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Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2022 12:43:00 GMT


     Today we woke up to snow! It's about 33 deg and steady snow with medium sized flakes. The Barometer is 29.62. This is the edge of a big Noreaster that is doing some real damage up the north east coast. We are mostly out of it. Last week was a lazy week as the ice melted. We mostly stayed hunkered down with tempratures in the 40's during the day and 20's at night.
     I have done a little more exploritory varnishing and scraping and I think I want a different color of varnish. I'm trying to decide if what is here is deliberately honey colored or if it is just darkened by age. It seems obvious to me that the wood is not stained. much of the varnish is very very brittle and I have tried to soften it with very light thinned coats of new varnish. That seems to work in some areas. This has a pretty steep learning curve, this varnish thing. I think it's an art.
     Today Hannah is returning from visiting family! We've all missed her especially Lilah.
     The plan is in the spring to hit the standing rigging, repaint the mast, and re-do all the through hulls. I am building the work list now. There is a lot I would have liked to do this winter but it was just too hard while staying on the boat and so much was outdoor work or required being out of the water. Traditional winter maintenance that would have been done while on the hard with us staying off the boat and in our house, but staying on the boat made that too difficult. I really want to do as much of the work as possible myself, or at least be intimately involved. I derive a lot of satisfaction and pride from knowing I did it. Even if I just watch and learn I'm much more aware of the systems. I guess I've never been the person to walk away and just pay someone. I look forward to the spring and starting serioius restoration.
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2022 14:52:00 GMT

The Great Ice Storm

     Well, last night it started raining and freezing and by this morning there was about 3/8th inch of ice everywhere. The canvas is as hard as wood, the lines are encased in glass. In the aft cabin the air-fans were letting cold air in so I taped a bag over it to keep the cold air out.
     We were afraid the power would go out and we would loose the heaters but we have 100Gal of Diesel so we could run for a good long while if we had to. It did go out for a short minute but it was while we were asleep so we didn't notice
     It's beautiful outside but it's not really sailing weather. I'm using the time to get small things done on the boat and to continue working on varnish spots or missing wood screws. I fixed a couple hand holds and a towel rack in the aft head. I went out and helped another cruiser with his heater and had to lay on the ground to slide under his life lines to get on his boat. There was no way I was going to try and step over them when everything is encased in 1/4-3/8 inche of clear ice.
     It's pretty cold outside with a biting wind so it's not going to melt for a bit and the forcast is for weather in the 20's for the next week. I find it interesting that 22 years ago we were in Charlotte and there was an ice storm. We purchased and started working on the Sea Frog in the late spring and were sailing in July. I suspect we will re-trace many of our same steps this coming spring and summer. Since there is an 11 year solar cycle and it was in the 20's then I'm not surprised it's a cold winter now.
     There are pictures at the ice album but they are not sorted and tagged yet. So have a look!
Steve in the Cold jpg
It's COLD out here!
Frozen Canvas jpg
When you knock on the canvas it feels and sounds like wood!

Date: Tues, 18 Jan 2022 21:42:00 GMT

Water Wednesday

     Today we did more testing on the water. We were down to the 24gal line and so we added 6 to get up to 30 and once again it drained out to about 2 inches above the 24gal line. We have a leak somewhere, and I think it's under the settee.
I also did some more varnishing. I am working on the trashcan lid. I completely stripped it with a scraper, resanded it and and put on a thin coat. I have found that the thin coats work best. I'm 4 coats on one of the shine hand rails behind the sink and it's looking great. I also started on the back wall where the water damage is again. It's black but the wood is solid. I have tried oxcylic acid and it works a little bit but it's pretty deep in the wood and keeps coming to the surface. I think I'm just going to accept the stain and sand and varnish it in place. I'm in a similar delimna on the wall by the companion way. the varnish is damaged but I'm afraid I'll never get the color matched and it's a large flat area so I'm trying to soften the existing varnish and keep as much of it as possible.
It's turning cold and the barometer is dropping. There is an ice storm warning for tonight and tomorrow. We have 3 heaters but if the power goes out in the ice storm we will have to run the generator. I don't like being so dependant on electricity. We'll see how it is tomorrow.
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2022 21:42:00 GMT

Monday Monday

    Well today I got up early to check my varnish jobs. All is well so I got some steel wool and smoothed out the varnish and put on a second coat. I also began working on some water damage discoloration We had a couple areas where portlights/holes were leaking years ago and there is grey/black damage. The wood is fine but it is discolored. I'm trying teak cleaner with acid in it. It worked a little bit. I'll let it work and do more later.
Then I went in to get a couple water Jerry cans so we could re-fill the tanks before the next 2 weeks of cold weather. Sam and I put in 30 gallons and it was full again, so that tells us we're using about 10Gal per day for 3 people. I found some 6 gallon water cans at Walmart. West Marine didn't have any.
I also bought a third heater to prepare for the cold weather coming. We are supposed to have snow for two days this weekend.
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2022 13:57:30 GMT

