May 2004: We've painted the deck and applied new anti-skid - this was neat; we sprinkled crushed walnut shells using a salt shaker onto the wet paint and then added a few more paint coats on top. The cream colour will be easier on the eyes than the previous bright white. We also just returned from Sidney, where we hauled out for a week to scrape and paint Freya's bottom. The scraping was definitely a difficult job; 40 hours of arm-numbing labour spread over two days to get several years worth of old paint off before we could apply a new coat. While out of the water we took advantage of the opportunity to replace the packing in the stuffing box (this is the seal around the prop shaft that keeps water out of our bilge).
Coming back from Sidney we tried our new wind-vane in winds ranging from 5 to 25 knots - successfully. We've also come up with a name for this latest crewmember: Helenna Ann DeBasquette (say it out loud a few times). Brilliant, eh :-) A pod of Dall's porpoises escorted us partway home - very exciting!