Not much going on aboard SWALLOW

Many months of slow winter days to catch y’all up on –

November was warmer than during the past couple of years. Didn’t go on a trip as was wet enough to make cruising a damp and chilly experience. December was also warmer than past years – only a couple of days with morning frost – very strange and not normal for the greater Seattle area. There was about the usual amount of rain –

Mid-December Momma Kitty and I moved ashore, as has been our pattern, to be with family and get away from the condensation aboard SWALLOW. Spent the two weeks prior to the move in even more isolation to lower the chance of transmitting COVID. When I called my health provider to ask about testing before the move her answer was, ‘you are already doing better than anyone else I’ve spoken to about social distancing so no reason for a test.’

My beard just after I moved off of SWALLOW in mid-December

The holidays were all done at a distance. Sat apart from family on my sister’s the back porch on Christmas eve. As I wrote above it was warmer than usual. No rain was a bonus.

Me and Dad doing Christmas dinner via Zoom.

As is my pattern for the last multiple years on New Year’s I was in bed hours before the clock struck midnight. The hope is for a more normal 2021 after 2020’s ‘big pause’.

January was stressful for my family. My father was diagnosed with colon cancer so my time was spent assisting him visiting doctors and then pre/post surgery care. So far everything is looking positive and and he will not need chemotherapy.

In mid-January I went to check on SWALLOW. I was shocked that there were a few spots with mold in the cabin: galley drawers, cabinet doors faces, and couple spots on the cabin roof. Nothing huge – just the startings of an ‘outbreak’. I had given her the usual deep cleaning of the bilges, storage lockers, under cushions, etc before departing in mid-December. Spaces where you would expect mold, and when I’m aboard require cleaning every few weeks in late-fall, winter, and early-spring, where clean, dry and fine. It was odd. Maybe it has to do with the near record rain during January 2021?

The main’s sail cover and the cockpit cover are showing some sign of the mid-winter Pacific Northwest mold. I’ll need to give them a good cleaning. Also some mold showing an interest on the roller reefing headsail’s UV strip … that will be harder to clean. Nature is always trying to find a foothold.

Raised SWALLOW’s sails in an attempt to dry them out.

Looking ahead:

  • I’m not sure what I’ll do concerning leaving the marina for 2021. In late January I was approved to receive a COVID vaccination as part of Washington State’s group 1-b. It seems that approval has been retracted. My best guess is I’ll qualify for a shot in late Summer (insert curse words here). I have friends and some family that have already received their shots: all are wealthy and used their connections to jump in line (now insert a long list of full out cursing that will make even a sailor blush).
  • I don’t believe that Canada will open the border in 2021. With the number of bat shit crazy anti-vaxxers having a field day sharing false information and lack of supply to protect those wanting the shot it would be stupid to allow infected Americans into their country. I also expect when the border is opened only those having had the vaccine will be allowed and then there will still be a 10-14 day quarantine.
  • I expect that the number of boaters on Puget Sound and in the San Juan Islands will be greater than 2020. I have no wish to be battling for anchoring space, or for space at a dock in order to dump the potti, get water, do the laundry, have a shower and get food. Sound and San Juan Islands are no fun during a normal season … a over-crowded COVID infected anchorages are not something I wish to experience. The stories I received from those that ventured out in 2020 make me not at all looking forward to 2021.
  • The antifouling paint looks good. Mid-winter with so little sunshine means nothing much wants to grow. This April will be two years on the bottom so if I’m able to go another year it is a ‘bonus’. Maybe when the Sound is overwhelmed with boaters mid-summer I’ll haul out and apply fresh bottom paint?
  • The outboard needs servicing so need to get some help getting it off the transom and to a shop.

Besides living on land with my dad daily activities aren’t that different for me and Momma Kitty. We get up about the same time as when on SWALLOW. Eat at the same times. Go to bed at the same time. I read lots of books and magazines. I watch more YouTube and watch TV shows and movies on the Kindle (more on this later). I find large amount of space in the apartment shocking.

Momma Kitty helps me type this BLOG

So that is the update. A checkup visit to SWALLOW is on the schedule.

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