Save the Peonies!

flowers 1This is our new rallying cry.  Things get rough: save the peonies!  There’s a sailing tie-in?  Nina is getting close to retiring, and of her colleagues (thank you, Windy!) gave her a beautiful bunch of peonies as a send off.  They were put in a growler mason jar on Gypsy and we headed up to Government Island for the Memorial Day cruise.  We ended up on the outside dock and occasionally things got pretty bouncy.  The peonies made it through the weekend without mishap.

It was lovely to be out for a weekend cruise.  The weather was iffy: it poured one afternoon, right about happy hour, but we did get some sunshine the next day.  We turned the furnace on at one point to warm up and help cut the condensation that was building up in the cabin.  Cooler weather and three adults aboard create a lot of damp air.

Meanwhile, between March and now, an amazing amount of life has been happening.  Gypsy went to the Rocky Point Boatyard to get her bottom painted in March.  Bill has been working on various boat projects.  Nina still has a day job.  We spent much of April and May getting our house ready to sell, looking for and finding a condo to downsize to, and we have temporarily moved aboard Gypsy.

Sling location
Gypsy getting hauled out. It took a couple of trial hoists to get the slings in the correct place. Forward of the keel we need to avoid the transducer for the knot meter. Aft of the keel, the strap needs to avoid the refrigerator keel cooler plate and the prop shaft.

Getting to Rocky Point is about a three hour trip.  We started out and discovered that the autopilot was totally wonky so we hand steered the whole way down and back.  Bill had added a rudder sensor so the autopilot would know where the rudder was.  Because we have a tiller there was some slight confusion about how to set it – tiller direction or rudder direction?  He later figured it out and now it works beautifully.

New tiller, varnished and installed. Bill added the plastic shims under the tiller straps to prevent the straps from wearing out the aluminum tiller cap.


tiller cover
New tiller cover.


template makingAnother of Bill’s projects was replacing the laminate on the chart table.  He made a two layer template out of masonite strips so it would be thick enough and strong enough to be a router guide, and the overlapped corners solved the how to make strong template corners.  He did such a good job the template almost didn’t come out.

template making 2
Weighing down the pattern.
new formica_
New laminate on the chart table epoxied in place. The fit is perfect. All the countertops in Gypsy now match – no more 1970s butcher block Formica.
more like a boat
Gypsy with all her cushions back in place. Nina recut the back cushions so they would fit better. Sailrite how-to videos are really useful, but she discovered that sometimes they don’t explain the obvious. For instance, add 1/2 inch to the overall length of the cushions to help hold them in place. This works well if you have a single cushion. If you have three cushions spanning the length, don’t add that 1/2 inch to each. Trimmed down and the covers resewn, they now fit without bowing out.
bookcase gluing
The last of the big projects. This is the bookcase that the table will hang from. The other piece of cabinetry that Bill has been working on is a small cupboard that will go in the galley to hold thermoses and a small garbage receptacle. We have a couple of more weeks of having access to the garage and tools before the house closes.

We’re now temporarily camped out on Gypsy while we wait for all the house selling and buying to finish up.  Moving involves new routines and new neighbors.  This is a new neighbor that we did not want.

Eurasian Collared dove, an invasive species. A pair of them decided that our radar mount would be an ideal location for a nest. We managed to scare them away. It is pretty amazing how loud they are when they have a mast amplifying their coos. Thank you to Nina’s colleague Tom for telling us what kind of birds they were.
Oh, someday the storage locker will look like this again.

3 thoughts on “Save the Peonies!”

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