Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice to all my friends and family! We'll be sailing before you know it.
OK, maybe not real soon, but hey, the days are getting longer from here on out. And for all you lucky bastards that are already out there, have one for me :)
Cheers!



Monday, December 19, 2011

Buzz cut

I put off a haircut for a while now, and I was starting to look like some of my early eighties photos. Not something I would like the world to see, so I got out of work on time today, and went over to the barbershop I usually go to. One guy had a customer, and the other was asleep in one of the chairs. These guys are thirty somethings with tattoos, and thick glasses, and attitude. I usually get my hair cut by one of the two females there, but coming in through the door, I woke up the sleeping tattoo nerd, and he grudgingly got to a chair and waved me over. For me, barbers are like dentists. I go because I have to. Not because I want to. Since I was a kid I never liked getting the hairs trimmed. Now maybe when I'm floating around on a boat, I can go for that puffy Afro like fuzzball that develops on my head after a while, but having a job and all, requires me to visit the guy with the dog clippers and sharp scissors every three months.
Now, I don't know if this Hanson Brother gets up grouchy from a nap, or if I pissed him off for some reason, but the way he tore into my head, I felt like I was getting skinned.
I said not too short, but that didn't mean a damn thing to this guy. I look like I joined up and I'm shipping out tomorrow. My God. Hard to stop someone after the first run of the clipper through all that hair. I look like I did when I was about seven years old, only with grey hair and wrinkles.




Well, on the bright side, I will not have to get a haircut until spring.

So, while cruising, how do you folks get your hair cut? Any barbers on the islands? Any cruising stylists out there? May want a mullet some day.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Paranoid?

You ever have the feeling that something big is about to happen? Like maybe some big pile of crap is about to hit the fan? This confusion in the Euro zone about what to do, now that none of them but Germany has any real wealth, and our banks passing all that bad paperwork around, pretending it all has value, and our political "leaders" doing nothing but trying to trip each other up, all seems to be coming to a climax. Since 2008, this has all seemed like a bad play, put on for the masses, to keep us entertained, and hopeful until someone can figure out a happy ending.  Now, a few smart people in the audience of this play are pointing out that there is no script, that the actors are making it up as they go along. The actors are now nervous, coming up with ridiculous lines that make no sense to anyone, and the audience is getting restless. They start asking for their money back, and this, is the point where the crap and fan come together.

Not sure how prepared I am for this, or if I can do anything about it, or if I'm just really paranoid. Maybe the world leaders will get together and solve all this nonsense, make new rules and abide by them, and we can all work in stable economies in peace and prosperity. Maybe I'll get a new Hinckley for Christmas.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tarped

Well, she may not be as tightly wrapped as my yard neighbor, but she's covered. Not sure if it really matters, but I feel better knowing the snow isn't sitting on the deck.

I took this angle so my pal can't see his boat. He he he.

I have some more cross framing to do to prevent the heavy snow from pushing down on the tarp. I'll do that tomorrow in the warm air. Supposed to be about 60, and partly sunny.
Deb and I got her covered in about 3 hours. We roll out the tarp in the lot, then roll it lengthwise, into a long tarp sausage. Tie a line to one end, toss the line over the boat, then haul it on deck. Last year I flaked the tarp, and that was a hell of a lot easier than trying to get it to roll off the deck. Rolling it was not a good idea, as it was quite a struggle to get that damn sausage to unroll. Lot's of heavy breathing on my part. Might have to hit the gym this winter. Don't want to die on the hard.

So, now it's officially over. I could just say goodbye, and see her again in the spring, or I can get my ass out there on weekends and get some jobs done. We'll see how much will power I have, and how much snow we get. Will be quite the boring blog if I don't get some projects going. What? It's already boring? Thanks Dear.

Next: Bermuda pics


Thankful

Deb and I are thankful for friends and family that didn't want to see two old folks sit out thanksgiving in their tiny apartment. We would have been fine, and I would have whipped up something special in the galley, but it was great to be in the company of some very nice people. People we'll really get to know better in the coming months, as the wedding gets closer. So special thanks to the Spear family for a fantastic meal! Wish I was in better condition for the party, but Deb and I got a little excited about being free from work for the next four days, and maybe celebrated a wee bit too much  :)

Today we think we can cover the boat, as the wind speed has diminished to about eight knots, and we have a helping hand. Kelly will attempt to help us get the 50x30 tarp over the boat. I'm sure there will be a few laughs. This is never a fun job, but it has to be done. We are really late in getting it done this year, so thankful the weather cooperated.

Bet these guys are thankful they found their skipper. I only saw one life jacket, on the bowman, until after the broach, when someone thought maybe the PFD's are a good idea, but then I see text on screen that says they all had PFD's on. They must have inflatables, under their jackets. In my many years racing, I've observed the fact that no one wants to be the first to put on a PFD. I am usually that guy, as I work the bow, but it only takes one person to put one on, and most of the others will follow. Your gut will usually tell you when it's time, and you should ignore the "looks" from the rest of the crew, or passing boats. Most of us are too old to try to look pretty on the boat anyhow.
Saw this on Sailing Anarchy.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Now that's a heater

I was browsing some blogs today, and apparently other people plan on keeping their boats warm this winter season. Now this is a heater. Click on the photo to see it constructed. Found the link at BoatBits.
Deb would love the tile work.

 Four day weekend. What will I do? Covering the boat would probably be a good thing to accomplish. Looks like some sunshine heading our way. I could also clean out the storage unit, and get rid of some unwanted stuff.
I think we're getting closer to getting the hell out of here, so time to purge the "stuff".

Monday, November 21, 2011

Winter work

Have to pull the injectors on the Yanmar this winter. Going to send them out for a tuneup. I think I have a bad one, which is causing the white smoke and fuel out the exhaust when the engine is cold. Could be wrong, but many people have agreed that the injectors is the place to start. I also have to run new fuel lines to my dual Racors. Refrigeration needs to be completed, so we can be off the grid this summer, in case we decide to head south after the wedding.
I am going to do this during some cold weather, and I'm now looking for a reasonably priced heater, that can keep the interior nice and toasty while I get some work done. Has to be under 30 amps too.

I remember one cold harsh winter day at Oak Park Marina, when I decided it was a good day to check on the boat in about 6 feet of snow. Some days you just need to get out. Anyway, I was inside the old Hunter, and I kept hearing muffled voices. I swore I was the only one stupid enough to be out there, so I checked on a few things, then went outside to check on some friends boats. As I walked down the line of tarp covered boats, the voices I heard earlier were louder. Someone was having a good time, and they were grilling too. In a Catalina with snow all around it were some friends having a grand old time partying it up, and getting ready to go out and watch the sunset! What the hell. Turns out they had a propane heater blasting hot air into the cabin, and were having some dinner and a few bottles. After a surprising hello, they said they were staying the night! OK, now that's dedication.
Not sure I want to take it to that level, but a good heat source would make all the difference.
How about this one?


Nothing like a little ambiance in the cabin. Might even get Deb to come out there with this all fired up.
This one burns coal or wood, and after an hour or so, I might be like that beaver over the pipe a few posts ago. Don't think I can get it up the ladder.

