Friday, December 27, 2013

A nice little break

Well. That was a nice little break from blogging. I'm back now but still not in the mood to post a whole lot. Not that a whole lot has not happened. I am just in a bit of a slump. The cold kind of put me in a funk, and then a wee bit of holiday travel snatched any energy I had left.

I'll have an update soon. Maybe tomorrow when we are dog sitting. Yes, we are watching over Mister Mo for Nicole and Jonathan while they bask in the caribbean sun. We then have to drop off the dog at their place before heading north into the white stuff for the arrival of baby Mason. We are going to freeze our asses off. I am also going to be changing a lot of diapers. I'm sure it will all come back to me, except for the fact that it's a boy. I'll have to remember the dixie cup to put over the fountain of youth.

Good times ahead. When we get back it's pedal to the metal on boat readiness. We will probably do some major installs (watermaker, more solar, etc.) along the way if possible. This should be very interesting.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Morning Tea

Morning Tea posts are my thoughts dumped onto pages. When I don't feel like writing much I just spill it.

I wasn't sure about how I would feel today after trying to kick this cold for the last few. I think I'm better. My head is still kind of stuffed and I seem to have a tiny cough, but it's too hard to tell before I have had at least three cups of tea. I'm double bagging today.

When I have a cold I seem to have periods of extreme energy and then I crash and go to sleep.

Our bimini keeps collecting mold underneath and no matter how much I wash it, it still comes back. It's pissing me off.

The last time I waterproofed the bimini after I cleaned I thought I soaked it good, but the last rain came right on through. WTF!

I've come to realize that marine products grossly overstate their effectiveness.

The blogger spell checker is not always correcting. Just something else to pizz me off.

When marine life is either mating or hunting I wish they would do it around someone elses boat. I keep checking the bilge.

There are some friendly people here at this marina, and then there are some who are not. The higher the value of their boat, the less friendly they appear.

I wanted to go for a morning spin on the old Murray but my legs are saying no thanks.

I noticed a slight intolerance towards sailboats by the fishermen on the dock. I talked with one, who kept his back to me most of the time until he told me that the damn Osprey lands on my mast and the shit gets blown on his boat! I wondered why that damn bird didn't crap on my deck the whole time he was there. I thought it was out of respect for a Morgan, but turns out it was the wind.

My iCloud storage is full.

The fishermen wash their boats every damn morning. The fishermen wax their boats every damn week. The fishermen don't fish.

Debra announced her retirement. Did I mention that? Maybe a post is in order.

January third will be the birthday for our Grandson Mason. It is also the birthdate of my Grandmother who I miss. I can still taste her liver dumpling soup and the best spaetzle ever, not to mention the German potato salad.

I'm hungry.

I have two horizontal aluminum propane tanks I want to sell. Anyone interested?

I still have some email contact with my pals at GM. I think I'm finally starting to fade away. It's like your previous life is slowly falling behind in your wake.

I used an upholstery cleaner on one of the salon cushions and it still looks like my Grandmother's couch from the 40's, but it smells better. I think. How would I know I have a cold. Deb refuses to sniff a cushion. We'll let our guests decide.

I want to varnish a small teak plaque with the Morgan nameplate on it and the guy who sold me the Epiphane's told me 12 coats. Twelve!! I was right to buy a boat without teak on the deck. Stainless steel baby. Stainless steel.

More tea.

Our view out of the boat is very unspectacular at this marina. We see boats and buildings, but they hide the highway. We can still hear a train every now and then and it reminds us about our trip south where we were always docked or anchored by either a highway, a train track, or both.

Our vessel will be hauled out soon for the last of the BIG projects to get done. Cutting out an aluminum holding tank is best left for the professionals. I just hope the boat doesn't smell like an outhouse when we get back. What? It does?

Based on what I read over at  I will be running the crap out of our outboard before we head out.

I started our dual fuel filter project. In my mind.

There are no roaches crawling around on these docks like the others in Jax. Roaches only like brackish water? There are plenty of lizards on these dock, so maybe they are eating the roaches? Fine with me.

