Saturday, April 30, 2011

And We’re Off!

The whirlwind of wrapping up projects, stowing gear, provisioning and saying farewell to family and friends has finally subsided.
This morning we cut the dock lines (with a Rambo knife that Aaron’s been packing around for just this purpose) and motored out of Shilshole Bay Marina and onto the Salish Sea.
We don’t know where the winds will take us on this journey, but we’re ready to set sail. Northward!
Cutting the docklines, Rambo-style
Cutting the dock lines, Rambo-style
Leaving Shilshole Bay Marina, Seattle
4/30/2011, 6:00 AM – Leaving Shilshole Bay Marina for points north

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Swabbing the Decks

It’s been a cold, wet, dark, dreary winter – one that Aaron and I are glad to be leaving in our wake.  We don’t thrive in such soggy and chilly conditions, but to the mold and mildew taking hold on our teak decks, these Northwest winters are just the ticket.

I suppose it started out slowly, with a little patch of blackish green here and there.  But after a winter (or two) of neglect, our teak decks were looking pretty sad.  Come summer, I plan to be lounging on these decks with my Kindle and a cold drink, and I certainly don’t want to be kicking back on a mat of mold and/or mildew (whichever it is).

color-cover-biltmore-oswald-sailor-swabbing-the-deck-with-mop-and-bucket-public-domainSo yesterday, I swabbed the decks.  Well, I traded the traditional mop for a blue scrubby sponge, but I was swabbing in spirit.  With some water, a significant amount of elbow grease and some Star brite Gel Teak Cleaner, I bid farewell to the mildew-y gunk forever. 

Yes, forever.

As I was scrubbing away, one of my neighbors stopped by with a bit of encouragement.  She said that once we get to the tropics, the mold and mildew on our decks will be a thing of the past.  With a circumnavigation under her belt, she knows what she’s talking about.  Yet another reason to pack up our little ship and head south… (On that note, it looks like we’re on track to cut the dock lines and take off next week!) 

Here’s what the deck looked like before (the darker patches are all mold/mildew):

And after (not bad for 28-year-old decks!):


Star brite Gel Teak Cleaner Restorer, rated “excellent” by Practical Sailor.  I found the gel easy to apply but not significantly more effective than plain water and elbow grease for brightening the teak.  The bottle claims it’s environmentally safe and biodegradable, with no acids or harsh chemicals to raise the wood grain.  The 32-oz bottle was $11.83 at West Marine (price matched with JMS Online Marine Supply).