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Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2022 00:32:00 GMT

We're Back!

     This is Just a note to let you know we're still here! We completed our business in TN and now we are full time on the boat. I'll tell more of the story later but for now we're BACK! It's so good to be back on the water! Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2022 02:33:00 GMT

Boat Show

     Today we went to the Oriental NC boat show and had a wonderful time! We looked at an Island Packet 42 and a Cabarico 38 and attended a class on diesel maintenance and docking without trauma or drama. After the class we talked with two other wonderful crusing/boating families and met a wonderful doctor who owns a 1966 Bermuda 40. So I had to go out and look at his boat which was simply beautiful of course! Yesterday we had lunch with one of our friends at the boat show and Hannah had a Tuna steak burger with jerk sauce and it was so hot it brought sweat to her brow and SHE LIKED IT! This is a serious first. We talked to several people about getting a dingy for Grace and perhaps have a few more options.
     So, about the last couple months: Sam and Wanda stayed on the boat while we went back to Tennessee to finalize the sale of the house and clean out the estate. It was a terrible job and took much longer than we expected. We sold the entire contents to an antique shop. We found a wonderful couple to buy the show 1996 Jaguar XJ6 VDP and they sent a truck to pick it up the day of closing. And that same day one of the mechanics who worked on our other Jaguar XJ6 decided he wanted to buy it as well so we sold both cars right on schedule! Then we took several days to load a 6x12 foot Uhaul trailer left a 10x20 storage unit and drove to NC. We unloaded the trailer and returned it on the 8th. So now we have storage units in two cities. Who knows if we will ever open them up again. We cannot express how glad we are to be back on the boat.
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2022 12:51:00 GMT

Mail and Taxes

     Today we spent getting a little organized. We went to the post office to check on several things we ordered and prepared our change of address. We are keeping our residence in TN but since the house sold we had to put in forwarding addresses to the Post office to some friends of ours where we rent a room. Then we heard about Brenden's Isle mail forwarding service in Florida. We will use them as a mailing address. There are difficulties about being cruisers because everyone want's you to have a home somewhere and when you live on the road or the sea then people think you're some kind of vagabond. Well perhaps we are! But we're having adventures! Anyway, there are ways to do things on the road and Brenden's Isle is one of them. Check it out! One of Hannah's packages was sent back when we sent it to the post office because we failed to put on the unit number. Watch out for that. When you use the post office (we have a po box) as a delivery location UPS and FEDEX need a physical address and dont' like PO boxes. So you have to use the street address of the Post office it's self. Then you must include the po box as a "unit#" like an apartment. We didn't do that. The post office will return mail with insufficient address if you don't include the po box.
     There are many local services you can use if you're "homeless" lol... (Our house costs as much as anybody's it's just floating.) One of them is public libraries. They have computers available and internet for a small fee or sometimes completely free. Stores have bathrooms if you need them and resturants have free wifi ususally. One major problem is trash. Please don't give us all a bad name by cramming tons of trash behind stores and the like. Those are their trash can's not yours. Use places that take public trash and keep it in small quantities. Gas stations, and public parks and marinia's typically have trash locations for the public. Don't abuse the systems! But if you're doing it right there shouldn't really be that much trash. Don't let it build up Get rid of small amounts daily. Most of our trash is bio degradable. We wash towels and use hankies instead of paper towels. We don't eat a lot of packaged foods and we wash and re-use most things. If you plan it right you typically repackage everything into re-usable containers before heading out.
     One other problem is repairs on your boat that require haul out. Finding a short term rental can be expensive in water front areas. Plan these things well ahead of time. And just incorporate into your repair costs the cost of lodging. Check the local community and ask around. The best deals are not in the news paper or on the web. Only haul out for those things that are absolutely necessary.
     We are maintaining a storage unit near the coast so we can drop by and re-supply when we need to. There is not always enough room on a boat for everything you need. However be aware that the cost of storage adds up and it's easy to argue that it's cheaper and easier to buy new than to store old. Do the math and don't let emotion guide you. If you can buy it cheaply then use it, give it to a friend or a thrift store and move along. Buy it again if you need to. how many hundred dollars will you waste storing stuff you can buy cheaper than you can store for 3 months? Remember crusing life is is simpler as a minimalist.
Date: Thur, 14 Apr 2022 02:43:00 GMT

Through Hulls!

