Shortly after arriving back in Hampton with Orion
Jr, we started work to restore its teak to sleek and shiny condition. The exterior wood looked pretty well
weathered, but most was undamaged. The only exception was a split in the starboard toe rail, which we discovered in Mayo, when we washed the deck for the first time. Dave had taped it in place for the trip down. Now, we could take the time to repair it.
There were 2 repairs needed. The split pieces needed to be re-attached, and the 2 screw holes forward of the crack needed to be filled so that the screws would once again hold the wood in place on the deck. Dave epoxied the 2 pieces together and then taped them in place. Next he popped out the teak plugs in the screw holes. He put tape below each of the holes and partially filled each with epoxy. Once the epoxy hardened, he was able to screw through the epoxy and secure the toe rail to the deck. Cathy fitted new teak plugs in the screw holes and then sanded the rail in the same way she did all the other wood. Seven coats of varnish later, it seems to once again be fitting to call it “brightwork”.
was needed here as well. The fiddle that originally lined the starboard ledge must have popped off at some point in the past, because it was laying loose in the V-berth when we first boarded the boat. Also about a foot of its aftmost length had a jagged edge where a piece had broken off.
Since this broken edge would not be visible, we focused instead on strengthening the screwholes so that they would once more allow the wood to be screwed into the fiberglass along the back of the settee. Using the same technique he had used for the damaged toerail, Dave filled the holes with epoxy. He was then able to screw the fiddle back in place.
Having invested so much effort in getting the DC wiring right, Dave now turned his attention to the AC wiring (that is shore power). He wanted to install a 3-breaker control panel on the board above the batteries that contained all of the other electrical components. To do this, he needed to mount it on a box that would hold the wires and circuit breakers, which he could then mount on the board. He found a junction box at Lowes that would do the trick. He just had to cut a hole in the cover to allow him to drop in the control panel.
would control the 110 outlets that were to be installed. The 2nd would power the battery charger. The 3rd would control an outlet for a heater or air conditioner. Once the box was wired, we needed to run the wires into the boat and install some AC outlets. After much consideration, we decided to choose 2 locations on either side of the galley, with the wires running up the starboard side behind the settee to the 1st outlet and then forward under the V-berth and back through the head to reach the 2nd outlet.
Dave had been watching the storms in the Atlantic all summer, but when Irene started to move toward the Bahamas, it became increasingly a concern. The “spaghetti” models showing its possible track on BoatUS’ website were starting to trend toward a sweep up the East Coast. That meant we had to get ready. Our first decision was whether to stay put or to go somewhere else. With 2 boats to care for, we quickly decided to stay put. Our neighbors in the marina had been through at least 2 significant storms with large tidal surges (Isabel and Ida) and weathered them without too many incidents. Our biggest concern was how close we were to the sailboat that was docked next to us, since our slips are a little narrow for our beam. We would have to do our best to prevent any possible contact. The surge was going to be the biggest issue. In the past it had risen as much as 8 feet above normal high. That was what we needed to prepare for.
After an exhausting couple of days, we felt we were ready for the storm. We were also helped tremendously by our neighbor's decision to move out of his slip and across the river to the Hampton Public Pier, giving us much more room to move. So, we felt we could leave the boats and let them ride it out on their own. We couldn't spend any more time on them anyway. Because we had a wedding to get to -- in Virginia Beach
The news that Irene was targeting the East Coast on the weekend of August 27th was distressing for us, but it was horrifying news to my son’s fiancé, who was planning on getting married on the beach at Virginia Beach on the same day. Each day created a new problem. The judge cancelled. The wedding guests couldn’t make it. The replacement judge couldn’t make it. The hotel wanted to cancel. Still they kept going. This was the date they had
planned for so long. It was going to happen, come hell or high water, literally.
So, we did what we could for them. Dave created a website to help them communicate with guests the up-to-date status of where the wedding would be. We had already agreed to pick up the cake the day before the wedding. We arranged with Cathy’s sister to get the bride’s parents to Virginia Beach
the day before the wedding. We agreed to watch the boys, whatever the weather for a few days after the wedding. By Friday, when we walked away from the boat, we headed over to Virginia Beach against the much larger tide of traffic heading the other way. It was a nice day. Adam and Christina and the kids were swimming in the ocean and enjoying the beach. But the storm was still coming. By suppertime, they had another shock. The 3rd judge had called, he was going to be delayed by 2 hours. They were at their wits’ end.
Dave was called on to take his place. The photographer didn’t show, so Cathy was asked to take as many pictures as possible for the wedding albums. The hotel thought they would lose power any minute. And just before the ceremony, with the judge not there, Dave was asked to lead the ceremony. (And, in case you’re asking yourself. NO, it’s not legal for a captain to marry somebody.) And outside the winds blew and the rains came.
So, what about the boats in the storm? They did fine. Not a scratch. The marina lost power for 5 days, but with the cooler weather, we enjoyed the week with our grandsons aboard who hardly noticed the lack of A/C, except for the darkness in the bathrooms on shore. We helped out our neighbors on the dock by running our generator to recharge batteries and run bilge pumps.
But we still are keeping a watchful eye on the Atlantic storms: Katia, Lee, Maria . . .