Early last summer, Hugh decided to devote all his time to KATIE MACK. He reinstalled the foredeck hardware (windlass), started painting the galley, fabricated and installed the soapstone base for the Shipmate wood/cookstove, added new insulation around the Shipmate, prepped the cabinets for countertop installation, painted the inside of the galley cabinets, back-painted the planks of the hull in the saloon, installed stovepipe, cut the hole for the new copper sink, back-painted the lazarette, painted the first coat of the master stateroom bunk, backpainted the storage area along the passageway, built the support for the batteries, cleaned up and back-painted the engine room and started the reinstall of the bunk in the utility room. Son Bobby was East from Tahoe for a few weeks and helped Hugh with the plumbing.
In addition to Hugh’s work, Chip and Scott, with the help of Ryan, Kevin, Brandon, Jim the painter, Mark the diesel mechanic and Tim, the marine electrician, finished fairing the hull, installed through-hull fittings, reinstalled the cap rail and the handrail, installed an iroko countertop, replaced the aft bulkhead in the saloon, installed the propeller shaft and stainless steel rudder, framed in the refrigerator and microwave (adding a door, so we don’t have to look at it), put in the fittings and tank for the fuel polisher, installed a manual shift, installed the alternator, rebuilt the berths in the saloon for easier access to storage underneath, primed and caulked the entire hull, squished in seam compound below the waterline, and got half of the wiring properly installed.
As we got closer to to July 1st and then August 1st, things were humming right along, but we realized there was still enough to be done that we wouldn’t have time for sea trials to safely head South into unknown waters in the fall. It didn’t even make sense to continue to push the guys just to get KATIE MACK in the water for a couple of weeks in September or October before hauling her out for the winter.
“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/ Gang aft agley” — or so wrote Robert Burns in his 1786 poem, To a Mouse. In our case, finish-work, including painting the hull, slowed once we passed our “go/no go” date of August 1. Not only was there more to be done to finish KATIE MACK, but also our house had not yet sold. We really didn’t want to leave it unoccupied through the winter. Instead, we took time off for family —
hiking, sailing, and enjoying our niece’s wedding, among other things, and are readjusting our “plans”, such as they are. For now, I continue to enjoy working at L L Bean’s flagship store in Freeport. Hugh is back to working per diem several days a week for his previous employer, while at the same time exploring the possibilities offered by companies which specialize in locum tenens opportunities for Family Physicians. He is in the process of credentialing with a couple of them, so that when we ARE under way, and find a place we’d like to stay for a while, he can also fill the “cruising kitty” by filling in for a vacationing family doctor.
So we have spent another winter in Maine, not the worst place to be, that’s for sure! The alpacas were all sold by July, the house is fairly empty since the estate sale, and we have started to get into a “simplify” lifestyle that we will be bringing to KATIE MACK next spring/summer. Delayed perhaps, but no less excited at the prospect!