Saturday, February 27, 2010

Abundance


Why is T's mouth open and his eyes have that look of incredulity?

That's because he's holding $9000 dollars worth of Raymarine chartplotter and radar electronics that we got for free! FREE!

These units, although installed previously in some rich guy's boat, still smell like new plastic, and their owner's manuals don't have any, evidence of spilled drinks at all!

You see, another perk of T's job and a huge testament to the generosity of Diversified Marine , is the stuff we get handed down to us when a boat is being upgraded with new systems. In this case we scored a Raymarine RL80Crc Plus and a RL70C Plus, which is basically a radar and
chartplotter that is capable of integrating with our current Raymarine instruments. Its actually two separate displays that you hook up together so that you can see the chartplotter and radar both below deck and in the cockpit. Awesome! We also got a Raydome (radar) which is another $2000! That pretty much completes our must have electronics list for Me Voy! All in one swoop and three boxes, we got roughly $11,000 worth of electronics one evening. I'm blown away and so so grateful! Thank you so much Tom!

Also in the pic you may notice a thing getting knocked off of our to do list on L.M. , and that is the rotten shelf in the galley. This small project, once again proved the age old wisdom that there are no small projects on a boat, as I had to rip out half the bulkhead (wall) in the galley and a part of the hull the get rid of all the rot and replace it with new wood. After painting the new bulkhead, and varnishing the shelf, together T and I hung our new galley light, which, we're on a roll, T found next to a dumpster! People throw away such nice things. Is that only in America? When I lived in the van, Yumbum, (b.t -before travis) I would drive around looking for nice things in the trash. I lived in L.A. at the time, and by going to the rich neighborhoods, I found some really neat stuff, that I would later clean up and re-sell at flea markets. It was quite a successful venture, especially if I hit the jackpot and chanced upon a movie set that just finished shooting. Once I found a roll of the most beautiful upholstery fabric, a huge roll, brand new, that I sold for $250 to a fabric warehouse. That was quite a score as my expenses were low, spent mostly on gas which was about $1.15 p/g, and I ate at a organic farm that I hung around at. It was a lovely set up. Then I met T and there was no more room for storing stuff in the van. In fact with two people, Yumbum, became quite small, quite fast. But that's a story for another time and a coffee table book!

Back to the now. The shade T found is all glass, in perfect shape. It casts the most pleasing 12v light, making our galley booth feel very romanitc. Notice the chains that are preventing it from swinging as the boat rocks. That's what's so fun about working on a boat. All the details that one would never think about while on land, are critical to making something work on the water. Case in point was yesterday. With gusts of over 60 knots, Lucy Maru lurched and rocked in her slip, but our new light remained centered.

I wish I could say the same thing about us. We were, however, quite puckered as we listened to the howling wind, the groaning docklines, and the occasional screeching of the fenders as they held us off of the dock. I wonder how a night like that would be on a mooring bouy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Yin Yang


As the mountains of dirty snow, slowly start to melt, B-more is likewise slowly getting back to normal. Schools, which were closed for several weeks have begun to re-open, and the masses are slowly being herded back to the grind.

It's been a debaucherous couple of weeks for us, as neither T nor I really wanted to do much, except enjoy this blizzard. That meant hot beverages, cold beverages, and lots of yummy food (still with no faces). Yes, our nest was quite steamy and smokey the past couple of weeks.

We did contemplate our current plans, and made several revisions. We have decided that instead of restoring Lucy Maru to her ultimate, we will now get her to a good stopping point this summer and pass on this dream to someone else. You see, with L.M. the possibilities are limitless. Her 55' are just waiting to welcome a bathtub (with jets of course), a washing machine, a luxurious master stateroom, an art studio, a rooftop garden, a workshop, a bar, not to mention an electrical charging system that would take this beauty off the grid and into a secluded anchorage somewhere, where her inhabitants could float in luxurious simplicity. Can you see it? Can you see her coasting down the ICW or the Great Lakes, gleaming, winking at the other boats, reveling in her own beauty, power, and agility? All these things are truly possible, given enough time and money. But are they really possible for us seeing as how we have two boats and a dream of balmy breezes? How long would we have to stay in Baltimore, in the US, to see this through? I, for one hope to watch the next presidential election from somewhere far far away. Perhaps we should rent out L.M. instead of selling? Yes, that was a scheme we tossed around, that is still on the table, but, its seems complicated. The simple answer is... cruel. Two boats is too much. One of them has to go.


Lucy Maru, a 55' Chris Craft Constellation being brought back from the
dead summer 2009,with hull replanking, recaulking, and deck replacement.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Floaters and Sinkers

Travis:

This morning has marked the end of Baltimore's epic blizzard of 2010. The record has now been set at 79.5inches of total snowfall this year. Last year we had only five inches total. Last night we had sustained winds at 30kts out of the north west, occasionally gusting over 50kts. The good thing is, the ice has broken up significantly around our boats despite the temperatures staying in the low teens. The bad news is, the wind has also blown much of the water out of the Chesapeake bay and now we have extremely low water. Quite a contrast from the flood just a couple of horrific weeks ago. I went to work, first thing this morning, freeing frozen dock lines on Me Voy to loosen the strain on the dock lines which had become tight as banjo strings at this new water level. It took a lot of kicking and picking to get the frozen knots loose.

