Just like a house or a car Velvet Lady needs lots of preventative maintenance. In addition like any other woman she likes to be pampered with new things and look good. Keeping her up to scratch and looking good is very important to us as she is our home and our livelihood. When we write our sailing programmes we take all that into account. We allow 3 days between trips to keep on top of small maintenance and cleaning, and also build in regular ‘refit schedules’. Fortunately we are both pretty handy on the maintenance front and whenever we have unexpected ‘gaps’ in our programme due to no bookings we continue with jobs.
Although sailing is our main passion, for a break Richards never more happy than when he’s varnishing, and I love getting all greasy and dirty stripping and servicing winches. A good job too, because there are plenty of both on Velvet Lady.
This last week Richard has been varnishing and working below and I have been busy on the deck with winches, blocks, ropes etc. Once the varnish is wet and there is nowhere to move, Richard has been making use of the dockside for jobs like servicing the outboard. The evenings we spend in the internet café filling up virtual shopping baskets with goodies for Velvet Lady’s future upkeep.
We enjoy our May and September visits to Plymouth, as this gives us the opportunity to collect our ‘shopping’. Sometime it feels just like Christmas. As well as our internet shopping this September we also have a new sail waiting for us. Velvet Lady is programmed to come out of the water in Lanzarote in December and so our shopping list also includes antifouling, paint rollers, paper overalls, deck paint, polish, anodes etc.
Velvet Lady’s wish list is never ending and we have an ongoing plan to keep updating her equipment. We spend many happy hours pouring over catalogues and coming up with ideas – and planning them into the budget.
We think Velvet Lady is now in even better condition than when she came out of her major refit last year in March as we have continued to improve her. Our hard work is often rewarded, and we always feel proud when guests and visitors admire her. Whilst we have been working this last week there have been 3 cruise liners in Isafjord including the QE2 and many of their passengers have been over to talk to us and are interested in our plans. We now keep brochures on the quayside!
We’ll be packing up the tools and varnish soon and beginning to prepare for our passage back to UK which is fully booked. Yet again we have had a brilliant summer in Iceland and are looking forward to chasing the sunshine south!