Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dawn of the Road

I love road trips, even if they are North and it is Winter... 
With our bags packed, Travis is making breakfast as I noodle around the computer, checking last minute directions. We're on the way to Chi-town for the holidays. Did anyone catch the lunar eclipse? We made it a point to get up and watch and it was worth it. Smoky reds and mysterious greens, a nice way to begin the day. Hope everyone is blessed with peace and joy this Season and always!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Keepin' On

After four days of  steady onslaught  the wind has stopped, and is replaced by bitter cold temps. Low 30's, or about 15 degrees below normal for these parts. Grateful to have our footing again, we plug away in the cold, determined to make the progress that will allow us to leave these cold winters behind forever.

Travis has been making steady progress on MeVoy,  hooking up the electronics that we were gifted last year.  Just today he got the radar mast up, with our  GPS antenna, radar and LED deck light wired and ready to go.  He also hooked up the SSB  antenna, and the Loran antenna. We were considering  getting rid of the Loran, but since we had all the parts, we decided to keep it.  Top of the line 80's technology! Quite handy actually, as it uses radio frequency, instead of satellite, to pin point the boat's position.  Its the early version of GPS and chart plotter in one, much more difficult to use, package. That means solar storms have only us to fear, arrrrrgh...


Radar mast is going up
Radar, GPS, Loran, and SSB all hooked up!

Torn between staying aboard Tara and supervising on Me Voy, Chopper watches intently as Travis works on MeVoy a few slips away. 

Meanwhile, Tara's canvas is beginning to come together.  My deadline is Sunday, as after that the temperatures are supposed to dip even lower! Brrrrrrrrrr.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter Comes like a Lion

Don't let this picture fool you. Winter has arrived. And none of us are smiling about it!

Squeek, grrrr, plop, swoooooosh, thud thud... this symphony of creaks, groans, and bangs alerts us to the winds whipping outside. Today marks day three of sustained 25-30 mph winds. I'm talking around the clock wind, gusty cold Northern wind, wind that has turned our sink drains into miniature ice blowers as it pushes itself anyway it can into our rocking and squeaking home. Living here, like this, we are aware of every nuance of both the wind and water. Every howl, every roll, every jingle of glass bumping against glass is identified. We are the wind, we are the boat and we are the water. This intimacy with nature, even when She is not very nice, is awesome.

(Billy, the cat, disagrees with the above statement.)

In these conditions all work grinds to a halt. So we watch movies, read, cook, play music, draw, whatever. I mention this, because recently we saw a great video called Hold Fast . If you have about an hour check out these crusty-punk kids and their boat appropriately named Pestilence. Its a smart, witty, insightful and really really stooopid adventure.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weeee!


 

I'm having fun with this project. I love the big table and large space. I've dreampt of this room ever since we got the boat. Now, 1 1/2 yrs. later  I'm finally gettin to it.

You can see more pictures of this and other projects here. 

Another new thing... Lucy Maru is renamed Tara. We have decided this a while ago, and more needs to be written about it, but for now, its enough that you know her name is TARA.

Something New

Two things. 

1. Blog layout. Yes its still us only with bigger pictures. Still kinks to work out and things to add, but...          you like?

2. Canvas job. Finally the time has come to bring out the 'Ol Singer and get to making our canvas cave.
    As usual with boat jobs, I thought I could get it all done this weekend, but in reality it took much               longer.


The back deck is now a great sewing room

Finally adding the snaps with the borrowed snap tool, Thanks Crabber Dave!




