So this is Christmas

So this is Christmas

So this is Christmas and what have you done
Another year over, a new one just begun

It’s official, this is the last blog of 2018!  Another year almost done and dusted.  I seem to spend a lot of blog time discussing how time slips through our fingers, and this year seemed to go extra fast.  It’s gone before you even know it.  There is a lot to be said for just savouring the moment and enjoying things.  We get old way too soon.

In a brief recap of 2018, we got a few projects done, although not as many as we would have liked.  La Mouette got a boom bag and jack stays.  This should make life a lot easier.  Internally, we installed a fridge and tie down straps.  Now we can have a nice cold “anchor” beer everytime we drop the hook or pick up a mooring ball, as well as returning to our berth.  2018 also saw the move from Booker Bay marina to D’Albora marina at Akuna Bay.  After many years on the Central Coast, a new chapter begins at Akuna Bay.  Six months on, and we feel that the move was the best thing we ever did.  Especially, now that they are upgrading the marina with a restaurant!  More importantly, getting in and out of the berth is way, way easier without all the stress.  Other projects are the saloon cushions, with one cushion all ready to move aboard and hopefully the others won’t be far behind.  Not really a major ticket item, making up a  towing bridle for the dinghy got me started on my marlinspike skills and the splicing turned out quite good, even if I do say so myself.  There are always marlinspike type things to be done, so hopefully, 2019 will see a few more things in that department. 

Which leads us on to what is going to happen next year.  Well at home I have a stash building up of radios.  A new Raymarine VHF radio, a Fusion entertainment unit and some speakers.  The plan is make up a wooden fascia for these and then wire them in.  Some sort of solar panelling is also on the agenda, so that we can run the fridge etc without fear of flattening the batteries.  A furler and a new headsail will also be on the agenda for the first half of the year.  Sailing wise, it’s high time I learnt to sail the boat by myself, and the new year will see an attempt at this.  Alongside the new stuff, are all the usual maintenance items, such as a haul out and anti-foul.  Engine service and the eternal chore of wood maintenance.  It’s not surprising that all off-shore cruisers when asked what they would change on their boats for future cruising, listed the removal of any wood on the decks!  And of course the work in progress items such as new washboards, cushions etc all hope to be finished.  I think window repairs will have to be slotted in the above somewhere also.  Already the year is full and we haven’t even got to Christmas yet!  Such is life. 

Of course, it goes without saying (or typing) that I will keep the blog ticking over.  Sometimes as I sit here typing away, I wonder who will be reading this.  I type them up and post them and that’s it.  Does anybody read them?  Do people sit down with their cup of coffee and a bit of toast and log onto Seagull Dreaming to see what the latest is?  I know that they get read occasionally, and the stats counter that comes out each week has a few people that have had a look.  But are there any regulars?  Who knows.  The sailing blog game can hardly be called vanity publishing if you are not sure that your stuff is being read.  Not to worry, I will keep pumping out the blogs.  It’s a good job I am not trying to make money out it, I would be struggling to feed a sparrow at this rate.

I know that the to-do list didn’t shrink as much as anticipated during 2018, but we had a big holiday in the outback which necessitated a new roof on the car and the motorbike, feeling left out, is currently in the workshop with a whole host of issues being fixed.  It’s time to get rid of the bike and get something else.  It’s become way too unreliable, especially for a BMW.  It’s funny how we don’t accept reliability issues in motor vehicles and motor bikes but it’s just par for the course in a boat.  But then, bikes and cars get garaged and pampered.  They don’t sit in salt water 24/7, which is continually moving, and they wear out from not being used.  That’s the conundrum, if you don’t use them, they wear out and if you do use them, they still wear out!  But at least you have had a lot of lovely sunsets under your belt and some good times to show for it.

Next year is a new chapter of maintenance, projects, sunsets, broken bits, varnishing, sewing, splicing, polishing, mopping up oil spills, diesel smells, paint stirring, mould scrubbing, beers, hull scrubbing, electrical crimping, grazed knuckles, gin and tonics, bird poo cleaning, candle lit scrabble sessions, sun burn, wet clothing, leak investigations and of course, sailing.  I hope that if you are sitting down reading this whilst sipping on your coffee and nibbling at your bit of toast and do so on a regular basis, that you will continue to be a part of our journey next year.  If you are a new comer, or a not so regular reader, I also hope that you will have a look now and again in the new year.  Above all, I hope you all find these posts interesting.  I don’t get much feedback so I keep going the same old way.  Please feel free to leave any comments or feed back – it will be welcome. 

For those that are reading this, and the calendar hasn’t ticked over yet into 2019 – I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have read my posts over the last year or so.  Not the spammers though – they can all get stuffed!  I am sure that I am not the first blogger to wish the seven plagues upon them.  But to the genuine readers, may you have a happy, holy Christmas and a prosperous and healthy new year and I look forward to more nautical adventures in the coming year.  Calm seas and fair winds to all.

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