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Be careful what you wish for!

From Winter Wonderland... to Wishing for Spring... and back again.

by Daria Blackwell

What a strange winter season it has been in the Northeast. Although we didn't have much snow, the dramatic swings in temperature drove us crazy. We had 65 degrees in January followed by subzero in February, then back up to 60s, back down to 20s, back up to 50s and now it's April and we're still on that seesaw. The trouble is, we're launching in about a week and there are a myriad of projects to be done. So what else is new?

This year we did something we haven’t done in a while.  We chartered a boat, in a warmer location of course.  We left New Jersey in the midst of a brutal winter storm on Saint Patrick’s Day (earlier in the week the temps had hit 70) and arrived in Florida after intrepid machinations to reschedule flights, cars, and everything else. We were instantly exhiliarated by the most gorgeous weather one could ask for in wonderland... sunny, breezy, and mild. (See feature destination this month.)  The water was a Gulf Coast aqua and we dove in, quickly leaving behind all vestiges of frozen tundra and the guilt of undone projects. 

Funny, to absolve the guilt of having fun when we should have been slaving away on Aleria, our “labor of love,” I had actually wished for bad weather to descend on the NE while we were away basking in the SW.   Alex warned me to be careful about what I wished for, and he was right. I got it in spades - before we left - along with massive delays and lots of stories.

The trip was tons of fun but the projects back home did not just go away.  We had started on some of the work weeks before.  I wet sanded all the teak and prepped for the fresh top coats of varnish.  Alex worked on the engine and seals and all manner of greasy things.  But the weather just did not let us get a real effort underway.

We tackled the projects upon our return with renewed vigor, fortified with the very recent memories of what it means to be underway feeling the wind in our hair and the sun on our cheeks, free of all constraints.   Alex faired and painted the bottom.  I varnished the teak and painted cabinets below decks.  Unfortunately we had only one day to do the work and that day was chillier than we would have liked and threatening rain all the while, so we proceeded with great trepidation but made it before the first sprinkles arrived. 

I now find myself wishing for Spring - actually trying to will it - and the weather gods are just not cooperating. Why did they send the bad weather when I asked but turn their backs on me now? This year’s early onset of daylight saving time should have been of great use to us as we worked into the wee hours to finish off that last coat of paint, but time doesn't help much without the cooperation of the weather. Oh well. C'est la vie.

At least the bottom is done and she’s ready to drop into the water.  That’s always our first priority. We do not compromise our time on the water for any chores to be done, which somehow always multiply, occasionally exponentially.  Anything that can be done underway is left until last.  There are plenty of additional jobs, like installing a new Electro-Scan, VHF radio and remote, more varnish, more paint, more gaskets, more cleaning, more everything.  But thankfully for us, first and foremost will be more sailing.  Yahoo! 

Sailing in the Northeast is just around the corner, so get cracking. To help you out, we've linked in our CB Spring Prep Checklist. Anticipating that sound of sanders and buffers has me psyched already.

So Happy Spring to all!  The countdown to seeing you on the water has begin!


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