Our final couple of weeks were reasonably busy, painting, wiring, and generally tidying up some loose ends. Pat and Cathy, later joined by our grandson Droz spruced up 3 of the classrooms with some badly needed painting and cleaning. Fred and Dave discovered a fried electrical panel that controlled the A/C in another classroom (the one Cathy used for sewing). So that was why the thermostat had an error code. After they replaced the panel, the AC seemed to work fine.
Some less pleasant tasks included some toilet work in building B and some plumbing on the sinks in the same building. Small spaces and awkward access. Fred and Dave spent time getting the building ready for its summer use. After performing some diagnostics on the AC, cleaning the roof unit and replacing some drain hoses, it was determined that it needed a professional service call. The battery charger for Lazarus, the resurrected golf cart, was misbehaving so Fred and Dave dissected it and managed to get it working.
Although Pat and Fred left Easter Sunday, we stayed another 5 days with our grandson visiting during his Spring Break. He helped a lot – painting, some plumbing and even cooking. And most important became an expert driving Lazarus. He was also helping us with some of our chores, which we used as an opportunity for him to raise money for a special event. The truck was cleaned inside and out, along with the front of the RV.
His arrival was anything but smooth. Taking the train from Richmond, we were supposed to meet him in Savannah at 9 pm on Saturday of Easter weekend. We had arranged for the trip to Savannah, because Amtrak required an unaccompanied minor to travel in “daytime” hours which ended at 9:30 pm. However, with a 2 hour drive back to Jacksonville, it would be a late night, but still manageable. With the train arriving in Richmond on time, we felt optimistic it might maintain its schedule. We got periodic updates from Droz about its progress and were feeling good until shortly after leaving Smithfield-Selma in NC. There was an “incident”. Hmmm . . . No more information than that.
When the train was still stopped 45 minutes later, we started investigating. The local stationmaster finally filled us in. The train had struck and killed a person. It would be 2 to 4 hours delayed so the investigation could be completed. Wow!. We relayed the information to our grandson, who handled it OK. But the train didn’t actually arrive in Savannah until 1am Easter Sunday morning. We didn’t lay our heads down until after 3am. Needless to say, we didn’t make the sunrise service.
Some of the issues we had after leaving Orion Jr over the last summer were because we had been negligent in doing the normal preparations for long storage. We took some care to do more of these before leaving this time. We have “temporary” hatch boards made of plywood with vents in them. They keep the elements for taking a toll on the teak boards and provide more ventilation. However, these boards were in terrible shape and needed some work. Cathy sanded them down and Dave used some bondo to repair a broken corner. With several coats of white paint, they looked better and should be up to the long summer.
Down below, Cathy took down and stowed all the curtains with fabric softener sheets. The boat cover would provide the sun protection instead. She also placed a Damp-rid tub to absorb moisture. Although the boat cover reduced the rain on the boat, the cover isn’t waterproof. To guard against bug intrusions, Cathy taped up any holes created by wires going in and out, the anchor hawspipe and the deck washdown thru-hull. That left the 3 thru-hulls for the cockpit drains and the bilge pump. These she covered with fiberglass screen, to allow the water to pass through.
When we had prepared to move the trailer from one location to another earlier in February, we were dismayed to see that our trailer lock had frozen and initially we couldn’t release it. After some lubrication and some “tapping”, we managed to get it off. Although there was some risk in it happening again, we decided to purchase new locks for both the regular and extended tongues. The older straps that secure the boat to the trailer had been replaced with new spares that we had, so Cathy replaced the spares for the next go round. The spare tire cover left one side of the tire exposed to sunlight, somewhat defeating the purpose. So, Cathy put a fabric extension on it to make it more complete protection. And finally, we put boards under all 4 tires to give them some protection as well.
We think Orion Jr is as protected as we can make her for now. And we have some watchful eyes that will tell us if something goes wrong.
Dave had been asking for covers for the bike seats for a while, which Cathy finally took the time to make. It helped being able to check out the ones Pat had made.