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0058 - An update, and the Rain...

Although the weather seems to be breaking now as we've had a few sunny days and things seem to be keeping dry - for a while there, I didn't think the rain was gonna stop - it literally rained every day for about seven weeks...

Rain, rain, rain

Just miserable and damp. In the UK's defense, it's not normally this wet! Sure, there's maybe more rain here than in some places, but this was just excessive!

 

I'd say we don't really post enough on the blog these days to tell an up-to-date coherent story, we tend to post more on the Facebook page and then forget to blog about what we're actually doing...


But just to recap, earlier in the year we did sail from Belfast, Ireland(NI) around the top of Scotland and down to Edinburgh, the trip wasn't without the usual weather dramas, fouled anchors, and sketchy anchorages...all good fun though!

Chloe loves a sunset!

It's a trip we've done before, and getting back to Edinburgh for annual cleaning and whatnot was supposed to be the first leg of the season so we didn't post too much about it, but things sorta lost momentum pretty quick after that...


Once into Edinburgh and into one of our usual spots - we completed the usual maintenance on the hull. A few loose plans that I had didn't really come to fruition, plus, it seemed unusually quiet, and the weather was lousy...I dunno - something was just off.


Even the sail around was missing something, an absent crew member. It was strange sailing without Phoebe, a new reality that I think Chloe and I are still getting used to. I guess you form routines, and even though the routine is different you still have those involuntary moments of concern for a cat that's not there, kinda like having an itch from a lost limb...if you know what I mean.

We did, randomly, manage to get a hyper-annoying part for our fridge that allows us to run our fridge on butane gas. It's annoying in the sense that it's not a standard size, and to this day - no one knows where this part came from, or who made it...in fact, it's been a real pain in the ass trying to find a replacement...


I managed to replace it only because I was telling a friend, who happens to be an engineer, about my 'fridge part woes' and he simply took what remained of the old part to another engineer who, rather than attempt to source a new part or discover its maker, 'just' lathed out a new part from scratch...


After all the phone calls, the hours online trying to find this damn part - plus all the parts that were supposed to fit - but didn't, after all that nonsense - this guy, this magician, just looks at it, turns on his lathe and just makes it. I can't tell you how pleased I was!


The fridge can now run on gas, which is awesome. Not having that thing drain the battery constantly is a real blessing, lots of spare power onboard!


Other than that awfully small moral victory over the fridge, I can't say we accomplished very much while in Edinburgh, and a week later an opportunity for a week's worth of work became available about 60nm to the South of us, myself not being in a position to scoff at such a thing, and also not doing much at the time...the sails were raised and off we went.

keepping dry under the sprayhood

Halfway through the work week, it started to rain - poor Chloe on her ventures outside had to spend most of her time under the sprayhood, the only dry outdoor space.


When the week was up and they asked me if I wanted to stay for another week - I merely had to consult the weather...and thanks to all the rain, I'm in danger of becoming a permanent member of staff!


But it was through work that I learned of some freshly hatched kittens...

 

New Crew


About a week after I got here learned about a litter of kittens that had been born, and I figured after the work was finished I could go North for a few weeks and swing back South and pick one or two of them on my way past when they were old enough and ready to be rehomed.


But we never left! The rain persisted and the work kept on...and now they're almost ready!!


The new crew member shouldn't be much more than a week away. Probably this coming weekend if not sooner!


(C'mon, be honest - that's the only reason you've read this far - you wanna know about the new crew, amirite?)


I was going to adopt a young-ish or middle-aged cat from a shelter, but not having an address or domicile that falls under the category of 'suitable' meant that I was rejected from every shelter I called...I did also call a few ads I saw online, but on every occasion, they were all gone by the time I'd called.


But now, it's just a waiting game...soon we'll have a full complement of crew again and be on our way to wherever.


The biggest decision we have is whether to get one or two...and it all comes down to paperwork, ongoing paperwork, and associated costs as it looks like we might be getting out of Europe so that's all stuff that needs to be taken into consideration...


(NOTE: There isn't any more kitten news beyond this point...lol)

 

Next


So it looks like we're gonna be here for a few more weeks, but then where?


I really don't know, all I do know is that we can't keep orbiting the UK over and over. I mean, we've been just about everywhere around here - and all that remains are a few 'side-quests' that are sort of optional... The Moray Firth, a chunk of Ireland, and a few remote islands are about all that remains to be seen by us...


I think that's why we don't post in the blog as often, we seem to be covering the same ground - It can get a bit repetitive - even for us!

I know in recent years we've been hesitant to stray too far from veterinary care, as we did have an elderly crew member who periodically needed some extra attention and medication.


Now that we don't have that immediate need, I feel we've done just about as much as we need to here in the UK, and we don't really need to be hanging around here for that much longer.


Taking into account all delays that I'm presently aware of - A provisional timeline would see us leaving at some point in October, which is less than ideal, but probably, entirely manageable...


It just depends on a number of interwoven factors that can't be predicted accurately enough for me to put into print at this time, mainly the weather, but heading a few thousand miles South seems like a good idea.


If it was up to me, we'd be leaving immediately but...


Paperwork


Paperwork is annoying, and it's something I've happily neglected over the years, and now I have to get a bunch of it fairly quickly. If we're gonna go anywhere we're gonna need it.


Luckily, things like registration documents can be acquired online and only take days to arrange, passports however take a bit longer, and cat documents, suprise suprise, take even longer...


And they have to be a certain age before they can be vaccinated, which is fine for Chloe but bad news for a new arrival - it'll be a few weeks before a rabies shot can even be administered, and even then, no traveling for 21 days. After that - then, and only then, can we go...


Ideally, we should have left a month ago, but by the time the paperwork is all cleared it could be too late in the year to escape the weather.


We'll have to see what the weather is doing later in the year and make a decision then, but it may turn out that it is safer/better to do another winter here, which isn't the worst thing in the world...the winters aren't too bad here...


We might also get lucky and have the right conditions, and if we do get out, we'll be in a real rush to get South fast before the real weather comes.


But either way, we need the paperwork first... :(

 

Until then


Chloe and I are just gonna wait for the new crew to arrive and around that time I suspect that the job will come to an end, or not be far away...and I guess it also makes sense to work and save as much as I can until we're ready to move.


Once the new crew is here, we're gonna have a few weeks before we can start the necessary feline paperwork - plus we'll need to get the new cadet their sea legs - some sailing will be in order!

Chloe, doing what she does best...

So, yeah, I guess we're just gonna sit tight for another few weeks and then we'll get moving again...

 

And, yeah, I know all of this isn't terribly exciting, rain, parts, work, paperwork, delays...all very boring stuff...and I'm aware we haven't been posting as frequently on the Facebook page...but we're still here!


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