Saturday, March 17, 2012

Green Day

Happy St. Patty's day!  
Instead of watching the parade of drunks, we're heading out to the boat to get the cover off, and possibly some bottom painting done. We'll be back in town for some Guinness later.

There will be a pile of lumber next to the boat if anyone wants it. We will not be using it this fall.
That's right.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Good interview

Three Sheets has a good interview with Captain Fatty. See the whole interview here.

Can you give us a few tips for cruising on a budget?
Well, that’s a big subject. People — most westerners, most Americans — have this goofy concept that there’s only one way to do things. They think you live in a house and a house costs money, so you have to have a job and in order to get that job you need a car, and a car costs money so you have to have a job. They think of things in that simplistic way of work, buy, et cetera. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But the amazing thing is, if you go to Madagascar or Borneo or all these other places, people don’t have money or jobs and you think they have nothing. Yet they have all kinds of things. They have a high quality of life and their children play and they have a place to live and they have food.
What I’m saying is that you can look at a New Yorker’s lifestyle in Manhattan one way, and in terms of material possessions, they’re doing great. But maybe in terms of quality of life, they’re not doing so great. People think money equates to safety, money equates to happiness, money equates to all these things. And it doesn’t.
The main thing of cruising cheaply is just to get out of this mindset that you’re going to buy it. I don’t even consider buying anything. I don’t go into marine supply stores. I don’t go to sailmakers. You just don’t have to deal with the money thing. It doesn’t always have to be money. Trade stuff instead of doing it the way that everyone else does.
When I needed a diesel engine, I didn’t want a crap diesel engine. I wanted a brand new diesel engine. So I went to the biggest distributor of diesel engines in the Caribbean and said, ‘Look, I’m a writer. You need ads written, you need training manuals.’ I traded some writing and paid less than half the price for a new engine.
Not sure what I would trade for an engine discount. 'Look, I'm a manufacturing engineer. You, to make a lot of something? Got any robots?'

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I will miss this

Spring is in the air. You can feel it, smell it, see it. The warmth, the flowers coming up, the birds singing, the girls in shorts ;) Love you Deb. People smiling for a change, people in the park, people walking, running, dog walking, drinking. The outdoor cafe's are crowded already.  This is change, and it's noticeable. In the warm sun of the Bahamas and elsewhere in the little latitudes, do you notice the Spring? Dick and Libby mentioned this today. Seems there are few, if any signs that the seasons have changed. This is one part of dirt dwelling I will miss. The Winter to Spring transition.

So, following the Sun is going to be pretty nice, and I'm really looking forward to it, but will I miss the seasonal change? Maybe I'm enjoying spring because I endured the winter. Because I suffered through grey skies, and blowing snow, sleet and cold rain, I appreciate the change. Maybe when days are all sunny and warm (mostly), then I will not care if it's Spring.

I have lived in a cold climate for over 53 years now, and I am pretty sure I will not miss the winters for the remaining days I have left, but Spring, now that might be missed.

I will not miss this...

Looks pretty doesn't it. Pretty friggin cold.

 Or this...
BBQ on the deck anyone?

And definitely not this...
Driving in the snow really sucks.

But this was kind of cool.

Look at the little icebergs, and the frozen Deb.
Here's to Spring!

Nice Job

Here's what my keel support looks like lately. All I can say is we're damn lucky that it has not been a rainy season so far.
Nice job guys. I looked at every boat in the marina yard, and ours is the only one that has one layer of randomly placed 2x4 under it's keel.
The other boats have several layers of 2x6. I get the feeling they are going out of their way to make me an unhappy customer.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crosby is Dead

He did a good job, maybe too good at times. Frozen beers were not funny, but his frigid personality made him easy to ignore. We appreciated the fact that he was inactive most of the day, and was relatively quiet with a cool demeanor.  Things were fine until we left the dock for any length of time. Away from the dock more than 8 hours, his coolness left him and pure evil came forth.  Unable to get the power he craves, he would lash out by sucking the energy right out of the boat. There was no restraining Crosby. We put up with this for a while, thinking maybe we could make some adjustments, and reduce his consumption, but the cruise to the islands was the last straw. Draining us of all energy, forcing us to drink warm beer was about all we could take, and Sunday I made up my mind. I had to KILL CROSBY!