I  should go with something a tad smaller, yet able to throw some heat. Here we go. Amish style. Hmmm. Where would they plug this in?
LifeSmart LS-1500 Amish Style Portable Infrared Heater with Thermostat


LifeSmart LS-1500 Amish Style Portable Infrared 

This LifeSmart Infrared Heater is designed to heat your home without reducing humidity or oxygen, maintaining a healthy and comfortable living enviroment all while SAVING YOU UP TO 50% ON YOUR HEATING BILL! No parts to replace or costly service repairs like many other heaters, and best of all its safe for you and your family. This heater does not get hot and will not burn your children or pets. Heats up to 1200 square feet.
OK, I guess I'm settling for something like this:
No Amish styling, but it's cheap. Maybe with two of these things cooking, I might get some work done this winter. Or, I could just go with the propane salamander, sleeping bag, bottle of rum, swim shorts, flap hat, and watch the sunset over the bay. Sorry for that image :)

Bring it on.



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thoughts and prayers

So sorry for fellow sailors, the Andersons.


Sail on Jan.
Her last words are here.

Both Deb and I will have a quality harness before we sail next season.
Sailing Anarchy has some words.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Safety in numbers?

The NARC rally for cruisers ran into some extreme weather on their way to Bermuda. Unfortunately a life was lost, and three vessels abandoned. I have read where the organizer is blaming the weather guru they hired, and the weather guy is blaming the organizer. I had thought of going on one of these rally's at one time, thinking there is safety in numbers, and I guess that's true if you had a breakdown, or were taking on water etc., and were in relatively calm conditions. When the weather gets really bad, as it did, I imagine it's every man for himself. As much as you would want to help someone, you have to consider the safety of your own crew and vessel. Not sure how close the other boats were to helping the distressed vessels, but how could they possibly assist in those horrible conditions? There is coverage of the NARC here, and a Boat Bits has something to say about rally's.

I mentioned we went on a cruise to Bermuda, well, we were out there at the time these boats were in trouble, and I can tell you that the view from the port in our cabin was humbling. There was no way in hell I would want to be out there in that mess in anything under 200 feet long. The video from our cabin  does not give you a true feel for the conditions. You really need to hear and feel the boat shudder, and this was one big ass ship. Imagine a 35-45 foot sailboat out there.



We were in 50+ knot winds, and 25 foot seas. I sat in the cabin, looking out at the sea wondering how I might react in conditions like this. Well, I better buy a really good autopilot, and some adult diapers.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

We've been framed.



Tomorrow, I expect there will be a cover up.

I wanted to run the engine for a while, in order to change the oil, so I went looking for a water source. Around the marina there are water spigots, that tap into a natural spring down the road. The nearest in one direction was about 300 feet away. Too far. How about the other direction?

While looking along the shoreline, I saw this:



Scared the hell out of  me! I did not see it until I was pretty damn close. I stared at it for a sec, wondering if it would move. Just hanging out tryin to dry off bub. Whatchu lookin at?
Deb wanted to know if it was sleeping. Yep, I  heard it snoring. They all do that about mid-day.

On the walk back to the boat, a feral cat walked up to me crying, and acting very unfriendly. Creepy times in the boatyard. We packed it up, and I'll be back tomorrow to party with the sleeping groundhog, or beaver, but I'm avoiding the attack kitty.





Saturday, November 12, 2011

Good Day

We got some of the framework done for the tarp. We stopped to see some friends, who had excepted delivery of our tarp, and we sat in their sun porch for the afternoon laughing the day away. As much as I wanted to get the boat all tucked away, it was equally important to visit with good friends.


We did manage to get some work done before the sun went away. We stopped for the night and had dinner at Jack's, and we saw some familiar faces, which only reminded us of all the summer fun we had. Was a good day  :)

Blue to black

Well, we had a great time in Bermuda, and sitting on the pink beach overlooking the bright blue water was what we needed. Now we have to start winterizing KellyNicole. She just got hauled out this week from the cold black waters, and we have to start the framework for the tarp. Fifty degrees, high winds, twenty feet off the ground, carrying boards and drills. Lovely. The joy in Deb's face means this will be a fun time :(
At least we have sun!

I have Monday off, and plan on finishing off all the winterizing duties under the cold black skies of the South Shore of Ontario. Then I will kiss the old girl goodbye for a while, but I'm hoping we get a mild winter, so I can get a few things done out there. I am really going to push myself to ignore the cold and snow, and knock off some things that need to get done so we can get the heck out of here. Can't let Mid-Life Cruising beat us to the islands :)


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ice cold delivery

A friend asked me to help deliver his Sabre 34 from Sodus Bay to Rochester yesterday. What looked like a bumpy motoring for 30 miles into the wind, ended up being a dead motor, close hauled adventure through four foot waves. Not the most pleasant ride I've ever been on, but a good adventure on a nice boat. We pinched most of the way, with only one tack. As we entered the Genesee river, the wind got light, and allowed us to ghost up river, where we fired up the engine to get her into the slip.

The Westerbeke ran smooth for about a half hour after we tied up. Figures. I believe the problem to be a dirty Racor filter, but my fellow sailor had none in stock. No harm, we made it just fine, and I feel better for sailing the whole way. My toes and fingers did not share in the thrill of sailing, as it was about 45 degrees...same temperature as the water. So to thaw out completely, we booked a cruise to Bermuda!

I feel the need for pink sand, sun, and dark rum.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Anniversary

Thirty years of marriage!. Where did the time go?

If it wasn't for our love of tacky wallpaper, we may never have met.



There's a few more wrinkles now, but that's from smiling all these years.
 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Reality

I have to dis-assemble the boat this weekend, so they can haul it next week. The weather is starting to get a bit dicey, and it's quickly becoming the real October at Latitude 43. I remember putting a tarp over WhisperIII in November, and it was not fun. Deb's fingers are still recovering from that event, so I better get moving. This year I have to take off the stanchions for re-welding, as they look pretty bad, with about 4 of them that have busted weld joints. Having the stanchions off will make covering the boat easier too. Not so much framework required. So, the fun is over, and the cold weather work begins.

Here is the weather outlook for the weekend. I really picked a good one to start all this. All the pink is 40+ knots of wind. Oh yea, it's going to rain all weekend too.



We had a great time in Annapolis, and even attended the boat show for a few hours. Yes, we did not spend much time there. I don't know, I guess we were not in the mood to wait in line to see boats that were so far from our reality. I'll post about all this later, but for now, it's back to engineering, that full time gig I'm still involved in. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Annapolis

Not much else to say. We are here, and we are not buying a boat, no matter how much we drink.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Reunited

We have a reunion of sorts this weekend, as Nicole is bouncing up north to visit her parental units. The boy will be in tow also, so I have some entertainment to look forward to. Nothing like making boyfriends uncomfortable :)
With Kelly getting married this May, there is some wedding planning stuff happening, so the boys will find themselves in my company, while the ladies try on dresses. The weather is supposed to suck, so we may find ourselves in a bar for some time, unless the weather breaks and we get an opening for nine holes. Maybe we'll go to a shooting range. Nothing says take care of my daughters more, than a Dad firing a gun. Actually, I've only discharged a gun once in my entire life, and put a nice bruise on my shoulder, but I'm willing to try it again :)  

There is a winery tour scheduled for Friday I think, and that should be fun. The Finger Lakes have some fantastic wineries, in some beautiful countryside. The suitor from Georgia would like to pick some apples, so we'll try to accommodate him. We have many cider mills up here in apple country, and there is nothing like the smell of a cider mill, while munching on some warm fry cakes. I will have to buy some apple and grape pies, and keep them for myself, as I like nothing better than warm apple pie, and vanilla ice cream. I refuse to share.

