2014 Preparations in Deltaville

I flew out of Sydney after leaving Canberra sweltering in 29C heat. The garden is scorched but the tomatoes have yet to ripen. The flight on Qantas was just terrible with the worst food I have ever eaten – in fact it made me sick but the flight was less than half full so I was able to stretch out and sleep. The only advantage of a failing airline.

I arrived in Norfolk to find the whole airport snow bound, flights cancelled and most people gone home for the night. A hours wait for the bags and then taxis ripping people off to take them any where. I found a New Yorker who was great and took me to the prebooked hotel. Air-conditioning on full.
Next morning I collected the rental car and drove through white landscape and roads to Portsmouth to collect my Yanmar parts from Bob. There is a back story to this but now is not the time. He had not got most of the parts although I had paid in January, however he promised to deliver the engine mounts to Deltaville in a few days – the other parts are still missing plus my money.
The drive to Chesapeake Boat Works was slow because of all the snow and when I turned into the yard it was just white. Malua was under more than six inches of snow. Luckily the cockpit cover was still intact so I was able to go below with out much difficulty. I was straight off to the hardware store to get a heater and a long extension lead. No 220 volts available. The first night was a challenge – completely disorganised no heating – lead too short and minus 5 outside. You know it is cold when in the morning the water beside your bed has ice on the surface. First priority was power and heat. I soon rigged up a 220 supply and the heater which was left on 24/7
This years to-do list seemed daunting but as always start with the most critical and work your way down. It included:
Well after ten days Malua was ready to go in the water. No sails but ready. Launch day dawned cold but clear and at the appointed time I removed the forestay and the travel lift arrived. A short ride to the water then splash. No broken through hulls or pipes due to the cold so I was ready.

That afternoon I received some help from Chuck and his son to bend on the sails and Malua was again a proper yacht.
That night the temperature dropped to minus 6 and the sea in the marina had a film of ice on it. I said my goodbyes and set off out to sea to sail south, with the wind down the Chesapeake to Norfolk/Portsmouth.
With the new smooth bottom, the lanolin on the prop and the bearings and new engine mounts Malua sped down at almost max hull speed but was it cold. The waves over the bow soon froze on the life lines. The water temp was almost 0 degrees. Fall in and you would not be able to count to ten.

Here are a set of photos....

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