Tuesday February 19, 2013
The inside of Serendipity is finally being put back together.When I first got back from Arizona (hard to believe it’s been almost three weeks already), there was literally only one place to sit on the whole boat, and Matt had occupied it for himself. Since there were so many projects being done in so many areas, we needed access to all those parts which meant whatever had been stored there previously was now laying all over the interior of the boat. When the steps had to come off for the engine to be removed, they were nestled into the floor space under the nav station. For easy access to the engine bay in the aft cabin, most of basic storage that we keep in there was moved into the head or placed on the floor of the salon. While working on the tabbing/fiberglassing under the port settees, all of our food storage was moved up into the v-berth. And since the two settees had now become our sleeping quarters while the v-berth was packed, all of the cushion backs were now stored up there as well to allow for a few extra inches of space while sleeping or lounging. In short, of our 34′ boat, only the galley and settees have been usable living space for the past three weeks (four for Matt). That can make a small boat even smaller very quickly.
So for the past few days we’ve been working very hard to get everything back to it’s organized place as best we can. Until the engine is in we still can’t put the steps back (I guess we could, it’s just that constantly adding and removing them becomes a pain in the ass), but we could start to do something about the rest of the junk strewn around. Even though the aft cabin will most likely have to be completely re-emptied and organized once the engine is back in and squared away, we started to put back as many things as possible just to get them out of the way of our everyday living space. The tool bag, vacuumn cleaner, and random spare parts were all placed back in the aft cabin where they were out of sight and out of mind. The next huge thing for me was getting all of our food back to where it needed to be. Not that I don’t love admiring our bottles of wine while they sit on top of my bed, but I would like to get back to that bed as soon as possible. We had done a good job of a lot of the food over the past few days, all the things that are stored near the v-berth bulkhead, but the remaining canned goods that sit back near the bilge and galley could not be nestled back into place until Matt had re-worked all the hoses in that area to get them where they needed to be after fiberglassing the area.
For the next hour I bent over with half of my body dropping into the area where our waste basket normally goes (a full tall kitchen size, I LOVE it), yanking, pulling, and holding hoses in place while Matt arranged, clipped and clamped them. There were a few frustrating moments where our bilge hose had become so stiff that we could barely work or bend it, and Matt had sweat dripping down his back while trying to manipulate it to where it needed to be. Finally between a little luck or teamwork, all hoses were back in place and now our cans could be as well. Is it sad when one of the highlights of your week is that you don’t have to step over 12 cans of tomato paste anymore? Either way, I was so happy to have the rest of the food out of the way and an open floor space to walk upon again. Still on a high from that little victory I even went to work I went on to tackle the job of cleaning up the v-berth and making it into a suitable sleeping space again. All cushions went back to the settees, blankets and sleeping bags were rolled up and put away, and I even brought down our memory foam, which has now taken about 10 days to fully dry out after washing it, and placed it on top of the cushions and covered it with a set of fresh sheets.
Satisfied with the work done that day, I finished just in time for Yu to pick me up for a run to the grocery store. For the past six weeks her and I have been talking about having an oyster night on their boat before Matt and I left. Just up the road from both of our marinas, all the shrimping and fishing boats come in and we’ve heard that you can buy oysters fresh off the boat for a fraction of the price. Since her and I are always trying to go to Scarlet’s on Wednesdays to take advantage of their $0.50 oysters, we thought of how nice it would be to sit on the deck of their boat on a sunny afternoon and shuck our own raw oysters while sipping on some beer or wine. We could be leaving any day now (fingers crossed), and so we had to put this plan into action before it was too late. But Matt being his ‘non-fish/seafood’ person, said he’d only go if we cooked up burgers for him so he didn’t have to eat oysters. That was fine by me, as long as I got my oysters.
When Yu picked me up she said that Frank had already gone up the road to pick up the oysters, and since we wanted to eat them while they were as fresh as possible and not have to put them on ice, we’d eat as soon as we got back from picking up burger supplies for Matt and Frank, and lots of wine for us girls. She also mentioned that the only size they were able to purchase the oysters in was one bushel, and a bushel….had 150 oysters!! It was $40 for that, which, price per oyster isn’t bad, but we were happy that Zack and Alex were still around to help us eat everything. Yu figured out that between the 4 people planning on eating oysters that night, we’d still get about 35 per person. Remembering that I made a whole meal out of them back in St. Mary’s, I had no worries that my 35 would be more that enough to fill me. We picked up some Rose and Sauvignon Blanc to drink, a few burger patties and buns, and went back to Moitessier where Matt had walked over to meet us, to begin the feasting. Thinking that the burger patties would just go straight on the grill, as I would normally do it, Yu prepared them with bacon, fresh basil, fennel seeds, and a bunch of other things that I would never think to put together, but honestly made one of the best burgers I’ve ever tasted. I don’t know how I never got the skill to randomly put together amazing meals like all of my cruising friends do. Is it something that’s inherited?
Taking our food outside and to ground level, we all got our burgers down in record time, and started Frank on shucking the oysters. There was only one shucking knife, and even though I had brought one of our straight screwdrivers hoping it would do the job, it unfortunately did not even come close. So Frank would shuck, and one by one, set each new open oyster on the table we made that was filled with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce, and the oysters would be picked up and eaten as soon as they hit the table. At the rate we were able to eat them, usually one every 5-10 minutes for each round of people, it was a good thing we also had the burgers to keep us from going to hungry or getting too drunk on the wine. We were having a great time enjoying the warm weather outside, eating the freshest oysters one could get, and sipping on glasses of wine. I’m hoping it’s not the last time we see Frank and Yu before we get going, but what a way to go out it would be.
It was only a few moments after this that Matt reminded me that we had brought laundry with us to do (the only other place is three miles away on Anastasia Island), and so I trudged the bag to their laundry facilities to get a load going. After it was started I went back to the group where everyone was spread out on the ground below, all full from our food and just enjoying the company. By the time I had to go back to unload from the dryer and fold the clothing, it had gotten cool enough though that everyone had moved indoors. Since I had been gone from the action for so long, ‘perfectly’ folding our clothing to fit back in our bag, Yu was sweet enough to check on me and even bring me a coffee mug of Rose`. I had been getting tired enough again to be ready to fall asleep, but once on the boat I pounded the can of Monster I had bought at the grocery store and was able to get a little bit of a second wind. We turned the salon into a dance floor and posed for photos with silly sunglasses. A good portion of time was also spent trying to name my intoxicated alter-ego, and after the culmination of what has been weeks of deliberation, Yu finally decided on Cabernet. I guess I’m a little bit trashy, and a little bit pimp ‘n ho.
It didn’t take long for my second wind to die out though, and once again, before midnight was even upon us, both Matt and I were ready for bed. I’d really like to think it’s because we’d been going since five o’clock in the afternoon and not because we’re coming down with mono or something worse. Cause even if I’m half asleep when this boat launches, heaven help me, I will be going somewhere. I love you St. Augustine, but I am ready to get out.