He put up quite a fight, but in the end it was man over machine. 

Crosby is dead. Long live Crosby! For $50 you can resurrect him.
The killing went something like this:
Removing the plates required releasing some of the refrigerant (R-409A). I opened a fitting a little bit to start a small leak, and a big hole, in the ozone layer above Sodus Bay. With the hissing stopped, I proceeded to disconnect the plates. Tough going at this point, as the fittings would not budge. I used a wrench and a hammer and banged away at the damn things until they broke. Having loosened a fitting, as indicated by the wrench slipping free and falling into the bottom of the fridge, I tried to turn it by hand, putting a sliver in my palm which was created by the wrench slipping off the nut. Pulling my hand back, I knocked the shop light off the counter, plunging the boat into darkness. The tarp is still on. Crap.

I finally got all the fittings off, and started to remove the screws holding up the plates. Bottom screws first, then the top while holding on to the plate.
Down to the bottom of the fridge that plate went. Holy smokes are they heavy! I had no idea, well maybe a little idea, but shit damn how am I going to lift that out of there? I was now on my stomach across the counter and trying to reach down to lift up the plate.

Yes, I put the camera on timer to take a photo of myself. I thought you needed a visual..

 I stuck my shoulders in and put my head down and got my hands around the damn plate and then it hit me. It was like someone put a glue sniffing bag over my head! ALL the refrigerant went to the bottom of the fridge, and accumulated there, waiting for me to dip my big head in it.

I dropped the plate (2nd time) and got myself out of the hole, which was not an easy task, and outside to some fresh air. The stars were very sparkly for the middle of the day. I decided to sit on the dock (climbing down a ladder was not too brilliant) by the water (again, dumb) and take a break. I thought refrigerant was lighter than air. WTF. After a few minutes, I felt better, and was now completely pissed off at the Crosby.

I tied a line around the fallen plate and pulled the damn thing out, then got to the screws of the last plate. After the second screw on the bottom of the plate came off I went to remove the top two, but there were none. Looks like another single screw on the bottom was holding the damn thing up, and it looked like a friggin deck screw, and was ground out from an undersized bit from a drill. Bastards!

I got this screw about halfway out when the weight of the plate bent it downward, and there was no way a screw driver was going to work. Stinking Bastards!!! Time for the hacksaw blade, and just when I thought it should be about through, it broke and the second plate fell into the R-409A pool. This time I held my breath and got a lasso around it and yanked it free. I took these heavy monsters down the ladder, and snagged the compressor too. It was a little dicey on the ladder, but I managed to rid ourselves of the Crosby once and for all.

Turns out R-409A is heavier than air, and is low ozone killing. Side affects from inhalation include dizziness, feeling light headed, and heart palpitations. I have to admit that I experienced all three, the third being kind of scary. Doing this alone, and near the water with no one around was pretty stupid. About as stupid as putting a car engine fire out with windshield washer fluid, but that's another story.

It was time for a cold one, but this time I let nature do all the cooling.

No, I did not drink them all.
So, all in all it was a successful day in March. This never happens, as we're usually fighting cold temps and some lingering flurries at this time, but I'll take it :)


Here we go

This was the first of many boat work weekends ahead. Time to get rolling, as we're going to run out of time quickly, considering the workload.

I have an incredible list of stuff to get done, on top of all the wedding stuff that will almost certainly interfere. Let's see, Daughter getting married, boat getting launched. I think we'll need the boat to escape to after the wedding, so I'll focus on that. Does a Dad really have any say in the wedding plans anyway? All I have to do is provide cash, pick out a suit, and hand my daughter over :( 

I'll try not to cry, but even a pretty boat will bring tears, so I'm a goner I guess.

Got the new holding tank for the aft head. Thirty gallons. Friends of ours accepted the delivery, as it was too big for the PO Box. Our friends Kate and Frank have been graciously accepting the odd deliveries for over a year now. The UPS guy has actually asked them who this Paul guy was. I think Kate blushed a little, assuming he thought that there was another man in the house. Ha ha ha, I should order something from and see how red her face gets :)   I don't even know if there is such a site, so let me know if it's something interesting. Not a good thing to click on during your lunch hour, so I'll leave it up to you.

My buddy Frank thinks this is too small for all the crap I have.