I suppose I should do something besides type nonsense, so I guess I'll clean the bimini and then hit up publix for lasagna night. I plan on germing some internet friends for dinner. No really guys I'm fine. The germ stage is long past. (eye roll and whistling)

Playing around in cold water seems like a good idea when you have a cold. I just can't stand looking at that bimini mold.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

It got me

Almost a year without a cold or flu since coming down here to Florida and it finally caught up with me. Must have been the trip up north. Maybe a germ got inside me and waited until it got warm before spreading it's wings and invading my throat and head. Maybe. It could have been one of those nose dripping people on the plane. Maybe it was the girl next to me who was coming back from Nicaragua that didn't want me to move over into the empty seat because she wanted to show me ALL of her photos on her tiny camera screen. Maybe. Anyhow it got me, and now I'm feeling like shit. Drugs help.

This stuff tastes like windex. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Beer, Diapers and some plumbing issues

I guess we moved to St. Augustine, but it's hard to tell as we really have not seen much of it since we arrived. After motoring down the ICW and parking the boat, we boarded a plane and arrived in Rochester NY for a baby shower and manly man diaper party. Todays diaper parties involve drinking, drinking games, drinking tunes, football, eating cooked animals off the grill and drinking. I ate fake meat products in order to maintain my man card. Not sure that worked. We then tried to look sober when the ladies got back from their cute little girly gift event called a baby shower. We were very refreshed when they showed up as we had taken to hiking up a nearby hill for a view of the city and the southern tier, and maybe a little mischief. Fresh air was a good idea. "Brisk" would be one word to describe the walk. "Fking cold" would be two words.

Hobo hut in the background. Guess nobody was home.
Or, a killer clown was in there with a machete.
Fortunately these were the only clowns out that night.

Wait there was one more. 

Kelly looked great and she is definitely ready for little Mason to get the heck out of there! The whole family is now on pins and needles waiting to see when we have to venture back to the tundra. Surprisingly, or not really, I had my old winter jacket and hiking sneaks still stuffed in the van. Amazing what you find in there. I was well prepared for the cold. Debra however was a wee bit under dressed and without boots, and had to do layers. She really really hates the cold. She was looking forward to getting back into the Florida Sun but got a call from work that said they needed her in town for a meeting. So Deb flew back to NY two days after getting back to Florida. She also flew right into a snow storm filled with flight delays. The only good thing about the trip was the time spent with Kelly and Eric. They made her a great meal and spent a nice evening together while I played plumber on the boat.

Deb seemed amused with what little snow there was, until she came back
two days later to a storm. You throw like a girl! 
Yes, more plumbing. I never finished the new head install as I didn't like the smallish vented loop and one inch discharge line going to the seacock. I replaced all this with one and a half inch and purchased about fifty hose clamps to complete the whole system. Because I am kind of a major germaphobe and not totally stupid I tested the unit with fresh water first. No leaks after ten flushings. Ten more, no leaks. Who will be the first to try it? I gave it a wiz whirl thinking if it leaked there was some small amount of comfort knowing it's your waste pooling in the bilge. So far, knock on wood, it's looking good. Number two is not allowed in the aft head, so I might add a Baby Ruth bar to the holding tank to see how the macerator handles it.

Next up is the twin fuel filters, opening port re-bedding, and fuel tank cleaning. Joy. I'm going to smell like diesel for about a month. My grandkid will think he was born in a truck stop.

We managed to get out and explore a little. We hit up the farmers market over at the Amphitheater. It was ok. Mostly crafts and very little fruits and veggies. We really do not have a lot of room for crafts on the boat, but there were some pretty cool items on display. The people were friendly and it was a nice morning to be out and about. I did score some escarole, which is hard to find lately. Beans and greens baby!

I guess you just show up with a guitar and play.
No, I only know one song and it's inappropriate for a farmers market
On the way home we stopped by the Sailors Exchange. We're talking about a building full of used boat equipment and supplies. I could spend a whole day there looking for treasure but Deb was not impressed, so we split. I'll bike back there some other time. Walking out to the car we spied a little sail loft in the back of the parking lot. Amazing. What else is hidden around this town?