Not much about sailing until next weekend when we are in Annapolis. Looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend, walking around and looking at boats I'll never buy. We are in the market for a wind generator, and an autopilot, but I think I have settled on the W-H brand. Everything I've read says it's the best, but it's friggin expensive. Funny, it looks like something I built in electric shop in high school. 




Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sails down

I was told I looked like a pouting kid, walking the upper deck of the marina, waiting for Debra to help flake the sail. It was pointed out to me by wifey, that the next three weekends did not involve sailing, or any other boating related activity. Damn. So, I decided, while it was sunny and dry, to take down the sails. I had thoughts of sailing in October. The crisp air. The leaves all ablaze with fall colors. Not a power boat in sight. We sailed in October once, and it was a great day. Yes, just one day. That's all we got. One stinking sunny day. The rest of the time, as I was trying to put the boat away, was freezing rain, and wet leaves stuck to me. So, with memories of frozen fingers and toes, and decaying tree matter, we took down the sails. Not happy, but what the hell, it's the price you pay for sailing this lake.

So, this lake I talk about, Ontario, is getting kind of boring. Don't get me wrong, we have had our "holy crap!" moments, and some great sails, but overall this lake is kind of a black inky void, with no real sign of anything living in it. I know there is life under the waters, but you never see it. Once, while crossing to Cobourg, I saw something long like a large snake, swirling in kind of a figure eight behind us. Of course, by the time Deb looks to see what I'm excited about, it is gone. Her reaction to any of my excitable moments, are a bit subdued. Not sure why, as I have pointed out many entertaining sights. Once, all of us witnessed a duck disappear under the water. Kind of weird, as it was floating nicely in the waves, then got sucked down by a rather large fish I guess. 

Maybe this is the duck eater:
Muskrats, ducks, shrews, mice, and frogs also appear in the stomachs of muskies from time to time. Hmm. Might explain the missing Yorkie in the marina. 

This guy looks nasty, and can get up to fifty pounds, and five feet long. The Sturgeon is a rare sighting, and I hope to never see one, especially while skinny dipping.


We usually see Carp, and once saw a Gar Pike along the docks. There was a Lake Trout chasing down a Sunfish right next to the boat a few weeks ago. Witnessed the demise of the sunfish right in front of me. Kind of cool seeing that. I was burning ears of corn on the grill at the time. Last weekend the Salmon were jumping in the basin of the marina. Apparently we were oblivious to the activity, but the folks at the marina thought it was something to see. Might have been that empty growler of Highland Amber Lager that made us blind to nature. 

So to finish off our little marine life lecture, here is the Lake Ontario food chain. I know you were all wondering what lives in our Lake, so enjoy the nice graphic.


As you can see, there is life under the inky black waters of Lake Ontario. There are things living beyond the floating diapers, occasional underwear, party balloons, condoms, dead fish, birds, and coolers (empty of course), and the famous killer algae. For the most part, the lake is cleaner away from the major city's. The Canadian waters tend to be nicer, except for Toronto, which was not as bad as I imagined, but still kind of murky. Cobourg has a beautiful shoreline, and fantastic beach, but way too many Speedos, and Frenadians wearing them. Kingston is just fine all around, and is probably the city I will miss most. The Thousand Islands? Quite honestly, they are islands that kind of all look the same. Most are private, and you'll never step ashore, so no big loss there. Most of the time up there, you are motoring around rocks and ledges, looking for that great anchorage occupied by French speaking, nearly naked rude people, who can't anchor for shit. 

We will not miss Lake Ontario. I think we spent enough time here. We need to go where there are things that can swallow you whole, or take a good bite out of you, lurking under the water. Jumping in the waters to clear a fouled prop, and wondering if you'll be the next morsel, will not be boring at all. Hopefully there will still be some speedo wearing folks, dropping all their rode into a nice neat pile, and grabbing a glass of wine to enjoy the closeness of the American Morgan behind them. 






Monday, September 12, 2011

Running out of time

Fall is quickly approaching. I have not heard the dreaded travel lift yet, but quite a few boats have their sails removed, and are ready for the haul out. A quick count of cars in the parking lot this morning only revealed seven, so we are down to approximately seven live-aboard's at this point. We have an eighty degree day today, then this week a cold front moves in, and the high will struggle to reach sixty. Deb is very tuned to the weather, and I'm thinking that getting up at 4:45 AM to walk to the showers is not in her plans, when it's about 45 degrees. I might last a little longer, and get some stuff removed and organized for the winter months. Could this winter in Rochester NY be the last?

The solar panels have been doing a great job keeping the batt's charged, and the davits work great. So, at the boat show, I will be scoping out wind generators, alternator/regulators, windlass, and LED lighting. I will also be scoping out the Middleton tavern, McGarvey's, and the Rams Head  :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chill

Happy Labor day!  Having a hot cup of Earl Grey, and reading through the news. Was like throwing a switch on the weather here in Western NY, as yesterday was hot and muggy, now today is cold and wet. Nothing like the first sign, you are soon to be freezing your asses off for the next eight months. Deb is still in bed, where it is warm.

Got a little aggravated last night when the rain started. We had another leak, above all of Deb's stuff. I got the heavy sigh, and the frantic movement of all her stuff to the salon. How depressing this was. These ports are driving me insane. I was standing in the dark, in the galley, caulking gun in one hand, flashlight in the other, waiting for the rain to stop. I exited the canvas in the lightning flashing, cold wet evening, and applied 4200 around the trim ring of the port as a temporary stop gap. I had to act fast. Deb eventually came out looking around with another flashlight, and offered to hold a light for me, but I turned down the offer (mistake), and finished the job. I was asleep when this flood started, and I get kind of cranky being stirred awake, so I wanted to get this over with. I was also feeling a tad sorry for myself too. The boat chores are piling up, and time is running out. Soon there will be another tarp covering this ship, and snow all around her. The burden of everything that goes wrong with the boat seems to fall on my shoulders, like I'm solely responsible for the design and install of everything aboard, including whatever stupid thing the previous owner, or builder did. I know somewhere there are these mystical guys who repair and handcraft everything, and anything on their boats, and they do it all on a weeknight, so the wife can relax and read in the sunshine all weekend. I'm not one of those guys. Most of this work takes longer than expected, requires a tool you don't have, requires four hands, and perfect weather. I can Macgyver my way out of most problems, but I'm not a craftsman. Some problems take time, patience, and practice to correct and improve. I can do it, eventually, given enough time, and trials.

Do other couples share boat maintenance duties? I do all of the maintenance, and most of the cleaning of the exterior, the cooking, and 90% of the new installations. Deb cleans the interior, except for the workshop, and engine room, and cleans up after dinner. She also organizes food storage. I don't know, maybe I'm looking for a 50/50 on everything, but is that possible? We all have our skill sets, but some of this stuff is just effort, with little training, and some interest in what the problem/solution is. Can the Captain make a duty list, or is that a really bad idea?

On a positive note, the solar panels are doing their job, keeping the batteries topped, and they didn't move at all in the heavy air we had from Irene. A successful project. Ahhh.

