Since arriving, Frank has moved moorings – it turned out that I was parked in a 60′ transient slip and they wanted me to pay for the 60 feet. So I headed over to the new slips, which are empty, probably because the shower and laundry facilities are crap. But the floating slips are brand new, and they are less popular with tourists, so the parking is better.

Mike Firestone, the highly-regarded surveyor, is due to finish the survey, now that Frank is back in the water. He wants to check the engine etc. Did I mention that the gear selector has reversed itself? It is apparently a simple job to set it right, but I am in no hurry to get stuck into the engine bay, in the Texas heat.

Mike got as far as the boat and then had a call which meant he had to head off pronto. So, hopefully, the survey will be completed next week. Then I can take the valuation to the Customs people and have Frank imported (tax paid…) and get her registered and flagged as a US vessel.

There is a small leak coming into the bilge from a couple of keel bolts, despite the keel being re-fitted. I suspect that the cast-iron keel has a couple of holes, through which the water seeps. When the keel was dropped I saw a few holes at the top of the keel – this is not unheard of. I am not worried about it. The 10 bolts are all sound, the keel too, and nothing has happened in 31 years, so we will be fine for the next 30. I am not taking her out again fo a year!

Once Frank is imported I will start tidying her up.  The chicken coop, which has served so well and looks so awful, will go. I will not go back to the sprayhood, but will make a perspex (Lexan, actually) version of the coop. I need to have the internal frame, which was knocked up in Spain overnight for $100, modified, but I have some ideas to allow for more solar panels to be fitted inside the new cabin. 

The Chicken Coop.

  Acrylic rather loses its charm..  
Two shelving rails act as protection against the boom.

Using .200 or .250 Lexan, with the steel frame inside and some other mods, I can slide solar panels into position inside the new structure, so that I get maximum sun coverage when sailing or moored, and can also remove them when I want extra visibility. That is the idea!

We shall see. 

The teak is in urgent need of protection from the sun, as the handrails on the coachroof are wasting away without varnish. And the stackpack is shredded. And, and, and!

But first, the survey needs to be completed and Frank imported.

I also need to document my journey from Gosport to Corpus Christi more fully. Later!