Kind of a big pile of crap, but I like it.
We went back to Jax for a Bills vs Jags game with Nicole and Jonathan and good friends Deb and Rick. Bills Tailgating! We (Bills Fans) had a parking lot pretty much to ourselves and it felt like a home game, except there were no barrel fires, public urination, snowballs in the face and drunks fighting. Let's go Buff-a-lo! More on that later. I've got to go find a Baby Ruth bar.


Festivus decorations

Monday, December 2, 2013

We moved!

Hello St. Augustine!

Should be a fun couple of months here in the oldest city in the USA. Is it? So the trip was uneventful, with the exception of the current going into the marina. Had to be about 4-5 knots cross current. We were riding the river into St. Aug., doing about 7.5 knots over ground with the engine at just over idle. We didn't want to get there at extreme low tide but guess what?

The marina said I'll have enough water and to just crab in, but go fast. Dude, it's a sailboat. There is no go fast. We turned west toward the marina across the current and boy did I have to hit the throttle. We were basically at 3500 rpm and pointing north as we worked our way in. I had to point up current, then fall off a bit, then repeat. At one point I read 5 ft on the depth. Phew. We got inside and chopped throttle quickly. Imagine losing your engine in that current. Boat meet bridge.

What awaited us inside were two guys waving and pointing to our extremely hard to get into slip. Really really tight quarters in this place. I didn't hit anything but it didn't look pretty. I had to make a tight left, followed by a tight right, then a right into our slip. No frigging way will this boat turn like that! The throttle and rudder got quite a workout and we made it in. After settling I realized I could have made it a lot easier with backing up slightly and sticking my nose into the slip. Doh!

We are tucked away safe and sound, and now we await the Grandson to be delivered in the snowy northlands. We will be here for a little while. We will get some work done on this tub and then look for someplace warmer.

Good thing none of the fisherman were there when we landed.
I would have a new nickname.

Here are a few shots along the ICW.

The Murray makes it to St Aug! So did the Van...barely.

A look of concern

I hate seeing these.

Hey look Paddy there's a new boat in town. Look at all that
pretty blue canvas. Might be time to give the little guy a welcome.

While we relaxed with a cold one and Deb stopped shaking from the cross current and extreme docking, I heard a Dolphin pop up for air. Dolphins! We have some flipper friends that welcomed us to St. Aug by swimming around the boat and popping up to catch fish. Very cool. Deb is happy, I'm happy, the boat is happy.  :)


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Moving Day? Nah

Today was supposed to be moving day, but the winds and spotty rain convinced us tomorrow will be better. We already dropped off one vehicle and checked out the marina. There was a fishing trawler in our slip, which shouldn't be there. They said they'll move us around until the guy leaves. Hmm. How about he moves around and we stay in our slip? It's pretty tight quarters in there and I am not relishing the thought of maneuvering this beast around all the expensive boats.

We joked a while back about the transient slip behind us having a huge powerboat in it when it's time to leave. Deb said "Oh crap!" as we pulled up in our marina parking lot. The transient slip had an Irwin of Epic Proportions parked right on our ass. It would have been dicey getting out of our slip with him there, but he left this morning. If there were any thoughts about leaving they were erased by the Irwin of Epic Proportions spinning out after they pulled away from the dock. They almost clipped the sailboat at the end of our pier. Amazing how a heavy Irwin can be blown around so easily. We are so light in the bow that we figured we will wait until tomorrow to leave. The winds are expected to be less than ten.

The new place has an entrance of six to seven at low tide and a pretty nasty cross current. The advice from the staff at the marina was, "Just go fast".


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Have a wonderful holiday all you sailors and dirt dwellers out there. I hope you find time to share a meal with friends and or family today. Stay off your phones and Pads and enjoy each others company. I don't expect to see any blog posts today, as you should be socializing and cooking something. What? What am I doing? Oh. Nobody is even awake yet, so it's OK. Apparently it's too cold for anyone to get out of bed.

