVERY piece of stainless on the boat with Bar Keepers Friend (excluding the standing rigging). We had a TON of rust on everything. I mean it was bad, real bad. I made a paste with water and let it sit on all the metal for a week…hoping in vain for rain. When no rain came we washed it all off with salt water and then gave it a fresh water rinse before we:
  5. Polished every piece of stainless using the magical Collinite Metal Wax 850 . This stuff is incredible and I really wish I had brought more than one container. A bit over 1/3 polished the entire boat and there hasn’t been rust since. I’ve read you can go 4-6 months between polishings in a salt water environment and there is no need to do another clean with the Barkeepers as this stuff builds up and more effective overtime.
  6. Watered the batteries each month.
  7. Reinforced key fiddles around the boat that were weak with bolts and screws. We kept finding ourselves wanting to grab a hold underway but unable to for fear of breaking the fiddles in half or completely off of the counter top.
  8. Caulked the edge of the bathroom counter top to prevent further rot.
  9. Sprayed and wiped down the entire boat with a tea tree and water mixture each month to keep mold away (this seriously works!)
  10. Removed, cleaned and got mold stains out of the underside of the salon settee cushion cover. Made a plan to turn cushions over to air once a week to prevent this.
  11. Used beeswax on the bilge cover edges to hopefully reduce creaking and squeaking while underway.
  12. Secured the port side fuel tank further using a shim to lessen noise while underway.
  13. Cut and made new screens for the portlights using the old frames. I used butyl tape to simply stick the screen material to the frames. It has worked wonderful for months now.
  14. Tate took apart the dinghy outboard and cleaned the carburetor. We also got ethanol free gas to help with the outboard’s performance. So far so good.
  15. Repaired the caprail area behind the cockpit jib sheet winch where a cleat ripped out using thickened epoxy. Not sure if we will replace this.
  16. Defrosted the Engel.

So you see it’s not all rum and punch in these parts but to write in detail about all of that above seems exhausting. I’m hoping one day we can get back into some of the more technical project posts. Take for example my project today: Stowing the winter clothes. As cute as this sweater is I just can’t rationalize all the room it takes up in the locker, not to mention how poorly it matches my bathing suit.
Dani wearing a sweater and bathing suit in Isla Mujeres
Dani wearing a sweater and bathing suit in Isla Mujeres

We have finally sailed ourselves into a place and season where these clothes aren’t needed anymore. Instead of storing them in trash bags where they are susceptible to saltwater and mold, I store them (and other blankets, etc) in vacuum sealed bags that I bought before we left.
Piles of our winter clothes

These bags require less space for storing and will hopefully protect the clothes until we get somewhere cold again, like New Zealand. With the help of Tate I put these back, WAY back in that deep dark locker…the one that is such a pain to get to but oh so large. Yep that’s where they’ll live until we arrive to the land of sheep. Goodbye fuzzy winter clothes.
Winter clothes in vacuum bags

This Saturday will make 10 days that I’ve been on Cipro and will also be the last dose. The Captain wants to wait 3 days after this to make sure nothing comes back and then we will set off, finally, into the wild blue yonder and down to the Rio Dulce. The Island Legend has played it’s little trick now it’s time for it to let us leave!