Might be a good day for the iPod, listen to some boat cleaning tunes, while I wash away all the spiders from the deck. Sometimes just cleaning the boat can make you feel better about her. She doesn't look so leaky, when she is clean.

Like the season, it's time to chill.






Saturday, August 27, 2011

Irene

We took advantage of some Irene generated winds today, and had us a great sail. Almost felt guilty reaching in 13 knots, when our blogging friends, and many cruisers are trying to survive this storm. We hope y'all find a great hurricane hole, and come out safe and sound.

We expect over 40 knots tomorrow, as the edge of Irene winds hit Lake Ontario.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Leaks

In our aft cabin, I re-bed some ports, and I used Butyl tape for the sealant. I read somewhere, where this stuff is absolutely the best to use as a sealant. I had a hard time working this stuff into the seam around the ports, but I managed. Took a while. The first rainfall things looked good. The second heavy rainfall things looked like a small stream. So, removing the leaky port, and re-bedding with caulk, the old fashioned way, should do it. Nope. I used Life Caulk brand, as the marina store was out of the 3M stuff.

Never again


So I now spread this stuff, that I have never used before, around the ports. First rain, and the stream was in full force again, only this time it was actually kind of a soothing sound as it trickled onto my clothes in the cabinet below. I just sat there watching, mesmerized at the fact that I had pulled the ports twice already, and they still leak. Pulling the god damn port one more time revealed that the Life Caulk I used had dried and shrunk to half it's size in less than a week, and some of it was still tacky! Never again will I use that crap!

So yesterday, a hot sunny day with no wind, gave me the opportunity to re-bed  (how many times?) again with the 3M goo. I pulled the remaining port with the Butyl tape, and it was like pulling taffy on a hundred degree day with a slight wind. In other words, the Butyl just strung out all over me and everything else and blew around in the breeze. Damn, I hate that stuff! So after three ports removed, cleaned with Acetone, and replaced, I was ready for this mornings storms.

Butyl tape


I'm 2-1. I have one above Deb's cabinet now, that leaks bad, only it's not coming in around the port, it's running above the headliner, and raining down the hull interior. WTF!!!!!!!!   This is literally killing me.
I can't tell you how perfect I was in applying the goo. Why is it leaking???

After the next blob of showers, it will be ripped out, and replaced with Gorilla tape until I get another sunny day. Is it too early to start drinking?



Oh yea, my wet clothes? I put them in the car to get them out of the way. Four days later, I smelled something bad. Yep. We had to wash them twice to get rid of the funky odor emanating from my shirts and shorts. They smelled like a guy downtown, that I gave some spare change to.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Can a root vegetable end a relationship?

Yum.  Click on the photo for recipes.


Can a root vegetable end a relationship? Probably not, but it can get you some serious alone time. The reasons for this follow this little story.

Back when I was just a little lad in Buffalo, my Grandfather would call me downstairs on Saturday mornings after his trip to the public market. Grandpa would have me sit down at the kitchen table with him to look over his selection of produce, and other gross things he purchased. The guy ate everything, so it would be common to see pigs feet, rabbit, head cheese, etc. on the counter. One item he loved to snack on were radishes. Apparently I got that gene too, as I love me some radishes. At least he didn't pass down the hair loss gene.

Preparing radishes was serious business. It called for a sharp knife, vinegar, oil, pepper, and a can of Schlitz beer. We had red and white radishes, but the white were the best. With a sharp knife, Gramps would trim the stems, and then rotate the radish under the knife, creating a spiral cut, but never cutting through. When done, he would soak the radishes in vinegar and oil and pepper for the day, until they got a little soft. When ready, you could grab a radish and it would extend like a loose spring, with the marinade absorbed. A little pepper,  a Schlitz, a shot of whiskey, and a spearing of Limburger cheese and life was as good as it got back then. We would dangle those radishes over our mouths, before dropping them in, and just munch away until Grandma chased me out of the house.

Yes, he let me have some beer, and maybe a finger dip into the whiskey. Might be why I fell asleep in the driveway the one afternoon, only to wake up with ants crawling all over my body. My screams only brought on more terror, as my Grandfather nailed me with the garden hose to wash off the ants.

To this day, I will spy some radishes in the market, and much to Deb's dismay, will prepare them for a Saturday afternoon of munching. Now I assume everyone knows what radishes do to you. First off it's the radish burps, which I hear are like living next to a treatment plant, then there is the, well, let's say venting, which would be like working in the treatment plant.
The boat is a small place, and rather cozy at times. Having a radish processing plant inside the thing can  make SOME people cringe in disgust. Well, I try to schedule the radish feast at the proper time, like when Deb is not on the boat, but sometimes I just can't resist. Some people when they are stressed, eat chocolate, or ice cream, because it makes them feel good. For me it's radishes. Not only do they taste good to me, but they bring back memories of a time when I had no idea what stress was, if you don't count getting eaten by ants and receiving water torture.


Yes, today is radish day :)




Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dorks on the water

Debra had her work pals (Electrical Engineers) out for a sail yesterday. We had very little wind, but managed to make some tracks on a beautiful day. The boys put a big dent in the beer supply, and had some laughs, so good times all around.

As far as toxic water goes, it looks like the killer algae only made a brief appearance, but I'm waiting for another week before my ass touches that water. The sunfish is still waiting to get back in the water. I bet there are a million spiders under that hull.

Received the rest of my cable for the solar panels, so we should be getting that project done this weekend. Had a great time with friends on Thursday night at Jacks. Maybe a little too much fun, as it was a tough morning at work on Friday. I had a half day, which means I leave at 10 AM, but every manager in the place wanted something done before I leave. They do this to me all the time, so this time, I excused myself to go to the bathroom, and proceeded to walk out the back door. Wonder how many stalls they searched before they realized I bailed. The cell phone listed quite a few missed calls. Yes, I will pay for that stunt, but I'm offsite in training all next week, so maybe the anger will fade. I was to the point of breaking yesterday, but the sane voice inside me said it wasn't worth it. "Dude, just walk away". So I did. Then I heard, "Dude, grab a beer!", but I had to be Captain, responsible for 12 nerds, so I watched over the party, and had a cold one when we were tied off for the day. All in all, it was a good day, even with spending the first four hours with asshole managers.



Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's back

Toxic Algae is back in Sodus Bay. Damn, I thought it was not going to pop up this year, but last week I told Deb it smelled like it was back, even though we could not see it. This morning there was the spilled paint look of the blue green slime floating around some of the docks. I just got the sunfish gear out here too, but I'll be damned if I'm going to get any of that crap on me. 

No wind today, only dark skies, and occasional rain. Once in a while the sun comes out to steam us. Looks like a project day, with a few Gin and Tonics thrown in.

Sweaty in Sodus Point.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Broadband boat

We finally got some fast internet access. The WiFi at the marina is horrible, and we like to skype with Nicole in Savannah. I need to lay my eyes on my beautiful girl.

So some photo uploads should be coming soon. I will also document my fridge install, as that should be good for a few laughs. The solar panels took two days, and I'm still trying to over engineer the mounting system. Planning is everything, so I thought, but when all the stuff shows up, and you get a feel for the size and weight, you start making changes. The woman at the marina store thought I was crazy buying all those nuts and bolts. I must have made 5 trips back and forth, each time with more sweat coming off me every visit. The conversation got shorter too.