Have a good one folks.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Morning Tea

Thoughts leaving my head and falling onto this page...

What's with the weather? Saturday we were hiking in a park under sunny skies and eighty degrees. Sunday we were huddled inside the boat under gray skies and thirty knots of 59 degrees. Very strange. I sit here in a constant twenty five knots of wind out of the north, with gusts to about thirty five. Would I want to be at anchor right now? I believe I would have no choice. Marina = $$

Is there anyone that spends their time on the water that doesn't believe the climate is changing?

Our marina is pretty empty. Good thing they have the two huge boat storage buildings or they would be hurting for business right now. It's a depressing time of the year, seeing all the empty slips because it means people have moved on and they are enjoying themselves in warmer climates. It's pissing me off.

We recently had our Daughter Nicole's wedding. We were blessed with good weather at both our daughters weddings. Two very different gatherings, but both awesome in their own way and reflective of both their personalities. Both have left the nest long ago, and are totally independent yet, this wedding was a turning point in all our lives. The next generation moves on, while the last has an awesome time cruising :)

After our Grandson's arrival, and we come back down from the northlands we have nothing but Deb's job holding us in place. Hmm...

I read a lot of sailing blogs. Not as many as I used to though. Before we left I was a sponge for info on how to cruise the Atlantic and the ICW. Through all these posts over the years we have come to know some nice blog people. Not to be confused with Bog people. I sometimes worry about meeting our digital friends in person. There are a lot of writers who are very different from what they post. I think my personality comes through in my writing so if you are expecting a jackass you probably will not be disappointed.

We have blog friends that are stuck too far north because of technical difficulties. I hope they get it fixed soon. I need some company.

I am prepping the boat for our mini cruise down the ICW. Getting nervous about moving. It's our home now. It's only a trip down the ditch, but it's been a while.

TV sucks. We very seldom watch anything except sports. We like the Browns, Bills, Purdue and Syracuse football. So, yeah not much to watch this year.

The current ads for new shows on the networks are disturbing. What's with all the fear and death?

Seinfeld = the last time a show made me laugh. 

Condensation on the metal ports was dripping into my pasta on the stove. I don't like this. Should I disinfect the port before I cook?

We read a lot. eBooks rule. Dennis Lehane books are keeping me up late.

Our little space heater is OK, but we can't have it and the water heater on at the same time. This makes for cold mornings. We don't leave either heater running all night long. Too many photos of burned shore power plugs.

We need one more solar panel. We need more LED lights.

People at this dock are now stopping by to say hello. We say goodbye. They say why, and I say "You had all friggin year to chat and now with a week to go you get friendly?"

Our boat needs a wax.

Our salon cushions are hard and ugly. They kind of smell too. Replacement is not really a priority at this time, but geez its tough showing people around down here.

When we are closed up we run a dehumidifier to cut down on moisture. Sometimes I wake up so dry that I'm afraid my skin will crack if I move.

We only have three pieces of modern electronics on this boat with two Engineers for crew.

I hate talking to insurance companies. You always feel like you could say the wrong thing and your rates will go up or they drop you. I bet they read blogs too.

My van is nearing the end of it's life. You ever see a rusty old van with a loud exhaust and filled with random stuff driven by a little grey bearded guy with faded t-shirt and torn ball cap? Me neither.

Is it bad to eat Pringles for breakfast? How about pretzels?

Deb makes the best blue cheese dip on the planet.

A guy in Publix walked past me and pulled at my shirt. I had a Bruins shirt on. "Nice shirt!" he said sarcastically. I looked over and he had a Flyers Jersey. I made a face and said, "Wanna go?" We both laughed. His wife gave him an eye roll. "You wanna go" is a phrase hockey players use to indicate a desire to kick someone's ass.

It usually takes me until about 10 AM to get rolling. My good retired friend says he will not do much of anything until 10. His rule. I don't feel so bad now. Thanks Frank.