     Today was a success!!! I freed up 2 of my ancient through hulls. The seacocks are pieces of art. They are 50 years old bronze barrel types. There's no telling how long it's been since they moved and I had tried initially to move them to no avail. Well I was waiting till we hauled the boat hout to do the hull, not wanting to mess with 50 year old through hulls while in the water. But today I was brave. The wind was out of the south and we were sitting in the mud so there wouldn't be far to go if something went awry. I got out the wrench went to the bolt on the side and turned the jam nut. And it turned easy and smooth! Feeling encouraged I put the wrench on the inner bolt and it also turned off like it was new. I pulled out a hammer and hit the bolt one swift easy whack and it moved just like that and a little water started seeping in. I grabbed the handle and it turned! so I worked it a little bit back and fourth and tightened it up again, set it so it wouldn't leak, and worked it back and fourth a few times. Feeling really brave I attacked an other one and it was just the same! I'm so glad. These pieces of mechanical art are supper expensive new and these are simply beautiful. I love proper equipment ment to last a lifetime! Now I'm going to attack the others one at a time the same way. I really should pull them out and re-build them and I might do that when we haul out but I'm feeling a lot less scared that we're going to sink because I can't turn off a sea cock. They have been well grounded all these years and don't show any signs of errosion or degradation. I love this old boat! She was well made and designed to last a lifetime.
     For dinner we had grilled chicken and asparagus rice with friends at the club house and sat around and talked till midnight. Good wine and good friends. We met a new couple with a tartan 38. They are anchored out about 200 feet from us.
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2022 01:23:00 GMT

Spring Cleaning

     Today we did a lot of cleaning and organizing. I started by cleaning out the cockpit.(since I had good cockpit drains again!)Then we started cleaning the decks. After over 6 months wintering here in North Carolina they needed a good cleaning. So out came the brushes and Sam and I spent the day cleaning off the green and grey being careful always to go across the grain and not with it. There are some areas that need caulking after the winter but we will get to those later. For now things are starting to shape up. We found a place to stow the spare fuel and water cans. Inside the boat Hannah's sour dough is finally alive again after being 3 months in the refrigerator un-fed. It took Hannah almost a week to bring it back. For dinner we had 15 bean soup and oatmeal scotchies!
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2022 01:27:00 GMT

Good Friends

     This afternoon we had drinks and snaks with friends out in the cockpit! It really doesn't get much better than this. We have met several new friends recently and appreciate the time and companionship. This is one of the main reasons we wanted to slow down our life. Connections with real people in the real world are important and getting together over good food is always a blessing. I can't express enough how glad we are that we have had the time to spend with such wonderful people. I hope to see you all in other parts of the world as well and look forward to more time together! There are no goodbyes!
Good Friends and good Eats
This is the Life!

Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2022 14:07:00 GMT

Rainy days and Mondays

     Tax day and rain make a recipe for sitting here quietly and updating the web site. Outisde it's 65 and steady rain. The wind has died down a little bit and the north wind has us riding high in the water as the wind blows water up river. The problem with wind tides is they are not as predictable as moon tides. Last night Sam and I put up the tent over the cockpit/boom and so the cockpit is mostly dry. This time we pulled the outdoor seat cushions indoors to stay dry.
     Yesterday we spent the afternoon with new friends of ours who moved from Colorado to get away from the crazyness. They came with their kids to visit the boat and get to know us better. One of our goals with going crusing is to spend more time in the real world with real people. real human interaction is far superior to electronic and without it culture dies. This is the time to unplug from the virtual and get back to the real world.
     The wind is howling gently through the rigging and as the boat rocks I'm sitting here typing on my computer as we eat our morning breakfast of eggs and crackers. The rain will be increasing throughout the day so I think we will just sit here and stay warm and dry in our boat.
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2022 13:16:00 GMT

Lazy Days

     Is there such a thing? Ha Ha! We are trying to get organized after returning from Tennessee. Our days are filled with sorting items in our storage unit, getting the boat registered for a new year, looking for boat yards to do rigging and bottom paint and trying to get taxes done. There's not much exciting going on at the moment. We spent the evening with friends again and didn't get back to the boat till 3am. I guess this doesn't help is get stuff done?!
     Anyway, this morning we're going to the opening of the farmers market. A couple days ago we found some new cruising friends and tried to pick their brains about their last 8 years of sailing around the east coast. Valuable information! We spent a couple hours with Hank on the boat talking about upgrades and fixes and getting his opinion on the boat. It was a wonderful time and he was a wealth of information about the boat. It was fun to talk with him. Perhaps we can keep him involved in the upgrades and maintenance we will be doing in the next few weeks.
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2022 02:00:00 GMT

Bad parts!