Thursday, November 11, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Obrigado Brazil

After a 20 min. cab ride from the hostel to the Rio bus station, a 6 1/2 hr bus ride from Rio to Sao Paulo, a 30 minute bus shuttle to the Sao Paulo airport, a 9 1/2 hr. plane trip from Sao Paulo to Newark, a 2 hr layover in Newark, and a 35 minute airplane ride from Newark to Baltimore, we're back on the boat, exhausted and a bit greenish from all the take offs and landings. Glad to be home...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Samba

Friday night in Rio means only one thing- party-time. Paul, the hostel owner took a group of us to experience the nightlife, Brazillian style, in an area called Lapa, known for its bars and live music.
Here after 10 p.m. the streets close to car traffic, and the people, the music and the drinks rule the night.
Imagine the sounds of homemade drums, eukelelies, and Portugese, mixing with vendors, hustlers, young people, old people, even babies, and you have just scratched the surface of Lapa. This wild scene goes on for street after street after street and continues until 5 am. I'll say a bit sheepishly here that we were not able to hang all night long and after a few beers and appetizers headed back to the hostel. The amazing thing is the whole thing didn't cost us more then $12.Its been a while for us, but I know a night like that in the US would be much more devastating to the wallet.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Oi = Hi

Sitting inside our hostel suite, overlooking the sprawling city of Rio de Janeiro, we are taking the day off from sightseeing. Yesterday we explored the Tijuaca Rainforest, where Christ the Redeemer statue looks out over the entire city of Rio. The views are literally breathtaking: a 360 panaroma of the entire city, harbors, forests, favellas, mountains, and islands.  This rainforest was replanted in the 1800''s and now hosts and incredible array of orchids, birds, anteaters, sloths, and monkeys. Walking through this jungle  is not recommened... so we had to do it. There are steep paths that cut thru this lush bush that open up onto views of the Christ statue that can only be seen off the beaten path. We didn't see much in the way of wildlife, as most of it comes alive during the night. Our only heart pounding encounter was with a wild monkey, who did not appreciate being video taped. We respectfully, and quickly backed up the trail, at the sight of  his powerful muscles.

 The trek off the mountain took about 3 hours, and dumped us out in the middle of a bustling city street in the middle of rush hour. Here the primates were just as wild, if not more so, then our forest dwelling brother. Travis communicated with the natives using sign language, and repeatingly saying "LAPA,  LAPA",  which was the name of  the bus stop we hoped to find. Everything turned out fine, as we finally elbowed our way off the jammed packed bus, and onto the jammed packed street and side walk, where we were able to plot our course towards the youth hostel in Santa Tereza. Still unsure of our current position, we spotted our landmark; a white cat perched serenely near his dog house (?), just as we saw him earlier in the morning.

The final leg of the trip was a steep climb up the winding streets of Santa Tereza, where we pitched our tent under a mango tree in the backyard of the overcrowded youth hostel. This arrangement saved us a day of searching for accomadations, as everything was full due to the holiday weekend here in Brasil, and pleased Paul, the hostel owner who wanted to experiment with tent camping. He gave us the night for free, including breakfast, and called us his prototype.This was only for one night, after which we were to move into the "honeymoon suite". Being grateful for this arrangement, we drank a bottle of wine,  made instant bean soup, and laughed about one hell of a day in Rio.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rambohemian

Our  new packs are loaded with the simplest of necessities for the ten day trip to Brazil we are about to take. We are taking as little as possible, both in an effort to avoid checked baggage, and to keep mobile  while we are exploring parts of this fascinating country.

The majority of our stay will be at a temple near a National Forest in central Brazil, and the other will be youth hostels on the beaches of Rio. We are soooo excited!

Thanks to modern tech, we will be checked in for our flight before ever leaving the boat. Thanks to our friend Glen, we will have nothing to worry about on the home front, as he will stay aboard with Billy and Chopper while we are gone. Thanks to my (our) parents this trip to Brazil, part honeymoon, part research trip, is really going to happen.

Next post will be from the beaches and jungles of Brazil. Happy Thursday to you too!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Walking on Water

So much has happened in the last few weeks, including our intenet limit running out, hence this post from a local dive in Annapolis, where its loud and smells like fries. What other things happened? OH just a little something like our first solo sail aboard Me Voy! Did you get that? That's right, that hulk we've been working on now for four (!) years, has finally taken us for a ride! There is so much more to say about this, mostly things like " wow", and " best day ever", and "is this really our boat?" and so on. But, since there are no words to adequately express our amazement at this now beautiful and functional boat, lets just let the pictures do the talking...













