Sunday, June 30, 2013

What about the Sailing

A sunset pic for my sailing Sista
One of my fellow sailing Sistas recently said something to the affect of....."all the projects are great and all but what about the sailing?  When are you getting off the dock?  I want to see more beautiful sunset pics from anchor."  Good question.  While we are anxious to toss off the dock lines and start exploring, we still have a few MUST DO projects that are best handled here at the dock.  We knew and planned on this.  The best part of all is we are not stressed about it.  We don't have anywhere we HAVE to be.  There is no schedule (other than weather).  We don't have to rush to make a plane back to KS for work Monday morning.  *Can you hear the grin in that statement. ** For the record, we did leave the dock last pump out.  I say for the record and I mean it as Georgia has a very antiquated law outlawing liveaboards......which we are NOT fyi -if you are with the Dept of Antiquated laws in GA and happened to be reading this. We are transients merely passing through Georgia and in port for some repairs! 
Moving aboard a sailboat full time is not unlike moving into a new home.  It just takes time.  Additionally, we continue to learn valuable information about s/v Honey Ryder with each project and step of this process of going full time.
***Speaking of antiquated laws -according to security guard and retired police officer Lou, Brunswick GA still has a law on the books that says you cannot be out after midnight on Saturday night if you are ugly.  Wow!  Although I am sure every state and municipality has some old, weird laws left out there on the books.  Hell, some have new weird and wacky laws but now I am off topic.  Back to boat projects.  Enjoy the sunset pic. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sabrina's Sail Loft - Cushion Covers

Today's blog posting is brought to you by the letter M and the number 4.  M is for my wonder mother.  While is she not what you might call a big fan of sewing herself, she did encourage me, teach me to sew on the first of many Brownie and Girl Scout badges along with some other basics of sewing, drive me to tons of 4-H meetings and wipe my tears with great empathy when a 4-H sewing project wasn't going well.  Thanks so much Mom!  4 is of course for 4-H where I really learned to sew.  Mrs Smith and her daughter Dawn were wonderful teachers.
Our nice interior fabric

We have really nice upholstery on our interior cushions.  I would like to keep it that way.  Sitting in the cockpit or going for a dinghy ride means we can drag in unseen amounts of salt and moisture that will quickly start to break down our lovely fabric.  Plus we are messy people.  Coffee, tea, spill that's me!  So I decided cushion seat covers would be a good idea. 
Starting the project

I decided and started the project last year.  I took many measurements.  I made patterns and even drug home a difficult corner cushion in hopes that I could make this project easier.  Not so much.  No boat canvas project is easy.
Tough corner piece - tough for me at least
I found a really kewl blue vinyl for the nav station seat.  It sort of looks like stingray or shiny disco pants fabric.  Unfortunately there wasn't enough for all the cushions (thus no disco mirror ball). After much searching (Internet and hitting all the fabric stores) Sailing Sistsa Joan turned me onto a discount place and I found the perfect fabric for $8.99 a yard!  Woo Hoo! 
It really is kelw vinyl fabric

The roll of fabric was delivered to the boat on our May run.  It's been sitting waiting for me.  It stares at me each morning and night from the shower when I brush my teeth...."Hello.  Today?  No, then when?"  I started the project Monday around 4pm. 

The AC was blasted so that was a bonus - it was almost too cool

I hauled all my sewing gear up to the laundry/TV lounge and set up Sabrina's Sail Loft.  For the record -my Sailrite zig-zag weighs something like 62 lbs.  It's one heavy sucker.  Tom got it off the boat for me.  I had to pull it up the dock ramp vs pushing it in the dock cart because of course it was getting close to low tide - nice timing don't you think!  D-oh!
I thought vinyl at the nav station was a good idea

First up was the nav station seat with the blue vinyl material.  Sort of a test run.  It went ok.  Next was a couple of side projects.
Two more complete

The next morning I hauled all my tools up there again and hit it hard.  The process was to take one cushion from the boat at a time and work on that cover.  I would set the machine on the floor, roll out the fabric on the octagon shaped glass table, measure and cut the fabric.  Then I would lift the machine back onto the table and sew it up, making adjustments and tweaks.  Then I would walk that cushion back to the boat and get another and start the process all over again.  Did I mention that the Sailrite weighs 62 lbs!!!
Getting close on the corner piece

