28,000 lbs. suspended above the water

“We’ll wrap up the work in a week, tops”, Brian’s words, as we watched our boat be hauled out from the water and placed atop supports in the Deltaville Boatyard. Tucked in with a hundred other vessels, Nightingale Tune and crew has entered boat purgatory.

Six days into our stay, we’ve discovered that just setting projects in motion takes much longer than you’d think. We’ve accomplished three things so far: spending money on tools and materials to do projects, cleaning sludge out of our suddenly stinky bilge, and sanding off the red boot stripe that circles our boat just above the waterline. The spending was budgeted, though not for the things we’d anticipated – like a boat sewing machine, a new alternator, and bottom paint. The boot stripe project came out of left field. We’d never liked that color, and were inspired by our new friend Justin to change it to a deep navy blue. This non-essential project has been just the distraction to prevent us from twiddling our thumbs as we wait for Amazon deliveries.


Me, coming down the ladder, carrying a tank filled with urine

ladder selfie

Ladder selfie. I’m getting over my fear of heights


Barnacles, fouling our prop

nico sees land

Nico, dumbfounded by all that he sees


Brian, about to ride a marina bike into town.

Thanks to our friends, we’re still in good spirits. Vicky, Ed, Jackie, Ron, Stacey, and Jesse from the Weems Creek anchorage caught up to us and anchored nearby. Everyone has been really supportive with advice and offers to help, and we had a big BBQ before they all moved on to stage for the journey down the Intracoastal Waterway. We hope to catch up to them once we’re back in the water.


Sanding the boot stripe. There will be a new color here soon

bilge from above

Death-like smell coming from the bilge


Just before I put my entire torso into the bilge

eating feelings

Brian, eating his feelings

We’re in good company with other sailors in the yard. As the leaves change here in Virginia, everyone is focused on heading south as quickly as possible. Once the sun sets for the day, hodgepodge groups of grounded sailors from all over the world gather at our new friend Justin’s boat – which boasts ample seating room and a wood burning fireplace – to break bread, unpack the trials and tribulations of various boat projects and spin yarn from their best, scariest, and most hilarious moments at sea. Being a part of this generous and inspiring community has lifted our spirits and makes the prospect of an inevitable second week on the hard seem not so bad.


Public art in Deltaville, VA, outside the Maritime Museum

Deltaville project list:

  • Clean putrid, rotting sludge out of the bilge
  • Finish LED installations
  • Change zincs
  • Install keel cooler for Frigaboat cooling plate (this will help our fridge and freezer run more efficiently)
  • Install a gate in our lifelines near the bow for launching the Pudge as a liferaft
  • Sand and repaint boot stripe
  • Sand and repaint cove stripe
  • Chip off flaking bottom paint and apply two coats of ablative bottom paint
  • Clean and wax hull
  • Haul out old batteries and install new ones
  • Replace alternator
  • Sew flexible solar panels into the bimini and dodger (canvas shades over the cockpit)
  • Wire solar panels to solar controllers and batteries
  • Install new depth sounder
  • Replace piece of broken rub rail (this project is on the Annapolis Water Taxi, as they were responsible for the damage)
  • Complete Nico’s paperwork for clearance into the Bahamas