September 10, 2015

Just One Dance has now been on the hard for about 2 months now and work is progressing…albeit slooowwwlllyyyy. The boatyard juggles work on a number of different boat projects and its always a battle to be the one getting priority, especially when some of the boat are 150 feet long and over. Just hauling boats this size out of the water generates premium dollars for the boatyard. We also realized we made a mistake by emphasizing to our project manager early on that we weren’t planning on leaving until October; with that much time, I think we became pretty much the low boat on the totem pole.

With JOD not even getting hauled out of the water for three weeks we soon reached the end of our one month lease on the small house we rented in old-town Savannah through AirBnb. We checked on extending our stay but were informed it was already rented out. Given the last minute switch in properties (a common issue if you read through AirBnb comments), the odd phone call we got from AirBnb asking if we were still in the unit just four days after we moved in, the fact that the listing for our property (along with 20-odd others listed by the same owner) suddenly disappeared from the AirBnb site and that the owner listed on AirBnb isn’t the actual owner, we really wonder if there wasn’t something hinkey going on between our landlord and the AirBnb folks.

Watermaker 1     Watermaker Pre-Filters, Mounted Under Forward Port Cabin Bunk

We kept being told by our project manager that the boat would be back in the water by “the end of next week”, so we moved into an Extended Stay America hotel on Abercorn Street in midtown Savannah (since they allowed pets). This hotel chain caters to folks working out of town for longer periods of time and is at the lower end of what we’d consider acceptable for the price that they charge. Still, since it would only be for a few days we went ahead and moved in.

Watermaker Pump and Filters

Watermaker Filters and Pump, Mounted Under Forward Port Cabin Bunk

Three weeks later though JOD was still on the hard and we were officially tired of paying $110 per night to be cooped up in a single room at a so-so hotel. Besides, we had been off the boat for two months and we were ready to be living back on board again. So we decided to move back onto the boat  even though she was still on the hard. This is actually quite common and we would have done it as soon as the lease on the house was up if we had known in advance that the work would continue to proceed so slowly.

 Solar Panels 1

750 Watts of Solar Power

To make the boat livable in the sweltering heat of a Savannah summer, we needed to have our air conditioning running. The a/c units (one for each hull and one for the salon) are normally cooled by pumps that route seawater through the heat exchangers. With JOD out of the water, the yard bypassed the pumps and hooked garden hoses directly into the a/c heat exchanger inlets. These hoses were attached to freshwater spigots, allowing fresh water to run through the heat exchangers and then drain the exhaust water back into the bay through another drain hose. The water for these units runs continuously; the boatyard has an agreement with the city to pay a flat fee for water usage, so this arrangement is not cost prohibitive for them.

Solar Panels 2

The Solar Panel Arch Under Construction

They also attached another larger hose to the throughull that is used to dump the toilet holding tanks overboard when you are offshore (when you’re closer than 3 miles offshore, you either get the tanks pumped out at a marina or use the marina bathrooms). This hose was routed into a blackwater tank set up underneath our hull. Power is provided to the boat through our usual shore power connections. With propane to cook with and water in our tanks plus a rolling stairway to enable us to get on and off, we’re back to living full time on our boat!

We have met with the yard management to express our concerns about how slowly the work has been proceeding and have been assured they will have us ready to go when we are scheduled to depart for the Bahamas. Even with all the delays, work on our boat is progressing. The arch for our solar panels has been mounted on the aft end of the boat (though both we and the yard have determined it needs additional support), the engines and saildrives have been serviced, the standing rigging has been inspected and re-installed, the running rigging has been replaced, our generator has been serviced, the bottom has been painted, several throughhulls have been fixed and the watermaker is going in.

Raymarine Chartplotter 1

The New Raymarine Chartplotter Installed in The Helm Station

In the meantime we’ve been working on the boat ourselves, laying out our anchor chain and spray painting 15 foot increments to help us the proper amount of scope for the depth of water that we’re anchoring in, replacing pulleys on our dinghy davits, ordering spare parts to stock onboard and culling out the stuff we haven’t used to move back home.

We’ve also taken some time to enjoy what Savannah has to offer. Friends Gary and Angie have passed through Savannah on Cajun Lady a couple of times and we’ve met them for dinner and drinks on famed River Street. There’s also a dueling piano bar that we closed down one night; Cindy and I both love these sing-along type bars and hit them up wherever we find them.

New Controls

The Solar Power and Watermaker Controls

We’ve found several neat neighborhood places as well, our favorite being Tubby’s Tankhouse here in the quaint Savannah suburb of Thunderbolt. Tubby’s has a beautiful outdoor deck built around a rambling old oak tree and features local musicians on Thursday and Friday nights (but not Saturdays?). The food is ok but the drinks are good and its a great place to sit. Its also very dog friendly and the staff and patrons all love Missy; she loves them right back.

I’ve also been taking mat Pilates classes at Savannah Yoga Barre in the mornings. I did Pilates back home for a couple of years but then fell out of practice. My classmates here in Savannah have almost exclusively been women, something that is both enjoyable and yet makes me feel a bit awkward, a little like I’ve strayed into the ladies locker room by mistake. Betsy, my instructor, has reignited my interest in mat Pliates, especially since it is a body weight workout and my traditional iron pumping isn’t going to fly on the boat. I feel stronger and more flexible than I have in years.

Bimini Top 1

The New Bimini Top Being Installed

On Sunday, August 23rd we headed back to Huntsville for a couple of weeks to visit family, schedule doctors appointments and attend the Anytime Fitness annual conference in Nashville. We had originally planned to leave a week earlier but daughter Stephanie, granddaughter Abby and Cindy’s mom were all sick and running high fevers. Once it was determined that they all had pneumonia and were all still infectious, we stayed in Savannah another week and rescheduled all of our appointments.

Even though the work is proceeding slowly, we’re enjoying life but definitely are looking forward to being back on the water again. Hopefully by the next time I post, we will be underway again!