I got all the remaining cushion covers sewed up yesterday with the exception of the difficult corner piece.  I tackled that one today.  I mis-calculated and had to cut another piece but luckily I had enough fabric.  I always buy more than I will need because I have met me and I know my sewing abilities and more importantly that my calculating/measuring abilities can be suspect! 
His and hers work stations at the top of the dock - Tom was working a project too

I wasn't sure how I would close up the cushion covers.  Zippers seemed like overkill and plus I am not too zippy with them.  Get it?  Ha!  I decided yesterday to use Velcro.  For this stage I moved the sail loft to the top of our dock so I would have a shorter walk to get each cushion cover.  I got all but three done before rain moved in. 
This worked too - only 25 degree heat difference than the TV lounge I used earlier

After dinner I set up the sail loft in the boat and finished the remaining three. 

Complete - check mark
We are pretty pleased with the results. 

Tom Goes Shrimping

This story is over on Beyond Burgoo tab since it involves food.  Please navigate over there using the above tab Beyond Burgoo or by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

KC Comes here

We had visitors from Kansas City last weekend.  Two separate sets.
When Tom and I were teaching ASA sailing on Lake Perry KS, Ben was one of our stellar ASA 101 graduates.  He caught the sailing bug really bad - we LOVE when that happens.  He is helping a buddy deliver his Irwin sailboat down the east coast.  s/v Sweet Clarity happened to be in Brunswick Landing Marina awaiting their next adventure south.  Steve (the owner), Ben, and three other guys flew in this past Saturday and took off Sunday morning for who knows where but somewhere in FL.  Luckily we were able to spent a little bit of time with Ben and gang.  Fun crew.  But OMG - typical guy boat trip because provisioning consisted of massive (and I do mean MASSIVE) amounts of ribs from some local rib joint, equally impressive quantities of beer and....wait for it......a bulk supply of Slim Jim's.  Scary.  They had so many ribs they couldn't fit them all in so we were the recipient of a huge bundle - Thanks guys.

Sunday our niece and her family (minus oldest daughter who is spending the summer with relatives) stopped by for a visit.  They are on holiday and have been all over Florida.  The boys checked out the boat thoroughly (man! -are little kids active), we took a walk in the park and played with the musical instruments that are there and then chowed down on ribs (see above), grilled shrimp, corn on the cob, grilled chicken, hot dogs and baked beans - big feast! 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Being Eaten Alive

To:  Georgia Department of Tourism
Dear Sir or Madame,
We are having a lovely time in your state.  We have seen many interesting things and enjoyed meeting some very unique and fascinating people.  Of course we have only scratched the surface (no pun intended but it is funny) of your glorious state so to speak.  However, the prevalence of mosquitoes and no-see-ums is putting a real damper on our tourism and thus $$$ we spend.  I would strongly suggest you do something about these vicious critters.  I am not here to suggest what.  There are others far more educated in this matter to assist you with that.  I know it's a mind field subject with the chemicals of spraying and such vs the dangers/death of West Nile.  Just do SOMETHING!

Vitamin B12 does NOTHING - I have been taken double doses since our second day here.
Skin So Soft does NOTHING - I smell good as I am being devoured. 
Deet - does help a bit but it also has the strong possibility of melting parts of our boat when I accidentally rest and arm or leg coated in deet against the boat.
Click here to get the complete lowdown on all the "home remedies" and their effectiveness or lack there of.  DEET people - that is all that will help. 

Since we are headed north in the next month or so and I assume that mossies and no-see-ums have no boarder restrictions....
Dear South Carolina Department of Tourism,
See above
Dear North Carolina Department of Tourism,
See above

One big bug bite Sabrina

*Does anyone know where we will run out of the no-see-ums at the very least? 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Net Casting 101

Class in session
Last night Tom asked Bill to teach him how to cast a net so at 9am this morning, Bill held class using his 6 and 8 foot nets.  He also got out his 4 foot net but it's a totally different technique. 
Net up over his shoulder and everything gathered, Tom prepares to toss it out there

The guys on the beach/pier always make it look SO easy.  Of course it's not.  There is quite a process and art to it.
Mid-air of a cast

First is making sure it's not tangled in any way.  D-uh but it can easily get tagled.
Nothing in the net this time

Then there is a very specific way of gathering it all up in your hand so it will release properly. 
Another cast - not too bad

Then you drape part of it up over the shoulder of the throwing arm.
Tom did catch this angry little crab - he was carefully pulled out and tossed back in