     Today the water pump failed again. This pump had only been in there 4 months! It was a Jabsco pump from West Marine. I had purchased the extended warranty so it was a breeze. I took it back to the store and they instantly gave me a new one. But there is something wrong with the pressure sensor/switch. This is the second Jabsco pump that has failed in just 7 months. I have a friend here at the dock who has had no luck with the pumps and replaces his every year or so for the same reasons. So when I went to buy this one 4 months ago or so he told me to make sure that I got the extended warranty. I was glad I did. It took a bit to get it all back in and then I found I was out of teflon tape so I had to run to walmart to get some and didn't get back till after dark. So I had to put everything back together in the dark.
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2022 01:18:00 GMT

Custom Build

     So today I attacked the teak middle hatch. I took it apart, sanded it, steel wooled it, varnished it and put it back together. No problem right?... WRONG! The hardware is custom made and no two pieces are identical. After 30 min of trial and error I finally found which part went where like a puzzle. But, now we have a much better looking hatch.
     I also bought a plastic bin for a cat box and hit it with a heat gun to custom mold it to the floor where we put the cat box. It was an experiment. some of the plastic melted through and left a hole but the concept worked. I'm going to try again later to weld the plastic back together.
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2022 03:40:00 GMT

Swelling Doors

     Today I shaved off the aft cabin door so it would close. When things get humid and hot the doors swell just a little and it is enough they won't close. So I sanded down the edge of the door till it fits again. That of course left a lot of sanding dust everywhere so we had to wipe down almost the entire boat! Then I oiled the interior teak on the steps. It was really slick for a little bit till it soaked in. Things look much better though. And Sam is glad the door closes now.
     It was a beautiful day today with a wind out of the south so we are sitting in the mud again. I'm really not sure whether to stay here or not. We love the marina but it's just to shallow for our boat.     
I am supposed to meet with Zimmerman's boat yard this week to schedule a haul out and work on the rigging. I would really like to be out of here sailing before hurricane season starts.
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2022 02:10:00 GMT

More Teak

     Today was a slow wonderful day slowly sanding at the aft deck box. I put in new bungs, expoxied cracks, and sanded the aft deck box lid. Then in the evening just before it started raining I olied it. It looks amazing. I put oil on the inside of one of the deck boxes where you can see the original deck and it must have looked incredible in it's first few years. I am still deciding whether to leave it all grey or to restore as much of the teak as possible. So far now I have the three hatches done and one deck box. There are three deck boxes and e dorades to go plus the eyebrows along the cabin.
     Today Hannah made two loves of fresh bread and is making cauliflower soup for dinner. We sat out in the rain this evening on deck. Lilah came out to visit us. She is always out at night but won't go out during the day. I made a new cat box for her tonight from a rubbermaid bin. I got a heat gun and melted it into place so it fits perfectly in the well between the aft cabin and the head.
     I talked today with David who lives here and asked about fishing since we got our fishing licenses yesterday. He said that all we are going to catch in the creek now is manta rays. We have seen them by the dozens lately. They are stirring up the bottom mud and making the water quite murkey. I guess they breed here. Yesterday one of the other boaters was fishing and caught a couple of them but threw them back. Andy says that they cook the wings in England but here everyone just throws them back.
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2022 01:46:00 GMT

To the shipyard

Steve and Sam take Grace to Zimmerman's Marine.
     Today we called Zimmerman's in the morning and they said to go ahead and bring Grace over to have the rig inspected in preparation for re-doing the standing rigging. We got the boat ready to sail in about 3 hours after I took Hannah to work at Starbucks in Moorhead City, and we left the marina at about noon. Mom took the car to Oriental and Sam and I motored Grace over on a beautiful day to the ship yard. There wer two other boats with their sails up probably wondering why such a beautiful boat was limping along without her sails up... Upon entering whittacker creek there was a boat leaving with a 7 foot draft. We talked with them on the radio but they ran aground in about 5 1/2 feet of water and we passed them.
Motoring on the Nuese in the spring with Sam
Hi Sam!
Motoring on the Nuese in the spring
Spring on the Nuese