Good Morning!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

End of the Rode

I pulled the anchor rode out of the locker last week to clean off all the mud that was caked on a few sections, and after I put it all back in I realized that I did not have a line securing the bitter end. The end of the chain was secured to the wood separator in the locker by a shackle. So what? Well, if you read about our experience in the Delaware river last year and the Barge/Tug that was dragging down on us at night, you will see I told Deb to get ready for me to cut the anchor if he keeps coming. He was already over our anchor and getting scary close at that point. Well, I would have needed a blow torch to cut it loose as I never had a line securing it! I could have sworn I secured it that way. Holy crap! That could have ended badly. Imagine me scrambling for a pair of pliers to remove the shackle. I get the chills thinking about it.

Wimpy line I know, but it's anchored to plywood
so what's the weakest point?  

So, now I have a small line securing the end of the rode. If it gets to the point where I have to cut and run, I can do it. I also have a small orange fender that I can clip to the last link so I can retrieve it later. When we sail I always carry a sharp knife in my pocket for this reason, and to fight off Pirates. Maybe pepper spray would be a better option then hand to hand combat...that and a laser. A laser would be cool. "Your shirts on Fire!" *

While I had all the chain out again, I decided that having fifty foot marks with yellow spray paint wasn't enough, so I tagged the chain with bright orange zip ties at seventy five foot lengths. This is simple for my simple mind. I don't need a color chart hanging on the bow pulpit to tell me how much rode I have out.

I added a "Running out of chain!" indicator with four zip ties in a row. I would have liked red paint, but I didn't have any. This will work fine.

Yes, that's a cheap ass manual winch. I love it.
Builds muscle...and sweat. Lot's of sweat.


* Here is the link for building a laser defense system.  I was the laser geek for our plant at GM. I only started one fire, and it was a total accident. I was test firing a laser and downloaded what I thought was a simple spot mark. Turned out I loaded a wire frame model of the space shuttle. I was firing it at a piece of cardboard to protect the production part. Holy smokes! I put it out with a unique stomping routine which later lead to rain.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Weird weather and Facebook

We had one and a half gorgeous days of about 75-80 degrees and partly sunny, and now rain is falling and the temps will drop into the 60's tomorrow. I can't complain. Beats tornadoes and snow. So sad to see parts of Illinois and Indiana get blasted with that blob of storms. My daughter went to school in Indiana and we spent some time there visiting and we know how flat it is. I can't imagine how fast those systems roll across the land. Thoughts are with those who suffered. We had a few phone calls from my daughter during tornado season while she was up there. They had one land a few miles away. She told us she was safe. She was huddled in the basement of a frat house. This is why I have grey hair.

I washed the boat under these beautiful skies only to have the raven population gather for a conference on my mast when I was done. What the hell. The rain washed most of it off. My refusal to buy an aluminum tank and go with a Blue Rhino swap didn't pay off either. I have a nice rust mark on the deck now where the crappy tank completely rusted and ran all over the deck in the rain. The price you pay for being cheap. I can't believe how fast that tank went orange.

Work continues on the short voyage prep, and hopefully we'll be underway real soon. It would be nice to be relocated further south before we head up north again to see family.

If you are not visiting us on Facebook, then you are missing out on some cool photos and some not very interesting commentary. You also get to find out what we are doing without having to read my crazy stories. By the way, everything I write on this blog has actually happened, unless I say it's made up. I just extend the characters personalities a little and protect the names of the real people and where they work or reside. I don't need someone going to see Ahmed the tailor telling him I think he yells on the phone, or that the hot tailor woman has huge eyebrows and that I like them. I meet some interesting people. Just ask Debra. That reminds me, I owe the hair salon a pizza for helping me rescue my pants.

So, you can find us on FB under S/V Kelly Nicole. Hit the like button if you want, or just leave a sarcastic comment. Either one is appreciated. Here are some photos that were on FB only.

Our first boat! Awesome sail set. No really it's perfect

Meester Mo - future boat dog. He's actually scared to death.

Finally someone else got shit on

My morning view. Very relaxing. So relaxing I get another hour of sleep sometimes.

