< Clean Across The Atlantic
Read our contribution in the
December issue of Cruising
World Magazine
< A Balearic Blow!
Dream Time's gripping storm story
in the December issue of Cruising
World Magazine

December 21, 2020 (Day 4,953)
Fort Myers Beach, Florida

For 227 days Dream Time has been berthed in Florida, secured by twelve lines to a floating dock just one nautical mile from the Gulf of Mexico. It's a quiet spot, disturbed only by dolphins searching for snacks between pylons, the occasional hairy snout of a surfacing dugong and, thankfully not on the days we were scrubbing barnacles, patrolling gators. During hurricane season, the busiest in recorded history with 30 named storms raking this corner of the world, we watched the Weather Channel with keen interest and on four occasions had grab bags, evacuation routes and hurricane hole charts at the ready. But thankfully, for Dream Time, the storms veered away - Louisiana's coastline seemed to draw the short straw this season.

zeroXTE updates have been scarce the past few months, COVID-19 saw to that. Our travel plans, like most, had to be scuttled, and so for almost eight months we occupied ourselves instead with a complete renovation below decks. Dream Time's cabin was gutted and for 6-8 hours a day, every day, we ran wires, new hoses, rebuilt, repaired, improved and refinished every single cabin, cupboard and surface. It was a massive undertaking and what began in May in the forepeak, ended only this past week in the lazarette. We're thankful our boat is only forty-one feet long.

Our project list (detailed below), which began with hundreds of individual tasks has been reduced to just four: 1, Install new radar dome; 2, Remove and polyurethane companionway steps; 3, Cetol caprails; 4, Wax hull. - To be able to count the number of pending projects on just one hand is a rare treat for boat owners.

In two weeks we'll be sailing, heading back southeast to a region we've never explored before - the Bahamas. And like most we're counting down the remaining days of 2020, looking forward to a fresh start in 2021, and finding 'normal' again, somewhere on the horizon.


MAY (engine compartment):

Replace engine mounts
Replace heat exchanger core
Replace exhaust elbow
Replace all engine cooling hoses & clamps
Remove/inspect oil coolers
Oil & fuel filter change
Install new soundproofing
Paint engine & transmission case
JUNE (anchor locker & head):

Re-galvanize anchors & chain
Service windlass (new brushes, terminals & paint)
New anchor locker hoses & wiring
Sand, prep & paint anchor locker*
Sand, prep & paint forward bilge*
Gelcoat head floor
Rebuild head storage cupboard (marine ply, epoxy & paint)
Wire new AC outlet
Rebuild Skipperhead II (new gaskets, valves & springs)
Paint Skipperhead II

JULY (salon):

Order Tides Marine sail track
Repair & service all sails
Rebuild entertainment cupboard
Install new TV, AC & DC stereos
Sand, rewire & paint all salon storage lockers*
Install new LED strip lights
New AC outlets with USB ports
AUGUST (galley & salon):

Rebuild galley: new quartz counter top, faucets, hoses & fittings
Service & repair Force 10 stove
Install new macerator pump
Build new galley storage cupboards
Replace bulkhead under galley sink
Rebuild & paint salon book shelves & cupboards
Rebed forward diesel tank fittings

SEPTEMBER (varnish)** :

Strip, sand & paint all white surfaces
Strip, sand & varnish v-berth (all trim, bulkheads & doors)
Strip, sand & varnish head (all trim, bulkheads & doors)
Strip, sand & varnish quarter berth (all trim, bulkheads & doors)
OCTOBER (varnish):

Strip, sand & varnish galley (all trim, bulkheads & doors)
Varnish all doors
Varnish companionway
Recharge BD50 fridge compressor


Strip, sand & polyurethane entire cabin sole***
Varnish cabin table
Install all sails, new halyards & lazy jacks
Replace engine control panel
Replace head diverter valve & discharge hoses
Scrub decks with Teak Decking systems ECO-100
Cetol bow sprit, hand rails

Paint sail locker & lazerette*
Remove & weld stanchions
Replace old dingy patches
New dodger, bimini, joiner & side windows
Vanish trailboards & name plates
Re-commission Spectra watermaker
Install new Garmin GMR HD+ radar dome
Remove, sand & polyurethane companionway steps
Strip, sand & Cetol caprail
Wax hull

* All bilge areas & lockers were painted with white Total Bilge Paint tinted tan to match original color using brown pigment.
** Interior varnish: All bulkheads received five coats of Interlux Goldspar Satin Varnish.
** All trim and doors received five coats of Interlux Original Spar Varnish.
*** Four coats of Varathane Floor Finish oil based, gloss.

A Hard Road
Where We Were Today... December 16, 2019
Cape Verde, Africa

Remarkably, this local farmer ascends Monte Verde every few days. When we met him, on a particularly steep incline, he was pushing his trusty mule up the black cobbled road. Without this encouragement, he said, they would never reach his crops. Read our December 16th, 2019 entry >

Window Washing
Where We Were Today... December 11, 2019
North Atlantic Ocean

Our sail south, along the African coastline to Cape Verde, was fast, with thirty knots of wind, and wet, with ten foot seas - the Atlantic was having fun with us. Read our December 11th, 2019 entry >