The free hand works it's way around the inside base of the remaining net to gather some up for the perfect cast.
Tom trying the 8 ft net - more to deal with

Then you stand straight towards the direction you are throwing and twist around at the waist to get enough momentum to throw it all out there.
Another try

Tom is left handed but does some things right handed ( because the world forces lefty's to).   He tried both ways.  The left worked best.  With the leads on the bottom, the nets are heavy.  The guys got quite a workout. 
Getting there
There are all sorts of laws/rules about what you can and can't eat.  I would have thought that if you catch it, you can eat it but NO.  It depends on the size of net, the size of mesh and so forth.  Some nets are for bait only. Very complecated and confusing.
Twisting around for another throw with the 4 foot net
While they didn't exactly catch dinner or anything (other than the angry  little crab) they learned a bunch and had fun.   

Rainy Day Projects

It rained yesterday afternoon so we ended up working on rainy day projects.  Now that we have everything pretty much stowed in it's proper place, we need to be able to find it all and at times quickly.  Therefore my rainy day project was inventorying the entire boat and then I entered it all into an excel spreadsheet.  I got about 2/3 done before the sun came back out.  Tom worked on multiple projects.   The canvas guy (Matt with TopStitch) came late this morning.  Our bimini and dodger are both completely shot.  We discussed several modifications and additions one of which is an enclosure.  This would allow us to be out in the cockpit and yet protected from a downpour like the one above.  We are very excited to get this project underway.    

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Another Sad Someday

The world is full of somedays.  Someday I will__________ (fill in the blank).  Often this sentence is follow by the words when, once or if.  There also seems to be just as many sad someday stories.  We've all heard them again and again.  We heard another one this week in the marina.  A couple just at the start of their someday cruising when suddenly she's gotten sick and can't even get on or off their boat.  A crushing diagnosis of ALS has drastically changed their someday.  I know life is complicated and the pied piper has to be paid to get to someday but to what end? Such a fine line or balancing act if you will.  
As we got closer and closer to our someday, I stressed more and more that something would pop up to delay or crush our someday..... and we are not yet off the dock.  Many that have gone before us have pointed out - the boat is never perfect or completely ready, there is never enough money, there are always land commitments (family, friends, business left behind) and ties that bind.  So tough.  And I definitely get that this is very much a first world problem but how are you dealing with your someday whatever that may be?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Refrigeration Day

Or how many trips can one couple make to Radio Shack?  Wait.....let's make this a quiz.  What involved 4 trips to radio shack and a new car battery?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?
That would be our (Tom mostly) refrigeration day.  Tom did some great troubleshooting yesterday on why the refrigeration side of the freezer/refrigeration unit might not be working.  He didn't find anything revealing so he called a professional.  Russ and Jeannie King showed up today and the process of elimination began with them....because let's be honest, that is the best way to solve any problem.  Start at the beginning (simple) and work forward. 
Long story short the power line for the refrigerator was suspect because of some splices.  The wire is basically 6 and 4 type telephone.  *That is not what it's called but you get the point.
On what I thought was the last run to RS (what me and the boyz working there now call it) to get more telephone line, 4 pin plugs and yet another connector, I was thinking smugly to myself "good thing we still have the Murano and I am not making this 4th trip on Ms Moneypenny my folding bike."  I quickly grabbed what I needed at RS, paid and jumped in the Murano to head home.  But when I turned the key - NOTHING!  Try again (because we all know that works) NOTHING.  Call Tom on the cell phone = vm.  Call Tom again on cell phone = vm.  Call Tom again on cell phone = he answers and I can hear him telling Russ and Jeannie "good bye and thanks for everything".  I basically yell into the phone "Don't let them leave." 

Cut to chase -they all show up at RS to rescue me.  Super duper corrosion on the terminals ( thanks Nissan for watching that closely given I get my oil changed every 3K - 5K miles  sshesh) and bad battery.  We jump started it and wheeled immediately around the corner into the Sears Auto Care for a new Die Hard battery.  Some of you might be tempted to insert a Ron White Sears Tire and Auto Care joke chain here but the manger himself took care of us immediately so nothing funny to look at here...move along.  
Even still, it turned out to be a good day in terms troubleshooting and things learned.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Liveaboard Mode

Cockpit locker treasures
We have definitely moved into official liveboard mode. 
1.  Most of our stuff is officially stowed - most.
2.  My folding bike -  Ms Moneypenny is up on deck covered with a tarp.  *Things on deck under tarps is a common liveaboard thing.
Running wire for additional bilge pump
3.  Projects are in full swing.
4.  Most of the tools are out most of the time.  *See #3.
No, pic is not turned the wrong way - working on fridge/freezer and solar panel wiring

5.  Project list is growing.  Some are vital, some are would like to do.
6.  We stop and study the contents of the construction dumpster near the bath house each time we pass.  I mean we really look things over good for anything we might need or use somehow.  We are not alone.  ALL the cruisers are doing this. 

