Our Boat

Caloosa Spirit

Catalina 42 mkII

Log #55 Greetings From Virginia

It’s been a full three months since we’ve been on the water. We never intended to spend that long in Indiana, but the clean-up and fix-up project on our Catalina 25 up there took on a life of its own. As we’ve aged we’ve been slow to recognize our limitations. Boat cleaning and polishing in 90-degree heat coupled with a camper life-style through much of the month-long project was a tad more than we bargained for. But finally we got the boat situated in a storage facility in Indianapolis, so the 1½-hour drive to Bloomington is now history. We’re still hoping to sell the boat in the not-too-distant future.

We actually made a trip back to Virginia with our van in mid-September in order to get Caloosa Spirit cleaned and polished. We returned to Indy for another week to attend to Mom through her cataract surgery. She came through just fine, her only problem being that she now needs new glasses because her vision is so much better!

So on 10/3 we again rented a car to make the two-day drive to Deltaville, VA, for the last time. When we arrived we found that the bottom-painting and strut-epoxying was not yet finished. Completing the job delayed us only one day, however, and we put the time to good use. Jim painted the dinghy bottom, while I did some more cleaning and polishing. Caloosa Spirit hasn’t looked so spiffy in some time, and there’s more cleaning and polishing yet to be done.

Tonight we must re-acquaint ourselves with life on the water. The motion that was so glaringly absent when Caloosa Spirit was first hauled is once more noticeable, as in the days when we first moved aboard. The launch went smoothly this afternoon, and we’re now in a slip at Deltaville Marina adjacent to the boatyard. After living on the hard for a total of thirteen nights, we’re relieved to finally get back to normal.

CS into water
Caloosa Spirit’s freshly painted keel hits the water

Apparently eastern Virginia has had a drought this summer. Not so you’d notice now, thanks to Tropical Storm Tammy. Two days of rain have surely alleviated whatever arid conditions had the local populace concerned. We’ll certainly welcome the opportunity to dry out again. But at least the sprinkles and downpours waited for us to get back in the water. Being up in the boatyard under such circumstances would have been maddening. We’d have gotten behind on the hull work, and that ¼-mile walk to the bathroom in the rain—ugh!! Our heads were unusable out of the water.

Speaking of heads, some of you may remember my view of cruising. Well, since launching two days ago the boat floats, the engine runs, but the heads? Today Jim reconditioned one of the them, but the other still needs work. Even with the rain, it’s another day in paradise.

Well, the head doesn’t need any more work—not the broken one, anyway. It refused to be fixed, so a replacement was necessary. Fortunately, the local BoatUS store had one in stock, so we biked into town to pick it up, along with a few groceries. The marina supplies bikes that have baskets on the handlebars and back wheels, so we opted for those rather than our own, despite the inferior quality. The baskets were fully adequate for the groceries, but the 2’x3’ toilet box was another story. Jim was either going to strap it across the baskets, or tow it on a luggage cart. Either scenario looked grim. But as we were checking out, some fellow boaters recognized us from the boatyard and offered to take the head in the courtesy van that they had driven. What a gift! Our pastor gave a sermon a couple of months ago on how God provides a way when there is no way. Bingo!

The new head will look lovely when it’s finally installed. It should have been a rather simple procedure, but a broken bolt fouled the process. Completion will have to wait until tomorrow.

The brand-new toilet and spanking-new “designer” (read $$$) shower curtain have spruced up our forward head. And the best news is that now both heads are working optimally. Aah, paradise.

Forward head
Our spruced up forward head

And the rain continues. We’re trying to work through the list of things we must finish before leaving the marina, but the weather is not cooperating. We must still get the wind generator blades put back up, service the outboard, acquire spare engine parts, replace the anchor shackles, and do laundry before we leave on Thursday. We expect then to spend a few more days in the anchorage waiting for the weather to clear. So welcome back to another cruising season on board Caloosa Spirit.

Fair winds and a faithful wake until next time,
Alice & Jim Rutherford
s/v Caloosa Spirit

P. S. Don’t forget to look up Alice’s book, Reaching a Far Horizon, at www.lulu.com!

P. P. S. Incidentally, you may have noticed that our website now has a new page called “Sunset or Seaweed?”, which describes some of our pleasant and not-so-pleasant experiences in cruising. The page can be accessed with the button marked “S. or S.?” on the home page. It will be updated on a regular basis, so you might want to check it out frequently.

Posted Tuesday October 11, 2005

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