Oh, joy. Maybe.

This morning, I received a phone call from Sue, the business manager at Snead Island Boat Works, where Dream SeQueL has been on the hard for five months and counting. Sue told me that Gary, the yard manager, planned to test the moisture content of my hull later today or tomorrow, and that he said he suspects the hull is finally dry enough for the bottom work to progress. If I understand everything correctly, this means (1)fairing and filling the places where larger blisters were ground out, (2)applying a “skin” layer of fiberglass/resin, (3)applying a whole new layer of gelcoat, (4)applying the epoxy barrier coat layer, and then (5)applying the bottom (antifouling) paint. After each of stages (1) through (4), time must be allowed for the layer to cure completely. They say that this normally takes “a couple of weeks” once they actually get started with the work.

That suggests that I might actually have her back in the water before the end of January. And that’s cutting it mighty close for our planned trip to the Bahamas in April. I’ve been going over my “must be done before leaving for the Bahamas” work list — and over and over and over — to prioritize all of the many tasks I have to accomplish before she’s ready to set sail on that adventure, deferring anything not absolutely required until some time after we return. And it seems that I’ve got the mandatory task list down to about 28 person-days of work. Yes, that number scares me, too.

As of receiving that news this morning, I’m going to try to fly down to Tampa on Wednesday of next week and spend about 23 or 24 days down there. Barbara will join me for at least a week, perhaps 10 days, although we haven’t discussed whether she’ll fly down with me and return after her time there, or fly down closer to the end of my time down there and return with me (or, indeed, whether she’ll be there “in the middle” of my time). But I’m moderately confident that with 23 days of my time and 8 or 10 of Barbara’s, we stand a really good chance of getting everything done, or very nearly so.

Fingers crossed…

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