Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Heading back to California

Blossom on the hard

We returned to Blossom on Monday, a day ahead of schedule, since Erika had become nothing more than a rain storm in our area. We thought we’d only need an hour or two but we ended up working most of the day. Once she was all set, we met with John, the facility manager, completed our work order and drove off. It felt so strange to be leaving Blossom behind!

On Tuesday we drove to Ft. Lauderdale and celebrated the end of our year with our friends CJ & Margie, at Coconuts of course. It was a fitting celebration as we met them back in ’09 in the Bahamas when we were aboard Lucky, when & where the seeds were planted for Blossom…

See you next year Florida!

It doesn’t seem possible that we’ve been away for 19 months. 7 were spent commissioning in Stuart and 12 were living aboard Blossom. We covered over 5000 miles (Martin has a very cool blog entry coming that maps our travel!) It was an amazing year of learning, growing, exploring and adventure. We’ve enjoyed the fabulous company of “old” (not in age ;) friends and made several new friends. It’s a wonderful community on the water and we’re looking forward to reconnecting with people in the months and years to come.  

And now it’s time to head to our land home and reconnect with our friends and family there.  This is our transition to our “6 & 6” schedule. We’ll be splitting our time, about 50/50, between Blossom and California. 

We’ll be giving the blog a rest while we’re in California. I suppose we’ll sneak a blog post in if anything Blossom-related occurs, but we don’t anticipate having much to write about. Our current plan is to splash Blossom on January 4th, 2016.

And so we wish you all a fabulous autumn and we’ll see you next year!

Boat Business:

Here is our “Storage Protocol”. A few comments about our list…
We’re leaving Blossom for 4 months, on the hard, in an extremely hot & humid climate. We don’t have to worry about freezing temperatures so that hasn’t been addressed.

There were several sources for this list. The heart of it was plagiarized from another blog – Windtraveler. They posted their list when they left their sailboat on the hard in the Caribbean. (They’re a family of 5 with three children, including twin toddlers, living aboard their sailboat, a great blog!) I then reorganized a bit, deleted tasks which didn’t apply to Blossom, and added tasks specific to our boat, things we were told by the folks who helped us at the yard, input from various friends, experts, owners, forums and some gleaned from the internet.

I created this “protocol” so that we’d have a record of what we’d done. We plan to be putting Blossom up for 6 months a year, every year, in various locations, so it’s important for us to know what to do and what works. I’m sure we’ll be making changes over the years. Did we do it right? Well, we’ll report back in January and let you know! 

 Storing Blossom 
September-December 2015,
River Forest, LaBelle, FL

  1. General clean: special attention to heads/showers (remove all existing mold/mildew) and galley/lockers
  2. De-clutter all storage compartments and cupboards. Good excuse to “spring clean”
3.      Wash inside of all cupboards/drawers/settees (vinegar wipe)
  1. Prop open all drawers, cubicles and lockers to promote ventilation. We used cozies, rags and towels. Don’t need to be wide open, just enough to let air in.
  2. Raise mattresses up on plastic storage crates (creates some space to put things underneath, just don’t clutter up too much – need air flow)
  3. Turn up all cushions for air flow 
  4. Empty, defrost, clean refrigerators and freezers, leave open 
  5. Remove all food and perishables from pantries, drawers and lockers
  6. Clean and empty water from Keurig
  7. Scrub down all appliances
  8. Store cleaning supplies in bins to contain spillage 
  9. Remove all garbage, clean containers 
  10. Clean and store clothing/sheets/pillows/towels and pillows in vacuum sealed bags 
  11. Close all curtains & blinds, cover PH windows with sun screens & towels…anything to block sun
  12. Close deadlights on guest state room port holes
  13. Close all boat hatch screens in GSR & MSR
  14. Place ant traps and roach motels in ER, galley, showers
  15. Hang Sun Pak packet in basement (any area that no one will be entering – they’re toxic)
  16. Wash Hella fans (vinegar)
  17. Vinegar wipe/wash walls, overheads and floors (used a short handled swiffer with microfiber cloth over it, sprayed with vinegar solution. Very efficient!)
  18. Clean leather chairs with leather wipes
  1. Remove all port hole screens, clean, polish and store
  2. Make sure all electronic are unplugged
  3. Remover batteries from cameras, flashlights, small appliances
25.  Check medical kit for expired items
  1. Check ditch bag for expired items
  2. Final walk through – make sure everything is open/askew/leaning to promote air flow throughout boat
  3. Install fans to promote air flow: salon, GSR, PH, Utility room, ER
  4. Dehumidifier – placed in galley sink to drain overboard, set to 50% humidity (less than 50% can harm wood, more than 60% can promote mold/mildew, or so I’ve read…)

Machinery Spaces
  1. Empty holding tank, flush with fresh water, treat with Zaal
  2. Empty gray tank, treat with enzyme
  3. Empty fresh water tank
  4. Change out Seagull filters
  5. Make sure hot water heater is emptied. *Varied opinions on this. Can leave and drain upon return, empty before leaving or add additive like bleach.
  6. Treat diesel tanks with stabilizer 
  7. Close fuel valve @ tanks
  8. Pickle water-makers 
  9. Drain and clean bilge
  10. Confirm bilge pump is on in “automatic” position and working 
  11. Turn off AC & DC switches according to list
  12. Turn off wing and generator start batteries
  13. Change all racor filters
  14. Change oil, oil filters, fuel filters, all engines
  15. Flush A/C with barnacle buster
  16. Clean all sea strainers and close sea cocks
  17. Clean ER
  18. Clean & tidy basement
48    Check decks for loose items & stow
49    De-clutter and clean exterior lockers
50    Remove all settee cushions, store in boat
51    Clean and mildew treat pilot house window screens (we have suction cups, not snaps, so we put them on the inside of the windows for storage)
52    Put fiberglass mesh inside through hulls - leave open the seacocks for the scupper drains & galley sink (for dehumidifier). Squirt with bug spray for good measure
53    Wash boat lines
54    Wash fenders and store in lazarette, secure large fenders in cockpit
55    Wash boat mats
56    Deep clean barbecue
57     Service/lube bicycles
58     Cover and store kayaks (we were able to store in a building)
59    Tie FB chair covers on
60    Hang anti-mildew packets (Sun Paks) in all outdoor lockers and in (covered) dinghy
61     Put fender in stack exhaust (dry exhaust boat)
62     Put all VHF antennas down
63     Cover all vents with plastic (John suggested using shrink wrap tape) (keeps out bugs and moisture)
64     Put grease (automotive or we were told Vaseline works too) around jack stands and blocks to ward off bugs *We couldn’t do this because they’re relocating Blossom in a couple of weeks
65    Take photos of boat on stands Lock boat (and lazarette)
66    Lock boat and lazarette & leave key with yard manager

67    Remove all loose items
68    Service dinghy outboard (change oil & filter)
69     Turn off battery switch
70    Tape Sun Pak to console
71    Stabilize gas
72    Disconnect fuel tank
73    Run outboard to empty engine of fuel
74    Removed/opened drain plug


75    Email list of approved vendors/persons to the yard 
76     Bring Wheelhouse up-to-date (update maintenance log)
77     Make list of spares/parts needed for next season

Arrangements for time on the hard:
·       Power wash hull
·       Wash & Wax
·       Replace zincs
·       New bottom paint 
·       Monthly boat wash (exterior)
·       Weekly checks – Someone will come in to boat every week to make sure power is on, house batteries are charged, and that dehumidifier & fans are working, no mold/mildew

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