Rainy days and Sundays

     I tried my hand at varnish today just touching up a few small areas to test how it goes. Interior of course because it's a rainy sunday and cold. There is an area by the companionway that was needing a little work and a small area by the sink in the gally. I used a heat gun to scrap off the old cracked peeling varnish. That worked great! It came right off. I'm using spar varnish which might be a little overkill but it's just a small 8 inch area as a test. So far the two space heaters has kept the boat warm even down to 24 deg but they are running all the time now. The ceiling has gotten condensation on it a couple times and needed to be wiped down just like the inside of a tent on a cold morning after breathing all night. We put the heaters in the bathrooms to keep the towels dry during the day. Lilah is on the deck at night now but still won't leave the cockpit during the day. Sam is cooking all the meals now taking over for Hannah while she is gone. We ran the engine for 30 min in gear and ran the Generator for 15 minutes as well just to keep things in order. I think the prop might blow away some of the mud from under the keel while we ran it in reverse. I can't see down there but we can hope. Wind is up to 22K now out of the north and it's raining. We are about 18 inches above the dock and sitting high in the water. When the wind blows out of the north the water in the creek rises. When it blows out of the south it blows all the water out and we sit much lower at the dock. The depth ranges rom 4-8 feet depending. so on really warm south wind days we are keel in the mud and can't get out of the slip. On into evening the wind and rain started picking up and the barometer dropped from 2995 to 2940. Stormy weather with whitecaps and winds from all angles from 25g35 it started in the northwest and swung all the way around. We had bean soup that Sam made and got wet a couple times tying up ropes, moving dorades and keeping things battened down. I removed the forward dorade as water was pouring in the bilge and chain locker from it. It's 7pm now and things are quieting down. It's going to be cold cold cold for the next two weeks and unless we were in Florida it would be cold even in Charleston. I'm going to go to bed now. Good Night.
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2022 02:43:56 GMT

End of the Week

     Today was a nice warm quiet day. The temp was in the 50's and the air was clear and dry. We filled the water tanks yesterday and are tracking the levels. It did overflow. And when it did it started siphoning out the overflow line because there was not an anti-siphon device at the top. I had to open the overflow line so it wouldn't continue to siphon into the bilge. We dumped about 20 gals before I got it stopped. I seems that with 200 gals we can go about two weeks.
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2022 15:48:22 GMT


     This morning the river was frozen over and the light current was pushing against the green bouy marking the entrance to the marina. It would push it for a while then the ice would break and it would move back to it's original position. The pier was vibrating slightly for the same reason. The current is moving very slowly. It's dry and cold but the sun is warm and it's beautiful outside. There was frost on the docks and the deck. We are on our 9th day on our water supply and will likely fill up tomorrow. The temprature last night was somewhere below 27 degrees. It was 27 at 8am. but the water temp below the surface is still 49 degrees. Life is peaceful and quiet and everyone is fine. It is so quiet here and at night you can see the stars the way I remember when I was a child or when we were in Mexico or Sailing 20+ years ago. There is no light polution and since we are on the edge of the USA 1/2 the sky is over the atlantic ocean. The stars are amazing. We contacted a boat yard to work on some issues like rigging and through hulls this spring. The owner of the yard is going to come visit us and see the old girl before we schedule work. It's an exclusive yard that I will mention after when we are closer to actually having the work done. I've made progress getting the web site ready for an RSS feed. You'll be ablt to subscribe to the blog soon!. I have all the posts separated and linked. Now it's just creating the feed.
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2022 12:48:03 GMT

Winter is Coming

     The Holidays were quiet and peaceful here in North Carolina. Of course we are at the end of the road near the end of the country and the eastern most edge of the south. The world storms rage around us but we are safe in our hurricane hole at the moment. It has been cold and windy. We have seen winds over 30Knots and temperatures have been down to the mid 20's. The weather swings wildly. One day the temp is 28 in the morning and by afternoon it is 60. On those days the wind blows hard. When it does, the boat rises and lowers almost like the tides. We are far enough inland that the tides don't affect us, but the wind blows the river in our out and raises the water level a good 3 feet each way. When it does that it can be difficult to get on or off the boat. The north wind brings high water and the south wind brings low water. Since our boat draws 5.5 feet there are days we are in the mud and there are days we are riding high. When the north wind blows and the temperatures drop the marina cuts off the water for upto a week at a time and we have to live on our stores. We have 200 gallons so this is usually ok but we do have 4 people on board so we have to be careful. Lila is getting used to the boat and has even ventured on deck a couple times. She seems to prefer nights and during the day she skulks around hugging low to the ground. Wanda, Sam, Hannah and I are doing fine and we thank you for enjoying our blog. We hope you had a wonderful holiday and for those who did not we wish you better days in the future. Our prayers are with everyone in this crazy world. As for technical news, we will be adding an RSS feed so you can subscribe to the blog. We are also working on a video/audio vblog as well. Please drop us a line at and say hello. We'd love to meet you! God's grace be with you all and may this be a good year!

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