Monthly Archives: September 2016

Three Hundred and Sixty Five ~ Already!

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Image from “fountainofyouthmyth.wordpress.com”

For the ladies out there, I have discovered a secret for feeling young again!  Simply by coincidence, we mark our move onto LIB almost exactly on my birthday. So now I associate my birthday with how long we have lived on LIB instead of how long ago I was born.  The result? I have dropped 50+ years!

Seriously, it has been a year since we officially moved on board?  I’m amazed that so much time has passed because this all still feels fresh and new.

I would outline all the changes and adjustments we have made since moving on our catamaran, but I pretty much covered those in our Six Months Afloat blog.

Instead I’ll apologize for the lack of posts lately.  I cannot blame it on the internet, but rather on the lack of interesting stories.

We have been in a holding pattern for weeks (and weeks and weeks) here in Annapolis as we arrange and plan some changes to Let It Be.  (I’ll write about those soon!)  Between being in one place for several weeks and selling our house in Texas, there have not been many fun stories to share.

However, we have some exciting things coming up.  The Annapolis Sailboat Show is next weekend. The boat show is a giant, indoor/outdoor toy store for grown ups; or at least for those who like seeing all the new sailboats and sailing gadgets.

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Google image of the 2016 Annapolis Boat Show

As if that isn’t exciting enough, many folks we have met in various anchorages in the Caribbean will also attend the boat show this year. Frank and I have heard from several and we hope to reconnect with all of them during the four days of the show!

But honestly, our youngest son is coming in town for the show ~ yippee!!!  I know we will want to maximize our time with him, so we probably aren’t as available as we usually are.

How is it that all the fun things seem to happen at one time?!  Many days we have nothing but projects going on and I would love a distraction!  Oh well, no complaints. But I am looking forward to next weekend.

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The other event I’m really excited about is our upcoming Sail to the Sun 2016 Rally!  For those who aren’t familiar with a sailing rally, it is when a group of sailors gather and travel together on their individual sailboats.  In this rally, we will spend two months traveling from Hampton, Virginia to Miami, Florida via the Intracoastal Waterway.  Approximately 20 boats are enrolled it this event.

I am super psyched about exploring the ICW from our boat and learning the history of the ICW as we travel.  Wow, those who don’t know me would think I am a history nut because I keep talking about how much I want to explore these historical areas.  But more likely, the truth is that I was completely UNinterested in history when I was in school so I get to learn the history all over again.

I’ll talk a lot about our ICW Rally as we travel.  In the mean time, I am making my list of all the vendors I want to visit during the boat show.  Fun times!

 

 

The Doldrums in Annapolis

Most sailors know the meaning of “the doldrums” which is defined as an equatorial region of the Atlantic Ocean with calms, sudden storms, and light unpredictable winds. It is also defined as a state or period of inactivity, stagnation, or depression.

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Our view from the service dock at Jabin’s.

Obviously since we are docked in Annapolis, the first definition does not apply to us. And though we are not inactive or depressed, we have been in a period of stagnation as we begin our 8th week at Jabin’s Yacht Yard.

Jabin’s has been a very good place to hang out, meet a few boaters and get to know a bit about Annapolis while we research some unexpected repairs LIB needs due to a lightning event.

During our first six months of cruising, we spent the majority of our time on the hook and very few days in a dock, so being tied to a dock has been a new experience for us. Our preference is to be at anchor and explore our surroundings from the water, but we are game for a bit of variety. We are making the best of this time while LIB is inert.

Summer in Annapolis can be warmish, maybe not Texas warm, but pretty hot.  The water in the docks is not inviting so a cooling swim is out of the question.  But we have managed to enjoy an impromptu beach party or two with our neighbors.  Mindy and Ron on Follow Me shared their bow for these gatherings.

doldrums-3There are not too many things more rewarding than a little shade, a sprinkler and a refreshing beverage during the heat of the day.

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Mindy, Frank and Ron have a head start on me.

Many of our dock neighbors come and go more quickly than we have, so we are meeting many boaters with a variety of experiences.  It’s been fun to talk with them and swap experiences.  Seeing others leave is sometimes sad, but one nice aspect is that we already have friends in future destinations.  We look forward to meeting up with some of these new friends later in the year when we travel down the ICW.

After packing up and selling our land home and leaving friends we have known for years, it is especially nice to know we have friends in places we will visit soon.

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Folks from Follow Me, The Abby, SeaQuest, Phantom and Let It Be enjoying spirited conversation and an excellent dinner at Jack’s Fortune, a nearby Chinese Restaurant.

While in the U.S., access to food, electronics, services and toys is amazingly easy.  So we are taking advantage of the availability since we have it.  While LIB was in charter, we had two stand up paddle boards used by our charterers.  Those boards saw a LOT of action and bear quite a few dings and bruises.  Also, based on how heavy they are now, they have absorbed a bunch of water. In fact, they are so heavy I can no longer launch them or stow them and Frank has to do it.

