Cleaning the bottom – the need for speed!

We are finally preparing for an initial shakedown cruise up into the northern gulf islands in September.  It will give us an opportunity to do some sailing in relatively open water in the Strait of Georgia and hopefully experience some decent wind and waves.  No doubt we will return with a new “to-do” list.
We have not really used Arabella since she was purchased and sailed up from Seattle last summer. Just work, work, and even more work stripping her down and rebuilding system after system, mostly from scratch.  A lot of it has been infrastructural, which one cannot see unless one digs around in closets, bilges or other dark places that used to be damp and dirty.  Even the bilge has now been repainted. It remains dry and slightly dusty after several months.  I LOVE dry bilges!  No oil, no sludge, no water!  Wow, what a foreign concept on a boat!
So, I mentioned to Justin: “Can you recommend a diver I can employ to go down and scrub the bottom?”  He replied: “Sure, when do you want me to do it?”
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Within a day or two it was scheduled.  He hired a wetsuit and weight-belt and in addition to a tether safety line we rigged a “belly-band” side-to-side under the keel to allow him to keep close to the work-surface.  After two hours in the water almost continuously, Arabella now has a smooth bottom which will allow us to judge her performance and capabilities under sail.

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