After spending a great summer and fall in Idaho, we have returned to the warm Florida weather for a few months on the boat. We brought with us the newest member of our family, a beautiful baby girl, named Julia. That makes us a family of 9 living on our boat, plus our family helper/tutor. We have been really fortunate to find a great nanny/tutor willing to travel with us each trip. This year we were able to bring a neighbor and friend, home for a semester from BYUI. She use to babysit for us when she was 12, and now years later she is adventurous enough to travel with us.
Returning to the boat this year was a little difficult for me. I realized that in years past David has always made a trip out to the boat prior to the family returning. During those trips he makes sure the boat gets cleaned and takes care of numerous little projects. This year we all returned together after leaving the boat for 6 months, so there was ALOT of work to do. More than I anticipated.
Oh the mess of the Roaches. Last year when we returned to the boat in St Lucia, in the Caribbean Islands, we found we had picked up roaches, most likely from storing the boat there all summer. We would only see one here and there every few days, so we did not think it was that bad. And from what I'd read and heard, roaches were just a part of Caribbean life. We are clean people, and keep the boat clean. So when we reached Florida and packed up the boat to head home to Idaho, we treated the boat floors with Boric Acid, hoping to get rid of them. A few weeks later the facility where we were leaving the boat called to tell us they had boarded the boat and found roaches, so they suggested we have them bomb the boat. So we did.
Here we are, months later, and the facility told us when they went to put the boat back in the water, there were dead roaches all over, like thousands of them. GROSS! They vacuumed them up for us, knowing we would be returning in the evening and didn't want us to return to the dead roaches everywhere.
I knew we would have to vacuum and make beds when we arrived, so I was prepared for that. And I knew I would need to wash up dishes, but I had no idea that every item and shelf in every room, on the boat would need to be completely cleaned. The roaches had been everywhere. I don't know if they knew we had left and just had a party or what. And I am sad to say, that we are still battling them. Again we see only one or 2 every 4-5 days, but ewww, I just want them to go away! But we just keep putting out poisons and hope we will get them all.
And next came the ants. Being tied to a dock brings more critters. It really makes me look forward to getting out to an anchorage and away from the dock. The ants climb aboard over our dock lines and attack my food. So I have again had to clean out the shelves and spray for ants.
Among our projects was replacing a stair railing that has been suffering from termites for the last few years. We have sprayed the railing over and over, but the termites have prevailed, so we finally took the railing off and had it fumigated. Hopefully those critters are gone.
Its not all about bugs here, we did have a few engine and prop shaft repairs to make as well. And then our unexpected issue is with our fuel tanks. While filling with fuel last week, one of our side tanks unexpectedly overflowed into our main tank, and when that was full, it overflowed into our bilges, and then the pump, pumped it right overboard, on the other side of the boat where no one was watching the several gallons of fuel being dumped into the water. This required environmental agency notification and 3 hours of clean up. And there is probably still fuel in the bilges somewhere, because it still smells. We haven't received the clean up bills yet, but that will be a new cost for us. We are still trying to figure out why the tank overflowed and in trying to move fuel around between the tanks, there is still a problem. But we have enough on board to last a few months, so we'll head out for a few weeks, and then attempt to try moving between the fuel tanks again to see if we can figure out the issue before refueling. The good news is the drop in fuel prices. Loving that fuel is half the price it was last year!
The weather is near perfect. We also picked up a couple of kayaks this year and the kids have had a fabulous time playing on those. For the first 2 weeks we were docked at the storage facility and next door was a park for the kids to play at after school work and chores were done. There was plenty of room for them to ride their scooters around too.
We are now wrapping up our gazillion projects and getting ready to welcome our Idaho neighbors aboard. Hopefully the weather will play along and we can make a quick trip over to the Bahamas for a week.