     When we got into creek by Zimmerman's Mark was waving us in and took a couple pictures with my mother's phone. They put us in a slip between two other boats and it was tight. The first shot at it I was blown sidewise by the wind and had to go around and do it again. This time with a little more speed. We went right in and I reversed it and stopped right in the middle of the slip. They helped us with the lines and we setteled in. I left at about 16:30 to go pickup Hannah from work and now we're having fried burritoes for dinner. It was a great day.
coming into Zimmerman's Marine for rigging
Arriving At Zimmerman's
coming into Zimmerman's Marine for rigging
Had to turn around and try again. Thank heavens for bow thrusters
coming into Zimmerman's Marine for rigging
Arriving At Zimmerman's
coming into Zimmerman's Marine for rigging
Arriving At Zimmerman's
coming into Zimmerman's Marine for rigging
We Made it!! Safe at Zimmerman's

Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2022 22:07:00 GMT

Starting on the teak deck

     Well I just spent about 4-5 hours on the teak decks. I started by washing and brushing, across the grain of course. Then I decided to test teak cleaner. It was amazing! I used Star bright teak cleaner brightner combo. And for all you haters out there just calm down. I don't intend to use this weakly. The decks had been left alone for several years. It worked exactly as advertised and took off much less teak than if I had used some other physical method to clean/scrape it all off.
     The question of how to treat your teak is a very difficult one. Everyone has an opinion. The bottom line is that UV light kills everything. Dirt and moss and mold and the elements in general are going to dry out crack freeze eat and rot your wood. If you leave it alone it will die. if you scrub it it will die. If you put acid on it it will die. If you varnish it it will be slick. And no matter what method you choose it's a lot of work.
     I have decided that the best way for the wood is also the most work. I'm going to start with cleaning and oiling the wood. I'm going to varnish the trim and cockpit and boxes, but not gloss. I'm going to preserve the natural look of the wood and use an ultra thin varnish to soak in to the wood deeply to seal it. The wood right now is super dry and the first coat of oil I put on soaked up like a sponge.
     I took 4 pictures showing some of the work. I think it's going to look amazing when it's finished.
cleaning teak decks
still wet after teak cleaner
cleaning teak decks
cleaner I used
cleaning teak decks
finished after oiling
cleaning teak decks
dry cleaner vs dry scrubbed

     And of course the bilge pump clogged/broke/doesn't work again tonight. This is the second pump we have lost since October/November!!! Cheap CRAP! West Marine is going to get a piece of my mind! We also defrosted the freezer and cleaned out the fridge with a hose (thus needing the bilge pump) So we have food sitting all around and the boat is a complete mess! UGH. Long day! I'm going to bed. We will deal with this mess tomorrow.
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2022 22:00:00 GMT

Pumps and Teak

     I pulled out the offending bilge pump this morning. I figured that before I claim it's broke I better try to fix it. So I pulled apart the pump and looked at the duckbill valves, cleaned it up and put everything back together. I couldn't see any thing wrong but it still didn't work. So I looked at the settlement bowl on the input side and it was dirty and but not too bad. I cleaned it out and tried again. It pumped for a little bit then stopped again. Then I noticed that the input side hose was collapsing... Ok so I shortened the length of the input hose and re-routed the hoses a little bit so that it wouldn't collapse. Problem solved. But the lesson is use a hose with a wire in it
     We also had a refrigeration man come and re-charge the freezer compressor. After 7 years it was a little low. It might have been low the entire time who knows. We will see how much better it works. The compressor is a little small for the size of the ice chest as well. Both plates are getting cold now and everything is back together. Last night we defrosted the refrig and freezer and cleaned them out so that when he arrived this morning it wouldn't be coated with ice.
     We also cleaned out the bilge and sprayed down everything. So for the moment we have a dry bilge. Then I spent the rest of the day scrubbing and cleaning the teak decks. My arms are tired! There is a lot of dirt and grime and green stuff in the gray. I think it's like a car that hasn't been washed for months and months. But the wood looks amazing. I am finding areas that need to be re-sealed and I've found the areas the surveyor said had some water intrusion. They are isolated areas and small but we should address them. I do not feel confident to do it myself.
     Sam made egg salad for lunch and omlets for dinner. Hannah made it home from work at about 8:30pm.

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