With "Endurance" hailing from Tasmania before we took over, and the Chesapeake Bay before that, she really was a cold water boat. She does have a nice bronze wood-fired heater in the cabin after all!
(And Geelong isn't exactly renowned for its sunshine either.)
But with our departure date creeping up, (just a few weeks to go now), and lots of hot days ahead, shade in the cockpit is vital. I'd been through all of the exercises for a substantial, heavyweight "arch" across the stern, but ended up with a beautifully custom made, folding "bimini", complete with surfboard racks. We fitted it this week and it's made the cockpit a lot more comfortable. A brilliant job by Neil Hancock at Aussie Boat Covers in Melbourne. So if you want one, call Neil!
Meanwhile, Tony Bowdler had done the rigging inspection once the boat was back in the water, and left me with a little list of tasks to attend to before we go too far, so I've been beavering away at them and managing to cross a couple of items off the list every day. (Errr...and thanks for going up the mast TWICE Tony....I'm still a mast-top virgin.)
I have a couple of annoying problems that I haven't been able to fix yet, both relatively minor maintenance issues related to the engine, but getting the local diesel mechanic onto the boat is like herding cats. I just can't undo the bolts to replace the freezer drive belt, (and even more importantly, the alternator belt when it eventually needs replacing,) and as well as that I have an odd noise from the drive shaft which may or may not have something to do with water lubrication in the seal. But it is in the deepest, darkest recess at the bottom of the hull in a space built for leprechauns and it is definitely sending me nuts.
But that's what boats are for I think!
And while all of this has been going on, Mary has been furiously provisioning the boat with enough food to last six months. Its amazing that she's found places to stash everything, but it all seems to disappear somewhere in the cabin. Who'd ever heard of canned butter, tetra-packed wine or long-life cheese before? Anyway, she's certainly building a comfortable nest.