.

That day was trully AHSUM. We realized while sailing that it was our one month wedding anniversary and almost a year since we brought Me Voy to Baltimore. Here I must mention that this was all possible thanks to T's hard work on Mr. Perkins, who now purrrrrs in the engine room, and came in very handy when the wind died on our return home, and made docking, dare I say it, easy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It was a coldish Sunday morning that we met Mike and Rebecca from ZERO TO CRUISING for breakfast at Fells point. They were tied to a sea wall on their way to the promised land- that is- they are headed south. Like their name points out they went from knowing nothing to (safely and successfully) traveling the watery road on their sweet 32' Cat. They seem pretty set up to us, and there is no way to even compare the size of their vessel to a 32' monohull! It was pretty inspiring meeting some real people who were 'do in it'. Made this whole dream of sailing away seem totally possible, and lit the fire under our arses to work even harder on both these boats.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

End of the world...again


Tropical depression Nicole has made her mark on Baltimore with drenching rain and gusty wind. It has rained here for about 8 hours straight and I'm happy to report that Sani Tred is keeping our boat dry. The same cannot be said for our dock as it is now under the water. That's right the good ole BY(O)B has yet to invest in floating piers, so today we will be climbing up the hull to get in and out of the boat. Before we moved aboard I wondered about things like "how do you get on and off the boat". After living aboard I learned the answer, any way you can.


If you are Chopper for example, most of the time you get carried. This is one of the few things he does not like, which is strange because Chopper likes almost anything. He likes things that we would think are naturally gross, like rolling around in poop, eating vomit, and of course his slimy, squishy tennis balls. However, even the promise of a good ball game has not been enough to entice him to go out today. There was only one thing to do, and on my way home from an early work day I did it... I got him a rain coat.
Now truly I never ever thought I would be the sort of person who dresses little dogs in human clothes. In fact I never even liked little dogs, thinking them more like rodents, then man's best friend. However, everything changes, and today my good friend Chopper got a raincoat.
He was quite exited about it really, that is until I stuck his head into the hood, tucked him under my arm and handed him to Travis to lower unto the wet dock. After a second of hesitation, I could see the acceptance and understanding light up his now half hidden face, as he hoofed it down the dock towards his peeing spot. He looked back only once, and from beneath that yellow vinyl I could see the beginnings of sunshine - or at least something like patient endurance.

Chopper made a new friend. Read about it here


Monday, September 27, 2010

Dog is My Guru

Travis:

It seems the honeymoon is not much different than the time before Maggie and I joined in holy matrimony. Everything is back to normal and we are working as hard as ever on our little dream of sailing and adventure, while keeping in mind our greater purpose of generating inner peace through the practice of patience and virtue. This is a difficult task in the best of times, but it can seem nearly impossible when faced with the difficulties two large old wooden yachts present on a daily basis. It often feels like the battle to keep our home and our future home, from completely deteriorating, is a futile attempt to delay the inevitable. After all, everything and everyone will ultimately return to the Earth and thus complete the circle of life.

So, it sometimes feels as if all of this work is completely futile. This thought has made us both realize that no matter what we will never "finish" these projects. There will always be stuff to do. This past week, I finally got around to sanding and varnishing all of the bright work on Me Voy again. This is something that any boat owner will tell you, is a job that will always need to be done. While doing this I found some places on the deck that need repair, cracks in the deck house, and repairs that need to be made to the rig. These are all parts that were thought to be "done" at one point. Now they need to be "done" again. Our home boat is going to be getting hauled out for bottom paint next week. This was "done" just last year. So, you see there is no sense in stressing about getting these projects completed. That is a dream that will only bring disappointment.