Tip: Never, ever use lock nuts! They seize up, call it galling, or whatever. I have one I have to cut off as it is going nowhere.

Tonight was laundry night, so not much going on. Rain is pouring down, and it's about 65 degrees. Heading over to Jacks for a few bev's with friends tomorrow.




Friday, July 29, 2011

Blame it on the flies

Tuesday morning we woke up to showers in Whitby. The night before we had ventured out on our bikes to explore the town, but we found the area not too bike friendly, so we hit the market, and the only "restaurant" nearby. The hockey complex across the street from the marina had a bar, and a not too extensive menu. We had breakfast, which actually was OK, and it hit the spot. Hockey players like an all day breakfast. Of course the hot sauce I got for my eggs, was not tobasco, but wing sauce :(   I suffer so. They did have Moosehead lager on tap, so life was bearable for the moment.
Whitby may be completely boring, but the people there are great, as were all the Canadians we met. The marina is pretty nice too, with excellent staff. I suppose if we had gone into town a few miles away, we would have another opinion on the place, but around the marina, there is pretty much nothing to see or do, unless you brought your hockey gear.

So here we are, looking at the radar. We saw a pretty clear day ahead, after the squall passes, and the NOAA forecast called for 12-18 kts out of the west/northwest, which would be an OK ride. Waves, 2-4 ft. Not bad.
Sailflow had the wind out of the west building to 25 kts, with gusts 30 or more. Hmmm, not good. Who do you believe?  NOAA had the wind dropping as the evening came, and sailflow had it continuing all night.
Looking at the rest of the week, there was little wind, and or rain. That means motoring, or motor sailing with biting flies, and possible thunderstorms. My gut feel before we untied was to stay put, based on all the orange I saw on the sailflow map, and Deb felt the same way, yet neither of us expressed this to each other, so we left at 8 am.

We had 96 miles to travel, and what little wind we had was directly behind us, so we motored in the sun and the flat water. As the hours passed, the wind started to increase slightly. There was enough to get the genny out, while still motoring, as we needed to make good time to get in before dark. I was relaxed, steering with my feet, enjoying the ride. "These waves getting bigger?" I asked Debra. A look of indifference came back to me, as she was resigned to motor all the way. Could be worse, I guess. Deb was in another world I guess.

As the wind slowly picked up, and the waves increased, we gained more speed, and I was a pretty happy camper, as we were going to get in at about dusk. By the time we got mid lake, the waves were about four feet, and the wind was hitting twenty. Still, not a bad ride, as we started to surf some of the waves. Even more time shaved off the journey. Deb was feeling a tad queasy, so she applied the oil behind the ears, and stared out the back of the boat, watching the waves roll in. Rochester was in the distance, and I thought maybe we should tuck in there for a night, but Deb thought we'd come this far, might as well carry on. OK, let's do it.

The wind was still on our ass, but was slowly dropping, then increasing, then dropping again. I figured this was a sign of it tapering off. I was wrong. What happened next turned our trip into an adventure.
The wind started increasing rapidly, gusting to twenty, twenty five, then it actually hit thirty a couple times. The waves went from two to four, to four to six. We started surfing down every other wave, and were still managing things OK. We surfed like this for the rest of the trip, with the waves getting bigger and bigger, which makes sense because of the long fetch of the lake, and the wind directly out of the west. As the day rolled on Deb applied more Motion Ease, and I fought the wheel trying to stay with the waves, and not get rolled sideways. We started averaging about 7.5 knots, and I still thought we were doing fine. What I did not think about, was the sea floor rising up as we neared Sodus Point.
We were in about four hundred feet of water, and as we got closer to Sodus, the sea floor rose up and so did the waves! We were now looking at ten or eleven footers on our tail, and the wind howling at over twenty five knots.  Deb was pretty scared, as was I, as we sat at the top of some of these waves, looking down into the trough as the boat ripped through the water. At one point we hit ten knots while surfing. I was having fun in some respects, but awfully scared too. Now, I know we should have slowed the boat down, and I eventually did, but for now I wanted to get in before dark, as I feared the waves and wind were going to lay us down as we turned into the channel. The closer we got to the entrance, the higher the waves got, as we were now in thirty feet of water. I alerted the Coast Guard of our situation, in case we got pushed into the pier, missed the channel or the boat got knocked down. They stayed with us on the radio, and if anything, they could get a boat there to pluck our bodies out of the water. The local station was closed. Nobody home. I guess we have enough money for 100 or so border patrol agents to keep those pesky Canadians away, but not enough for the Coast Guard station to stay open at night.

The sun setting behind us, Deb calling out the big waves, we angled towards the entrance, mindful of the waves, and as darkness fell around us we throttled down. Now the waves were rolling under us, and we pushed for the entrance. As luck would  have it, the waves near the entrance shifted, and they were now pushing us in. I released the genny, while Deb steered with the waves. I struggled to furl the headsail, while Deb did a fantastic job of steering us into the channel. Safety! We got into Sodus Bay, into the slip, tied off, then Deb went and kissed the ground. I wanted to pump my fist in the air, and yell Wahooo!, but I just hugged Deb instead :)

In hindsight, if your gut tells you not to go, don't! The boat was fine, she handled well. Should I have been surfing? As long as I felt we had control, I thought we were OK riding some waves, but as we neared shore, and got into the shallows with the big waves, I should have slowed it down earlier than I did. There really was no rush to get in before dark, as it was our home port, and we know it well. Deb and I should have expressed our reservations about leaving port. We were not honest with each other. I think we were safe the whole ride, until the last ten miles. I should have realized the waves were going to increase as we got closer. Conflicting reports did not help the situation, and I guess you always base your decision on the bad report. Had I believed in sailflow at the time, I would not have ventured out, but they have been wrong before. Lake Ontario is famous for it's quick changing of conditions, and I should have also considered this.
All in all I think we did OK, and we are probably better for the experience. The Great Lakes can be nasty at times, and we should have respect for the power that can be generated so quickly. To be perfectly honest with you, I blame it on the damn flies. Just the thought of those bastards eating us alive all the way across the lake on a light air ride was enough to make us roll the dice.

I missed a beautiful sunset photo too. I was not taking my hands off that wheel.
We'll have more photos later, when I get a real internet connection. Wireless in Canada was slow, and the marina here at home is pathetic. We're getting a broadband hookup at the slip. Oh yea.

Sitting pretty in Toronto Island Marina

View from Centre Island
Been a lovely cruise, even with the waves. 
Good times.

Friday, July 22, 2011

In Toronto eh

Made it to the big city on the lake. The Toronto Island Marina is not like the brochure, but it will do just fine. I'll post pics later, but if you could see where I am docked, you would wonder how in the hell I am going to get out of there. Well, I'm wondering too! I guess that's what's fun about cruising, it's always a challenge. If it was the same old same old, then you might as well sit on the couch. I say that now, but if I'm playing bumper boats in Canada  later, I might be wishing I was on the couch.
I wish i had pictures of the entrance to the docks, but I was too busy trying not to crap my pants. The entrance is a canal, and it's marked with some little buoys, and from the harbor, they look they are marking the entrance to a forest trail. You head right for the trees, get through the markers, and make a left. The depth read 5 feet, and I was swearing I'll strangle the kid that told me there was enough water in there, when a sailboat came the other way, and Deb asked how deep the water was in there. The guy said 12 feet, and he drew 7, and he made it. OK, away we go. So the docks are nice, but man is it tight in there.

