2013 found us taking our surveyor John Heath advice of have the hull (plus above the wind waterline) blasted back to the original steel and introduce a reputable modern two pack underseal / anitfoul. John suggested a Jotun product Jotamastic87
While our stay was somewhat extended any such major works require time and competency of yard crew as well as double checking/sign off by the surveyor. We did however use the additional time undercover to paint the topsides along with attacking a number of other “niggles” that can only able to be completed either out of the water or out of the weather. For instance a new depth sounder transducer found its proper home at last!
The return sailing to our mooring at The Embankment Marina became a rather hurried affair fighting the incoming flood on the Medway River to make capital on the Thames River. As it happens a nicely cleaned and painted bottom makes for a speedy passage (That does not really sound right does it!). Such an advantage we used in our favour for access to the marina is via lock gates hence a restricted finite window of tidal access. The marina management supported us by keeping the gates open overtime so we just squeaked in before it was too late.
The following month out of the blue a phone call from a concerned sibling in New Zealand turned our life upside down. As it happened this was literally, well downunder to be precise. Bruce is the eldest son and has POA for both parents. His Mum had advancing dementia of which was now at a level she would require 24/7 care. His Dad needed assistance to manage this transition along with other financial matters, leaving us little to no choice but to give notice to our respective employers, hastily pack our life into a 20′ container, tenant the our home as a static boat charter for four years and return to New Zealand.
In short, for the book is yet to be written, it is now 2018, the tenants have surrendered the vessel, as per contract, and we find ourselves in an even more difficult position arriving at the only sensible decision, as heart rendering as it is, to sell our much loved ship/home as commitments in New Zealand are now at a point of no return. Mum & Dad are still alive by the way, but poorly.
Dear friends have suggested freighting her to New Zealand and living on her there as well as cruising the Hauraki Gulf. Mmmm! How very tempting and as if that has not already crossed our mind however she is binnenvaartsheep (inland waterways ship) and no match for open sea passage let alone regular batterings from the elements in New Zealand waters.
Caroline has returned to the ship enlisting trades people to address minor maintenance issues. New carpets have now laid throughout, drapes dry cleaned and re-hug and failed double glazed windows arrive next with the list of works rapidly diminishing.