Although we have made some progress with our own list of tasks, waiting for the yard to epoxy the bottom of the keel enabled us to slow down, as we couldn’t paint the hull until it was done. We also had a treat to look forward to as Bill and Lydia had kindly invited us to join them for a taste of American football, first staying at their Richmond home before driving to Charlottesville the following day for the University of Virginia game.
Their apartment overlooks Monument Avenue in Richmond with statues of General Lee, Stuart, Arthur Ashe and Maury, amongst others. Maury is known as the Pathfinder Of The Seas and in 1847 he published charts of the currents and winds, assisting sailors to cross oceans more efficiently. We owe him a lot.
Unfortunately, another rally had been organised, similar to that in Charlottesville and the police weren’t taking any chances on this one causing trouble so they were busy cordoning off the road and turned up early on Saturday morning complete with cable ties and guns. Although everything else was banned, carrying guns is a national right and people did turn up with their guns and permits, as you do!
On Friday Lydia drove us around town, taking in the stunning homes and the view of the river. Richmond was named after Richmond On Thames in England, due to the stretch of the river looking so similar. As usual I was keen to visit the graveyard and Hollywood Cemetery didn’t disappoint. It is huge and beautifully kept with acres of historic graves. A map from the office helped us find a few of note, including former Presidents Monroe and Tyler, Confederate President Davis, the oldest grave which is of an infant and the dog statue, erected for a child. I found an obelisk with Japanese writing and a pyramid for the confederate soldiers. Many confederate flags flutter by the graves. History to me is just that, past. Right or wrong, it can’t be changed now and whatever we all think today is based on a different time and different values, although the victor does tend to write the history books. The setting, by the river, is lovely and the cemetery is well worth a visit, if you like that sort of thing!
There are museums galore in Richmond but we only had a short visit this time and were off by 0900 to Charlottesville for the game. All 4 of us were kitted out in bright orange and so were all the other UVA/Hoos/Cavaliers supporters. Lydia and Bill had packed a delicious picnic for the parking lot before the game and we arrived in good time to join all the other orange people! Countless yellow buses dropped off the band and we found our seats for the noon kick off. This is a college team, so the stadium wasn’t full but we could see plenty of orange and virtually no fans of the Connecticut side.
It was a really fun afternoon and much more entertaining than I expected. A show in all respects, with the team mascot, a great marching band, cheerleaders and the ‘cavalier’ on a horse, galloping around the stadium. Between the halves they introduced a whole line of achieving sportsmen and women, a nice way to recognise them. We had checked out the rules beforehand luckily, as it would have been hard to follow otherwise. It seems to be more similar to British rugby than anything else. Our team got a huge lead eventually but then allowed the substitutes a go, for the experience I guess, so they gave a few points away at the end but we still won.
Getting back to the boat signalled time to work again and we had some major tasks ahead. The rubbing strakes and toerails were clean but needed 2 coats of teak sealer. The boat is so high up we can’t reach the top from the scaffolding, so had to stand on a step too. The difference between the finished teak and the deck is very obvious in the photo. but the deck is next. Tuesday was Rob’s birthday but we got the edges of Hurricane Jose, bringing us wind and rain and decided on Monday to delay his BBQ and just do some work instead. We only managed to get a few feet of the topsides cleaned of salt when the epoxy man arrived and we had to stop to let him work. I got the puff pastry out of the freezer and made Rob his favourite treat, after Toblerone, mince pies.
Yesterday we took the day off to get food and prepare for the BBQ. Bob and Lin made a big effort of getting to Deltaville for it, despite Jose lingering just off the coast and Phil and Monica are joining us along with friends from the yard here. It was lovely to sit in the shade and spend the afternoon enjoying catching up and the yard kindly refilled both gas bottles so I could use both BBQs. There was quite a lot to cook for 10 people but it was casual and relaxed and Rob had a good time. As I drove Phil and Monica back I noted the temperature on the board outside the bank read 93 degrees and it was 5pm by then. Definitely still warm here.
I had to put the photo. of the ‘tree insect’ in as it sat on our bright blue cushion all day, hardly camouflaged!
Today we are finishing the topsides, even if it takes all day. By tonight the final side will be polished to a mirror like finish with UV protection polish. Talking of which, our new mirrors are now fitted and look great. Using cheese wire to detach them from the heads cupboards makes it an easy job. Little things make the boat look much fresher and mirrors get that brown edge really quickly. This is the second time we’ve replaced them but I varnished the edges this time, hoping they’ll last longer. I am washing the deck off but we will plug up the deck drains to prevent the dirty water streaking down the newly polished topsides. We are angled well down in the stern, so much so that it feels like we are walking uphill inside the boat but it means the water will run off the stern quickly. Later in the day I want to mask up the hull for a coat of antifouling and then the outside will be pretty much done, apart from polishing the rest of the stainless steel and cleaning, brightening and sealing the deck teak. We haven’t treated the teak in a few years as it was easier to leave the teak grey but she’s getting a lot of TLC now and looks lovely again. Too good to sell!
Tomorrow afternoon we are playing dominoes again, hooray, on Bob and Lin’s boat and dining with them onboard. It will be good to be afloat again.