Tom has already pulled out one board to use as a mock up on a project.  Luckily he discovered he won't need it after all so back in the dumpster it went for someone else to snag.  (Whew -I was worried about freeloaders hiding in the wood.)   *A couple of the guys here in the marina pull out enough lumber to build herb boxes at the top of two docks.

Visitor in the Night

I woke up sometime after 2am.  Something had changed on the boat.  This usually wakes me up so nothing new for this to happen.  Any little change - wind shift, boat direction shift, increase in waves and/or wind, decrease in waves and/or wind, weather, etc....  I wasn't concerned because we are securely tied to the dock in a very secure marina.  But I went into automatic mode none the less.  First I listened.  Where there any sounds that would tell me what had changed?  There were.  There was a faint tinkling/clinking sound - like metal but very faint.  I noticed the wind was up and thought perhaps our sun/rain shade was clinking around somehow.   I could see the sun/rain shade out the overhead hatch and it seemed ok.  Hum?  Then I heard it again and suddenly saw a dark shadow move past the open portlight in our stateroom - very close to where we sleep.  WFT was that!  In a split second my mind raced.  Was someone peeping in the windows?  They would have to lean WAY in on this portlight and thus really want to peep.  OMG!  Mind you this thinking all happened really
fast.  Then at the same time as I was getting up to investigate I saw the dark shadow move quickly past the next portlight, this one nearer to our heads therefore giving me a better look.  It had four legs - a cat.  It was a freaking cat!  The tinkling sound was it's collar/tag.  Someones cat was out for an evening stroll and decided to take a spin around our deck.  I laughed and looked over to see if any of this had awoken Tom.  Nope, dead asleep.  The cat fled leaving me to try to fall back asleep after that sudden adrenaline rush.  It didn't happen.  I guess it's good to know that not only is the marina patrolled at night by a security company (humans) but apparently we have a cat patrolling as well. 
Maybe Larry could be our guard cat?
Maybe Reba would have made a good guard cat?
Since this was their 23/7 mode I don't think either would have made a good guard cat

Monday, June 17, 2013

Busting Out The Dinghy

It seems impossible but we have been here over a week and Tom just today put the dinghy in the water and took it for a spin.  Hey, we've been busy!  But he needed to take some old dinghy gas to the boat yard so rather than walk with the dock cart, he launched the dinghy and motored over.  It was a good chance to run the outboard and blow some cobwebs out.
Old stone walls made of shells in Darien
This past Friday Tom had a first hand chance to try out the new washers and dryers while watching the US Open.  AC and TV (golf no less) make laudry better.  He had planned on doing the same yesterday for the final until we got a call from some fellow liveaboard here in the marina.  Bruce and Gina (lovely New Zealand couple) invited us to go with them to Darien to watch the final round of the US Open. 
HUGE old oaks with spanish moss hanging in them
Darien is a small place just up the road from Brunswick and they knew of a kewl little waterfront wine bar where we could watch.  We were the only ones there at first but a few locals filtered in - very much like "Cheers - where everyone knows your name."  It was a fun roadtrip.  
Unsure what this is.  Any ideas?
Today we got a ton done this morning around the boat and then headed to the beach once again to cool off. 

Internet - Hot Stuff

It's hot and sticky here in GA.  We don't have a generator or AC.  The top of the dock has the best breeze so this is how we caught up on email the other night.  Isn't technology amazing!!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Brunswick Landing Marina Update

New deck, old pic, this was from May
Things are a happening at BLM.  New deck is underway.  Additional shower - both men's and women's in main bath house.

New, small bath house is being added on the north end.

Most exciting.....had everyone a buzz.....three new washers and dryers!!  And still FREE! 
To some of you this is boring but to those of you that cruise or plan to cruise at some point, you  need to know that BLM is a good place and great people and terrific hurricane hole.