Our happy hour entertainment. I know. It's mean.

Found a photo on my old phone of an Erie canal lock. Smelled in there. You ever hear
the expression "Your ass sucks canal water!" Now I know why it's insulting. Is that
expression a NY thing?

Expanding foam gone bad. The Blob. It's alive! It's on my shirts and pants as well.

Lunch under a palm on the beach

Head banging

Yes, the Batmobile. No sign of the caped crusader.
I saw Robin getting a cone. He's such a puss.

My van. Stylin eh? Yes, that's popeye looking under Leilani's skirt, and those warning
lights are on all the time. Nothing serious. Oil, brakes, check engine, etc.
I threw this in for laughs. 


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mud, Anchors, a Wedding and the start of Phase II

What's with this Chesapeake mud we have stuck all over this chain? Tenacious stuff. I really can't believe this crap is still stuck after a year. I didn't realize it had fallen down into the anchor locker, so I had to remove all the chain and hose it off. Looks like a little corrosion has set in as well on this pricey anchor rode. The mud has formed little balls the roll down the deck and are getting stuck in places. Weird.

I have to make a decision on an anchor for the second phase of our escape plan. The Bruce or Claw has served us well, and I think I may continue to use it as the primary, though I would like to go one size larger. Our second choice is going to be one of the new styles like the Rocna or Manta. Everyone seems to really like that type, and if the Claw has some difficulties I will swap them, but until that happens I will go with what has worked for us unless I hear that the Claw has poor holding in sand. Maybe I need to do a little more research.

The big wedding is behind us, and it was a fantastic time. My Daughter looked beautiful and the Boy looked good too. Handsome couple. Oh, his name is Jonathan. Nice guy. For some reason I was blessed to have two fantastic son in law's. I feel I deserve it after the stress of raising two girls.

We do not have all the wedding photos yet, but I stole a few off of Facebook from our friends. We had a great time and the wedding went off without a hitch except for the Gypsy tailors curse (See prev post). I half expected the stitching to come apart in my fat pants while I was walking Nicole down the aisle, but the Gypsy woman had a more devious idea. While we were all up on the dance floor with the Bride and Groom, Nicole winced in pain and grabbed at her leg. Her Bridesmaids lifted her dress to find a tailor's needle stuck in her calf! Apparently the dress tailor left the needle in her dress and it finally came loose when she was dancing. There was a lot of blood and Nicole was rushed to the ladies room, but emerged smiling after a quick patch job. She continued to dance the night away. The blood stain was under the dress so everything was cool. Coincidence or curse?

Some photos.

We had a great time meeting the other side of the family and their friends, and it was also great to have our friends and relatives there as well. We had a special reunion with our long time friends and their gang which made for a really good time. Our group called the Garratmauryans, a combo of our last names, has been together since college with the exception of Frank and I who married in a few years later. Good thing there wasn't any voting on that. We all lived in Rochester and watched our kids grow up and marry, and have kids of their own. Michelle is next on the wedding list so I better save my suit, and watch my calories. It's been a special treat being so close a group all these years. We started the party by dancing to the song Shout, and doing our best Animal House dance scene. There may have been some Georgians in the crowd doing a "Why I never..."
All good fun. Congratulations and thank you to Nicole and Jonathan for a spectacular wedding.

Garratmauryan group. Gen I. The name is a combo of all our last names.

Some of Gen II, III
We have a photo somewhere of all the Garratmauryan gang on the front steps of the country club. We were still missing five people from the group, but it is amazing how it has grown. We could buy a town and start our own little society. Hmm, that sounds creepy. Maybe not.

Phase II of our cruising plan has started. We are relocating to St, Augustine very shortly. We need a change of scenery and the ability to day sail else we will go INSANE. This is a sailboat, not a floating cottage. So we are making preparations for our HUGE cruise of thirty miles south. We have a slip reserved, hopefully, in a nice marina where we will reside until we are ready to make the next leap of faith. We also need a place to keep the boat stored when we drive up north to welcome our Grandson Mason James to this crazy world.

Good times. Cheers!