So the trip from Cobourg was slowed a little by another dirty racor filter, but i swapped it out pretty quickly, and we motor sailed here. The wind was on the nose most of the trip, but shifted enough for us to get the main up. That added about 4 knots. So here we are. We're off to see a CFL game tomorrow at the dome, then some dinner and a few cocktails :)

Good times.

Paul and Deb

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Oh Canada


Got to Cobourg without an incident. Hooray! We are spending a few nights here, then on to Whitby. Never been there, and never heard of anyone being there. Should be interesting. Hopefully I’ll find a nice pub, and I hope it’s better than the one we found last night. This one was located in an old hotel, and had about 4 locals in it. The kind of place, where you walk in and it gets quiet, and they all size you up. We just ordered a couple beers, and watched the Jays game. One of the old guys in shorts and black socks, pulled up with suspenders was pretty buzzed, and talked up a nice lady at the end of the bar. It was at the point where he started kissing her hand, when they decided to leave. That left Deb as the target of Mr. Socks. He looked at me, and I did not smile, so as not to put out a friendly invitation. Hope Deb appreciated that. Another patron had an old baseball uniform, which looked like it was from the 30’s all tucked into his 120 lb frame. Add a mullet haircut, and it’s not a pretty picture. Very entertaining, and harmless. Not sure Deb liked my choice of drinking establishments.
So we sailed halfway across the lake, until the wind died on us, and we had to fire up old Smokey. Took us about 11 hours to do the 67 miles. Not too bad I guess. We could have motor sailed and made it in much less, but what fun it that? When we went to start the engine, it didn’t. It sounded like a dead battery, but on the next try is fired up. When the alternator started charging, it seemed to be cranking in an awful lot of amps for only using the instruments for the last 6 hours. I’m wondering if my starter battery is crapping out. I brought along a spare battery (who does that?) and will swap it out today.
When we were motoring we had visitors……
BITIING FLIES!!
These bastards are the spawn of Satan. They will eat your flesh, and they are quick. First they send in the stupid flies. These do not bite, they just land on you and size you up. You can swat them easily while the others watch to see who has the quick hands. After this squadron gets decimated, the others descend.  These little creatures from hell, attacked us the rest of the way. If you do managed to kill one, the others attack the corpse. Yes, they are cannibals as well.  After we docked, they continued to bite us until we left for dinner. There are still a few around, and they only bite Deb. Based on the scouting report, she must have been the slower hand.
Had a great dinner at the Oasis, and the drinks were good too.  I asked for a Tanqueray and Tonic, and I got a stare, and then “What?”  It’s gin…and tonic. “I’ll be right back.”  Ten minutes later. “We have Tanqueray. What do you want in it?” Oh boy. At least there was a lime in the first one.
So far, so good. Lot’s of friendly people here.
Good times.
Freighter alley. Pay attention!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Destination: Cobourg Ontario

Well, we'll get there eventually.

The cruising plan is to cross the Lake to Cobourg, then bop over to Whitby, continuing to Toronto. We left Sunday morning, because the bastards that employ us, would not leave us alone the whole week before. Needless to say, we were not ready for the Saturday morning departure. Prepped all day Saturday, with some relaxation, and Sunday morning looked good for the crossing. Nice breeze from the southwest, and we would reach all the way there. As we motored out into the lake, I made my rounds down below, as I usually do, to make sure things were cool. You know, like no water coming in the boat, stuff like that. Bilge? Relatively dry. Pump work? No. Looks like a bad float switch, again. Not a problem, as I can jumper it. Instruments? Good. Engine? Looks OK, sounds OK, any fluids visible, or oil? Um, what's that pink stuff dripping on the alternator? Crap! We have a coolant leak, and a steady one at that. "Deb, turn her around".

Deb had such a nice smile going, as she was free of work, and about to have a wonderful sail across a blue lake with sunny skies. I hated to see that smile turn to concern as she spun the boat around. We killed the engine, and sailed as close as we dared, then fired the thing up again. After we tied her up, I waited for the coolant temp to come down, and then yanked the hoses. Looks like a rupture where the hose may have made contact with the engine. Damn.


My buddy Don (Tweaker) came to the rescue, with some hose. Where does he get this stuff? The other day I needed to open up a hole in some stainless, and he pulls this xmas tree looking thing out of his ass, that will widen the hole up to where you need it. Amazing. Even more amazing is the porn hits I'll get for stringing those sentences together.

We're all put back together, and running. Now I have to replace the crappy Rule brand float switch for the bilge pump. These poorly made switches only last a year or two. You really have to check them every day.

Too late in the day to cross now, so we stayed put, and met up with Kelly and Eric for lunch. We then jumped over to Abe's to watch the girls soccer team's disappointing loss to Japan. Bummer. We found our friends sitting peacefully with their Dog Izzy, so we felt obligated to ruin that nice moment by hopping aboard for a nightcap.

So the plan was to cross Monday morning, but as you can see from this radar picture, we aren't going anywhere.


The remnants of what kept us at the dock.

So, I guess we sit tight, wait out the storm, and leave tomorrow. Well, that's the plan anyway. 


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fantastic week off

Wow. We actually had a full week of good weather, and it happened on my vacation week! I feel blessed. OK, maybe that's going a little too far. Lucky is probably the word. Got some sailing in, some projects done, had friends over. Was a great week. About the only disappointment, is the fact I have no Tabasco for my egg sandwich I'm eating right now.

New davit cross brace. Solar mounts on the way.

Replaced with 275' of chain. I will sleep better at anchor.

Thor had to remove this one.

Future son-in-law. Graceful.

At least his shorts stayed on.

Eric and Lauren enjoying Ontario.


Thanks for the eggs Kate and Frank! I only smashed three of them on my bike ride back from the bar. The goo left quite a trail into the cockpit, and onto the cushions. At least I was smart enough to wipe it off before the morning sun hit it.

Last day of vacation. I can feel the stress bubble percolating already.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Flare up?

We used last nights fireworks as an excuse to fire some off our old flares. A few of us got our pistols out to test them, and get the experience of firing them. We had clear open water in front of us. I had two shells, that fired nicely, but burned well short of the indicated time, and really did not go that high. Very disappointed in the results. Another guy fired a shell, and his gun barrel cracked in half! The shell plopped into the water in about 6 feet, and a smoking hot gun barrel, metal, was dropped from his hands. Another sailor could not get his barrel to open! These were all Orion, of various ages. Sad that you may have to rely on these things some time in the future.


There were some of those flares, where you pull the string while holding the plastic tube above your head. On both of these the string broke, and they never fired. They were also Orion.


There was one guy who sent off a parachute flare that was spectacular. Good height, and almost a minute of burn time. These were in large tubes, with a pull ring, and I think they were Hansson.

 I was impressed, and will spend the extra cash on these babies. Keep in mind that these were all expired flares, and some were at least five years old. The small gauge plastic guns never worked, and a larger gauge barrel cracked in half. I had the only gun that worked, and it had a plastic barrel with a metal sleeve.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Expensive weekend

No, it's not expensive because I did something stupid in boat handling. Sorry to disappoint. It's because I bought some anchor chain, and had it delivered. Did not know that you can not get chain delivered to your residence. I really have no residence, but I was going to have it delivered to a friend nearby, so that they can stare at it for a week, while I figure out how to get it to the boat. I was told that the drop-off has to have a fork truck. Franks tractor was not good enough, so I had to have it delivered to the marina, where I will pay (at $75.00/hr) to have a guy remove it from the truck, and deposit it to the front of the boat. I'm assuming the delivery will be late in the day, and I will pay overtime, and the chain will be left at least a hundred yards from the boat.