All in all we are fairing well, however, sick of Winter and looking foreword to Spring.

Some are not so fortunate. Three sinkers so far. Only one is a wooden boat. "Freedom" pictured above, is a boat we considered buying before we found Me Voy.

One sailboat went down late last night.

Another victim is this Bayliner. I am told this boat sinks annually. The insurance pays to repair it and it is left to sink again. Sounds like a good scam to me.
The water is a good 5' below the dock. This makes getting on and off the boat even more dangerous than before. We are being extra careful. So far there have been no accidents at our marina this season. We are thankful for that.
We are also thankful that we weren't added to the list of over 30,000 MD residents who lost power due to the high winds last night. As a precaution, I had tried to get the generator going, but it wouldn't stay running. It seems the prolonged extreme cold has caused the diesel fuel to congeal in the lines clogging them and dashing any hope of a back up plan.
But for now we are still hunkered down by the electric heater trying to enjoy the remainder of our "vacation". I am actually starting to look forward to going back to work. Not that much though. I did manage to complete an item off of our to do list yesterday. I re-wired all of our bilge pumps and ran new 12volt wiring. We are now ready to fully convert from 32volt to 12volt. Today I think I will read a book while sipping hot cocoa.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Whiteout

Even Dock Meister Bill is stunned from this latest snow fall. At last measurement it has snowed 26" but notice it is still snowing...

We woke up this morning to the gurgling sounds of all bilge pumps running. That got us out of bed quick. Travis began shoveling as I looked for the source of the leak. The enormous weight of the snow pushed us 5" below the waterline, and one of our empty thru-hulls that was above the waterline normally, freed itself of its wooden plug. That meant water coming in fast under the sink. It was an easy enough fix, as the wooden plug just needed to be shoved in. Then back to shoveling. T estimated that given our deck area, there was probably 8 tons of snow weighing the boat down.
But all is well, no worries. We have power, fresh coffee, and lots of adrenaline.


Friday, February 5, 2010

The Big One

The anticipation was high as we all waited for what is being called the biggest snowstorm in Baltimore's modern history.


So far it has not disappointed. About 4" in five hours. Up to 40" possible.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Brrrrrrrrr



Another snow. More motivation for our exit from these parts.

This exit, referred to among us as The Escape Plan, is a very complicated, very demanding, very simple little plan. Involved is one sailboat, equipped with all the modern technologies of navigation and power supply, one two person crew knowledgeable in old time navigation, several languages, and familiar with every piece of equipment and hardware on above sailboat. The wind.. and a dog and cat.

A critical part of the plan we are now addressing is food.

In January we began our ''nothing with faces" diet. This was an experiment in which we took meat completely off the menu.

"So you must eat a lot of beans?" was the classic assumption, and, while there are a lot of wonderful ways to fix rice and beans while at sea, for now, its mostly been experiments with fresh veggies, seeds, and nuts, with interesting sauces over some kind of rice, noodle or barley. Without meat to fall back on, we had to be more creative with our cooking, and are eating a more varied diet. Our fruit intake has doubled, as it now substitutes processed sweets, that we used to occasionally munch out on. This is much cheaper, and makes us feel better in the morning. We found baked kale chips are great remedy for that potato chip addiction. Oatmeal bars with bananas, nuts, coconut and dark choc. are easy to make on a cruising boat, keep a good while, and are an excellent way to satisfy a sweet tooth. You see, we are not total ascetics. We like flavor. Our sacrifice and self-discipline, is based on practicality and pleasure.

This is where vegweb comes in. So far every recipe from this site has been incredible. We have made some delicious, nutritious meals that are simple enough to prepare at anchor. And that's what we're ultimately after.

Making sushi on a boat is simple, fun, yummy and cheap!



Tuesday, February 2, 2010

We did the List. Actually is it was five lists, but here I will focus on only one of them, our WINTER LIST.

In order for this to work we had to rearrange our seasons, meaning, for our purposes, Winter will now being in Feb.and last till the end of April. Three months to do the following:

LUCY MARU WINTER LIST
-remove old fuel tanks, make/find appropriate replacements and install
-paint lazarette
-put in aft holding tank
-finish laundry room
-replace rotten shelf and bulkhead in galley
-rewire 12v. light in galley
-make sign for transom
-paint or veneer bulkhead in aft head
-plant for spring planting season

ME VOY WINTER LIST
-finish engine room re-build
-service and install engine and engine controls
-install additional scupper in cockpit
-install electronics

Each of these projects deserves a list of its own, as there are many many things that go into each of them. I don't know that we can do all of this, given that we also have jobs, among other distractions.

Speaking of that, Travis is now working at one of Annapolis' premier marine service companies. He's doing everything from woodwork, to electronics, to plumbing, to engine winterizing. Its amazing how he took to this boat work and how good at it he is. In fact, after we finished this list, my head was swimming and the expression on my face could only be called the deer in headlights look. Then I looked over at Travis, who was very composed, already planning which project to begin first. And this warm and fuzzy feeling crept into my bones, as I realized that he gets lists like these all the time at work, its no big deal to him, he's a "professional". When did that happen? This was further confirmed when he looked up from his thoughts, eyes filled with ideas, and said "It's not really that much."