Captain’s Log 11 – Go Green!

Sunday December 3, 2017: It was a momentous day today. December’s full moon, the highest tide of the year, and pouring rain. My neighborhood make-up shifted again, as Walt and Sachiko came home and Jean Luc, Cecile & Ulysse moved out of Walt and Sachiko’s house and back to their boat. It’s great to have Walt & Sachiko back, but I will certainly miss the French folk. This project would never have happened without them.

…And, I painted Chuuchki today!

I started out by making a To Do List and the sequence of tasks, to keep me on track. I wonder if one can absorb paint fumes through the skin? Because, even though I’ve been wearing a respirator and long-sleeve shirt and nitrile gloves, I sure feel spaced out. There seems to be a bit of confusion and short term memory trouble. So, on the back of some scrap paper, I made a guide for today and tomorrow’s tasks:


I love how this says “WRONG WAY” right in the middle there. I hope it’s not an ominous portent!

Built a fire in the Barn, first thing. The giant piece of chainsaw-carving scrap I put in there yesterday is still burning. That piece will have lasted two full days by the time it is entirely ash. Sifted all the sawdust through the hand-crank sifter. Sanded everything topsides, with 120 grit sandpaper. Wiped it all down with acetone. Cleaned off and re-taped all the fittings, oarlocks, etc. Cut in the grey paint on the sides, seat supports and deck. Thankfully, the grey paint is a bit darker than the primer, so I can see where I’ve painted. It’s a nice grey, much prettier than the primer.


The topsides paint is shiny and a bit prettier than the flat battleship grey primer.

Rolled the sides and deck grey, then sprinkled sawdust onto the surface for the anti-skid. My hope is that the sawdust will stick to that first layer of paint, and stay put when I roll the second coat. It was hard to get it nice and even, but I think I did an ok job. It worked best if I held just a tiny amount of sawdust with my fingertips, and sprinkled it from up high. There’s a slight breeze in the Barn, from the fan I’ve had running constantly. It caught the sawdust and spread it like seeds on the wind.


First coat of topsides grey finished, with anti-skid sawdust on deck.

Then, the moment of truth, the beginning of the end: I opened the can of Jade Green, and started cutting in on the seats. My first thought as I laid down the color was, “Oh no! People will think this is an MSU fan’s boat – Sparty colors!” Now, if you are not from Michigan, this maybe doesn’t mean anything to you. Let’s just say that the Michigan State University Spartans and the University of Michigan Wolverines have an epic rivalry.


Sparty chompin’ down on a U of M Wolverine.

People coordinate the colors of their wardrobe, their cars, houses, bathrooms and so on in their school colors, to reflect their loyalties. MSU is green and white, U-M is maize and blue. I’m probably one of the few people from the Mitten State who is in neutral territory on this issue. So I certainly don’t want to paint my boat Sparty colors. It never occurred to me when I picked out the green, which I’d hoped would be a nice contrast to the pale turquoise hull, and perhaps would draw out some of the turquoise’s green. At least Chuuchki’s interior is grey, not white, and I think the Jade Green is a richer, brighter green than Sparty Green.


Chuuchki’s colors on the left, Sparty colors on the right. Oh, crap. I guess they are pretty similar.

Maybe the Sparty theme could be minimized if I leave the seats grey, and only paint the rail green? Cecile insists that the seats should be green. “I know I’m right,” she said. She’s French, so of course she has excellent fashion and design sense, and I trust her implicitly. So I rolled the seats and sprinkled a bit of sawdust (not as much as on deck), and cut in and rolled the rails green.

Walt and Sachiko got home from Japan today, right as I was finishing up the painting. Rosanna and Rob and Zach stopped by to do a High Tide Welfare Check on me (to see if the Shack was flooding), and they all said yes on the green seats. Jean Luc happened by and peeked in, just said, “You do?” I said, “Yes, I do. I’m doing it!” He said, “Nice,” but nothing else, so I don’t know whether he approves or not.

I took off the respirator and helped Walt and Sachiko unload groceries and luggage and beer from Green Betty (Walt’s vintage pickup, who is definitely NOT Sparty green), and breathed great gulps of fresh air while we carried stuff down the boardwalk. The air smelled insanely good — Sitka spruce and seaweed, high tide ocean freshness. Let it flood all my blood cells and wash them clean.

Tomorrow: One more coat of paint! Then put the hatch cover on and I’m done.

Ulysse stuck his head in the door of the Barn and had this reaction to the green: “Why you paint it this color? I do not like this color. Why not test on a piece of wood first?” Great. Thanks for your vote of confidence, kid. I guess I can paint it something else in the spring, if I decide I don’t like it. Maybe I’ll switch to maize and blue, instead.


Chuuchki’s first coat of paint, with anti-skid sawdust showing on deck. Only one more coat of paint to go!

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