Life on Hawkswood: Take 2

Trip Start Oct 17, 2009
Trip End Nov 15, 2009

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Where I stayed
On board at Croissant's Marina

Flag of United States  , Illinois
Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday morning, it was about 33 degrees F outside when we awoke and by noon as we write this, the temperature has risen to a balmy 39 degrees. Hawkswood was built in 1975 with the Bahamas in mind. She does NOT belong in the Chicago area during the onset of winter, and clearly neither do we.

We've been here since September 29 and plan to launch this Tuesday, November 13th. When we showed up to the marina we had no idea what to expect as Hawkswood has been in storage "on the hard" since September 2008. When we left her, we expected to be back at the end of November but those reading who know us know the direction in which the subsequent storyline leads: the decision to leave a job, a plane crash, surgery and recovery, and a total change in plans due to a nudge in life's priorities.

So here we are, back from the last six months in Ecuador where we now live, work and play yet again and at the onset of a new, very exciting chapter entitled "Adventures (and probably many misadventures) in cruising aboard Hawkswood"

So upon our return almost 2 weeks ago, we were pleasantly surprised and very much relieved to find Hawkswood in good condition after spending a brutal winter and a summer alone in the boatyard.

But that does not mean we don't have much work to do!!! And a whole lot of learning! Diesel engine maintenance, electrical systems, marine plumbing, wood and fiberglass repair work, etc, etc. We've spent countless hours in contortionist positions while working in tight nooks and crannies. And many more hours spent attempting to create some semblance of organization (which unfortunately is neither one of our stronger suits) although it is clear that despite all efforts, entropy always prevails.

So far, we've replaced the battery system with a new deep cycle starter battery and four house batteries which should provide us with sufficient power when we're at anchor. We've replaced the AC input jack and fixed the wiring for our navigation lights. We've learned more about the inner workings of the diesel engine while pumping and filtering diesel from the tank to check for solids accumulation, by replacing a worn raw water impeller and the primary and secondary fuel filters, and cleaning the raw water strainer. We'll be changing the oil once we're loaded into the water since we'll need to run the engine for a while first. We've patched some areas on the hull with marine epoxy where some surface cracks in the gelcoat had occurred. We repainted the boat topsides as well as put antifouling paint below the waterline. We've purchased a 5.5 hp outboard motor (Johnson Sea Horse) for the dinghy, created a system to haul up and lower the dinghy from the stern of the boat. And the list goes on...

Yesterday when we were servicing the seacocks on the thru-hulls (these are valves that open and close holes in the bottom of the boat) we noted an area where one seacock was "weeping" and over time could lead to major problems (like the boat sinking, for instance). So this morning, Tom did some more investigating and decided the only thing to do was to replace the rusted out thru-hull and seacock. Tom is off to the marine store for parts and supplies while Lynn will do some touch-up painting of Hawkswood's navy stripe that presently recounts the learning curve that took place while docking her wide beam into a narrow slip during our first sailing season.

We'll be posting the route via Google Earth that we'll be taking either tonight or tomorrow.

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