We had a glorious sail yesterday, with my daughter Kelly, and Eric. They brought along some friends, Sarah and Zach. Good people, and all had a great time. We caught some wind, around 15 knots at times, and it was sunny and 90 degrees, and wind out of the south, which means flat water! Eight knots on a reach for 23 miles. Sweet.
The only weird part of the day was when we were docking. I usually come in a tad fast, as the nose is light, and any gust pushes me around a bit, so I maintain steerage. Well, our friend Ed had a dinghy close to our path, and I yelled "get that stinkin dinghy out of our way!" Ed replied, "Oh Christ it's Paul, get the hell out of the way everybody, he's probably doing 8 knots!". Well, there was a memorial service on the dock next to us, and they were in prayer, and I didn't notice, until I saw all of these people at a dock "party" staring at us. They were not smiling. I felt pretty bad. Bad that I interrupted, and bad that I forgot about the service. I knew Captain Jim, he was a very nice guy. So, the youth in our group yelling and toasting a good sail, then pumping reggae through the boat was probably not in good taste.

Payback.

Last night I woke Deb up yelling in my sleep. I was actually kicking the side of the berth. The weirdest dream ever. I was hit by a car, while  riding my bike. Nothing new there, but this time I was laying near death on the road, and no one was helping. I felt someone grab me, and say, "Sometimes plans change, let's go.". I turned to find Captain Jim pulling on me, trying to take me to where he now resides. Yikes. Hope he enjoyed the karate kicks to the groin. Good thing Deb woke me up. Then she told me I was screaming like a little girl. Well, what if a dead Captain had his boney hands trying to drag you the great beyond? Huh?  Then I remembered that all the ports and hatches were open. Ugh.
I hope they were all drunk and passed out last night.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A weekend of sailing and Jazz

We had light air, but we sailed! Finally we got the old barge out for a floater. We got out about 6 miles out into Ontario, and we picked up 11 knots of breeze. We sailed on all points to make sure she was trimmed, and she practically sailed herself. Sweet. Now we need some good air to make sure she's ready for the Toronto trip. No mishaps so far.

I remembered the camera this time, but noticed the memory card was missing. Damn. I hope to have some photos soon. Always nice to have pics to go along with the story. Then you can see how stupid our dinghy looks in the davits. I need to make some better straps, as they are too long, and the dinghy can't be raised high enough. We really need a smaller dinghy too, as the 11 foot zodiac is just too much, and looks enormous on the back of our boat. I had to help a friend at another marina about 4 miles south of us, and I took the dinghy instead of the car. This was fun, until I caught a wake and almost put her on her side. The bay was a tad choppy, and my ass is still hurting from the pounding. Plus I landed on the radio, which fortunately was sealed in a zip lock, for my protection.

Went to the Rochester Jazz festival on Friday to see Elvis Costello. He was great. What a talent. He rocked the Eastman for almost 3 hours without a break. His acoustic numbers were awesome. Record attendance at the festival this year. Something Rochester should be proud of. Good times.
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20110619/LIVING/106190353




Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mack Packer

Spent all day getting a Mack Pack installed. I realize the mainsail is not going to fall fully flaked into a bag I can just zip up. I'm not that gullible, but I am hoping I can pound that crispy sheet of Dacron into some shape that will fit in the bag. The sail cover method doesn't work for me, especially on this boat. The boom is too high, and my legs are too short.  As long as we've had this boat, I have been climbing the mast on those pop out footholds, and hugging it while I tie up the sailcover with one hand. I was an accident waiting to happen. 
While at the boat show in 2009, Deb noticed this Mack Pack, or the guy standing next to it. Eight hundred dollars later, and I had some canvas and line in a box, with a CD that showed how easy it was to install. The guy in the video said it would take about two hours. Two years later, and we've got it done. We're a little slow.

Sails are on, the canvas is up, and I think we're going sailing tomorrow!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Blogging from the water

Friday they put our mast up, parked her in our slip, and left her for us to clean and rig. The only reason I knew the boat was ready, was I saw from the web cam a tall mast at the end of the docks. Customer relations, a concept untested in many places.

Spent Friday night under the stars, on a clear and cool night, thinking how an un-rigged, cluttered, dirty boat, can make all the stress of the week just melt away.  It's good to be back.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Still waiting

I know some of you are asking why we even bother with sailing up here, as most of y'all have been sailing for at least a month by now. I'm really not sure anymore. This is the worst it's been for us, in a while. We are still waiting for the mast to be raised, and it will at least be another week before we actually get her out sailing. The wind was too strong the last two days to get the mast up. So, what's next? Too sunny, Hang nail, Forgot my sunscreen, Got the hiccups? This is getting absurd.

Might be time to blow out of here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Stickless

We are floating! About friggin time eh!
So, the marina has this list. You call when your boat is ready, and they assign you a number. When it's your turn, you get launched. Sounds simple enough. So we signed up. Never thought to ask what the number was. I tell my buddy that we have signed up for launch. He also signs up for launch 3 days later. So here we are Memorial day weekend and they tell us we will be in AFTER the weekend. That was a real bummer, but no problem mon, we find something else to do. We stop by the boat last Friday, and find my buddy sitting in his slip all nice and rigged, and getting ready for the weekend. WHAT THE F...!!!

So we decided to head out to Sackett's Harbor and ride the bikes around town, and enjoy the day, and sample some micro brews. Very nice. We had a great time, and we forgot about getting screwed over.
 
After stewing about it all day today, I had someone check the secret launch book ( I have connections), and it looks like I was number 126, and my buddy was 96. How the f%#$% does this happen?? There appears to be some shenanigans going on with the launch book. Now that I think about it, there appears to be quite the number of yacht club burgees flying in the marina. Hmmm. Maybe the Thurston Howell crowd gets priority.
I'll see to it that we are in before Memorial day Lovey Darling.


Today I call the marina, to ask why they did not respond to my e-mail. I thought I was very polite in that e-mail, just so you know. Maybe a bit sarcastic, and maybe some bitterness, but polite. I ask when we will be launched, and they say we're in the water already. Huh? Well, what do you know, a little whining and magically we are in the water. I'm starting to like this squeaky wheel method. Maybe from now on, I'll just get things done my way, yes sir. Damn straight I will. This is the new Captain Paul. He's a tough little troll, better see it his way.

"only one problem Paul, you see, our yard guy, hurt his back today, so your mast is not in. Hopefully we'll get some good news from our guy tomorrow, and get you all set up. Have a nice day!"

DOH!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Well, my mood has been better, but...

It appears that we have Prozac in our Great Lakes. You know, the place where we get our drinking water!!

