Today we are one week away from leaving! During the past week, we did much to prepare:
- We went to a Cubs game (they beat the Astros!)
- We saw "Live Free or Die Hard" (a perfect summer movie)
- We went to a friend's daughter's birthday party
- We went to the Green City Market annual Chef's Barbecue
- We saw "Transformers" (another perfect summer movie)
- We had friends over on the boat for a relaxing afternoon
We also accomplished another key task. We visited Rosley's Crystal Shop in the Lincoln Square neighborhood and bought an Iolite and a Black Tourmaline on Mr. Rosley's recommendation. Iolite is a crystal that aids in journeys. Legend has it that the Vikings used it to aid in finding America. We hope it aids us in finding Traverse City. Black Tourmaline is a stone of protection against negative energies. It also disperses tension and stress (not that there will be any of THAT on this voyage), promotes a laid-back attitude and encourages rational thought. Admittedly, this is a little new-agey. But Bernie has found that a Citrine is quite useful for maintaining a sunny disposition and Phil (although skeptical at first) has found that Hematite is useful for those aches and pains caused by intensive Boat Yoga Sessions.
Phil spent a lot of time in the engine room cleaning, then painting both engines. They look really great now, but it was mainly to find oil leaks. He also regasketed two valve covers and two exhaust manifolds - pretty serious mechanic work for an amateur like him - and installed a FloScan flow meter, which measures how much gas we are using in real time. Hopefully, it will save us some money on the trip by letting us operate the boat more efficiently.
Tomorrow is a big day for us. We have a mechanic coming in to go over the engines and transmissions, make some (hopefully small) adjustments and then pronounce them fit for the trip. We've been getting an odd noise from the port engine, so we hope he can fix that with a minimum of time (and, of course, money). The engines are really the only thing at this time that would delay us, so we're a bit nervous about tomorrow.