This is a new way of thinking for me. I used to believe that I could do it all, and I would do it so good that I would never have to do it again. I thought that working toward this dream was what life was all about. Fortunately I live with a great teacher whose wisdom is far greater than I ever knew. I am not talking about Maggie, however she has taught me many important things. I am talking about Chopper. We are so blessed to live with such a joyful and compassionate friend who is always willing to show us a better way to live through his perfect example.

For Example:

Chopper is very serious about his business. Play time is serious for him. It may seem like he is just goofing off, but he knows if it weren't for him we would never have any fun at all. However, even though there is no end to this work, and he is very, very busy.....

He always takes the time to enjoy a beautiful sunset. Chopper has taught us to pay attention to the little things. Don't let life pass you by while you are busy with work. There will still be work to do tomorrow even if you work really hard today. It's alright to take a break and enjoy the scenery.
This is only one example. But this lesson goes a long way. We really do get caught up in the things we are doing a lot of times. These times are hard on everybody, and especially hard on relationships. Loving each other and living in peace are what Chopper is all about. We can't let work become our lives. If we do everybody involved will suffer.
Chopper isn't the only spiritual guide we live with. Here, Billy inspires our Yoga practice by showing off his flexibility, during a meditative catnip trance. He is quite the Yogi.
The most important work we can do is to live life. Enjoy each and every gift we have while we have them. Sooner than we would like to think, Chopper and Billy will have gone on, and all that will remain of them will be either fond memories or regret for the time we could have better spent. Of course we are still working on the boats. But we are careful not to miss out on the important things in life. That's it for now. It's time to get back to work.








Monday, September 13, 2010

Just Married

Here's official proof. Complete with rings.

This is just before the deal went down. Mama made sure I felt like family.


There, that's more like it.


Our official witness signed her name into the giant old book.



We have gathered here to join...




With this ring I thee wed.



This is the big hug after the kiss. I didn't post the kiss pic, due to it's PG13 rating.
I know we have some young readers.
Maggie looked a little freaked out just before the vows.

But she went through with it anyway. I think she could have done a lot better, myself, but I am sure glad she has settled for me.

We did it!!
Now send presents!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Rubberize It

After much prep work we finally got the materials and the umph to Sani-Tred the deck.

We had no idea what to expect, as their website is not that helpful and we found the actual detailed directions in a box which we opened towards the end of the job. But, nonetheless, the whole thing turned out to be a great success!

I love this product. It went on easily with a roller, spread nicely and filled in any cracks. Tapelines held their edge well expect for around the toe rail where we had some bleeding. The rubber granules that we spread into the wet rubber are soft and pleasant on bare feet. Really there is so far nothing that I don't like about it. Did I mention that its rubber? Yes rubber, waterproof, flexible rubber. If I were to do it again, I think I would paint the whole boat with this stuff. It really seems perfect for a woody.

Bow awaiting tape lines

Aft deck prepped and ready to tape

We skipped photographing a couple steps here, and got down to business. Here I am spreading rubber granules into the wet rubber for our non skid surface. This will then be covered with a couple layers of tan rubber to the inside of the tape lines. (Thanks for the photo Chris!!!)

Here's a detail of our drain taped off with the rubber granules. The idea here was that the granules would stick to the wet rubber but not the rubber outside the tape line which was done the day before and already dry. These excess granules are swept off before beginning the layer of tan rubber. Our neighbor Chris became our official photographer as we became quite the spectacle at the marina. I guess its not everyday you see a deck getting the rubber treatment, and there was a lot of interest and excitement regarding the final outcome. In the end, I believe several boaters here will be ordering Sani Tred.


Finished bow

Chopper was so good, really staying out of the way. In fact he didn't get any
rubber on him at all, which is just unheard of.

Billy didn't see what the big deal was, and really resented being locked inside the boat for three solid afternoons.


Bare feet love rubber!

We were so happy to have this deck job behind us

Chopper was happy with the tan, much easier on the eyes