When antidepressant pills get flushed down the drain, they do more than create happier sewers.
Scientists in Erie, Pennsylvania, have found that minute concentrations of fluoxetine, the active ingredient in Prozac, are killing off microbial populations in the Great Lakes.
Traces of antidepressants such as Prozac have been found in both drinking and recreational water supplies throughout the world, in quantities experts say are too dilute to affect humans but which have been found to damage the reproductive systems of mollusks and may even affect the brains of animals like fish.


http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/05/11052-prozac-drugs-water-great-lakes-erie/

So, knowing I am ingesting Prozac every time I quench my thirst. I decided to do a little research on the stuff. Found this little tidbit:

Sexual dysfunction is a common side effect with SSRIs. Specifically, side effects often include difficulty becoming aroused, erectile dysfunction, lack of interest in sex, and anorgasmia (inability to achieve orgasm). Genital anesthesia,[8] loss of or decreased response to sexual stimuli, and ejaculatory anhedonia are also possible. Although usually reversible, these sexual side effects can last for months, years, or permanence after the drug has been completely withdrawn.[9] This is known as Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction.

Now, I know how to counter the Prozac flushings, but somehow I don't think many little blue pills will make it into our sewer systems. At least not in their original form. But if they do find Viagra in the Great Lakes, let me be the first to rename Niagara Viagra falls.

Too diluted to effect humans. Right. Are Viagra sales higher along the Great Lakes?

I've been to Erie Pa., and if I lived there, I would be on Prozac too.

Still waiting for our friggin marina to launch our boat. Somehow we were skipped over on the "list". Might be time to change my attitude towards marina owners. The meek will NOT inherit the earth. They will get skipped over. Bastards.

I need more tap water!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I was not raptured

Well, I'm still here. Guess I'll purchase the solar panels, before the zombies take over. I should probably add a wind generator, as the sun may not be shining for a while, after all the earthquakes, and things start burning. Amazed at some people, but not surprised at how they handled the predictions of an old engineer, who calculated the end of times, and spent gobs of money advertising said prediction.  I feel bad for the children of the parents who sold everything, figuring they were being raptured.  How do you face your family after you find out you were wrong about all this? Probably feels the same as telling your family you bought a boat. I remember those faces clearly.

We are in Kokomo Indiana for a wedding. My daughter's college friend is getting married, and we were invited. Only an eight hour drive from Rochester,  ugh.  We do get to see Nicole, however briefly. Jonathan is here too, and we get to grill him for a few hours :)

The vessel is ready for launch, as I took Thursday off of work to take advantage of the sunny skies. Finally got the anchor light to work. The stupid design of the spring loaded contacts was at fault. You would push in the bulb, and twist it, and the contact post would hit the bottom of the lamp housing, rotate and not pop back up. I shimmed up the socket with a few washers, and this worked well. Oh, I also switched to an LED. Hope it's bright enough.
We always add another light, just above the deck to light us up at anchor. I figured a drunk power boater is not going to notice my little lamp, sixty feet in the air.

Well, the next post should be from the water, if all goes according to plan. Unless the end of times was slightly miscalculated, and things do start to fall apart. We'll still be on the boat, fighting the zombies.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Still on the hard

Who'll stop the rain?  I can't remember the last time we had such a miserable spring. It feels like november out here. We are still trying to wrap up some projects before we splash. The davits are in, but we still need to mount the rail supports. We tried last night, in between squalls, but we managed a few holes drilled before the rain and darkness moved in. Deb was shivering last night trying to assist me, and I could see in her face the question, "Can we just go south already?".
 
Nothing really freaks me out more than drilling holes in my boat. When that drill bit finally breaks through, it sends a chill down my spine. I guess it would be worse if I was drilling through the bottom of the boat. There are enough holes there, we don't need anymore. Trying to keep the drill bit at a 90 degree angle on the sloped transom was not easy from a ladder, which is on plywood, on top of rocks along the shore. They really did not make it easy for me to work on the barge this year.
 
On a positive note, our fuel polishing seems to be working, as the Yanmar fired up after bleeding the system, and ran enough to get up to temperature. Good sign, as the fuel was pretty dirty, and I had never polished fuel before. I emptied about 10 gallons from the port tank, which was overfilled, and leaking out the tank vent. Oops. I just need to add some biocide to both tanks, and, maybe some more polishing on the port side, and we're good to go.
 
We are scheduled for launch, sometime in the next week, so let the good times roll!  Can't wait to get out of that apartment, and into some fresh air.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Getting there. Slowly

We have the bases for the davits installed, finally!  Only been two years. I know, what the hell. So adding the supports for the stern rail, to beef it up a bit, will take longer. I appears our measurements were off a tad two years ago. Pretty sad for two engineers, but we're electrical, not mechanical. We'll mount the davits today and supply pictures of our latest accomplishment.

Check out this post  http://blog.svhelloworld.com/2011/03/what-we-learned-about-cruising.html
I like the observations on a first year of cruising.

Got the friggin davits installed. Only took two years. Kato marine probably thought we died, or got divorced, as we never called them for the cross brace measurement. We can't measure for that until the dinghy is lifted. Probably do that in the water. We then have to order the solar panels, and the wind genny.

Davits...finally installed. Not a bad job.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Work in progress. Rain be damned

Sadly, I've been lazy keeping up with writing on this blog. Been a tad busy lately. I was in Detroit for a few days getting trained on Electrical Safe Work Practices. Seems they trust me to insure the safety of our electricians in the plant when working with high currents. Amazingly, for the time I've been involved in electrical work, I've only been zapped a few times, and nothing serious. I remember watching my teacher in electric shop in high school being thrown from the work bench. That was cool. Plus it made me respect what you can't see. He was OK, just a bit dazed. I got hit with an ungrounded laser capacitor once. Thank God it was not fully charged. Might explain some quirkiness though.

The Motor City was pretty cool. Rode the people mover around the city at night. Hit a casino, an Italian restaurant, and a few bars. Felt safe the whole time, and the people were great. Be nice to see Motown make it back from the brink. The people deserve it. Tip....if you're going out to dinner and it's just two guys, don't go to an Italian restaurant together. Go to a bar, where chicks and sports are visible. We were the only losers in there, and I never gave it a thought until they brought us two spoons for a desert that my fellow employee ordered. WTF.

So anyway, work has begun on KellyNicole. I feel now that it will never stop raining, and I might as well just go out there and get as much done as I can while getting wet. The marina put the ca-bash on the bottom paint removal, as they are way behind because of the rain, and some broken equipment. They also killed the tank removal from the v-berth until I can pump it out about 1 million times. Guess I can't blame them. They thought they could just lift it out and carry it out the companionway. Duh, no. If it was that easy why would I pay you three hundred dollars to do it. So sometime this spring they will cut it out. That should be fun. Wonder which one will throw up first.

Oh, happy Easter!

I'm pretty sure the bunny was female...pretty sure.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Melted

Sodus Bay. View from the stern.

Had a good weekend out at the boat getting a few things done. Still pretty cold out, 40's, but we have sun. Sun is good.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

She's naked!

No, not Deb, the boat! Way too cold for Deb.
We went out tonight and stripped her winter clothing and she's fully exposed. So we get home and I see on the radar that we have snow coming. Ha, knew that would happen. So after the cover was thrown in the dumpster, we went over to Captain Jacks for dinner. Low and behold, they restocked the taps with some tasty brews! Scotch Ale! Oh boy, I was like a kid in a candy store, or a sailor in a beer store, or a drunk in a ...
So anyway we had dinner, and I had a Scotch Ale, and we saw some familiar faces, and felt like we were back home. Can't wait to get back to the Point for the summer. Good times.