And OOooof! Apologies for the long gap in transmission. The Examiner has been hovering and it’s been one long headbang but I think we now have a much modified and perhaps seaworthy Bayliner 18. She even has her name and registration number…Blue Origin stickers and pre flight pin removal yet to come, for the initiated….. I hope that getting to the start line will be the hardest part of this gig. Modifications so far – lots of access holes in the cockpit to inaccessible spaces, after chopping out masses of foam, replacement of internal bulkhead, new floor and cushions forward, new cockpit drains, new mast support beam, bilge pump and throwing line, hiking straps, fittings for compass and GPS, electrical switches and sockets, cutting and sewing new sails from discarded B2 and B3 kite and jibs, making stowage bags for any tiny available space and hanging canvas ‘shelves’ in the forepeak, new grab rails on and under foredeck, new anchor cleat on foredeck, fitting 12v plugs to GPS, compass and masthead light, conversion to masthead rig with lots of modifications to the mast and the addition of an all round tricolour, masses of fun with my splicing kit and dyneema making stays and strops and reefing and knitting lines, Megan’s yellow box with cooking gear, 2 new anchors and ground tackle, a leaky centreboard hinge fixed (we hope!), a broken oar clamped and maybe fixed, installation of oarlocks and a second set of sheet cars, new mainsheet and hawse, new halyards and vang, 2 educative trial launches, both with their own incidents, Probably lots more – lots of steps forward with subsequent retreats as new problems surface… what have I forgotten??…. we are awaiting delivery of the electrical kit – solar panel, controller, battery and charger and this should be the last biggie. May have to be done in Port Townsend. Pat is coming down from Nome tonight to tow us north. The original plan was to launch in Olympia and sail the last 100 miles but prudence dictated that a better idea would be to tow all the way to PT to buy us time if needed. The trailer has seen better days too, so plan B is not without its own risk. We hope to leave on tuesday and may then be off line for a bit until we find free wifi in PT. All in all, an interesting few weeks and huge thanks to Megan’s family and their cat, whose bed we have usurped for putting up with us. More as it happens – I’ll try to post photos later.

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