While we have access to a plethora of choices, we decided to order some new SUPs and are waiting to pick them up.  Our new boards, by Bote, are a bit shorter than the last ones and much lighter.

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These SUPs have full track pads so Captain will have good footing on the new boards without our adding outdoor carpeting like we did on our original boards.  I’m looking forward to being able to use the SUP without bothering Frank every time.

One fun options for these boards is a “tackle rack” which will hold fishing poles and allows you to secure an ice chest.  I think it would be pretty fun to paddle down some tiny creeks and fish from the SUP…. we might have a new activity on LIB.

Frank and I have a trip planned to CA to visit our son, Clayton.  I am super excited to see him and get the tour of where he is living and working.  As a family we have always enjoyed spending time together and seeing my sons less often has been quite an adjustment.

Still, we raised them to be independent, productive young men so I can’t complain now that they have successfully achieved that goal.  Instead I will relish the time we do have together and pester them via phone and text between visits.

Thanks for stopping by, readers. We’ll let you know as things progress on LIB.

 

 

 

 

 

With A Little Help From My Friends…

 

musical-notes.pngLike the lyrics from this Beatles song, I got by with a little help from my friends.  I would not have been able to complete the cleaning out and moving process without several friends lending hands for the physical process and offering support for the mental adjustments.

Thank you, thank you to my dear friends who stepped in and saved my sanity and allowed me to meet the deadline of selling our house!

walesWales Court – SOLD!

Of course, the process of moving out after 20 years was fraught with conflicting emotions, but one feeling that doesn’t vacillate is the relief that communication is so easy and universal these days. The knowledge that I can keep in touch with my family and friends, wherever we are in the world, is what allows me to make this commitment to a totally different lifestyle.

This year, living on LIB while we still owned our land home, I always knew in the back of my mind that I had a bail out plan if cruising didn’t work for me. With the house sold, I feel a little untethered and I wonder how it will affect my attitude.  Will I be more committed to cruising or will I have a slight sense of unease because now I am truly “all in?”

Frank is at peace with the house sale and completely satisfied with boat life.  Thankfully, our sons are very supportive of our decision; so that is 75% of the family in good shape…. I’m confident I will be happy too, it’s just the finality that is hard to accept.

But enough of the emotions, let’s talk about what we are doing on LIB!

For a variety of reasons, we have been at a dock in the Annapolis area for several weeks.  So we are using the time to knock a few items off the To Do List.

Recently we completed a project that I think will make a nice improvement, though it is a little difficult to describe. (And probably of NO interest to non-boaters.)

We have had an issue with rain coming in from the sun deck and the helm station down into the cockpit. This resulted in a very wet cockpit which restricted our use of that area.

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The Helia cockpit ~ Fountaine Pajot photograph

The cockpit is sort of the equivalent of a covered porch and it practically doubles the living area on our boat, so when it is too wet to use, our space is significantly reduced!

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Fountaine Pajot designed the boat with a very small drain under the step where the sun deck meets the step to the helm, but the opening between the step and deck was much too small to be effective.

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We modified the step to slide it further away from the sun deck so rain water can efficiently drain below the step.

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When we removed the step, in addition to its’ being filthy, we found the drain holes were much too small. In the picture above, the drain holes are just outside of the center white portion and are hard to distinguish from a regular screw hole.

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First we cleaned the area under the step, then we enlarged the drain holes significantly.

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Water ran out of these holes onto the helm platform.

FP’s design was to have the water drain from under the step, down the ladder support and out through these small holes onto the foot of the helm station.  We didn’t like having the water drain near our feet at the helm station, so we put our heads together to design a different place for the water to exit the step supports.

Our solution was to create a way channel the rain water all the way to the well in the floor of the cockpit and out into the ocean.

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So we eliminated the drain holes in the supports and added a metal extension to the stair supports that would be below the fiberglass.  

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Once the ladder was in place, we add a hose to the bottom of each ladder support. 

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Our access point was the speaker above the refrigerator.  Next we angled the hoses along the side of the refrigerator and down toward the floor of the cockpit.

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Frank shimmied into this tiny place so he could reach the other end of the hoses and attached them to the plastic fittings we added to the drain well in the cockpit.

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We tested our work using a hose and here is a picture of the water flowing from the sundeck, down through the ladder supports, through the plastic hose and out through the drain well. From here the water falls into the ocean.

We are pleased with the aesthetics of the modification and are happy our cockpit will stay dry when it rains.

When your permanent residence qualifies as a “tiny house” it’s important to maximize all of your space and this project will certainly increase how often we can comfortably use our cockpit.

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