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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

We are off! Off the dock and heading south. I said we would head south until the butter melts. This summer in BC the butter was melting so I understand everyone's confusion. But in the middle of August the smoke from the wildfires cleared and the temperatures dropped. The butter is no longer melting.

Time to head south!

It's August 16 and we are in Sydney BC. The sky is a brilliant blue that is common in BC.

All the 
more brilliant
when set against the evergreen forest and the emerald green sea. Sailed with porpoises and killer whales to get here. Not sure if I really want to leave. This is such a beautiful province.
Beautiful BC! No shit!

But the butter is hard and a weather window is opening. Time to head south. We should clear customs in Friday Harbour tomorrow and then head out Juan de Fuca on the weekend. Excited and scared, as I always am at the start of a new adventure.

We hope to be in San Fransisco by the end of August. We are chasing our friends on Double Deuce. Chase is the appropriate word, since they are 15' longer. We will not see much of them until San Francisco

Jacquie and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary on August 27th. Hope to be in San Francisco  for this, but we may still be at sea, depending on the weather.
Wish us luck. More posts when we reach San Francisco

The refit
Always an exciting and scary adventure when you own a boat, especially if the boat is your home. Doing a refit on a live-aboard boat is like renovating your bathroom while you live in it. Lots of  smells, dust, and carcinogenic chemicals.

Our adventure started on a lovely spring day, anchored in Port Graves. My friends Ron & Karen were aboard for morning café stupid's (coffee and Baileys) when Ron asked a simple question about the rigid vang. The pin looked a little small. That's all it took. A simple question about an innocuous pin kicked us off into a 3 year $50,000 refit.

We started with the hull. Angelique was finished in All Grip paint, as opposed to Gelcoat. Twenty three years later the All Grip was gone and we were looking at raw fiberglass in some locations. Jacquie and I wanted to refinish with All Grip as we liked the durability of the product and it had the colours we wanted. Unfortunately, All Grip can only be applied by a certified professional with a full oxygen breathing system. The paint contains cyanid.
I did a couple of months of research and landed on a product called Alex Seal. It had the colours we wanted and it could be installed by an amiture using roll & tip. We could afford this, so decision made.

It was fall by the time we bought the paint. So I spent the winter upgrading door latches, hatches, adding roller shades to the ports (great but holly shit expensive), painting the interior and demolishing the head liner. Its all a blur but I thing there were some AC/DC wiring jobs as well. I remember we changed the shore power and battery charger.

Spring arrived and we scheduled a month in Lions Gate Marina as they had a shed big enough to hold Angelique. But First, off to Lynnwood Marina to drop the rig at Protech who did an inspection (all good) and some upgrades to the spreaders and the spinnaker crane.

Once we got into the shed at Lions Gate we spent the first 2 days building an enclosure inside the shed to control dust. We needed to keep ours inside and the yards outside. Since it was early May we also needed heat. Alex Seal is an epoxy paint, 2 main parts as well as thinners and accelerators. It will not cure if the temperature is less than 15C (around 60F). So we added electric heaters to the enclosure.

Jacquie and I started sanding, preparing for multiple layers of primer and fillers. I have done lots of cars in my misspent youth and this stage ALWAYS hacked me off. You spend a lot of time and money to add a finish, and then you spend more time taking some of it off. Clean and repeat.
Three coats of primer and we were ready for paint. Our friend Ron (you remember, the guys who I mentioned earlier as starting all of this) was horrified by our first effort of roll and tip. I remember his words exactly. " No, no, no. Stop! This is a shit-show. I'll show you."  We watched and tried a small spot.  "Nope. Your not getting it. Your fired Mike. Jacquie can tip-off and I'll roll on"Half way through the second coat Jacquie was fired as well. While she was doing a great job, she was too slow. As I was not qualified to paint I did what all non-skilled labour does on a site. Go on a beer run.
Ron painted the 2 colours on Angelique's hull. Jacquie and I sanded between coats. The finished paint job looks fantastic. Thanks Ron!

Back to Lynnwood to pick up the rig, and home for a rest. Ha! No rest for the wicked. I built a bubble over our home and started in on the deck. Same sanding process as for the hull, except ALL of the deck gear has to come off. While we were at it we move the primary winches to a better location, rebuilt all of the winches, added new cars and blocks (all roller bearing Gerhauer, very sexy) and changed out the manual windlass for a new electric, complete with wash down. Oh, we also changed out the old boom vang, which was what started this whole shit show in the first place. Somewhere along the way I learned how to roll and tip. I think Jacquie thought me. We both painted our little brains out and had the decks finished for a fall cruise. All the new gear worked great. One last piece.  A new hard top. We had wanted one of these but they are a ton of work, so we never started. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound. We started planning the hard top as a spring project. See our post for the details. What I thought would be a 3 week project took 4 months to complete.

Three years later we are very happy with the results. Would I do it again? Yes, but I would hire professionals and just do what I do best. Go get the beer.